Market researcher The NPD Group, Inc., Port Washington, N.Y., promoted Mark East to president of its North America food and beverage business unit, which provides market information and insights used by food, beverage, pharmaceutical, ingredient manufacturers, and retailers, as well as agencies in the public sector.

He replaces Arnie Schwartz, who was recently appointed president of NPD's U.S. foodservice unit.

East was formerly vice president of client development for the North America food and beverage unit. In this role, he and his client development team worked closely with a portfolio of clients in the U.S. and Canada to provide insights on a wide range of critical trends in consumer eating behavior, attitudes, and usage motivators – from diet and nutrition to food safety and brand awareness.

Prior to joining NPD, East spent four years as U.S. marketing director for Storck, a confectionery company. Previous to that, he worked for more than 15 years with Information Resources, Inc., a Chicago-based market research firm.

"Mark's experience on both the client and supplier sides and deep understanding of the consumer goods arena will serve his food and beverage clients well,' says Randall Smith, group president, U.S. food and automotive, Canada and Latin America at NPD. "NPD is the only marketing information company that measures everything that consumers actually eat and drink, and armed with this information and insight, Mark and his team are uniquely positioned to help clients understand the entire food and beverage market.'

East, who reports directly to Smith, will continue to be based in NPD's Rosemont, Illinois office. NPD said it is evaluating candidates for East's former post as vice president of client development for the North America food and beverage unit.