PIM Brands: New name, new logo, new HQ — but same commitment to state

CEO Rosenberg admits it’s tough to run a business in N.J., but says company takes pride in being from state

There’s a new name (PIM Brands), a new logo (it includes a heart for a reason), a new headquarters (in Park Ridge, following a $25 million renovation of the former Hertz HQ) and an aggressive growth plan moving forward (a footprint that is growing globally).

PIM Brands CEO Michael Rosenberg had plenty to talk about when the global snacks and confections maker, Promotion in Motion Inc., formally announced its new headquarters building Tuesday.

“This is such an exciting time to be working at PIM Brands,” he told ROI-NJ. “We have aggressive growth plans in place on our core snacks and confections businesses, both domestically and across all of North America — and we are experiencing robust and dramatic growth in our pharma business as well.

“Our footprint is also expanding globally and, in combination with our very deep and exciting innovation pipeline, our future has never been brighter or more exciting.”

The company, known for brands including Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Original Gummi FunMix, Sour Jacks and Sun-Maid Chocolate Raisins, will remain part of the Promotion in Motion Family of Companies, which also includes PIM Brands LLC, its manufacturing arm, as well as Pharma in Motion and the newly created PIM Consumer Health, focusing on vitamin, mineral and supplement nutraceuticals and over-the-counter pharma products.

Rosenberg, however, said a new name for a new time was needed.

“As markets change, we will also continue to evolve, and our expanding lines of business and our product portfolios will follow in kind to meet ever-developing consumer needs and customer requirements,” he said. “Those goals also extend to ensuring we attract top talent both domestically and around the globe. Adopting our new name and visual identity are designed to help us ensure we succeed.”

The state-of-the-art headquarters includes extensive research & development, tasting and sensory labs, a pilot manufacturing lab, graphics studios, retail plan-o-gram layout rooms, ample work areas for remote-based associates when visiting, along with expansive office and conferencing spaces for the 150 employees who work out of the corporate headquarters.

PIM Brands also has added a new, 309,000-square-foot distribution center on Randolph Road in Somerset.

With demand for its products continuing to grow in double digits annually, the distribution center will enable supply and logistics to provide world-class customer service, housing nearly 46,000 pallets in the new facility, which equates to almost 2,000 full truckloads of finished goods. These significant corporate expansions have created new job opportunities and have increased PIM’s Somerset footprint to nearly 1 million square feet.

It’s all part of the reason for Rosenberg’s excitement.

“I always tell people we are a 42-year overnight wonder,” he said.

ROI-NJ connected with Rosenberg about the company’s connection to the state — and where he thinks the company is going. Here’s a look at the conversation.

ROI-NJ: Let’s start with you: What is your New Jersey connection?

Michael Rosenberg: While I was born in New York City, I did grow up in New Jersey and attended elementary school and high school in Bergen County. I went to college in Washington, D.C., but I came back to the Garden State after college to more formally start and build the company.

I have lived in New Jersey for more than 50 years and have raised my three children here. I feel a strong connection to here, and am proud that we can operate here and contribute in such a meaningful and significant way to supporting jobs and the economy of the state.

ROI: Whenever a company is choosing a new corporate location, it has the ability to move anywhere. You decided to stay in New Jersey. What were the factors?

MR: New Jersey has been our home base for more than four decades. I have worked side-by-side with many of our current associates for almost as long, and wanted to continue to expand and grow the business, jobs and the state economy here. We are proud to be a New Jersey- based company. We are very proud to create jobs here, and proud to give back to our local community and area.

ROI: What attracted you to the Park Ridge location?

MR: Proximity to our former location in Allendale was perfect for our new corporate HQ for many of our current associates. Now, with our major renovations and upgrades in the building, the campus setting is spectacular, unique and so extremely inviting, as is the ease and relative accessibility to the Garden State Parkway, New York Thruway, (Interstate) 287 and Route 17, as we expand our workforce from a wider geographic area.

Our magnificent new space has room for growth and has allowed us to accommodate a diversity of requirements in the building, including extensive state-of-the-art R&D and other science-based laboratories for our confections, better-for-you snacks, fast-growing supplements and pharmaceutical products portfolio, plus meetings and collaboration spaces.

ROI: New Jersey seems to have a lot of consumer packaged goods companies — what about the state lends it to that sector?

MR: I’m not certain if New Jersey is an epicenter for a broad range of CPG, although many companies in the pharmaceuticals space have long been based here and, at least in confections — Mars, Mondelez and PIM are three of the larger confectionery and snack makers based here. Of course, we have great schools and education here in New Jersey, and, so, finding skills in marketing, the sciences and finance are generally of ease.

ROI: New Jersey is viewed as an expensive place to do business. Talk about the challenges of that — and also the opportunities that go with it?

MR: Our very high New Jersey state property taxes and the very high state income tax continue to make operating and recruiting talent to our company a great challenge. Even retaining talent at our headquarters and our very extensive Somerset manufacturing and distribution facilities is at times extremely difficult, as workers look to head to states with lower living costs and taxation rates.

Hopefully, our legislators will think carefully going forward to do anything and everything in their power to mitigate these issues to incentivize people to want to come live and work in New Jersey and take advantage of the many great attributes we offer, from the great schools I referred to for their children, to our great beaches, proximity to New York City and Philadelphia, our beautiful mountains and rural farmland areas, and other quality of life advantages.