My Food Bag is gearing up for the next stage in its growth, appointing Kevin Bowler as the new chief executive.

Former co-chief executives James and Cecilia Robinson announced plans to step down from the role last month but according to Cecilia, the decision to appoint Bowler was made much earlier.

"We identified him as the person we wanted to lead this business, without his knowledge, about two years ago," she said.

"Theresa and James and I were discussing who might be a good successor and we decided on him, and so we are delighted to have been able to secure him because he wasn't looking for an opportunity, so we're feeling really humbled by that."


Bowler was appointed New Zealand chief executive of Frucor Suntory in 2016 after leaving his previous role as chief of Tourism New Zealand. He is leaving Frucor to take up the My Food Bag role.

He has also worked across consumer packaged goods, telecommunications and media brands, in both New Zealand and internationally.

Robinson said the company had specifically looked for someone with proven capacity for building high-performing teams, and Bowler's experience in the food and beverage space made him a perfect candidate.

"[Kevin's] experience in consumer products on the one hand and digital business on the other makes him ideal for this position," she said.

"We've got innovation in our blood and we're excited to work with Kevin to continue to build the momentum."

A smaller company than he had previously headed up, My Food Bag had significant growth opportunities Bowler said, as well as a story that really resonated with him.

"When I look at the purpose, the culture, the people and the fact they are disrupting a big sector of food using digital and modern techniques is such an exciting thing to be part of," he said.

"The plan is to get a clear stocktake on where the business is at, prioritise those growth opportunities and then start executing with excellence."


Robinson would not comment on the date when Bowler would take over but said the team would work closely with him over the next few months to help with the transition.

The company is still planning a public listing by the end of next year which Bowler said would realise the full value of the business as well as giving the market an opportunity to participate.

In 2016, Auckland-based Waterman Capital's investment in the firm valued it at $120m with company records showed the investment firm owned a 70 per cent stake.

My Food Bag CEO Kevin Bowler. Photo / Supplied
My Food Bag CEO Kevin Bowler. Photo / Supplied

The Robinsons founded My Food Bag in March 2013 with Masterchef winner and dietician Nadia Lim, her husband Carlos Bagrie and former Telecom chief executive Theresa Gattung.

The concept is based on delivering a week's worth of recipes and the ingredients needed to make them.

Within the first three years, the company reached $100 million in annual revenue and 30,000 customers across 14 cities in New Zealand and Australia.

The most recent reported figure of the company's revenue was $150m annually.

The Robinsons would remain on the board and earlier said the decision was based on wanting to spend more time with their young family.

The couple have a five-and-a-half-year-old son, Thomas, and a 20-month-old daughter, Leila.

Kevin Bowler

• 2016 – CEO Frucor Suntory

• 2009 - CEO of Tourism NZ

• 2007 - CEO Yahoo!

• Pre-2007 - General manger consumer marketing telecom

• Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato

• Two daughters

• Lives in Auckland