GMA Will Become Consumer Brands Association in 2020

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Sep 26, 2019

The Grocery Manufacturers Assn. (GMA), the Arlington, Va.-based trade association representing some of the biggest producers of food, beverages and other packaged consumer goods, today announced it will become the Consumer Brands Assn. (CBA) in January 2020. The new identity is part of an overhaul of the 110-year old organization, led by Pres/CEO Geoff Freeman and the GMA board of directors.

“We represent an industry of iconic brands that are innovative, forward-looking and touch the lives of every American,” said Freeman, who took over as CEO in August 2018 . “As the new Consumer Brands Association, we are making a game-changing shift to unite the totality of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry around a focused, proactive agenda that aligns with the values of the brands we represent and the consumers they serve.”

Freeman was named CEO after GMA lost 11 of its biggest companies in 2016-2017 over philosophical differences.

GMA’s new advocacy agenda represents the broader interests of a modern CPG company, he said, by focusing on four core pillars: enhancing packaging sustainability, championing smart regulation, creating frictionless supply chains and building trust in CPG.

“Renaming and rebranding this organization is symbolic of a larger realignment with the CPG industry’s consumer-first priorities and our desire to have a more open and transparent dialogue with policymakers, customers and consumers,” said Jeff Harmening, who was elected chairman of GMA in June and also is Chairman and CEO of General Mills. “I’m excited about this defining moment and the tremendous opportunities it presents to champion product innovation, choice and affordability.”

The trade organization has already begun to advance its strategic priorities. This summer, it released the industry’s first-ever economic study, which found the CPG industry supports more than 20 million American jobs and contributes $2 trillion to the country’s GDP.

Freeman also assembled a new leadership team to drive the new agenda, including Bryan Zumwalt, executive vice president of public affairs; Dr. Betsy Booren, senior vice president of regulatory and technical affairs; Stacy Papadopoulos, general counsel and senior vice president of operations and special initiatives; Brandon Partridge, senior vice president of member engagement; Mike Gruber, vice president of federal affairs; Tom Madrecki, vice president of supply chain and logistics; Katie McBreen, vice president of communications and research; Bill Pappas, vice president of accounting and finance; and Meghan Stasz, vice president of packaging and sustainability.

The association will continue to operate as the Grocery Manufacturers Association through the end of the year.