Ryvita has appointed former Johnson & Johnson marketing director Nigel Nelms to head its marketing team.

Nelms joined Ryvita two months ago and has been covering the role since the departure of Rob Murray to DIY chain Wickes last month.

Prior to Ryvita, Nelms had been running own label health and beauty business Hexel. He also managed fashion and footwear company Maybury Manufacturing after seven years at Johnson & Johnson.

Ryvita sales for the year to 6 October were down 0.4% [Nielsen] but in its full-year trading report this week, parent company Associated British Foods said new product launches had helped restore Ryvita's growth.

"Although 2007 has been a challenging year, 2008 will see the Ryvita brand accelerate innovation and increase investment," said Nelms.

"At a time when other brands are misleading consumers about what is good for them, Ryvita has the ethics and the believable reputation to truthfully represent healthy eating."

Ryvita has been one of the busier brands in the savoury biscuits market this year with a steady stream of launches such as Goodness Bar Luxury and Ryvita Crispbread Snack Packs.