US giant Hain Celestial will use its acquisition of Premier Foods’s jam, jellies and spreads business to build a major presence in the UK’s ambient market, CEO Rob Burnett told The Grocer.

The £200m deal will add Gales, Robertson’s, Hartleys, Frank Cooper, Sun-Pat and other brands to a chilled and frozen portfolio that includes New Covent Garden Soup (acquired in May) and Linda McCartney vegetarian ready meals.

“Becoming a scaled player in grocery gives us the credibility to talk to the retailers and foodservice customers. It shows we’re committed to that sector, and not just trying to bring in a couple of brands from the US,” added Burnett.