Waitrose appoints new head of product development

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Martyn Lee has joined Waitrose as its new executive chef
Martyn Lee has joined Waitrose as its new executive chef

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Upmarket retailer Waitrose has appointed former Tesco executive chef Martyn Lee to lead its product development team.

Lee will head up a team of development chefs based at the Waitrose Food Innovation Studio at its Bracknell headquarters as executive chef, where he will help develop the retailer’s own-label ranges.

Commenting on his appointment, Lee said: “Waitrose is known for pushing the boundaries on quality and delivering cutting-edge innovation but also for its strong sourcing credentials – so it’s incredibly exciting to be joining the team. I’m looking forward to adding my own creativity to one of the UK’s most respected brands.”

Role across the industry

Prior to his time at Tesco, Lee worked as brand development and innovation chef for Waitrose and spent three years as senior development chef at Moy Park. He held roles at Pork Farms Riverside and Marston’s.

Waitrose & Partners head of production innovation and own brand Natalie Mitchell said: “I’m delighted that one of the leading development chefs in the industry has joined Waitrose.

“Martyn’s wealth of experience and creative vision will help us to continue offering the high-quality and distinctive products our customers expect.”

Commitment to innovation

Lee’s appointment was described by the retailer as part of its commitment to be the “most innovative, high-quality food retailer in the supermarket sector​”.

The past month has seen a number of people on the move in the food and drink industry.

Former PepsiCo head of insights and analytics in Asia Geoff Painter joined biscuit manufacturer Pladis,​ while the chairman of 2 Sisters Food Group’s parent company Boparan Holdings announced he was to retire from his role after nine years with the business.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe is to retire later this year,​ to be succeeded by retail and operations director Simon Roberts, who will take over from 1 June.

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