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Madison Heights — Candy and snack industry veteran Victor Mehren has been named Kar's Nuts' new CEO, officials said Tuesday.

"We recruited Vic to lead Kar's Nuts' next phase of growth and innovation," Nick Nicolay, the company's president and CEO since 1995, said in a statement. "Vic is a proven consumer packaged goods executive with over 26 years of experience successfully leading and growing innovative snacking and confectionery brands, with a focus on strong sales, marketing, innovation and brand-building strategies."

In addition to Mehren's appointment, the company said Nicolay will become its chairman and remain actively involved in its operations.

Before joining Kar's Nuts, Mehren served as Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. operations of Mars Wrigley Confectionery. He was with the company for 17 years.

"I am excited to join the Kar's Nuts team, and look forward to leading a category-leading business with strong tailwinds and exciting innovation capabilities," Mehren said in a statement. "Kar's Nuts has an incredible brand and has been a snacking staple for over 85 years. I appreciate the leadership Nick and the Kar's Nuts team exhibited to get to this point, and am honored to be a part of the next phase of growth."

The company was founded in 1933 by Sue Kar, who sold roasted peanuts outside of Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Since then, the company has acquired Sanders Fine Chocolatiers. Kar's Nuts is owned by Palladium Equity Partners LLC, a private equity firm with approximately $2.7 billion in assets.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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