Holland & Barrett Storefront

Source: Holland & Barrett

The Grocer understands that the overhaul will include launching new own-label products

Holland & Barrett has appointed a new category head to help lead an overhaul of its food and drink offering, which looks to include the launch of new own label products.

Former M&S veteran Ian Johnson joined the health and wellness retailer as head of food & sports, replacing previous head Elliott Kaye, who The Grocer understands left the role in March.

Johnson will report into Lisa Tookey, group growth and food director, as part of what the company executives have previously described as a “transformation project” of its food business.

“We’re rebuilding something incredibly exciting at Holland & Barrett – an incredible new healthy, nutritious and delicious food business developed by our global best-in-class food development team,” Tookey said in an advert recruiting for the role in February.

Johnson spent 28 years at M&S in a number of roles across retail supply chain and business development. Most recently he was head of international trading, as well as head of business development for its international food business. 

Ian Johnson

Source: Ian Johnson/Holland & Barrett

Ian Johnson previously spent 28 years at M&S

He is the second high-profile former M&S executive to join Holland & Barrett’s food team after April Preston joined to lead its global product development team in April 2022.

Preston was formerly director of product development for food at M&S.

The overhaul looks to include the launch of new own label products, according to a recent trademark application filed by the retailer last week.

Holland & Barrett has registered the trademark ‘Pro Noodles’ with the Intellectual Property Office. The single class listing covers noodles, noodle-based snack foods, and noodle-based prepared meals.

The trademark covers a range of three products set to launch in 2024, a spokeswoman said.