Gü founder James Averdieck has told The Grocer he intends to make the Bessant & Drury brand the leading name in dairy-free.
The entrepreneur, who sold Gü to Noble Foods in 2010 and left two years ago, has bought a controlling interest in the coconut-based desserts brand, which is stocked in Waitrose, Tesco, Whole Foods Market and indies. He will also take on a “hands-on commercial role” in the company.
Averdieck said meeting founders Ian Drury and Steve Bessant, who launched the business two years ago, had made him realise how much he had missed running his own business.
“Bessant & Drury is one of the most innovative young brands I’ve seen in recent years and has got good momentum,” he said.
The initial focus would be on driving distribution - which was currently small - but he would look to extend the brand across the dairy-free category, he added. “Non-dairy is ripe for development - no one has yet got the hearts and minds of consumers and I want Bessant & Drury to become the brand of choice,” he said.
Averdieck added that he was replacing his passion for chocolate with a passion for coconut and that his interest in healthier products had grown as he had got older.
The discovery his daughter was lactose intolerant had made him aware of “the over-consumption of dairy” in the UK, he said. “More people are becoming aware they are lactose intolerant,” he added.
Bessant said he had been thrilled with the progress the business had made in two years, adding that he and Drury were “delighted to be working with a successful food entrepreneur who, like us, started with his own unique idea and then created an international brand”.