Lotus Bakeries UK founder Paul Hunter to lead Urban Fresh Foods

Lotus Bakeries UK founder Paul Hunter has become managing director of healthy snacks business Urban Fresh Foods (UFF).

He has taken on the role following the acquisition of UFF by Belgium-based Lotus a year ago in a deal believed to be worth around £70m.

Hunter, who has previously worked at United Biscuits and Schwan’s, founded Lotus Bakeries UK in 2006 and has driven growth in the Lotus Biscoff biscuit brand as commercial director.

Mark Staniforth has succeeded Hunter at Lotus UK. Staniforth has worked at Lotus since 2012 and was previously sales manager.

In addition to the Urban Fruits snacks, UFF produces the Bear brand of children’s snacking products, which includes Yoyos and Paws.

Urban Fresh Foods founding partner and investor Giles Brook will step back from the business after eight years. He will instead focus on his other businesses including the Vita Coco coconut water brand that he brought to the UK in 2009.

Urban Fresh Foods founders Hayley and Andrew Gait-Golding will remain with the business in innovation and operational roles, respectively.

Hunter’s remit will be to continue to build on the growth of the business in the UK and to drive expansion in international markets. Bear was launched into the Benelux market last year and there are plans to grow the brand in Europe and further afield in 2017.

“When we set out to create this business, we knew we had a genuine consumer need to meet, and a real passion within us to find a solution: but watching the team and business grow as it has, has exceeded even our own expectations,” said Hayley Gait-Golding.

“We are so excited about the adventure ahead and delighted to have Paul leading us as we navigate our way through.”

At the time it acquired UFF, Lotus said the deal would make the UK its biggest market in terms of branded turnover. Lotus also operates under brands including Lotus Biscoff, Dinosaur Lotus, Lotus Suzy, Peijnenburg, Snelle Jelle and Annas.

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