Mutti announces UK subsidiary and senior appointments

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Mutti has set up a new UK subsidiary. Pictured: UK md Dhiresh Hirani
Mutti has set up a new UK subsidiary. Pictured: UK md Dhiresh Hirani

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Italian tomato processor Mutti has expanded its international reach with the launch of a new UK subsidiary, supported by a raft of senior appointments.

Following a successful launch in the UK in 2020, the tomato products manufacturer is to set up shop in the UK from this month (January 2024). The UK will be the group’s sixth subsidiary.

Newly appointed UK managing director Dhiresh Hirani will oversee the group’s UK operations, reporting directly to international sales director Farid Tisselli.

Chief executive Francesco Mutti said the ‘strategic move’ reflected the group’s confidence in the UK market and its determination to continue international growth.

Next phase of growth

Hirani said: “The next phase of growing Mutti in the UK involves our ambition to be the number one brand across all the categories we play in. We aim to premiumise the category, focusing on education, inspiration, and trading shoppers up.

“We want to continue to educate consumers about our quality tomatoes and our values to bring excitement and further reinvigorate a category that has historically been perceived as dull and boring. Working closely with our customers we will be elevating the overall shopper and consumer experience and in doing so drive category sales growth.”

The tinned tomato manufacturer also revealed three more senior appointments to help support Hirani’s role as UK managing director.

Senior appointments

Former Saputo Dairy UK head of sales growth channels Ian Hossack joins as head of retail UK, while Claire Thomas joins as head of category and insight UK from her previous role as head of category management at Quorn. Finally, Graham Phelan joins as marketing manager, having previously served as senior brand manager for consumer healthcare company Haleon.

"With our fantastic team in place, we’re entering the next exciting phase of our journey and growth in the UK & Ireland – it's about building the brand and getting even closer to our customers and consumers,”​ Hirami added.

We aim to build on the great success we have had to date and bring even bigger and better inspiration and premiumisation to the forefront, working collaboratively to elevate the category and maintain our momentum towards becoming the number one branded supplier across our key product categories in the UK.”

Meanwhile, check in on some of the most recent industry appointments in last month’s round-up of people on the move in food and drink.

Mutti senior appointments

Dhiresh Hirani, Mutti Managing director UK&I

  • Formerly: Mutti UK country manager, November 2020 – January 2024
  • Previous roles: Pladis account controller for Morrisons, United Biscuits account controller, Premier Foods account controller for Tesco

Ian Hossack, Mutti head of retail UK

  • Formerly: Saputo Dairy UK head of sales growth channels, June 2017 – June 2023
  • Previous roles: Nomad Foods customer director, Kettle Food business manager for Asda and Morrisons, Unilever senior category manager

Claire Thomas, Mutti head of category and insight UK

  • Formerly: Quorn head of category management, May 2018 – January 2024
  • Previous roles: Kerry Foods category controller, Manor Bakeries category manager, Campbell Soup Company customer marketing manager

Graham Phelan, Mutti UK marketing manager

  • Formerly: Haleon senior brand manager, July 2022 – January 2024
  • Previous roles: Ali’s Dream head of marketing, Pladis Global campaign manager, Ferrero assistant brand manager

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