Gama spoke to April Redmond, Chief Marketing Officer, Kerry Foods.
What are your day to day activities as Chief Marketing Officer?
My priority is to set the vision, ambition and strategy for Kerry Foods’ successful branded business in the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond.
In particular, I help to build the platforms against which our brands – including Mattessons, Wall’s, Cheestrings, LowLow and Richmond – can thrive.
As the expert in chilled foods, we use unique insights and innovation to drive growth in chilled foods, while investing more in the category than any other producer.
What key trends do you expect to shape food innovation in 2014?
Health, safety and trust will be key driving forces throughout 2014 and beyond across all food and drink categories, while the growth in adult snacking will continue to be a leading trend, as it was throughout 2013. In the UK and Ireland, we have been leading the way in this category with our Mattessons meat snacking brand, bringing new and innovative products to consumers, while we have also been creating a unique new snacking opportunity with a Snack Pack version of our low fat cheese offering, LowLow.
What should manufacturers do to be successful in the current economic climate?
It is essential they have a clear view as to where the categories they are operating in are heading. It’s also important to constantly look at key consumer insight and the innovation that will drive those categories.
If you’re introducing new products, then make sure you’re exciting shoppers with launches that will inspire them – and create new categories and sub-categories that really deliver for both shoppers and retailers.
Which markets (countries) or consumer groups currently offer the greatest growth opportunities for FMCG companies?
For Kerry Foods, we’re currently looking across the globe for new opportunities, as well as continuing to grow our business in the UK and Ireland.
We have a burgeoning business in north-west Europe – including in France, Germany, Benelux, Poland and Austria – and we are currently exploring new opportunities in Spain, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
How do companies best achieve growth in developed or saturated markets?
Through market-leading innovation. We have a huge strength in research and development and that has helped us to create new sub-categories in new areas for our business, such as adult snacking. It is essential to invest ahead of the competition and have a leading edge on technology, which is why we are currently investing 100 million Euros in a state of the art development and innovation facility in Nass, Ireland.
From a marketing perspective, how is the way companies are looking to reach and engage with consumers changing?
More than ever, you need to shift with the retail landscape. Make sure you are where your consumers and shoppers are – they are now much more multi-channel than ever and it is essential to have a seamless presence across all retail platforms from online to traditional bricks and mortar retailing.
How can a brand successfully resonate with consumers?
Market-leading consumer insight is essential. We work with our customers to unlock new growth opportunities through unique consumer and multi-channel insights, right from ingredient development to final consumption. We also have a unique shopper immersion programme and are increasingly helping retailers to grow their sales through proactive tailored solutions.