Craig Nielsen

Craig Nielsen is a third-generation owner and manager of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, serving as Vice President of Sustainability. Craig began his career with Nielsen-Massey as a part-time employee while he was still in high school and has been with the company on a full-time basis since 1986. Under his leadership, the company has experienced solid growth, introduced new vanilla products and added a line of Pure Flavors.

Craig was the CEO for 11 years and has overseen national and international sales, marketing, exporting, new product development, purchasing of vanilla beans, human resources and sustainability initiatives. He has been a frequent guest speaker at many conferences and seminars, lecturing on vanilla, Nielsen-Massey’s product lines and the company’s proprietary manufacturing process.

Craig is a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Craig and his wife live in Grayslake and have two sons.

Boards, Committees, Memberships

  • Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Board of Directors member
  • Nielsen-Massey International member
  • Nielsen-Massey Foundation member
  • Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) member
    • Supply Chain & Sustainability Committee Chairman
    • Alcohol and Tax Committee member
    • Flavor Labelling Committee member
  • International Association of Food Industry Suppliers member
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) member
  • American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) member
  • International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) member
  • National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA) member, former board member, former supplier board president
  • Capannari Ice Cream Board of Advisors member
  • Illinois Manufacturing Association member
  • Loyola University Family Business Center member
  • Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI), Nielsen-Massey representative