More than 1,000 new food lines will be introduced at Marks & Spencer over the next 12 months, head of food John Dixon has told The Grocer.

Citing new lines such as Cook Asian 1,2,3,4 and a recently introduced range of cupcakes, Dixon said the food business's goal was to continue innovating at the same pace as it had over the past 12 months.

"There will be more first-to-market ranges along the lines of what you've seen with Cook Asian," he promised. "We're in tune with our customers, we're doing a lot more customer research than we did before, we're in stores every week and it's about giving customers convenience and making sure we're doing it in a way none of our competitors are."

Dixon was speaking at the M&S annual meeting this week, where the company headed off a resolution from a group of shareholders determined to unseat Sir Stuart Rose from his dual role as chairman and chief executive.

The resolution was defeated by 62.3% of voters, versus 37.7% who supported the move.

Sir Stuart told a packed Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday that he saw the result as an "endorsement" and would appoint a new chief executive by 31 July 2011 at the latest. He would remain chairman until then, he said.