MANTENO, ILL. — Better-for-you frozen food manufacturer Urban Farmer, a Paine Schwartz Partners portfolio company, has hired Mark Fleming as the company’s new chief executive officer, effective May 1. Mr. Fleming succeeds Steve Jungmann, who will remain with the company as a strategic adviser to ensure a smooth transition.
Before joining Urban Farmer, Mr. Fleming was president, Meal Preparation Division, at TreeHouse Foods, Inc., where he led a $3.2 billion portfolio of 16 high-penetration food categories with full profit and loss responsibility. During his time at TreeHouse Foods, Mr. Fleming held other leadership roles, including president, Baked Goods Division, and president, Meals Division. Mr. Fleming joined TreeHouse Foods in 2016 when the company acquired Conagra’s Private Brands division, where he was vice president and general manager of the Retail Bakery business. Prior to Conagra, he also held roles at the H. J. Heinz Co., Kraft Foods, Reckitt Benckiser and Coca-Cola Fountain.
“Mark is an accomplished executive in the food co-manufacturing and baked goods industries, and we are pleased to appoint him as the company’s next CEO,” said Betsy Holden, chair of the Urban Farmer board. “Over the last two years, Urban Farmer has made significant strides solidifying its position as the leader in the better-for-you frozen food space. We believe that Mark’s deep operational expertise and relevant industry experience will enable him to successfully lead the company as it begins its next phase of growth.”
Urban Farmer was founded in 2013 as a fully integrated manufacturer of better-for-you, plant-based specialty dough products, The company runs two gluten-free, USDA certified baking plants in Manteno, where it bakes pizza crusts, topped pizzas, flatbreads, breadsticks, cheese bread, tortillas, empanadas and sandwich buns. In 2020, Paine Schwartz created a new investment platform with a strategic investment in Urban Farmer, according to the company.
“I am thrilled to become the CEO of Urban Farmer, a company I have admired for being a leader in the growing better-for-you space,” Mr. Fleming said. “I look forward to working closely with my colleagues on the leadership team, our partners at Paine Schwartz and the rest of Urban Farmer’s talented employee base. Together, we will build on the company's strong foundation and drive sustainable growth by innovating, enhancing efficiency and providing customers the high-quality, better-for-you products they expect from Urban Farmer.”