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June 14, 2011

UK: Aspall revamps exec team, plans capacity boost

Upmarket vinegar supplier Aspall has revamped its management team and is to expand its capacity after a strong rise in sales in the last year.

By Dean Best

Upmarket vinegar supplier Aspall has revamped its management team and its capacity after a strong rise in sales in the last year.

Aspall’s sales rose by 40% in volume for the group’s latest financial year, to the end of March, the UK-based company said today (14 June). A spokesperson for the group told just-food’s sister site just-drinks that volumes have risen by a further 60% in the first ten weeks of its new fiscal year.

The privately-held firm declined to release a specific volume figure. Its financial figures for the year are still being finalised, but are expected to show a “very healthy increase” on the previous year, the spokesperson said.

The group said that it plans to spend GBP4m (US$6.6m) to upgrade and expand its production and storage facilities in Suffolk over the next two to three years. The investment includes GBP750,000 spent on a new vinegar bottling line as well as storage tanks for vinegar and cider – Aspall’s other core line – which are soon to be installed.

Meanwhile, commercial director Geoff Bradman and finance director Des Smith have been promoted to the posts of joint managing directors, under the chairmanship of Barry Chevallier Guild. Clive Maskell, who joins from Watton Produce, will become the group’s new head of finance.

Aspall said that it has also expanded its management team with several new roles. John Bennett will join Aspall from Adnams as business development manager, while Paul Walker will also join from the brewer in the new role of commercial manager for the group’s vinegar range. Following this, John Hadingham will cease to be commercial manager for Aspall’s vinegar business in order to become commercial manager solely for the company’s on-trade cider business.

Henry Chevallier Guild, a partner in the business, will step back from day-to-day operations in order to focus on the Chevallier Brewing Co., which he set up last year. He will remain an active member of the Aspall board, the company said.

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