David Milner and Henrietta Morrison of Lily's Kitchen

Member Article

Lily’s Kitchen to Double International Business in 2019

Pioneer of natural pet food focuses on Asian markets to further drive growth in 2019

Lily’s Kitchen, the UK’s leading producer of natural pet food has plans to double its international business in the coming year. Already established in 12 countries, Lily’s Kitchen is looking to grow its global offering with a carefully selected focus on new markets across Europe, the Middle East and further afield in Asia.

The company first dipped its ‘paws’ in overseas markets more than five years ago and already has a strong presence France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany gaining success through working closely with local retail partners. Lily’s Kitchen is now venturing further afield; entering Singapore and Taiwan in May, South Korea and Japan in June, while ensuring its focus on quality remains.

This strategic plan follows recent growth, with Lily’s Kitchen achieving a CAGR of 31% since 2014[3] and holding the highest share of the UK’s premium natural pet food category (30%),[4] resulting in an £80m retail sales value for the brand by the end of the year. With growing consumer demand for premium natural – the fastest growing segment in pet food[5], Lily’s Kitchen is now looking to make its natural recipes more widely available.

Founded by entrepreneur Henrietta Morrison, Lily’s Kitchen started at her kitchen table ten years ago, following the illness of her border terrier Lily. She started to cook from scratch for her using natural, wholesome ingredients after she discovered what regular pet food was made from. The difference in Lily’s health was remarkable. She then set about making her newly created recipes available to other dogs and cats to benefit from working with vets, nutritionists and herbalists, Fast forward ten years, international expert David Milner has now made the move from board member to CEO. The ex-Tyrrells boss heads up the senior leadership team including a newly formed International sales team. He aims to lead the company through its next phase of growth, with a specific focus on driving its international arm, working closely alongside Henrietta, who will take on the role of Executive Chair and Global Brand Director.

With this dynamic duo at the helm Lily’s Kitchen also has plans to enhance distribution not only abroad with their global focus on Asia as well as European markets but also within the UK. Even with these huge ambitions, Lily’s Kitchen remains a proud British brand with its heart still very much based in Hampstead where the brand was founded and still operates from today. Their uncompromising approach to quality and B Corp status resulted in a recently granted Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales.
David Milner, CEO of Lily’s Kitchen, says: “It’s an exciting category with the growth of premium natural pet food exploding globally. Lily’s Kitchen pioneered the sector at a very early stage and is now leading the way with larger competitors now playing catch up. And this is just on home soil. I am looking forward to working with Henrietta to help the team realise the brand’s potential – making an even bigger stamp on this growing category, both at home and across carefully selected international markets.”

Previously leading Tyrrells’ global expansion, David enhanced brand value from £30m to £300m during his tenure. Fast-tracking the company’s international growth strategy, David led the acquisition of two international companies: Yarra Valley Snack Foods in Australia in 2015; and Aroma Snacks in Germany in 2016, culminating in Tyrrells’ sale: initially to Investcorp for £100m (2013); and then to Amplify Snack Brands for £300m (2016).

In addition, David has held other high-profile executive positions, overseeing multi-million-pound deals at numerous internationally-renowned companies. These include Tyrrells, Campbell Soup Company, Young’s Seafood and Mars.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lily's Kitchen .

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