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    Schwan's Consumer Brands Forms Product Innovation Team

    Marketing veteran Travis Bautz will lead the initiative.

    Schwan's Consumer Brands North America, Inc. has created a Product Innovation team led by VP of product innovation Travis Bautz. The company, which manufactures frozen pizza, frozen Asian foods and frozen bakery categories formed the team to focus on where the opportunities are today and where they will be in the future.

    Bautz, who has been with the Schwan Food Co. for over 15 years, has worked in all three of its business units (Consumer Brands, Home Service and Food Service), and was most recently the VP of marketing of Bakery. In his new role he will develop innovation platform ideas that are 18 to 24 months away from launching in the marketplace. Bautz will report to Dan Hammer, SVP of marketing for Schwan's Consumer Brands, and will be joined on the team by Kara Van Kleek, director, new products; Marc Cudeyre, manager, new products; Jennifer Kallemeyn, associate manager, innovation; and Steffany Meyers, senior administrative assistant.

    "Travis has demonstrated the leadership, vision, collaboration, and strategic skill sets that this position requires," said Hammer. "One of the keys to delivering on our corporate commitment to having the best products is to establish an innovation pipeline that consistently delivers best-in-class solutions that meet the needs of our consumers."

    Bloomington, Minn.-based Schwan's Consumer Brands North America, Inc., employs over 2,600 people and has marketed and distributed premium frozen foods since 1970. Its brands include Red Baron, Freschetta, and Tony's pizzas, Wolfgang Puck gourmet pizzas, Asian Sensations snacks and appetizers, Larry's potatoes, and Mrs. Smith's and Edwards pies and desserts.

    Employing about 18,000 people, the Schwan Food Co., based in Marshall, Minn., is the largest privately held manufacturer and marketer of fine frozen foods in the United States and operates production and distribution facilities across the United States, as well as in France and Canada to serve customers in more than 25 countries through home delivery, retail grocery and foodservice channels.

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