Escolme was confirmed this week as the replacement for Gü's current MD Mike Hodgson, who has been with the company since 2006.
The South African quit the Findus and Young's group in October, just one year after joining as MD, citing the long commute to Young's HQ in Grimsby as one of the key reasons for his resignation.
Based in Gü's head office in London's Shepherds Bush, Escolme will report to owning company Noble Foods and will be tasked with reviving flagging sales of the brand's core dessert range. Since its acquisition by Noble in January, sales of Gü desserts dipped 1.5% to £16.3m [Nielsen 2 October 2010]. One of Escolme's key responsibilities will be to oversee a busier NPD programme for the brand over the next year.
Following Gü's debut in fresh baked cookies in October, (The Grocer, 23 October) the company hinted it could enter the wrapped cookies market and Meg Farren, marketing controller for Gü and Frü Puds, revealed there was some "seriously big" NPD to come next year.
Farren also said the company planned to expand beyond its retail heartland of Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Tesco next year and would "work hard" to build business with Asda and Morrisons.
Despite the foodie nature of the new role, Escolme's previous roles have centered around non-food fmcg companies.
Escolme started his career as a marketing sales graduate for Winalot and Bonio maker Spillers Foods prior to his arrival at SC Johnson in 1994. He was group MD for the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand with the household goods giant before joining Findus Group in September 2009.
Escolme then spent 15 years establishing new markets in Brazil, China and Africa for the company, which owns Mr Muscle and Glade, and he introduced Raid pest control products to Russia in the late 1990s.