The founder and chief executive of S&A Foods, which supplies chilled ethnic ready meals for sale throughout the UK and internationally
What has been the defining moment of your career?
The one innovation I’m very proud of is the introduction of takeaway meals in supermarkets. When we launched them, we were told people would only buy pre-pack meals - so I’m very proud to have created the biggest takeaway in the country, which is in Asda. It took us several attempts to get it right. We started with one stall, then two stalls, then five stalls - and we had to do a lot of fine tuning in between - but we managed it.
What’s been the most influential product launch over the past 150 years?
The Kellogg brothers really changed the path of cereal development when, almost by accident, they invented corn flakes in the 1870s. Prepared breakfast cereals have transformed morning eating habits completely. They enable us to enjoy a quick, filling, and nutritious start to the day without the need for cooking.
In terms of drinks, an incredibly significant development is, of course, Coca-Cola and other soft drinks. They are consumed daily by many people around the world, and new variants are constantly appearing, offering us a vast choice when it comes to beverage consumption. They are enjoyed by families in the evening, workers during their lunch break and numerous people ‘on the go’.
How important a tool has The Grocer been to your career?
It’s an absolutely fantastic magazine. It’s seen a lot of changes. I love The Grocer 33 and I really enjoy the editor’s comment. It’s a magazine that’s not just about advertisements and recruitment, but much more about the industry itself and what the industry is doing strategically and where the future lies. It’s really fascinating and a good magazine to read.