Backpacker’s Pantry, the family-owned maker of gourmet adventure meals, and Astronaut Foods, the original source for freeze-dried astronaut ice cream, announced today the promotion of Kris Luikart to Vice President of Operations.
With an extensive background of varied management experience, as well as her previous work with Backpacker’s Pantry as a Quality Assurance Manager, Luikart is prepared to step into this role and drive the company to operational success. As VPO, Luikart will oversee production, supply and demand planning, quality assurance, and warehousing and logistics for the company.
“We are thrilled to elevate Kris to this critical role,” said Duane Primozich, CEO of Backpacker’s Pantry. “Since she joined, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership, deep industry knowledge, and a commitment to operational excellence that aligns perfectly with our company’s values and vision. Kris’s contributions have been invaluable in shaping our operational strategies, and I am confident she will continue to drive innovation and efficiency in her new role.”
The outgoing VPO, Jean Wallace, served in this role for nearly three years and will be retiring. “Jean Wallace has been instrumental in our success, and we are grateful for her dedication, impact, and knowledge at American Outdoor Products. We wish her a very happy and relaxing retirement,” said Primozich
Before working at Backpacker’s Pantry, Luikart worked as the Quality Assurance Manager at Lily’s Sweets. She has extensive knowledge of food processing, food product development, food chemistry, and food quality and safety.
“With great enthusiasm, I embrace the exciting journey that lies ahead in my new role with the incredible team at American Outdoor Products. This company has not only been a great place to work but an inspiring environment that fuels passion and innovation,” said Luikart. “I am genuinely excited to lead our dedicated team towards expanding the horizons of Backpacker’s Pantry and Astronaut Foods, ensuring that our products become trusted companions on countless adventures to come.”
Backpacker’s Pantry products are all USA-made and the brand donates 1% of every sale, every day, to nonprofits around the world via 1% For The Planet. For more information on Backpacker’s Pantry, please visit: https://backpackerspantry.com
About Backpacker’s Pantry
Backpacker’s Pantry is a Boulder-based, family-owned producer of gourmet adventure meals made with healthy and sustainable ingredients. Since 1951, the company has been delivering high-quality freeze-dried meals with an emphasis on taste. To give back to the community we love, the places we adventure and the planet we must protect, Backpacker’s Pantry donates 1% of every sale, every day to nonprofits around the world through 1% For the Planet and is 100% solar powered. Today, Backpacker’s Pantry is sold in over 2,000 stores in North America. For more information and a complete list of products, visit https://backpackerspantry.com.
About Astronaut Foods
Founded in 1974 in conjunction with NASA and based in Boulder, Colorado, Astronaut Foods is the original source for freeze-dried ice cream — an out of this world treat. Today, the company sells freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches and freeze-dried fruit. Astronaut Foods can be found in museums, toy shops, amusement parks and outdoor stores all across North America, Europe, and Asia. Additionally, Astronaut Foods is dedicated to supporting people and organizations whose goal is to push the boundaries of space exploration and discovery. For more information and a complete list of products, visit astronautfoods.com.
About American Outdoor Products
American Outdoor Products (AOP) is a food manufacturer located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, CO. Established in 1951, American Outdoor Products remains an independent, privately held, family-owned and operated company distributing products throughout the world. Inspired by a passion for unique cuisine and exciting adventures, the company produces Backpacker’s Pantry, adventure food for the outdoors; Astronaut Foods, out-of-this-world novelty treats; Chef Soraya grab-and-go plant-based meals; and Colorado Spice, all-natural and organic artisan spice blends. To learn more, visit: https://backpackerspantry.com