I feel compelled to comment on your article 'A Licence to Print Money?' (The Grocer, 21 June, p28). As the MD of Fresh Retail Ventures, which holds the worldwide licensing rights for the Jamie Oliver brand in all retail markets, I feel that there is a clear divergence of approach and intent relating to various celebrity chefs' branded products.
From the perspective of the Jamie Oliver brand, the intention is for people to eat better. What motivates Jamie, and indeed all my team at Fresh Retail, is the desire to launch either unique products, or something that is better than what is currently on the market, thereby adding real value to product categories. Jamie's relationship with the UK public, and indeed consumers worldwide, is about his passion for good food, inspiring them to get stuck in, while assuring consumers of product integrity and also having fun. Inherent in our brand rationale is Jamie's personal involvement in every food and non-food line developed and launched under his brand.
From my perspective, I am concerned that those celebrities who are simply interested in short-term commercial success will undermine consumers' confidence in other chefs, and therefore effectively debase and devalue the overall proposition that underpins celebrity chefs selling their products.
Customers and consumers can be assured that, with the Jamie Oliver brand, the intention is to market and sell products that inspire the preparation, cooking and eating of great-tasting quality food and I urge all other celebrity chef-branded products to aspire to similar goals.