Kar’s Nuts has named former Mars executive Victor Mehren to head up the US-based bagged snacks maker as current CEO Nick Nicolay steps aside.

Mehren is joining the Michigan-based better-for-you snacks producer as CEO after spending 17 years at Mars Wrigley Confectionery, most recently as chief operating officer. Nicolay will move into the chairman’s seat having been president and chief executive of the business since 1995.

Nicolay said in a statement: “We recruited Vic to lead Kar’s Nuts’ next phase of growth and innovation. Vic is a proven consumer packaged goods executive with over 26 years of experience successfully leading and growing innovative snacking and confectionery brands, with a focus on strong sales, marketing, innovation and brand-building strategies.”

While at Mars, Mehren held various roles across such operating divisions as Wrigley, ice cream and snacks, and chocolate.

Kar’s Nuts has been owned by a fund affiliated with private-equity firm Palladium Equity Partners since March 2017. The business was founded in 1933 and has brands under its namesake label, Second Nature and Sanders Fine Chocolatiers. The latter was bought by Kar’s in 2018, a company that manufactures artisan chocolates, baked goods, dessert toppings and ice cream.

Mehren added: “I am excited to join the Kar’s Nuts team, and look forward to leading a category-leading business with strong tailwinds and exciting innovation capabilities. I appreciate the leadership Nick and the Kar’s Nuts team exhibited to get to this point, and am honoured to be a part of the next phase of growth alongside Palladium.”

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By GlobalData