Tangerine Confectionery, which produces Butterkist popcorn and the Sherbet Fountain, has appointed its first marketing director.

Alison Lewis will oversee marketing, NPD and packaging at board level. She has worked as an independent consultant to Tangerine since its inception three years ago and has previously advised companies including Asda, McCain and M&S.

Lewis said that her appointment reflected Tangerine's greatly increased size after its acquisition of Monkhill in 2008. Previously, Tangerine had been mainly an own-label supplier but the ­increased number of brands in the portfolio following the Monkhill acquisition meant Tangerine now needed an in-house marketer. "Sugar confectionery has proved much more resilient than most in this recession," she said. "We're a well-positioned company and we want to use that to leap ahead. Development will be a key area for us in the next year we want to look at the untapped possibilities in sugar confectionery, as well as reviewing our hero brands."

A revamp of Sherbet Fountain earlier this year saw its paper wrapping replaced with plastic. The move was criticised by some consumers and the media, but Lewis insisted it had helped drive the brand forwards.

"People are emotionally attached to brands when Heinz introduced ketchup in a squeezy bottle, some were mortified," she added. "Consumers recognise the benefits of the redesign, which keeps the familiar profile while addressing key consumer concerns."