Sainsbury has appointed Jean-Paul Barat to the newly-created post of director of product development.

Barat moves from Selfridges where he was manager for food and retail.

He will be responsible for driving Sainsbury’s quality and innovation programme, overseeing all aspects of the supermarket’s product development, including food and health and beauty ranges.

Barat will join the multiple on November 17 and will report to trading director Stephen Nelson.

His appointment forms part of Sainsbury’s strategy to focus on product quality and new growth areas as part of its efforts to rebuild sales growth. That
strategy is outlined by Nelson in an exclusive interview in this week’s issue of The Grocer.

The importance of the new strategy was underlined by the release of the latest TNS market share data which shows Sainsbury is still losing ground to Asda and Tesco (see p5),

Barat has worked at Selfridges since 1997.

Before that he held a number of senior positions with international companies, including executive assistant manager of the Tokyo Bay Hilton hotel, Japan, and food and beverage director of Harrods in London.

Nelson said: “I’m delighted that Jean-Paul is joining us. He has an extensive track record in developing innovative food concepts and delivering them in a retail environment. Jean-Paul brings a wealth of international experience along with a real passion for food.”

>>p32 Nelson on quality and growth
Rod Addy