Del Monte plans to grow its £140m UK food sales by 10% in the next 12 months following a restructuring of its UK foods division and the transfer of all sales, marketing, logistics, administration and finance roles to food broker Jenks.

The business kicked off a consultation with 25 affected staff at its Staines headquarters ahead of moving operations for its canned fruit, juice drinks and snack portfolio to Jenks from 15 October.

The move is intended to stem declining sales by opening up new sales channels and taking advantage of synergies with Jenks' other clients, which include Mars UK and Kerry Foods.

Del Monte UK MD Peter Miller told The Grocer it was not a cost-saving drive, and that he would be upping budgets for next year.

"We've had a limited relationship with Jenks for the past 11 years as an agency, but wanted to take advantage of its work with a broad spread of major brands operating in our sector," he said. "It has the specialist capability of developing our brands."

Jenks joint MD Ross Beattie said he would create a 40-strong team to increase distribution of Del Monte brands through new sales channels.

UK sales of Del Monte's canned fruit brands fell 18.6% to £24.6m in the year to 7 October 2006, while its juice business fell 30% to £21.9m [Nielsen].

Analysis, p27; Brands, p66