Kettle appoints marketing chief

Kettle Foods, the makers of Kettle Chips, has appointed its first marketing director as it prepares to do battle with Walkers in the premium crisp sector.

Keith Stevens joins Kettle Foods from Polaroid, where he was European marketing director and export general manager. Before that he worked for 11 years at Mars, where he held a number of marketing roles.

He arrives at the company as Walkers plans to move into the premium crisp market, with the launch of Sensations. Advertising featuring Victoria Beckham and Walkers brand icon Gary Lineker will back the crisps, which will be available from April.

Stevens, however, is not worried by the snack food giant’s entrance into the market. He says: “I think Kettle has a unique and special brand that is by far the number one in terms of the adult premium snack market. Kettle also has fiercely loyal customers.”

He says that the company would not be responding to the threat on its market share by looking for an agency and would stick to marketing its products through PR, its website and database.

Stevens adds: “Kettle is appealing to a very discerning group of customers, typically ABs and C1s. I do not think it is in the game of mass communication.”

Stevens adds that, over the coming year, the company would be developing products in the UK and expanding into Europe.

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