Just weeks after Charlie Bigham’s bagged former Asda CEO Allan Leighton as its new non-executive director, the posh ready meals brand is celebrating another high-profile appointment.
It has hired former Mars trading director Rachel Challifour as commercial director.
At Mars, Challifour worked across the manufacturer’s confectionery, Masterfoods, petcare and Wrigley businesses, delivering strong commercial results.
“It is great to see a truly entrepreneurial company like Charlie Bigham’s doing so well,” Challifour said. “Charlie knows that with hectic and stressful lifestyles, consumers want fresh and tasty meals that don’t compromise on quality.”
“I’m excited to be joining an inspiring company and such a young, bright, and talented team.”
She is the latest recruit from a large fmcg business to join the upmarket supplier. CEO Tom Allchurch has previous experience with Unilever and Amazon sales and marketing manager George Blyth has also worked for Mars assistant brand manager Charlotte Bearn was at Colgate-Palmolive and head of food Georgina Wood was at Eat.
Challifour’s appointment follows a period of strong growth for the supplier, which has more than 200 staff at its West London base.
It already has listings with Waitrose, Ocado and Booths, and extended its listing with Sainsbury’s from 50 to 300 stores in July this year following a trial.
Charlie Bigham’s has now predicted that it will report a 20% increase in sales to nearly £24m for the year to August 2012. It recorded similar growth in both 2011 and 2010.
“It’s fantastic that so many great people are joining us,” said owner Charlie Bigham. “Rachel builds fantastic teams, and her expertise will help us ensure we stay the UK’s fastest-growing ready meal maker.”