Heinz marketing manager for the category Teresa Ceballos says the team was created to maintain key lines in response to continual consumer loyalty: "Our team's focus is entirely consistent with our overall strategy to grow brands which consumers love."
Ceballos believes there is strength in numbers. "By bringing together a team with big brand and retail experience ­ as well as home-grown talent ­ to focus on beans, pasta and meals, we can maximise opportunities and benefit from synergies."
She explains that some of these synergies have helped develop promotions across the whole category, such as Heinz's five-a-day initiative.
The team is exploring new avenues to keep the sector fresh, says Ceballos. "Our range of potato slices in sauce is one example. Heinz 1% Fat Instant Noodles have been another success since hitting the airwaves last summer.
"We are identifying market drivers and gaps in the market to generate new ideas and bring innovation to meal times."
Heinz followed this activity in the summer with the launch of its Golden Jubilee bean pack and its recipe book,Celebrating the Best of British.
Ceballos emphasises above all the importance of close relationships and open dialogue with retailers.