Pukka New CEO Isaac Fisher

Source: Pukka

Isaac Fisher has stepped up to CEO after four years as Pukka’s MD

Pukka has promoted Isaac Fisher to CEO as it launches a five-year plan to supercharge sales under continued family ownership.

Fisher, who has been with the savoury pastry specilaist for 11 years including the last four as managing director, called the plan “ambitious and achievable”. He said it would be delivered by Pukka’s team and backed by the full support of the Storer family that founded the business over 60 years ago in Leicestershire, where it remains today.

Despite recent media speculation that Pukka was considering a possible sale, Fisher noted that a review into the next phase had made it “unequivocally clear” that the interests of the business, its customers, and more than 400 colleagues would be best served under the continued ownership of the founding family.

Fisher replaces Deborah Ewan, who moves into a new role as non-executive director after nearly seven years as CEO, while Tim Storer is to continue as director alongside his brother Andrew.

“Our parents, Trevor and Valerie, started this incredible business back in 1963 and Andrew and I remain committed to the vision that they created,” said Tim Storer. “We look forward to delivering the next phase of growth through our continued investment and support.”

Pukka Bakery Starfrost 1

Source: Pukka

Pies made at the Pukka bakery site in Syston near Leicester

Pukka is currently the nation’s number one pie brand and number two in total savoury pastry, according to Circana data for the 52 weeks to 14 March 2024.

“Our highly talented team has been smashing it in savoury pastry over the past five years, bringing Pukka’s full-on flavour to people throughout the UK across out of home and as one of the fastest growing and most loved brands in grocery,” commented Fisher.

The new CEO claimed Pukka was driving incremental growth to the savoury pastry category by making it “relevant and interesting”. He described it as a fun brand that is helping to recruit new consumers, adding: “We’re shaking up the category and really resonating with younger shoppers, whilst never forgetting our loyal fans”.

Citing Circana sales data to 14 March 2024, Fisher revealed Pukka’s range of chilled and frozen savoury pastry – from pies to on-the-go snacking – had added sales of more than £13m in retail alone. This had helped achieve brand growth of 23%, twice as fast as the category, and lift its retail sales over £70m. “No other savoury pastry brand has achieved so much in such a short space of time, and now our ambitious plans will supercharge our growth,” he added.

Over the past five years, Pukka has invested £15m in its production site in the town of Syston near Leicester, including installing new custom-built freezers in early 2023. The manufacturer will continue to develop its bakery for future growth, confirmed Fisher, including the possibility of creating “even more disruptive new products”.

Pukka has continued a strong pipeline into 2024, unveiling five new recipes earlier this month including the All Day Breakfast Pie, which followed the previous launch of the All Day Breakfast Slice among others at the start of the year.

It’s ongoing ‘Pukka for the People’ marketing campaign, which debuted last summer, was said to have helped bring its full-on flavour to multiple channels and touchpoints.

“Pukka has 98% prompted awareness, and we’re the right brand to be leading the category,” stated Fisher. “Most importantly, thanks to Pukka, people have fallen back in love with savoury pastry, and we’ll continue to drive that growth and love for the category under our new five-year strategy and beyond.

“There is plenty more growth for us to go after within both chilled and frozen across retail and out of home. And there are a load of other places where the Pukka name can add a stamp of assurance and inspiration. In short, we have a clear strategy to increase our presence across markets,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, fellow savoury pastry brand Ginsters also announced a new appointment to its board recently, with Stephanie Hildon joining as managing director