The JR Simplot Company announced Monday it will merge two of its units into one, and is making a change to its leadership ranks.
The privately-held Boise-based company said it would merge Simplot Australia with the Simplot Food Group to form Simplot Global Foods. The business will be headed by Graham Dugdale, who currently leads the Australia division. Mark McKellar, who led the Boise-based food division, is retiring later this year.
Simpot Australia operates a variety of household food names across that country as well as New Zealand. It owns the rights to frozen vegetable brand Birds Eye in the region. Simplot also markets other well-known brands, including Leggo’s, Edgell, Seakist, and more.
In the US, Simplot traditionally marketed its frozen foods to restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service locations but not to the general public. Earlier this year, the company announced it would move into the consumer foods space with a deal to supply and manufacture Ore-Ida products like Tater Tots, fries, and more.
The merger will put the two divisions in different hemispheres in one part of the company.
“With change comes opportunity, and we saw a unique opportunity to capitalize on a global structure
that leverages the knowledge of our employees, the capabilities we have as an organization and, in
particular, better aligns our global food manufacturing footprint,” Simplot CEO Garrett Lofto said.
Simplot has continued to grow its food division, with expansions into Argentina, China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and Southeast Asia.