Del Real Foods announced the appointment of Michael Axelrod as its new Chief Executive Officer. Del Real is a Hispanic refrigerated foods company that has built a strong brand within the large and growing Hispanic food category. Recently opened a new plant in Oklahoma, doubling its manufacturing capacity and expanded distribution of its products.
Axelrod most recently served as CEO of Passport Global Foods and Fine Choice Foods, a leading manufacturer of globally inspired cuisine, and as President of TreeHouse Foods’ $1.5 billion Condiments division.
He also has held executive positions at Whirlpool Corporation, Pactiv Corporation, McCain Foods, and Kraft Foods. Early in his career, Axelrod was a project leader at the Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm.
“Michael is a highly experienced and well-regarded business leader who brings to Del Real almost three decades of experience leading and building food companies,” said Ed Lambert, the company’s Executive Chairman. “He is a people- and customer-centered individual who is ideally suited to help us as Del Real Foods moves to its next level of development. We look forward to working with Michael and the leadership team to continue the exceptional growth of our business.”
Del Real Foods, based in Mira Loma, California, is a manufacturer of branded and private label heat-and-serve Mexican cuisine products, including meats, prepared specialty items, fresh salsas, and side dishes. It sells its products to the club, retail, foodservice, and wholesale distributor channels.
The company is owned by a private fund affiliated with Palladium Equity Partners, LLC (“Palladium”), in partnership with the Cardenas family, the company’s founders.
Daniel Ilundain, a Managing Director of Palladium, added: “We continue to invest in building the Del Real team and in expanding capacity after starting up a new plant in Oklahoma this year. We have a strong conviction in Del Real – its people, its brand, the quality of its products, and the potential of the category it operates in.”
“I am looking forward to joining the incredibly talented Del Real team, and am very excited about the company’s potential,” said Axelrod. “Del Real has a tremendous brand, a growing consumer base, and a strong innovation engine that has produced authentic and delicious products for many years. I am honored to help drive its growth alongside Palladium and the Cardenas family.”