As from 4th Jan 2011, Finnish confectionary company Panda Licorice has handed over UK and Ireland distribution of its licorice to newly formed Bravura Foods Ltd. Bravura has been created by Lisa Gawthorne and Karl Morris – both in possession of long track records with Panda Licorice and with an unrivaled understanding of the brand and the market place.
Gawthorne has worked with the Panda brand for six years – at Cedar Health, Bio Stat, Inverness and most recently BBI – building on her extensive confectionery experience, which has seen her handle Vimto confectionery and Chewits. Morris joins Bravura from BBI, where he held the position of Sales Director of BBI Healthcare, which included Panda Licorice for the past two years.
Due to strategic differences with BBI – which is focused very much on healthcare – Panda Licorice was looking for an alternative distribution partner. As the licorice category continues to expand, Panda Licorice needed specific help to deliver on its ambitious future growth targets.
With this in mind, Gawthorne joined the Finnish business in January this year as International Marketing Manager in order to become fully immersed in the business and expand into US and Canadian markets. She went on to form Bravura Foods Ltd, which will focus on distribution of Panda Licorice, and has since been joined by Morris.
Gawthorne comments: “It’s an exciting time for our new company, and I’m delighted Karl took the decision to join me in this enterprise. We have big plans, looking ahead to bring a lot of innovative and healthy products to the market in the UK. Both myself and Karl have personal interests in vegan and vegetarian products, so we’ll be hoping to work with brands which fit our ethical bill.”
Morris adds: “Due to our joint experience with Panda Licorice, Lisa and myself are in the perfect position to take the brand forward. We are also delighted to have created several new roles in our new business. From a customer’s point of view, the change will be seamless, it’s business as usual!”
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