Home Chef has named Erik Jensen as the company’s new CEO. Jensen, who currently is president of the meal-kit brand, will begin his new role on Feb. 1. He succeeds the founder of Home Chef, Pat Vihtelic, who will continue to serve on the company's advisory board throughout 2022. Founded in 2013, Home Chef merged with the Cincinnati-based Kroger in 2018.
"It's been an honor to create and grow Home Chef into the business it is today," Vihtelic said in a statement. "I'm extremely proud of the brand and our exceptional employees, and I'm confident Erik Jensen will excel in leading the Home Chef team over its next phase."
Jensen has been with Home Chef for six years, and his leadership responsibilities have continually expanded during his tenure. In 2017, he assumed the role of chief product officer, where he played a pivotal role in the growth of the retail business in Kroger stores, and in 2021, he was promoted to president.
"Home Chef was built on a strong foundation, and under Pat Vihtelic's leadership, the brand has disrupted the meal solutions industry over the past decade," Jensen said in a statement. "On behalf of everyone at Home Chef, I thank Pat for his dedication and ingenuity throughout the years, and I feel grateful for the trust he has in me to take on this role. As we transition into Home Chef's next chapter, I look forward to continuing to drive growth and accelerate innovations in 2022 and beyond."
In his new role, Jensen will report to Dan De La Rosa, Kroger's group VP of fresh merchandising, and he will focus on strengthening plans to ensure Home Chef continues on a high-growth trajectory, the company said in a release.
"We are incredibly thankful to Pat Vihtelic for his vision and partnership in growing Home Chef into the $1 billion brand it is today," said De La Rosa. "We're excited to see Erik step into the CEO role and know that under his leadership, he will continue growing the brand and providing fresh, easy-to-make meals to our customers."
In October 2021, the brand announced it surpassed $1 billion in annual sales as a result of its commitment to make mealtime easy and bring people together over a meal.