Jon Jenkins, the boss of tea firm Twinings, has been appointed as the new head of Allied Bakeries, British Baker can reveal.

His move from another Associated British Foods’ (ABF) brand comes two months after the departure of Mark Fairweather and follows a delisting of Kingsmill bread at Tesco.

British Baker understands he will take up the post on 15 June.

Sarah Arrowsmith chief executive, UK Grocery at ABF, said: “Jon set and realised ambitious business goals during his time at Twinings Ovaltine. In addition to the experience he has gained during that role, Jon has a broad knowledge of fast moving consumer goods, having previously worked in commercial roles for Bulmers, Halewood International and Mars. We look forward to welcoming Jon into his new role.”

Jenkins has been a success at Twinings, with the company achieving 5% growth in 2014 and the executive making The Grocer power list earlier this year for the first time. He led the brand through a period of premiumisation which has been supported by a £10m campaign.

The appointment of Jenkins is at a pivotal time for the wider bread industry with George Weston, chief executive of ABF, describing it as ‘intensely competitive’ at its most recent interim results, where revenue in the first half increased by just 1% to £6.25bn and pre-tax profit fell by 51% to £213m. 

Allied Bakeries was also a victim of Tesco’s rationalisation earlier this year when Kingsmill sliced bread was delisted by the retailer on 23 March. However, the bakery company has already said the volume has been replaced elsewhere and the supermarket has continued to stock other Kingsmill products including rolls, thins, wraps, crumpets, muffins, pancakes, and waffles.

Yesterday The Grocer – a sister title of British Baker – revealed how plummeting retail prices and the consumer shift away from sliced bread has wiped more than £120m off the combined bread sales of the UK’s three biggest brands.

Kingsmill has been the biggest victim, with total bread sales of £314m in the year to 28 March 2015 [IRI], down £75m on the preceding 12 months, said The Grocer and Hovis has overtaken Kingsmill to become Britain’s second-biggest selling bread brand despite an £11m drop, while sales of leading brand Warburtons have fallen by £35m.

Total UK bread sales are down 8.4% year on year.