LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Leaf Inc. is turning over a new leaf. The candy marketer based here has reorganized its marketing department, decentralized its R&D operations and sold some plants and product lines. "The reorganization has made us a more focused, streamlined organization. We will be more responsive and quicker to market as a result of the recent organization change," said Greg Barratt, vice president of sales and marketing.
Leaf has divided its marketing department by product area. It also eliminated a layer of vice presidents in the department, through whom the marketing managers previously went.
The company has reorganized its marketing department around its six basic product groups, each headed by a marketing manager. Jolly Rancher is managed by Barb Roth, Candy Bars by Suzanne Garry, Pieces Products by Colleen Gebavi, Seasonal Products by Patty Forrest, Kids' Gum by Daniel Munoz and New Products by Patty Enggaard-Betz.
All marketing managers report to Barratt.
Leaf is moving its research and development operations from its Waukegan, Ill., plant to plant sites in Denver; Memphis, Tenn., and Robinson, Ill.
"Our R&D people have been spending considerable time traveling back and forth to the plants, so we're moving them to where their work is," Robert A.R. Clouston, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Ultimately, this benefits brokers, trade customers and consumers as Leaf introduces more exciting new products sooner. You can expect to see some of these new products as early as this summer."
As part of its restructuring, Leaf is selling off its Ford Gum business, which makes gum balls for charities, as well as its St. Louis plant and the Switzer, Chuckles and Sour Dudes products made there. Production of the Good & Plenty brand, which is being retained, is in the process of being shifted to Leaf's Memphis plant.
After the restructuring is completed, Leaf will concentrate on its hard candy, gum, and chocolate and nonchocolate bar and pieces products.
Leaf said its restructuring will not affect its Canadian and Latin American operations. Leaf is a division of Huhtamaki Oy, an international consumer products company headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Its brands include Jolly Rancher, PayDay, Heath, Whoppers, Milk Duds, Good & Plenty candies, and XyliFresh, Rainblo and Super Bubble gums.