Mexican food specialist Discovery Foods has promoted Andy Peck to managing director to oversee a relaunch of the brand and claw back market share.

Peck will be tasked with improving the market share of the £50m business, which he claimed was recording positive sales growth in a "challenging market". Next month's relaunch of Discovery Foods, which makes tortillas, salsa, wraps and mixes, would help it steal share from current category leader Old El Paso, he predicted.

"The range will look very different and reposition Discovery from a slightly niche brand for people with cooking ability to more of a mainstream and accessible meal alternative," he said.

Peck replaces Mans Danielson, who was installed as MD by Swedish company Santa Maria, when it bought Discovery in 2007. Danielson will return to the Swedish HQ in a group role.
Santa Maria wanted the UK arm of Discovery to replicate the sales success it was achieving in mainland Europe and was impressed by the industry knowledge and experience that Peck had gained in his 25 years in the food industry.

Prior to his arrival at Discovery last October as sales director, Peck had spent 20 years at Tesco.
His first five years at the retailer were as a food buyer, before he was deployed to various international roles in Tesco's global setup, including commercial director for South Korean-based Samsung Tesco. Most recently, Peck was in charge of Tesco's foodservice, staff and customer catering business in the UK. 

"As well as my experience, Santa Maria was attracted by my people management skills and my financial acumen," said Peck. "They are confident I can get the business working in a co-ordinated way. Santa Maria has a unique management style. It is not big on hierarchy or formality, but prefers people with energy and dynamism. They are nice people to work with very passionate and human."

Peck's day-to-day responsibilities will include managing Discovery's two UK plants and leading its sales and marketing team.