Top New Talent is back. Nominations are already arriving for the 2015 event, and as you will see from the next few pages it’s not hard to understand why. 

Last year’s successful nominees describe the “fantastic” feeling of being recognised as one of 40 talented young individuals working in fmcg. Yet making it on to the list goes way beyond the thrill.

The event - a drinks soirée held at Simpson’s in the Strand in 2014 - offered those on the list an opportunity to enjoy networking with senior industry figures in a relaxed, informal setting.

It was also an opportunity to meet other rising stars - often holding wholly different jobs within the industry - and many tell us they forged close business relationships with each other.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to meet lots of young, like-minded people from across the whole industry,” said one. “I had great conversations with supermarket buyers and other food and drink businesses, many of whom I still catch up with regularly today.”

Last year’s TNTs also talk about the recognition gained externally and internally.

“Making it on to the list has significantly raised my internal profile and led to new opportunities,” said one. “In terms of the external market, I have had several congratulations and companies contacting me to discuss opportunities.”

Nor should the prospect of hungry recruiters circling their brightest stars put companies off nominating them.

“Externally it’s helped to increase the brand profile,” said one sales director.

“That has helped open up doors with other major supermarkets as well as key impulse customers.”

This year the event will be held on 9 November at Altitude 360 in central London. The deadline is 30 September.

Go for it.

Muhammad Asad

General manager, Bestway

muhammad asad bestway

Don’t think twice. Enter. It can change your life. It was great to receive a call from my MD when the magazine came to his table with my picture. 
I was on holiday when the email came, when I came back to work the “TNT 2014 – Congratulations…” email made my day. I was over the moon.

Sally Barton

Senior brand manager, Mondelēz

sally barton mondelez

It was amazing to be on a list with such a great set of talented people. I received recognition for the award internally and also externally by partner agencies – so it had a positive impact. To anyone thinking of entering I’d say take the opportunity!

Caoire Blakemore

Commercial director, AF Blakemore & Son

caoire blakemore

It was an honour to receive such recognition and I was surprised by the number of people who got in touch having seen the article. It’s really helped build key external relationships. It was also great to meet the other talent as it was such a diverse group.

Dan Broughton

Sales director, Cawston Press

dan broughton cawston press

Anyone thinking of entering shouldn’t hesitate as this will do wonders for their career and brand. Colleagues view you in a new light and externally it’s helped to increase the brand profile, which in turn has helped to open up doors with other major supermarkets as well as key impulse customers.

Susan Connolly

Business development manager, Spar

susan connolly spar

Making it on the list has helped my career considerably. I believe it opened many doors for me. I took it as a well done for all the hard work that I had done and it spurred me on to keep going. Since receiving the award lots of people within the industry recognise me or have read about me in The Grocer. 


Kate Harding

Marketing manager, Little Miracles

kate harding little miracles

Do you give a sh*t about what you do, who you do it for and why you do it? If the answer is yes, then enter. It was a breakthrough moment in terms of recognition outside the business. It was great to network, but even better was the fact I knew many people in the room already. People I looked up to, but was standing shoulder to shoulder with, was a pretty cool moment. 

Chow Mezger

MD, Jude’s Ice Cream

chow mezger

The award really helped get word out about how we are innovating at Jude’s Ice Cream and has helped to win new business. It’s a great idea to enter for both your personal and company profile. It was a  real privilege for both myself and Jude’s Ice Cream to be selected from a hugely competitive industry with many extraordinary talented people.

Codie Pearce

Project manager, Morrisons

codie pearce

If you have a success story coupled with true drive, this award may be for you. Winning a place on such a prestigious list was phenomenal. It felt amazing to be recognised within Morrisons as a rising star and significantly raised my internal profile. I have also had several congratulations and companies contacting me to discuss opportunities outside Morrisons.

Lizzie Reynolds

Customer director, One Stop

lizzie reynolds

It can be hard work in the grocery sector and this is a fantastic way to get recognised for that and meet like-minded peers. It was a real privilege to make it on to The Grocer TNT list. When I met the wealth of talent on the list I felt honoured to be among them. The breadth of the awardwinners made for a really interesting night. I was also promoted at the time I received the award.

Adam Sopher

Co-founder & director, Joe & Seph’s

adam sopher

Everyone thinking of entering should do it. Everyone in our industry reads The Grocer and so the award was really helpful in raising  my profile with the key buyers to whom I am already speaking as well as those I wanted to speak to. I had great conversations with supermarket buyers as well as other food and drink businesses, many of whom I still catch up with regularly today.



Helen Walsh

Senior demand planner,

helen walsh

It was an honour and a privilege a﷯nd highlighted my success to both Morrisons and to the wider industry. Off the back of winning the award I received a number of job offers. However I have chosen to work my way up within Morrisons. The evening itself was a great opportunity to see what else is happening within the fmcg industry and acknowledge my peers.

Nicola Tilley

Retail operations manager, James Hall

nicola tilley

The evening itself was really exciting and also good fun; it really broadens the mind to how many different career paths there are within retail. I would highly recommend entering the competition to anyone considering this for 2015. It is a fantastic networking opportunity and the relaxed atmosphere of the evening allows the group to interact and get to know one another.

Pippa Rodgers

Sales & marketing graduate at Mondelez

pippa rodgers

It felt fantastic to have my work recognised by industry experts with a wealth of experience. When I was nominated I was entering my last year of university after a brilliant placement year at Waitrose. I am sure that being part of the TNT made my CV stand out from the crowd and helped me secure an exciting graduate opportunity with Mondelez International. 

Tamara Arbib

Founder, Rebel Kitchen

tamara arbib

I’ll always be passionate about my brand but it’s moments like these that make any inevitable pains or frustrations experienced along the way all the more worthwhile. I enjoyed the evening very much: it’s not often you get to meet driven and highly motivated people as we’re all busy working behind the scenes, trying to bring our ideas to life! It was a pleasure to take a pause and reflect on our achievements with like-minded individuals and it was also good for networking. I connected to at least 10 people from that evening, which is like a domino effect. You never know where these connections will lead. The fmcg space in the UK will always have cross-pollination, even when some of those people might not have direct impact on the business today. And the exposure got the attention of many of our buyers and other industry heavyweights. It’s very important for us to remain in the forefront of people’s minds, whether for new business or maintaining relevance to existing buyers. This achieved both. It was an extremely positive experience for me personally and fantastic exposure for the brand.

Solveiga Pakstaite

Founder, Design By Sol

solveiga pakstaite

It was a fantastic seal of approval from the food industry, which has led on to more success as the company continues to develop in its first year. It gives my venture a great credential to have recognition from the industry.Only good things can come from putting your best foot forward. I’ve certainly mentioned the award once or twice. Having just incorporated my company.


Paddy Carmody

Senior brand and shopper manager, Beiersdorf

paddy carmody

A career highlight for sure. How many people can say that they got recognised by a well-respected and widely circulated publication? It was a humbling experience to be compared against the industry’s élite. And I had a great night. I had the pleasure of listening to a personal inspiration of mine in Julian Metcalfe and I also had the pleasure of talking to the MD of Tetley Tea, who was very inspiring. The Grocer followed up with a LinkedIn group, which I was straight on. I have stayed in touch with a number of the awardwinners as well as meeting some of last year’s award winners. After this award, I went on to win the shopper and customer marketing employee of the year and the overall employee of the year award at Beiersdorf. I also had several customers and contacts mention that they saw me in The Grocer and thought the article was good, which was nice of them to say. On the back of the award, I changed roles within Beiersdorf and now head up our marketing and shopper operation in Ireland. So speak to your senior management team and get them to endorse you.

Jamie Welch

Store manager, Tesco

jamie welch

The evening was great, I was apprehensive at first but I came away with some new contacts, many of which I’ve kept in touch with. Many of my senior colleagues have been in touch to congratulate me and discuss my future plans within the business. It has certainly raised my profile at work: Tesco celebrated the award on social media and I featured in the colleague magazine too.

Want to enter Top New Talent 2015?

The final list is drawn from a combination of people either nominated by themselves, or by others. There are only two criteria: the person nominated must work within the grocery retail/fmcg industry; and they must be under the age of 35 at the time they are nominated.

Last year saw buyers, suppliers, techies, PRs, marketers, company founders, online experts, inventors and store managers on the list, reflecting the incredibly broad range of roles in the fmcg industry. Entering couldn’t be simpler. On a dedicated page has been set up with a few fields to fill in.

All we ask for is the name of the person being nominated, details of the person doing the nominating, and the reason the individual is being nominated - which is limited to 200 words.

Further testimonials from a third party can also be sent to strengthen a submission. Alternatively, anyone can email, providing their details, the name of the person being nominated, and the reason why the nominee should be included.

The deadline for entries is the end of September, but don’t delay. There will be no extension of the deadline and nominations have already started arriving. The sooner you join them, the better.

Entries that arrive after 30 September will not be considered under any circumstances. The event itself will take place on Monday 9 November. In 2013 and 2014 it was held at Simpson’s in the Strand, but this year it is moving to a superb new venue, Altitude 360, which towers over the River Thames and offers panoramic views of the capital city.

Like previous years, it will be attended by the successful TNT entrants, as well as senior industry figures from some of the biggest grocery retail/fmcg companies in the world. And, the weekend after the event, profiles of all the successful entrants appear in a TNT special edition of The Grocer, as well as online. Really, what are you waiting for?