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Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. has created a North America New Product Development team to oversee development of Del Monte and Mann Packing products.

Alex McCloskey, director of new product development at Mann Packing, Salinas, Calif., will now oversee Del Monte brand products as well, according to a news release.

“Developing this role will not only help us better serve our consumer needs, but will also allow us to continue to inspire healthy lifestyles and remain industry innovators through our wholesome and convenient products,” Danny Dumas, senior vice president of sales and produce management for Del Monte Fresh, said in the release.

Uniting Del Monte Fresh and Mann Packing product development not only creates “opportunities for former Mann Packing employees, but will also fortify the internal expertise across the Del Monte Fresh Produce business, ultimately providing a strengthened consumer experience nationwide,” according to the release.

McCloskey, who has a background in beverage, cereal and snacks at Freedom Foods Group Ltd., joined Mann Packing in November 2016 as product manager of retail sales, managing Mann’s brands for fresh-cut, organic, snacks and other items. He became director of innovation in August 2017.

Del Monte’s $361 million purchase of Mann Packing was finalized in March 2018. The Mann Packing deal allows Del Monte Fresh to be more invested in fresh-cut. According to Del Monte Fresh at the time of the purchase, Mann Packing’s products are split 50-50 between bulk vegetables and fresh-cut items.

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