How did you get to where you are today? Having studied food science at Leeds University I was fortunate to secure my first role working for St Ivel in product development. Since then I have held a variety of positions focused on product development and marketing.
What was the best decision you have made in your career and why? Joining Trigon Snacks as the NPD manager. I have learned more than I thought possible about packaging and it has given me direct responsibility for managing a team of really great people.
Who do you most admire in the grocery industry? Anyone who chooses to buy into or start up a business. I admire their guts.
Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career? Fiona Mannion, a friend and fantastic marketer, was the first person to encourage me to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone. She is a great support and I trust her opinion.
What is the most important piece of information you have ever been told? "The devil is in the detail". It's cringe-worthy but that doesn't take away the fact that the things that trip you up are those you didn't look into in enough detail.
If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be? The industry would benefit if the manufacturing supply base and the retailers could work in a more collaborative way.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Creating products that look, taste and perform great in the market. Seeing consumers appreciate products is rewarding.
What is the one thing that you could not do your job without? The phone. Projects generally run smoother when there is regular personal communication.
If you could start your career again, what would you do differently and why? Truthfully, nothing. There are advantages and disadvantages to every choice but I am happy with those I've made so far.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today? Be as flexible as possible and try to learn as much as you can from each role you take on. It's important to have fun as well.
What do you like doing when you are not working? Catching up with friends and eating great food. A good book or TV session also does wonders for me.
Where do you hope to be in five years time? I'm open-minded about opportunities but as long as I continue to feel a sense of achievement and personal growth I'll be happy.