Premier Foods plc has poached executives from UK snack manufacturer United Biscuits and retail giant Sainsbury's to bolster the marketing team behind its "power brands".

Claire Harrison-Church has taken the newly-created role of director of strategic marketing at the Bisto gravy and Batchelors soup firm.

Harrison-Church, who was Sainsbury's director of brand communications before leaving the retailer in February, will be responsible for "marketing investment, media awareness and consumer PR", Premier said.

Meanwhile, Helen Warren-Piper will join Premier as business unit director for savoury brands in October. At United Biscuits, she is business transformation director and has been marketing director for its UK snacks business. Warren-Piper's responsibility will include Premier power brands like Bisto, Batchelors and Loyd Grossman.

The appointments are the latest in a series of moves at Premier since chief executive Michael Clarke revamped the company's management structure last autumn.

Iwan Williams, who joined Premier as MD of its grocery business in January, said: "I am delighted to welcome both Helen and Claire to the business. They have extensive and successful track records in leading FMCG organisations and bring with them a wealth of experience as we look to deliver our commercial objectives".

Premier is looking to focus on eight so-called power brands, which also include Oxo gravy and Sharwood's cooking sauces.

Show the press release

4 September 2012  


Premier Foods, home to some of Britain’s most loved food brands, announces the appointment of two new senior hires to support its continued marketing focus behind its Power Brands.    

Claire Harrison-Church joins the company with immediate effect in the newly created role of Director of Strategic Marketing. She joins from Sainsbury’s where she was Director of Brand Communications and notably delivered the ‘Live Well for Less’ brand positioning, as well as overhauling their digital marketing strategy.  Prior to her role at Sainsbury’s, Claire worked for Boots, KFC and Unilever in a variety of senior marketing roles. Claire will have responsibility for a number of strategic marketing initiatives across the brand portfolio.  These include the optimisation of marketing investment, media effectiveness, consumer PR and developing other areas of marketing capability.  She will also support the brand teams to identify new growth opportunities. 

Helen Warren-Piper will join the company on 23 October as Business Unit Director - Savoury Brands. She joins from United Biscuits where she has held a number of senior positions including Marketing Director UK Snacks and most recently as Business Transformation Director. Prior to United Biscuits, Helen worked in a number of senior marketing and sales roles for Procter & Gamble in Laundry, Cleaning, Paper, Diapers and Pet-food. Helen will be responsible for driving the growth of a number of our Power Brands including Bisto, Batchelors, Loyd Grossman, Oxo and Sharwood’s and will have full management responsibility for the marketing teams of these brands.  

Iwan Williams, Managing Director, comments: “I am delighted to welcome both Helen and Claire to the business. They have extensive and successful track records in leading retail and fmcg organisations and bring with them a wealth of experience as we look to deliver our commercial objectives.”

“These new appointments come at an exciting time for Premier Foods as our strategy on focusing on our Power Brands is starting to gain traction and our portfolio is consistently gaining market share.” 

Premier Foods’ consumer marketing has increased by over 40% in the first half of 2012, principally due to increased TV advertising campaigns on seven of the company’s Power Brands.  

Both roles will report directly to Iwan Williams. 


For further information, please contact: 

Lisa Attenborough, Director of Communications 01727 805716 

Notes for editors:  

As Britain's largest food producer, Premier Foods is committed to being the 'Best in British Food - delivering the taste the British love, with food that's made in Britain by people who understand British consumers.  We supply a range of retail, wholesale, foodservice and other customers with some of Britain's best loved brands, including Ambrosia, Batchelor’s, Bisto, Hovis, Loyd Grossman, Mr.Kipling, Oxo and Sharwood’s. The company employs around 12,000 people operating from over 50 sites from Plymouth to Glasgow.

Original source: Premier Foods