Ex-Golden Wonder CEO takes on sports drink

Former Golden Wonder chief executive Ed Jackson has been appointed managing director of independently-owned sports drink brand Taut.

Jackson’s appointment to the newly-created position comes as Taut’s co-founders, Vincent Bassch and Sarah Lang, take on new roles in the four-year-old company.

Jackson joined Golden Wonder in April 2003 following its sale to Middle Eastern packaged goods company Longul for £300m and left earlier this year.

The crisp brand, which has since been bought by Tayto Northern Ireland, has suffered a downturn in fortunes between 2004 and 2006, when sales of the brand fell by 64% and its market share dropped from 9.2% to 1.5%.

Jackson, who took on his role at Taut this month, has more than 25 years’ experience in global consumer goods. He was previously United Biscuits’ managing director of development operations in the McVitie’s Group until it was sold to US biscuit firm Nabisco in 2000.

He started his career at Unilever as a graduate trainee in 1978, where he progressed to become marketing director for laundry brands including Persil, Domestos and Comfort.

The appointment of Jackson at Taut signals a decision by the drink’s co-founder Bassch, who conceived of the idea of a healthy sports drink in 2003, to concentrate on new product development while Lang, a former new business director at JWT London, will focus on fundraising.

Jackson will have ten staff reporting to him. Taut positions itself as “the first clean sports drink” and has ambitions to control up to 15% of the sports drinks market in ten years.

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