What are your responsibilities?

The main areas are very similar to those in the UK: to drive profitable, consumer-focused strategies that deliver growth targets for Freschetta frozen pizza.

How does your US secondment differ from your UK job as a brand manager?

The main difference is the scale of the organisation here, the scale of markets and the scale of retailers. It adds an unbelievable level of complexity to consumer and market dynamics.

What differences have you identified between US and UK marketing?

As Schwan’s brands in the UK are predominantly targeted at women, sporting events rarely come up as hot marketing opportunities. However, over here, going to a baseball or basketball game is a big part of family life. It gives us opportunities to talk to mums and families.

US consumers can be motivated, excited and intrigued by more emotional propositions. UK consumers can require more rational substantiation. For example, our US Red Baron brand creates excitement and intrigue around the legend of the Red Baron. In the UK, the Chicago
Town proposition is ‘the most versatile pizza you can buy’, with products meeting the needs of time-pressured convenience seekers.

What have you learned about the US convenience food market?

The main difference is the lack of a chilled/refrigerated market in the US. In the main, convenience foods are frozen, although there is a large ambient convenience foods market.

There is a higher level of frozen product development and the quality is excellent. Restaurant brands can launch into frozen categories and have a sustained presence.

What surprised me is that in the UK we have wider choices of international cuisine.