Monkhill Confectionery’s UK popcorn brand Butterkist is officially back on the shelves after a four-month gap in production due to a fire at its Pontefract site.

Monkhill, part of Cadbury Schweppes, said the fire destroyed all equipment and wiped out popcorn production at the site from June to October 2005.

Head of popcorn sales, Steve Seddon, said the fire was devastating to the Monkhill business, and it has worked around the clock to get Butterkist back in production and back on-shelf.

Monkhill Confectionery said it is committed to driving sales of the brand – it plans to invest in marketing and new product development.

“As the only branded popcorn recognised by consumers, our research programme revealed a unique opportunity for Butterkist to build on its current market share and link with the growing trend of recreating the cinema experience at home. Our marketing campaign next year with reflect this, as well as keeping the fun side of Butterkist alive,” Seddon said.

In addition to new product developments planned across the range in 2006, the license deal with The Simpsons that was launched in April 2005 will continue.