NField Photo

A Burton’s lifer, Nick Field joined the company in 2004 after attaining an accountancy qualification at professional services firm PwC

The Compleat Food Group has appointed former Burton’s Biscuits boss Nick Field to lead the chilled food platform.

He will join the Addo, Winterbotham Darby and Wrights Food Group owner as CEO in June.

Field recently left Burton’s as new owner Ferrero combined the Wagon Wheel and Jammie Dodgers maker with Fox’s Biscuits. His former number two Simon Browne, who was MD at Burton’s under Field, took charge of the newly enlarged group.

A Burton’s lifer, Field joined the company in 2004 after attaining an accountancy qualification at professional services firm PwC.

He worked his way up from commercial finance manager to commercial strategy and finance director in 2011 before being promoted to CFO in 2014 and then CEO two years later.

Field was pivotal in Burton’s resurgence in recent years, leading a turnaround following the sale of a licence to make Cadbury biscuits to Mondelez International.

Booming demand for biscuits during the early stages of the pandemic bulked up sales and the group was ultimately acquired by Ferrero in June last year.

Paul Monk, executive chairman at Compleat, said Field brought “a wealth of management experience” from his time at Burton’s, especially over the past six years as the business embarked on “a wide-ranging transformation programme”.

“That transformation was instigated by the sale of the Cadbury’s licence, which necessitated a strategic reset and rebuilding of the Burton’s business,” Monk added.

“This resulted in accelerated sales growth and increased profitability, as well as significant cultural change, and culminated in the successful sale of the company to Ferrero last year.”

Compleat was formed last year following a double deal struck by French PE house PAI Partners in November 2020 to bring together Addo Foods and Winterbotham Darby, with ambitions to create a chilled foods platform.

The group struck a further deal in December to add pie maker Wrights Food Group to its holdings.

Its annual revenues already top £640m, with the group employing more than 3,500 staff across 12 manufacturing sites producing own-label products and brands such as Pork Farms, Wall’s Pastry, Squeaky Bean, Unearthed and Vadasz.