The Consumer Brands Association named David Chavern its new president and CEO, starting January 3.
Chavern joins the CBA from the News Media Alliance, the trade group representing the media industry. He’s led that organization since October 2015. He replaces Geoff Freeman, who left CBA to lead the U.S. Travel Association earlier this year.
“The board is committed to Consumer Brands’ direction and future and is looking for David to build on a strong foundation and to accelerate the great momentum we have seen in recent years,” Jeff Harmening, CBA board chair and General Mills CEO, said in a statement.
Chavern brings “a proven record of achievement in growing associations and making them indispensable to their members,” the CBA noted. During his stint at the News Media Alliance, he oversaw the development of a new brand and identity and was responsible for “reinvigorating the association,” according to the CBA release.
Before the News Media Alliance, Chavern held leadership roles at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
After struggling for years to define its direction and respond to some companies being at odds over the organization’s positions, the CBA has recently made noticeable improvements. It has focused its priorities and welcomed members to the trade group — including Campbell Soup and others that left it a few years earlier. Today, CBA represents 73 CPG companies with nearly 2,000 brands from across industry sectors — cleaning, personal care, food and beverage products.
Still, Chavern will have plenty to keep him busy. The CPG space, similar to other industries, is struggling with inflation, supply chain challenges, labor shortages and issues tied to the ongoing pandemic.
The federal government has yet to finalize the recently proposed definition of “healthy,” and the FDA could place further pressure on companies to lower salt and sugar levels in their offerings. In addition, the Biden administration is emphasizing making healthier foods more available to all consumers, meaning potential scrutiny on price and distribution strategies.