Jamie Oliver to sever ties with Sainsbury's
TV chef Jamie Oliver is ending his association with supermarket giant Sainsbury's after 11 years.
The food guru - whose deal with the firm is thought to be worth more than £1 million each year - has been the face of the company for numerous campaigns and starred in more than 100 TV ads.
Oliver and the company - who will part company later this year - are said to have felt it was "the right time to move on".
The split is said to be "amicable" and the star is also seeking to spend more time working on various projects through his Jamie Oliver Foundation.
Oliver - who has also worked behind the scenes at the supermarket on its products - will bow out with Sainsbury's Christmas ad campaign.
His appearances on the company's commercials could make products instant best-sellers. A 2005 ad in which he was seen grating nutmeg over a spaghetti dish meant weekly sales of the spice shot up by 400%.
But despite his lucrative deal he also rounded on the firm at one stage when it failed to field a representative when he was involved in a Channel 4 campaign to highlight the poor conditions endured by battery hens.
Oliver said today: "It's been a fantastic 11 years and together we have achieved some great things. I've made some great friends at Sainsbury's and I know we'll still be talking for years to come.
"They've got some very good people, from the top right down to the shop-floor.
"The way they take on challenges - like their commitment to sourcing higher welfare products, such as chicken and eggs - is something to be proud of. I'll miss them but it's a good time to move on."
Sainsbury's CEO Justin King said: "Jamie has been an excellent ambassador for the Sainsbury's brand over the last 11 years, spearheading our goal to offer our customers fresh and tasty food, whilst maintaining strong ethical standards.
"In our industry, it has been one of the most successful and mutually rewarding partnerships ever."
Other hits during his years with Sainsbury's have included a 500% increase in sales of Freedom Food salmon fillets following a TV ad in which Oliver made fishcakes with the product.
And the "Feed Your Family For A Fiver" campaign which Oliver launched three years ago saw sales of some featured products rise by up to 200%.
Oliver - who earlier this month hosted his own music and food festival on London's Clapham Common - launches a new series about British food later this year.
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