SECAUCUS, N.J., July 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Freshpet, Inc. ("Freshpet" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:FRPT) today announced the promotion of Scott Morris from Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Morris will now be responsible for sales and marketing, innovation, and Freshpet Fridge operations. As part of its strategic growth plan, the Company also announced appointments to three new positions: Stephen Weise to Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply Chain, Lisa Barrette to Vice President of Business Development, and Christopher Taranto to Vice President of Procurement and Planning. All leadership appointments are effective immediately.

"I would like to congratulate Scott Morris on his new position as our COO," said Richard Thompson, Chief Executive Officer. "Scott Morris is a trusted leader within our organization and I have worked closely with him for many years. I have always been impressed with his ability to drive results and believe he will continue to drive operational excellence across the company. With our robust growth opportunities ahead, Scott will be instrumental in growing our velocity, brand awareness, expanding the distribution footprint of Freshpet and delivering on our mission to bring fresh, natural food to dogs and cats."

Mr. Morris is a co-founder of Freshpet and has over 20 years of experience in consumer packaged goods sales, management, and marketing. He served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing from 2010 to 2013 and Chief Marketing Officer since January 2014. Mr. Morris had been Vice President of Marketing at The Meow Mix Company from 2002 to 2006, and prior to that had worked at Ralston Purina where he had been Pet Food Group Director.

Stephen Weise, the new Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply Chain, will report to Richard Thompson and oversee the entire manufacturing and supply chain located in Bethlehem, PA.

"As the size and scale of Freshpet continues to grow, we believe it is increasingly important to have an experienced executive leader overseeing our manufacturing and supply chain," said Thompson. "Stephen's extensive experience will help us leverage and streamline our business and implement operating efficiencies."

Mr. Weise previously worked at TBM Consulting Group, a global operational excellence consulting firm, to lead cross-divisional and cross-functional communication across businesses in order to improve organizational management and drive earnings growth. He successfully implemented an extensive training process and curriculum for new talent at a large distribution company, which was critical to improving distribution center productivity. Prior to that role, Mr. Weise served as the Chief Operating Officer at Jacobson Companies, formerly known as The Arthur Wells Group, for approximately ten years where he led and formed a team that worked to improve the go-to-market strategy and enabled the company to achieve a $100 million increase in revenue and doubled the company's earnings. He has held senior operations management positions at The B. Manischewitz Company, Eight in One Pet Products, Chock full o'Nuts, and Kraft Foods Group, Inc. Mr. Weise has a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Lisa Barrette will report directly to Scott Morris as the new Vice President of Business Development within the Freshpet Marketing Group. Ms. Barrette brings over 15-years of business management and brand and marketing experience to Freshpet. She most recently served as a Senior Director at Pinnacle Foods, Inc. where she successfully executed a turnaround plan for the Celeste business, including cost-saving quality improvements, and developed innovative branding initiatives which optimized marketing spend. Ms. Barrette has also held senior marketing positions at Post Holdings, Inc. and Kraft Foods Group, Inc.

Christopher Taranto has been promoted to Vice President of Procurement and Planning, reporting to Stephen Weise. Mr. Taranto previously served as the Director of Supply Chain Management at Freshpet where he successfully established functional and sustainable business processes and instituted complex organizational changes. Prior to Freshpet, he served as the Director of Supplier Management, Global Operations, at Pfizer, Inc. Mr. Taranto has over 23 years of experience in procurement, planning, and supply chain management.

"The appointments announced today are part of our long-term plan to drive growth and better define our strategic direction with retail partners and vendors, and further cultivate and enhance our relationships with pet parents," said Thompson. "We are proud to be part of a company that improves the lives of pets through healthful nutrition and remain committed to our core values of transparency and honesty. On behalf of all Freshpet team members, we congratulate each of our team members on their new positions and look forward to working together as we continue to find new and better ways to deliver the benefits of fresh, real food to our pets."

About Freshpet

Freshpet has a single-minded mission – to bring the power of fresh, natural food to dogs and cats. We are committed to doing so in ways that are good for pets, for the people who love them, and for the planet we live on. That's why all Freshpet recipes are thoughtfully prepared in the Freshpet Kitchens in Bethlehem, PA, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this release may constitute "forward-looking" statements. These statements are based on management's current opinions, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or projections regarding future events or future results. These forward-looking statements are only predictions, not historical fact, and involve certain risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions. Actual results, levels of activity, performance, achievements and events could differ materially from those stated, anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. While Freshpet believes that its assumptions are reasonable, it is very difficult to predict the impact of known factors, and, of course, it is impossible to anticipate all factors that could affect actual results. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements made herein including, most prominently, the risks discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 31, 2015. Such forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this release. Freshpet undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. If we do update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be made that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: ICR                  Katie Turner         646-277-1228                  Michael Fox         203-682-8218

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