Little Moons has appointed former Graze snacks and Unilever executive Joanna Allen as the new CEO of the UK-based mochi dough ice-cream business.

Allen takes up the role on 3 June having served as CEO of Graze, which was acquired by Unilever in 2019, since the summer of 2020.

Mike Hedges, who was CEO of London-based Little Moons since 2022, left the business earlier in March, with the company declining to provide a reason for his departure. He formerly held executive roles at snacks companies Proper and Tyrrell’s crisps.

Vivien Wong, who set up Little Moons in 2010 in partnership with her brother Howard, has been holding the fort since Hedges’ exit. The company has attracted the interest of private-equity firm L Catterton, which took up an undisclosed, but “significant”, minority stake in 2022.

Before becoming CEO of Graze, Allen was global brand vice president at Unilever for five years from 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also previously held various positions at The Coca-Cola Co., including director of marketing and brand director.

In a statement, Wong said: “With such an impressive track record and vast industry knowledge, we’re thrilled that Joanna has agreed to join the Little Moons’ team.

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“We’re extremely proud of what Little Moons has achieved to date and look forward to realising the even greater potential of the brand under Joanna’s leadership.”

Allen will “support Little Moons to implement its ambitious growth plans and rapid international expansion”.

Speaking to Just Food in November, Howard Wong outlined how the business was seeking to expand in the Asia Pacific beyond Australia and Singapore into New Zealand and Hong Kong.

The UK is Little Moons’ largest market followed by France and the company also has a presence in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and Belgium.

“We’re almost in every major retailer in western Europe,” Mr. Wong told Just Food in November.

Allen said: “The incredible success Little Moons has seen over the last few years has been phenomenal. I’m looking forward to joining the business at such a pivotal moment as it continues to gain global momentum.”

Little Moons’ most recent results filed with Companies House show the business logged a turnover of £64.5m ($81.6m today) in the 18 months to 30 December 2022, compared to £25.5m in the 12 months to 30 June 2021.

Adjusted EBITDA stood at £8.5m over the 18 months versus £6.9m in the preceding 12 months. Net profit, however, dwindled to £1.5m from £4.8m.

Mr. Wong explained in November: “That’s just because our financial year-end was June and we realised for an ice-cream company it really doesn’t make sense to have a financial year ending in June because all your activities are in the summer.

“Trying to plan your budgets for the next year and you don’t really know how July or August have landed, which makes it really hard to commit to spend and advertising. So we switched the year-end to December.”