Ian Ainsworth rowse honey director

Former Weetabix sales director Ian Ainsworth has been named as the new managing director of Rowse Honey.

His appointment comes eight months after the Oxfordshire-based honey producer was acquired by private equity-backed Irish food group Valeo Foods, in April.

Ainsworth was UK & Ireland sales director at Weetabix for three years and was part of the leadership team that sold a majority stake to Bright Food in 2012.

Prior to Weetabix, he was commercial director and then joint managing director of Yoplait UK, having helped set up the Yoplait UK business after the end of its joint venture with Dairy Crest. He has also held senior roles at GlaxoSmithKline, including commercial director and trading director, working on brands such as Lucozade, Ribena and Horlicks.

Ainsworth joins Rowse at a busy time for the company. The Grocer’s Top Products Survey revealed Rowse retained its position as the UK’s number-one spread brand in 2014, with value sales of £45.4m in the year to 11 October 2014. Sales were down by just 0.1% following growth of 17.6% in 2013. It is also targeting NPD for specific uses, such as baking, cooking and cold remedies.

“I am delighted to be joining Rowse Honey and the wider Valeo Foods Group at this exciting time,” Ainsworth said.

“The company has ambitious growth plans, which will make the most of my experience and track record of growing some of the UK’s most recognised brands,” he added.