WASHINGTON — The Consumer Brands Association has officially replaced the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Geoff Freeman leads the group as president and CEO, and Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills Inc., is serving as chairman of the group in its inaugural year.

“The Consumer Brands Association is an entirely new organization with a focused, compelling agenda that establishes the industry as a champion of the billions of consumers it serves daily,” Freeman said. “We are on the path to providing the CPG industry with a platform and results unlike anything it has previously experienced.”

The CBA’s mission is to advocate for product affordability, access and innovation, eliminate consumer confusion, and solve large problems in the marketplace, according to the group.

“Today’s business and policy environment requires a strong, strategically aligned industry organization guided by a consumer-first mindset,” Harmening said. “Our industry has evolved considerably in recent years and the Consumer Brands Association will be a vital reflection of our united interests and alignment with today’s consumer.”

A survey of industry consumer packaged goods CEOs released in conjunction with the launch of the CBA shows the top issues impacting their business are complying with patchwork state regulations, concerns of plastic and packaging issues, disruptor brands or private label, transportation capacity costs, and complying with federal regulations.

“Few industries impact every household across the country,” Freeman said. “It’s our job to harness that reach to drive positive change — both for our members and for the millions of American families they serve every day.”

Food Business News, a sister publication of MEAT+POULTRY, interviewed Freeman about the creation of the CBA in August 2019. Read the interview here.