David Page, former boss of Jamie Oliver's food company Fresh Retail Ventures, has been named the new MD for own-label ethnic ready meals and snacks company S&A Foods.

Page left Fresh Retail Ventures, where he had been MD since March 2007, before Christmas, just weeks after parent the Jamie Oliver Group launched a review of operations.

The move marks a return to familiar territory for Page, who spent 16 years as MD at Patak's. In the newly created role he has been tasked with "rejuvenating the business" as well as investigating the possibility of creating a range of branded chilled and frozen ready meals.

'This is already a successful business," said Page, "My challenge will be to develop new products, as well as seeking out new markets and distribution channels."

However he acknowledges that the current economic crisis could prove to be a barrier to launching a new branded line in the short-term.

"Certainly there has been a trend towards more people cooking from scratch and we will have to consider how realistic it would be to launch a premium range of ready meals in the current climate," he said. "But at the same time people are spending more time at home rather than eating out, so a premium range could prove popular. The company does make outstanding products."

He will report to S&A Foods executive chairman and CEO Perween Warsi. "I am very ambitious for my business to grow further, both in the UK and internationally," said Warsi.

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