Masterfoods appoints chocolate brand chief

Masterfoods has promoted senior marketer Cathy Williams to the position of European chocolate portfolio director.

Williams replaces Helen Stevenson, who left to join Lloyds TSB as director of group marketing and UK retail banking strategy in January.

Before joining Masterfoods, Williams worked for Unilever as senior brand manager for Persil.

Williams will take charge of the European marketing of Masterfoods’ confectionery brands, which include Celebrations, Milky Way and M&Ms.

Celebrations launched six years ago and is one of Masterfoods’ success stories.

According to Information Resources data, Celebrations is the most popular twist-wrap chocolate brand and the sixth-most popular confectionery brand overall, with value sales in 2002 of &£74m.

This is despite a raft of me-too products, such as Nestlé All-Stars and Cadbury’s Miniature Heroes.

The company’s biggest launch for the UK this year is bisc&, the biscuit snack based around confectionery brands Bounty, Mars, Twix and M&Ms.

Masterfoods is backing the brand with a &£15m marketing spend, which includes &£8m of above-the-line advertising created by roster agency Grey Worldwide London.

Last year, its focus was on its flagship Mars bar, which was relaunched with a new strapline, a lighter recipe and a &£7.5m advertising spend, also through Grey.

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