Senior brand manager for canned pasta at Heinz
How did you get to where you are today?
I got my first taste of consumer marketing at university when I worked for Red Bull as student brand manager. I was responsible for event organisation, sampling activity and local radio advertising, which was fantastic fun. In 2001 I was promoted to assistant brand manager, and a year later I moved to Heinz where I joined the frozen division and then moved to the meat-free side of the business, helping to relaunch the Linda McCartney brand. In 2004 I joined the grocery team where I was brand manager for Heinz pasta, and in 2005 I took up my current position as senior brand manager.
Tell us a little bit about Heinz
The company was founded in 1869 and today has a portfolio of brands holding number one and number two market positions in more than 50 countries. The products I look after have been around for about 80 years. In 2004 we relaunched the Heinz spaghetti brand, which included the reformulation of the entire range to multi-grain pasta. It was a really exciting time for the business, particularly as it was the first innovation in the category since 1956. The relaunch led to a substantial increase in growth, which was fantastic as it followed a long period of decline.
What has been keeping you busy lately?
We have been really busy reformulating our ranges of canned pasta for kids in order to meet the new government health targets. Innovation is a major priority and we have also been preparing for the October launch of a new range of kids 'mini meals', which are kids- versions of Heinz classics such as Beanz and Sausage and mini ravioli containing Omega-3.
What is your working week like?
My working week is incredibly varied - no two weeks are ever the same, which is great. I start work at 7am and I often finish quite late. I tend to be out and about a lot during the day. Last week, for example, I was out visiting factories watching our new spaghetti shapes being made. Later I was putting the finishing touches to our new marketing campaign, followed by a late afternoon meeting with the Food Standards Agency.
What are your plans for 2006 and beyond?
We have a number of launches coming up including our new kids mini meals and new spaghetti numbers. Next month our new marketing campaign, which is aimed at busy mums, is set to break.