Claus Dahlmann Larsen, the Chief Commercial Officer of the leading Danish ice cream company Premier Is (Mejerigaarden A/S), part of the international ice cream and dairy production and distribution group Food Union, becomes the CEO of the company as of today, March 21 st , 2022. The former CEO of over 7 years Kim Gade Pedersen will remain in the company’s Supervisory Board to oversee the next stage in the development of the legacy Danish ice cream market leader.
“In the last 7 years since Kim Gade Pedersen took over the management and distribution of the Danish heritage ice cream manufacturer Premier Is, I, like the other 350 employees in Denmark, have on a daily basis experienced his purposeful pursuit of operational excellence that is second to none. It is under his leadership that one of the most challenging restructuring and efficiency projects has been implemented, creating a company that is fit for competing in the highly competitive FMCG industry. On behalf of the family of Food Union companies, I thank Kim for his great contribution to the creation of a leading Danish ice cream maker,” says Arturs Čirjevskis, CEO of Food Union Group in Europe.
“The management of the company is now handed to Claus Dahlmann Larsen, a proven commercial and marketing professional both locally and internationally. He is entrusted with an ambitious task to drive the growth of Premier Is through excellence in sales and marketing, implementation of revenue-increasing initiatives, launch of new and innovative product categories in Denmark, as well as through building the foundation for Danish brands to perform on international level. I wish Claus the best of luck, he has all the means – a great team, strong brands and an effective operation – for it,” adds Arturs Čirjevskis.
In the nearly three years since Claus became Premier Is’ Chief Commercial Officer in 2019, he has been responsible for the full commercial value chain covering Sales across all channels, Marketing, Trade Marketing, Product Development, Customer Service and Distribution, comprising an organization of around 240 people. Among his most visible achievements is consolidation of the Premier Is product portfolio under a single brand, development of sophisticated marketing and sales strategies for the Premier Is and Hjem Is brands, and foundation of many innovative and competitive product initiatives such as low-cal ice cream Underground, a line of ice cream accessories available at Hjem Is and now the introduction of dairy snacks in the Danish market.
“I’m honoured to take over the full responsibility for this great company, an engaged and committed team and brands with a great story rooted in the history of Danish dairy. In February 2020, we launched our 2023 strategy under the headline “The New Premier Is”, and since then we have been focusing on delivering on our must win battles. This has been driving a lot of change internally, a lot of new innovations to the category and a closer collaboration with our customers, leaving us with a solid platform for future growth. We have gone a long way in the transformation of the company, and I want to thank Kim for his support and for great partnership in delivering historical strong results in 2020 and 2021. I look forward to continuing working with him in his new role at the Supervisory Board,” says Claus Dahlmann Larsen.
“My main ambition since becoming CEO of Premier Is always was “to leave the company in a position stronger than ever before”. I´m very happy that this ambition was achieved. A very committed team in Premier Is, including Hjem-Is, made this achievement possible. I am happy to leave the CEO responsibility to Claus Dahlmann Larsen, who has been the driving force behind developing a very strong commercial platform for future growth and worked very hard for almost three years to successfully transform the commercial value chain. Being part of the Food Union family and working closely with colleagues from different countries and cultures has been very rewarding and a joy. I´m very happy and honoured to continue being part of the Food Union Family as a member of the company´s supervisory board,” adds Kim Gade Pedersen.
Claus Dahlmann Larsen has over 25 years of experience in leading organisations in FMCG industries in the Nordics, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Middle East and North Africa. While working with brands like Carlsberg, Kellogg and Coca Cola, he has gained verifiable tracking record of leading transformational projects and delivering cost efficient growth by combining an incisive ability to strategize and execute innovative, flexible and robust commercial strategies based on consumer, shopper and customer insights.
ABOUT PREMIER IS
Premier Is in Thisted is the largest Danish ice cream dairy and holds a leading position as a producer of high-quality ice cream products in Denmark. The dairy was founded in 1933 by the dairyman Sigurd Laurids Sørensen, who was among the first to learn how to make ice cream in Denmark. For more than 80 years, Premier Ice has delivered Danish-produced ice cream based on craftmanship, cream and carefully selected ingredients.
ABOUT FOOD UNION
Food Union is a leading, innovative consumer goods company that develops local brands and delivers delightful products in Europe, China and Pacific Asia. Food Union is currently the leading ice cream producer in the Baltics and Denmark, and the group holds a strong market position in Norway and Romania. The leading dairy group is backed by Hong Kong-based investment company Meridian Capital Limited, and one of Asia’s largest private capital firms PAG.