Julian Davidson
Julian Davidson

Innovative New Zealand food producer, Smartfoods, has appointed former Independent Liquor Chief Executive, Julian Davidson as a Director on the company’s board.

On top of being responsible for Independent Liquor’s New Zealand, US and Canadian operations, Davidson’s senior management career in the F&B and hospitality industry spans Lion Nathan New Zealand and Australia, Pepsico New Zealand and Australia, and the Lantern Hotel Group. He has a breadth of experience at board level as a shareholder/director and non-executive director.

Smartfoods Managing Director, Justin Hall, commented:  “We want to grow Smartfoods from an SME to a significant business. Julian has led very large organisations and understands the complexity of a business operating in multiple markets. Australia is a key market for Smartfoods and Julian has had huge exposure to the Australian market. He’s great at sharing his industry-specific insights and providing better context to decision-making.”

Hall added: “the most important thing for me is having Julian’s extensive experience to call on. It adds a whole new level of confidence and enables me to advance our growth agenda. It’s also great for stakeholder confidence and a real value-add for shareholders.”

Julian Davidson said: “Smartfoods has some fantastic brands under its banner and Justin and the other directors have already built some impressive momentum in the business. I look forward to working with them to help the company realise its growth strategy, both in New Zealand and in overseas markets.”

Smartfoods has the rights to the Vogel’s brand in New Zealand and a number of offshore markets for cereal and a range of other food products, makes a Hillary-branded cereal range and will soon launch a new brand in New Zealand and Australia.

The business has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 36.5% since its first full year of trading in 2005/06 and exports account for more than a third of revenue. The company is about to shift into a new factory that will treble production capacity as part of a five-year plan to boost revenue to $50 million from this year’s target of approximately $20 million.

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