New Iglo Group CEO Elio Leoni Sceti has vowed to make innovation a key focus as he seeks to accelerate growth.

Iglo had typically grown “in line with the market” in recent years, but “I want to accelerate that and get us to outperform market growth,” he told The Grocer.

Innovation would play a key part in that, he added. “I will look into the company’s innovation capability as my first priority when I start.”

Iglo had a portfolio of strong, iconic brands, but consumers needed to fully understand the value behind those brands to be prepared to pay a premium, Leoni Sceti added. “The quality of the product offer is sometimes not fully understood and therefore the value is not perceived.” Changing this would be an important priority, he said.

Leoni Sceti said he was also keen to tweak Iglo brands’ positioning, with a stronger focus on “pleasure and taste”. At the moment, they were seen as “great brands that remind me of my youth and would be great for my kids”, Leoni Sceti said, but in future they would stand for “great brands that give me pleasure and taste, and which I can enjoy at any occasion where I’m at the table with the people I love”.

Iglo got caught up in the horsemeat scandal when some of its ready meals tested positive for horse DNA at the end of February. Leoni Sceti said he believed the company had done “an outstanding job” in responding to the problem, particularly in being proactive in its communications. “We were part of a select group of strong performers around this issue,” he said.

Leoni Sceti will join Iglo Group at the end of May. He is currently chairman of technology company Zeebox and has more than 20 years’ experience in the fmcg and media industries. He has also held senior roles at Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser.