PITTSBURGH — TruFood Manufacturing, a snack food contract manufacturer, backed by AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC, has hired three industry veterans with expertise in nutrition bars, chocolate confections and baked granola products. All three individuals will be directors of business development, reporting directly to Peter S. Tsudis, chief executive officer of TruFood.

Russ Asaro has been in the “better-for-you” snacking industry for more than 25 years, most recently as executive vice president of Simply Natural Foods.

Mark Haas has been an industry professional for more than 25 years, most recently as CEO of The Helmsman Group. Earlier, he was chief operating officer at Cup4Cup, operations director at Annie’s, Inc., CEO and founder of Bridgetown Bakery, plant director at Kellogg Co., director of operations at Kashi Co., and general manager of The Hain Celestial Group.

Robert Kowitt spent the past 20-plus years at Simply Natural Foods, most recently as director of business development. He also held roles in quality assurance, R&D and operations.

 “The addition of these three individuals allows TruFood to maintain our ability to deliver industry-best innovation, commercialization and relationship building to our brand partners,” Mr. Tsudis said. “Each of these professionals has achieved a remarkable level of success executing for brands. We are fortunate to add more than 75 years of combined experience to elevate our team.”

TruFood Manufacturing is a contract manufacturer of branded and private label nutrition bars, protein bars, chocolate moulded products and baked foods. The company’s products are sold at club, grocery, drug, convenience and department stores worldwide. TruFood has a large presence on the East Coast with more than 400,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities.