The team, which has also been tasked with building closer relations with retail customers, was now up and running and the rest of the staff would be in place by the end of next month, Northern said.
Rachel Moffat, who joined Northern in late July from Tate & Lyle, will head the new team as sector director. Moffat worked with Tate & Lyle for four years as European marketing manager, before which she ran marketing for Heinz UK's health portfolio, promoting Linda McCartney and WeightWatchers.
Meanwhile, the company is still reviewing its plans to restructure its biscuit manufacturing facilities, a scheme called Project Golden. Northern plans to shift production to a new West Yorkshire site and close either its Batley or Uttoxeter plant.
Earlier this year the company delayed making an announcement on the largest project since Stefan Barden took the helm three years ago, and said it would give an update before March 2010. Sources said this could now be as soon as the half-year results in November, although proposals now included a smaller new facility and extensive upgrades of an existing plant. A sell-off of land around the Batley site was being considered.