James joined Huel in 2017 as CEO to support founder Julian Hearn’s Global ambitions for the rapidly expanding complete food brand. With offices in the UK, Berlin, LA and NY and a team of 100 + “Hueligans”, Huel is one of the fastest growing companies in the UK. Huel’s mission is to make nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food, with minimal impact on animals and the environment.
James graduated from The University of Warwick with a degree in Management Science before joining leading global strategy firm, L.E.K. Consulting, in London. He worked on international business strategy development projects and mergers and acquisitions for large corporate and private equity clients.
Having a passion for food and drink brands, James moved to dessert start-up Gü Puds in 2007 and led the company’s business development area. With sales growth outstripping the business structure, he then built the Supply side of the business in his role as Operations Director. The company tripled turnover in 3 years to £25m before being sold in 2010. In an interview in 2011, Gü’s founder, James Averdieck, named James McMaster when asked to invest £100m in one individual.
Seeking a new challenge and having a growing conviction for health, nutrition and fitness, James joined Ella’s Kitchen as COO in 2010. Ella’s Kitchen is recognised as one of the most admired new Food & Drink brands to have launched globally in the last 10 years. He led the New Product Development, Operations and Quality side of the business from a turnover of c.£16m to c.£65m during this period as the business became global, launching 60 new products and entering 10 new markets. After the acquisition by The Hain Celestial Group in 2013, James was appointed Co-Managing Director of Ella’s Kitchen. Ella’s Kitchen continued to grow strongly and became the UK’s number one babyfood brand in 2014. James left Ella’s Kitchen to join Life Health Foods as CEO in 2015.
James lead Life Health Foods, a Partnership between the largest breakfast company in Australia, Sanitarium, and an Australian private equity firm, to create a European business with a mission to revolutionise breakfast. Up&Go breakfast drinks were launched into the UK in 2015, achieving listings in all major UK retailers and expansion into European markets in 2017.
James completed the Accelerated Development Programme at London Business School in 2012. He is an investor and advisor to The Fold, the leading fashion brand for modern, professional women. James was featured in The Grocer’s 2013 ‘Top New Talent’ feature, their 35 under 35 list. James lives in London with his wife Polly, CEO and Founder of The Fold, and their children, Lainey and Finn.