United Biscuits has appointed Kraft UK & Ireland president Nick Bunker to head up its recently separated snacks business.

The business, which is to be re-named KP Snacks, is the second largest bagged snack company in the UK and houses McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, KP Nuts and Skips as well as several others including Phileas Fogg, Space Raiders, Nik Naks and Wheat Crunchies, which the company said today were “ripe for development”.

Bunker joins UB from 1 September from Kraft, after running the Kraft and Cadbury business in the UK and Ireland as president for the last four years throughout their integration. Prior to this role he led Kraft businesses in the Middle East and the Czech Republic and Slovakia and is currently chair of the Food & Drink Federation’s sustainability Steering Group.

He began his career at Mars confectionery, and then worked with UB’s international division and Terry’s of York. He joined automotive solutions provider Inchcape to manage various retail and distribution businesses in the Middle East before joining Kraft in 2000.

“KP Snacks is an excellent organisation with great products and a strong team,” said Bunker. “I am delighted to be offered the chance to lead the snacks business, which contains some of the best known household names in the category.  I look forward to building on the company’s success with these brands.”

UB grew sales by 5.2% last year to £1.3bn but its business profit declined slightly to £229m from £231m on the back of input cost inflation.

In a statement today the group said there was “substantial growth opportunities” both in the UK and internationally for its snacks business in “a dynamic category” which was currently growing at 6% per annum.

Last week, the Grocer revealed that UB had axed its indulgent biscuits brand Temptations which launched in March 2011 after struggling to find an audience. Last month, the group also signalled a move into breakfast biscuits after registering the trademark ‘McVitie’s Breakfast’.