Calbee America, Inc. behind the better-for-you Harvest Snaps brand and popular Shrimp Chips found in Asian markets, has announced that Ryo Tsutsumi will be the new chief executive officer. The change follows the company’s recent acquisition of Warnock Food Products and plans to become one of the major snack companies in the U.S. region by 2030. Tsutsumi will relocate from Japan to California to focus on his new responsibilities centered around long and mid-term strategy, plan implementation, and organizational development. Mio Sakata, president, and Ken Murata, chief operating officer, will continue their leadership roles in the division, joined by Atsushi Matsuo as the new chief production officer. 

Said Tsutsumi, “Calbee America, Inc. is primed to develop a bigger footprint in the mainstream salty snacks category, and I’m proud to be at the helm of us continuing to build our flagship brands, while advancing our plant-based product development and upgrading our production capabilities to launch new products with an increased speed to market.” 

Added Sakata, “In his previous role heading up Calbee’s Overseas Company, Ryo Tsutsumi has been instrumental in building up our U.S. operations, accelerating the growth of our business, and driving manufacturing efficiency. This re-organization strengthens our leadership team and places greater focus on the North American business, setting the stage for further growth.”

Calbee, which is the largest snack company in Japan, expanded to North America in 1970 with Saya and Shrimp Chips. The team pioneered the plant-based snack category with its launch of Harvest Snaps, the first snack to be sold in the produce aisle, and recently introduced new San Joaquin Almond Nut Chips to market, offering health-conscious consumers a grain-free free alternative to conventional corn chips.