Sainsbury’s appoints Safeway development director to head own-brand department

Sainsbury’s supermarket has appointed Safeway own-brand chief Judith Batchelar to head the team looking after its Sainsbury’s-branded product range.

As director of Sainsbury’s brand, Batchelar will be specifically charged with maintaining product quality for the supermarket’s own-label ranges, including its Taste the Difference brand.

While at Safeway, Batchelar oversaw the new product development team that shaped the product line-up for the supermarket’s premium The Best range as director of technical and product development. During her tenure, Safeway almost doubled its The Best line-up, and annual sales for the supermarket topped &£100m from the business.

Batchelar joined Safeway in 2001 from Marks & Spencer, where she headed its health and well-being division as executive general-manager. Batchelar masterminded the launch of Marks & Spencer’s Count On Us slimming brand.

Batchelar’s appointment comes at a time when Sainsbury’s has said that it will invest &£9m in its Christmas promotion activity, which will focus on its Taste the Difference range. The Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO-created ads will continue to use Jamie Oliver. The push aims to reverse Sainsbury’s recent decline, which saw the supermarket post its first interim losses last month.

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