Daiya Foods, which produces a line of plant-based, dairy-free products, has tapped Hajime Fujita to serve as its next CEO. He will steer Daiya’s global operations in North America and expand its international presence.
Fujita will leverage his 17 years of experience in business and financial planning in the United States and Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, he was VP of business planning at Daiya’s parent company, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.
He also brings a keen understanding of Daiya’s operation. He played a key role in Otsuka’s acquisition of the company in 2017 and worked at Daiya Foods as a director of financial planning and analysis from 2018 to 2021. Additionally, he was appointed to serve on the board of directors as part of his VP position at Otsuka America. Among other accomplishments, Fujita is credited with spearheading the development of Daiya's manufacturing facility and office building in Burnaby, British Columbia, the largest stand-alone plant-based food facility in North America.
"There is enormous potential in the Daiya brand to push the highly competitive plant-based category to new heights, particularly through product innovation and bold marketing. I'm thrilled to be rejoining Daiya at such a dynamic period in the wider cultural conversation around plant-based eating and I look forward to working with our fantastic team in writing the next chapter of our amazing brand story," he declared.
There are some other changes at the top at Daiya Foods. The board of directors announced that Chief Marketing Officer Melanie Domer will assume a new role as Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing marketing and sales. John Kelly, VP, consumer marketing, will transition to chief marketing officer.
Daiya Foods’ products are available at more than 25,000 North American grocery stores. The company’s portfolio includes a range of plant-based cheeses as well as “cheese-forward” offerings such as pizza, mac and cheese and frozen cheesecake.