City experts have cautiously welcomed the appointment of Michael Clarke as the new CEO of Premier Foods.

Clarke joins from Kraft Foods, where he was president of its European operations, on 1 September, ­replacing outgoing CEO Robert Schofield.

City experts said an external candidate was the only option for a company battling against unprecedented input costs.

"Making an internal appointment would have gone down very badly," said one source. "Generally the City prefers a bit of distance between chairman and CEO but there's a connection with Ronnie Bell who was also at Kraft."

Clarke would understand how to bargain with the mults, added another source close to Premier.