Atkins appoints marketing chief

Atkins Nutritionals, the food division of the Atkins diet business, has appointed Fiona Jefferson as its first dedicated marketer. She joins the company as marketing director from meat-free brand Quorn, where she was brand manager.

Jefferson will be responsible for developing the brand’s marketing strategy and increasing its brand awareness. It is understood that Atkins is keen to become a major brand in the UK diet products market. It has already extended its distribution to Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco, after originally being only available in Boots, Holland & Barrett and independent health-food stores at the start of the year.

The low-carbohydrate category has become increasingly competitive over the past year. Unilever Bestfoods launched its low-carbohydrate range, which includes pasta sauces and dressings, last month (MW March 18), and Heinz is preparing to launch a range of products under the Carb Check brand. Kraft Foods is also understood to be considering bringing its low-carbohydrate range, CarbWell, to the UK (MW September 30).

Last month, Atkins bolstered its range, which includes cereal bars and milkshakes, with wrap sandwiches, flavoured mineral waters and crunchy snacks similar to crisps. They are currently available only in Boots, and are aimed at the lunch market.

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