Annette Peters

Annette has a degree in business and hospitality management. Post her degree she returned to M&S head office in London where she had done an internship as part of her degree and been sponsored by M&S for her final year as an undergraduate.

Annette worked in many departments within M&S. Her career in food retail kicked off in the fish, poultry and meat area which was a tough beginning but a perfect foundation to a foodie career. She quickly became known as a successful innovator (having launched a highly successful "prepared joints" range to encourage all those customers scared of cooking meat - amongst many other first to market products). She was both innovative and commercial, a rare combination and because of this was quickly promoted.

In 1997 Annette left M&S to start a family. She was asked during her leave, to help scope out a plan for M&S on the newly emerging "organic" trend. She agreed but as a consultant rather than employee and set up The Food Practice in 1997 to work as a consultant for M&S.

The consultancy was up and running and in 1999 she was asked by the Duchy Originals organic brand to help them make their brand a more commercial success. She continued to work for the brand as a consultant for 3 years (from home and offices at St James' Palace). The Duchy Ale, Christmas cake, mince pies, turkey, Christmas pudding are still on sale every year.

In 2003 Annette invented, developed and delivered the now iconic "Cook!" range for M&S. The success of the range was down to many hard working people but driven by Annette - the range became a department within a year of launch. It had tapped into the zietgeist of cleaner, healthier living. Annette had always been extremely passionate about quality, nutritious, additive free food. Cook! was designed to be just that. Annette worked in a new way with suppliers where suppliers became part of the M&S development team and she built much stronger and communicative relationships with them so they felt part of the whole driving process. The suppliers took on the passion of the range and driven by the enthusiasm of Annette and her Cook! team, together they developed the unique Cook! range.

The success of a completely additive free range further inspired the total food business at M&S to clean up all its ingredients lists and remove additives throughout the entire catalogue.

Annette consulted for the M&S Food To Go area in 2006 where she was asked to re-establish M&S quality credentials and its reputation as the market innovator.  She spent time over the next 2 years doing just that. Working in her holsitic, collaborative way with the Food To Go team and the supply base to significantly improve quality, invent first to market products and restructure the whole catalogue to maximise sales. In 2009 they regained their title of Sandwich Retailer of the year.

In 2007, Annette was also asked by The Irish Food Board (Bord Bia) to help as a consultant to food businesses in Ireland. She worked with small to large Irish food companies helping them with range architecture, product development and in one case, rebranding.

Annette has worked very hard over the years with a huge variety of companies and developed The Food Practice into a a successful consultancy with the help of her now business partner, Harriet Aitken. 

Her passion is food. She finds it eternally fascinating and if she can help food companies make a success of delivering good quality, clean, nutritious food to market she feels she is doing something positive for the industry and the consumer.

She and The Food Practice will work with any company, small or large, who share the same intrinsic values.