Vivas - a joint venture between drinks wholesaler Bibendum Wine and 3663 First For Foodservice - has appointed James Salmon to the newly created role of general manager.

Salmon has 13 years' experience at Wells & Young's Brewing Company where his senior positions included Corona Extra brand controller and, most recently, head of sales operations.

Vivas was set up a year ago to help 3663 to increase the range of wines and other alcoholic drinks it sells to its foodservice customers and to allow Bibendum to increase its sales to smaller customers.

Bibendum has sourced wines exclusively for Vivas, which also has access to its other drinks ranges.

The role had been created to help Vivas build on the success it had achieved since it was formed, said a spokeswoman. Salmon would be able to use his "tremendous industry knowledge and appreciation of the target market" to find new customers for Vivas's range and increase sales to existing customers, she added.

"James shares our view that Vivas is incredibly well placed to deliver real value to our customers, as well as to 3663 and Bibendum," said Michael Saunders, MD of Bibendum. "Both 3663 and Bibendum believe Vivas will really power ahead in the next few years. James's recruitment will ensure we maximise all available opportunities."

Since Vivas was formed, the foodservice market has been hit by the recession but Vivas claims sales have been robust in the first year, boosted by strong sales to the healthcare ­sector.