Peter McPhilips, the former MD of Uniq's prepared foods division, pledged to turn Hain Celestial into a major player in the UK after joining as executive chairman this week.

Hain Celestial, the US-based natural and organic food and personal care business, is a $1bn global business. McPhilips said the £65m UK operation had "tonnes of headroom for growth".

Having bought four UK manufacturing sites in the past two years, Hain Celestial is best known for its Linda McCartney range of frozen vegetarian ready meals, and McPhilips said plans may include an extension of this business into chilled and sandwiches. But another opportunity was to bring in some Hain products which, with the exception of Whole Foods Market in Kensington, were not currently available in the UK, he said.

Other Hain businesses in the UK include Rice Dream, Realeat, Terra crisps and the recently acquired Daily Bread Company, where McPhilips was a non-executive director.

McPhilips is conducting a strategic review of the business under which Jon Smythe, who previously worked at Asda and McCain Foods, has been appointed head of marketing.

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