How did you get to where you are today?
I started out as a marketing assistant at Kodak just as they were launching Advantix (APS) - the industry's biggest innovation since compact. It gave me a real taste for consumer marketing. I then went to PepsiCo, where I worked on music promotions with the Spice Girls, followed by a stint as brand manager for Strongbow, managing the Leeds United sponsorship. I joined Heinz when a senior brand manager position for Heinz Baked Beanz came along. After a spell as Heinz salad cream marketing manager, Heinz acquired HP Foods and I took over responsibility for Amoy.
Tell us a bit about the acquisition.
The Heinz Company has a range of brands holding number-one and number-two market positions in more than 50 countries. The acquisition of HP Foods further strengthened this portfolio with the addition of HP, Lea & Perrins, Daddies and Amoy. Heinz's strength in the sauces market means Amoy fits well within its portfolio, and we now have the added meal component with the brand's noodles and rice products.
What has been keeping you busy lately?
When you acquire any business there is always a lot to learn. I spent a week in Hong Kong and China last summer finding out more about the business, seeing how the products are made and meeting our partners. The challenge since then has been to integrate the business into Heinz, and develop our understanding of the Oriental consumer in order to identify new opportunities in the market.
What are your plans for 2007?
Chinese New Year is a crucial time of year for Amoy. This year we will be focussing on in-store execution and price promotions, with hot-food sampling in major retailers and a focus on secondary displays. Over the next few months we'll be announcing some exciting NPD.
What is your working week like?
My work is incredibly varied. At Heinz we get involved with every aspect of our brands and sitting with my cross-functional team means we all know what is going on. I work closely with Heinz chefs, preparing meals for sampling sessions, which always goes down well with tasters. Amoy is a great brand to work on - it's demonstrating phenomenal growth and there's more to come for the category as a whole, and for Amoy.