David B. Williams, a nearly 30-year veteran of The Quaker Oats Company who led the charge on Gatorade’s explosive growth in sales in the 1990s, joined Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., today as Vice President of the company’s combined single-serve beverage and foodservice sales division.
As the newest member of the company’s executive team, Williams, 52, reports directly to President and Chief Operating Officer Randy Papadellis, the former Welch’s marketing chief who joined Ocean Spray in July. CEO Rob Hawthorne and Chief Financial Officer Tim Chan, both Pillsbury veterans, joined the grower cooperative earlier this year.
“We see single-serve and foodservice as vital growth engines for Ocean Spray in this decade, and we need a top-tier expert in sales and distribution to drive us there,” said Papadellis. “We simply can’t rely on a part-time relationship with our consumers. To ensure availability, a vital single-serve and foodservice business is essential. Dave Williams have proven himself to be an industry leader in developing sales and distribution systems through a variety of channels.”
At Quaker, Williams was the architect of Gatorade’s very successful up-and-down-the-street distribution and sales strategy. He increased Gatorade’s U.S. sales volume from $700 million to $1.4 billion in six years, while maintaining 80% market share. He and his sales force also virtually doubled Gatorade’s sales in the non-grocery category.
Williams, most recently Vice President and General Manager of Boxed Chocolate Brands for Archibald Candy Corporation, was responsible for 500 retail shops under the Fannie May, Fanny Farmer and Laura Second (Canada) names. Since joining the company in 1999, he led marketing and sales in all other channels including business to business, fundraising, mail order and mass merchandisers.
In his new role at Ocean Spray, Williams will oversee sales operations for the company’s roughly $210 million single-serve business and its $90 million foodservice business. The combined revenues accounted for about 22 percent of Ocean Spray’s 1999 sales of $1.36 billion.
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Williams arrives at a time when Ocean Spray is winding down an eight-year agreement with PepsiCo, which distributed Ocean Spray’s single-serve line nationally. That pact expires Dec. 31. Williams will oversee the rollout of a new system for delivering Ocean Spray singles-serve products to convenience stores, restaurants and other outlets nationwide.
Williams holds an MBA in finance from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s in business administration from Michigan State University.
Ocean Spray is the number-one brand of canned and bottled juice drinks in the U.S. Formed in 1930, the cooperative is made up of 804 cranberry growers from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and other parts of Canada, as well as 126 Florida grapefruit growers. For more information on Ocean Spray, visit us on the web: http://www.oceanspray.com.