Kathryn Turner1

Source: M&S

Kathryn Turner has worked in product development at M&S for nearly 30 years

Marks & Spencer has promoted its head of product Kathryn Turner to product development director.

Turner has worked in product development at the grocer for 27 years – including the past six years as head of product – and has been widely credited with formulating and delivering some of M&S’s best-known lines.

In her past role, she was behind the creation of Christmas food and gifting products, including its ‘light up’ range (see below) which has made it to US shelves this year via a partnership with Target.

New M&S Food MD Alex Freudmann said Turner had “exceptional lifestyle and food trend insights” and had specialised in transforming categories.

“Throughout her six years as a head of product, Kathryn has brought her passion for creativity and quality to our product development within both ambient and fresh, protecting the magic of M&S whilst supporting the team to go further with unique market-leading innovation.

“This promotion is very well deserved and demonstrates our commitment to developing internal talent as we build a bigger, better, fresher food business.”

M&S xmas range

Turner has been credited with developing innovative Christmas lines such as the ‘light up lantern’

Turner joined M&S in 1995 from Mars, where she worked in sales before pivoting to category development at the retailer.

She is the permanent replacement for former M&S Food product development chief April Preston, who was appointed Holland & Barrett’s new global product director earlier this year.