Kraft Foods picks UK chief and reorganises portfolio

Kraft Foods has appointed Ben Clarke, the head of its Australian operation, as vice-president and area director for the UK and Ireland. He replaces Thibaud de Saint-Quentin, who has been promoted to vice-president of coffee for the EU region.

Clarke, who has already taken over the role, will be responsible for the company’s food and confectionery divisions, which includes the Dairylea, Kenco and Terry’s brands.

He was appointed as vice-president and area director of Australia and New Zealand in 2002. He was previously category director with responsibility for marketing across its coffee and chocolate portfolio. It is not known who has replaced Clarke as head of the Australian division. Clarke’s appointment comes amid a number of changes across the Kraft organisation. It has been working to change its products and marketing in the face of criticism from health groups.

It is already working to reposition its Dairylea range as a healthier brand and is reducing its salt and fat content. The foods group is planning to promote the brand in line with active lifestyles.

The moves are part of the company’s global policy on promoting healthier food and lifestyles. As part of this, it no longer uses TV advertising to promote certain products to children under 12 years of age.

The company has also shifted its advertising focus to direct marketing and is understood to be talking to agencies about a global customer relationship marketing programme.

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