Pesto pioneer Sacla’ UK has appointed a commercial director to drive the growth of its ambient and chilled lines.

Martyn Gilbert is joining the UK arm of the Italian family-owned business, which produces a range of pestos, sauces and pastas.

He was previously at ABF, where he spent four years working in bakery division Allied Bakeries as both category controller and Tesco controller. Prior to ABF, he was at Colgate-Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline in sales and category roles.

Gilbert said he would focus on evolving the way the business works with its key customers in his new role, as well as driving sustainable growth through better understanding of shoppers.

“Sacla’ is a brand with huge potential and this is a very exciting role,” he said. “We have new products, new categories and an opportunity to further unlock growth in our pesto heartland.”

Sacla’ MD Clare Blampied added: “Martyn is joining us at a very exciting time. He has a chance to really make a difference and we welcome his structured and process-driven approach to our business.”

Last year Sacla’ launched the Per Uno ambient sauces range for one, and moved into fresh products for the first time with a 20-strong line-up of chilled pesto, pasta and sauces. This week it admited it made some mistakes with the fresh launch but remained committed to the chilled category.

The brand’s first dried pastas roll out this week.