Britain’s Co-operative Group has announced the appointment of David (Dai) Llewelyn as its new executive innovation chef.
Llewelyn, an awarding-winning chef, will guide the culinary direction of Co-op’s convenience and wholesale food businesses.
He will oversee product creation for the Co-op’s brands, including its GRO vegan and top-tier Irresistible ranges.
Llewelyn will join Breige Donaghy, the director of Delicious Food at the group, to drive forward future innovation platforms for brand proposition.
'Passion For Sustainability'
Commenting on his appointment, Donaghy, said, "Dai’s passion for sustainability and making good food accessible, aligns seamlessly with Co-op's approach. We’re looking forward to putting his fresh thinking, passion and wealth of experience into products our customers and members will enjoy.
"The next decade in the food industry is going to be hugely exciting, and we need to continually evolve our offer to meet the needs of our convenience customers and the rapidly changing food agenda."
Llewelyn will lead an experienced culinary team to help develop exciting new products for the convenience retailer, working alongside Co-op’s product developers to identify emerging food trends, implement new technologies and champion sustainability within its NPD, the retailer added.
An Experienced Professional
Dai has 15 years’ worth of experience within the food industry, with his most recent in-house role being executive development and innovation chef at Greencore.
He won accolades at the British Sandwich Designer of the Year awards and was named Free From Pasta Chef of the Year 2019.
Llewelyn commented, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to join the Co-op team, and become part of a brand that puts so much into the quality of its food and how it sources ingredients.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to inspire and educate further and continue to deliver good food, taking ingredients and turning them into food that makes people happy.”
With raising awareness about sustainability, traceability and health among consumers, the role of an innovation chef is becoming integral in food retail businesses.
Over the past few years, Co-op has significantly invested in the quality and sourcing of its food products.
It sells and uses 100% British meat and poultry in its own-brand products, and has won many awards for various products, including sourdough pizza, chilled desserts and innovative ready meals.
In February of this year, Co-op appointed Phil Barker as its new head of customer experience and customer relationship management.