CONCORD, Mass., Sept. 8, 2014 — Welch’s, the world’s leading marketer of Concord and Niagara grape-based products, today announced the appointment of Mari Rodriguez as the VP of R&D/Corporate Quality. Most recently, Rodriguez was the Senior Director of Beverage R&D with Campbell’s, where she developed and helped launch numerous V-8 products.
“Welch’s is the leader in Concord grape research and product development,” says Rodriguez. “I’m thrilled to be joining their team of grape experts to help further expand the brand’s portfolio of delicious products and bring the benefits of the Concord grape to more families.”
Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, Welch’s has been delivering the heart-health benefits of the Concord grape to consumers for more than 140 years. Years of research suggest that, thanks to that distinctive grape, Welch’s 100% Grape Juice helps support a healthy heart.
Rodriguez is an accomplished food and beverage industry professional with a track record for driving profit through new product development and cost savings. With Campbell’s, she also spent three years as Senior Director of the $2.7 billion Soup and Simple Meals business. Before Campbell’s, Rodriguez spent 19 years with the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group/Cadbury Schweppes. In her last position as Vice President of Brand Commercial Product Development, she supported the $6 billion beverage business in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Rodriguez holds a master’s in food science from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico.
“Mari is a skilled leader and expert in applying food and nutrition research to drive results,” says Brad Irwin, Welch’s president and CEO. “I’m looking forward to working with her to deliver more new products featuring the delicious and inherently healthy Concord grape.”
Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Located across America and in Ontario, Canada, the cooperative’s approximately 1,000 family farmers own the company and grow the delicious and inherently healthy Concord grape used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products. Welch’s is committed to research and development that will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers’ health and nutrition needs. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 40 countries around the globe. Welch’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer-Minorities/Female/Disabled/Veterans.