THE founder of the UK’s fastest growing meat snack venture has been appointed to head the European division of the company that bought his brand just over two years ago.

At the age of 27, five years after he set up his business at a small manufacturing site near Malton, Charlie Simpson-Daniel has been made managing director of New World Foods Europe.

The appointment comes two and half years after the global food company purchased Mr Simpson-Daniel’s dried meat business Kings.

Following the buy-out the young entrepreneur, and former England Rugby ace, was made sales and marketing director, and has since helped grow the business to become the UK’s top selling biltong and jerky brand, and the fastest growing meat snack company.

Mr Simpson-Daniel said: “It’s incredible. Kings is part of me, I started it with my family and it has very close ties with rugby.

“Being appointed managing director is the climax of the journey, taking it from a little home based business all the way up to a state of the art manufacturing facility.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be in this position, but I’m also a little apprehensive; at 27 I don’t have all the experience in the world, but I have an open mind and a willingness to learn quickly. Being passionate and determined in what we do will enable me to take the company to the next level.”

Founded in 2012 with his brothers James and Mark, both also international rugby players, Kings started life in the family home before moving to a small production facility in Malton.

Following investment from New World Foods, which trades in Japan, China, Korean and Australasia, production at Kings stepped up at the company’s new manufacturing facilities at Moor Monkton, where it now supplies the “big four” supermarket chains, as well as other high street retailers including Boots, WH Smith, Waitrose, Aldi, The Co-operative and Iceland among others.

While the production line has expanded to increase capacity by 35 per cent in light of almost 200 pallets of biltong now being produced each month, the factory is also launching a new range of chicken-based products.

The Kings facility uses 100 per cent British and Irish beef and pork, which is cured in spices on site for 12 hours. For the biltong the steaks then hang for six days in 35 degree heat, resulting in a snack with 50 per cent protein content, compared to only 30 per cent from tradition protein bars, while the jerky goes into ovens for two hours slow cooking.