Welch reports to the coffee chain’s managing director Christopher Rogers and sits on the management board.
She is tasked with accelerating the company’s expansion into global markets as it looks to double sales to £2bn over the next years. It is hoped Welch can replicate the success of recent product and service launches such as Flat White and Costa Express, which the company credits for raising its profile overseas.
Welch joins from Associated British Foods, where she is said to have led the turnaround of the Jordans Cereal and Ryvita brands as marketing and innovation director. She has also held senior marketing roles at PepsiCo and Green & Blacks.
The move is part of a wider strategy to ensure future sales growth through innovation as the company looks extend its brand beyond its coffee houses. Last year, it launched the Costa-At-Home range of ready-made drinks and also move into sports sponsorship for the first time.
Like-for-Like sales at Costa leapt 8 per cent in the 13 weeks to 30 May.