Russell Stover Chocolates, Kansas City Mo., has named Andrew Deister president and CEO, reports say. Deister replaces Andreas Pfluger, who became CEO after the brand was purchased by Lindt & Sprüngli in 2014. Pfluger will continue to oversee company’s NAFTA region.
Deister joins the company after serving as president/CEO for specialty foods organization Robert Rothschild Farm. At Russell Stover, Deister’s priorities will focus on continuing to build the Russell Stover brand by leveraging its position as the nation’s leading manufacturer of boxed chocolates and expanding its presence in the marketplace with innovative offerings.
"Having Andrew join our team is the next major step in the evolution of our company," Pfluger said. "Andrew’s success in growing companies through focused business strategy, innovation and execution brings outstanding leadership to Russell Stover."
Earlier, Deister had successful leadership roles in marketing, sales and innovation with large global consumer packaged goods organizations including Procter & Gamble, Abbott Nutrition and Evenflo.
In addition to traditional chocolates, Russell Stover launched a new line of sugar-free chocolates at May's Sweets & Snacks show. The new line is made with stevia leaf extract, replicating the taste and quality of its standard chocolates. The company's goal was to show that dark chocolate mint patties, pecan delights, peanut butter cups, coconut and caramel could be tasty without sugar. Even without this new line, Russell Stover is the leader in sugar-free chocolates.