Career Story with Wattie’s?

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I started with Wattie’s in 1998 as an “Inter-Affiliate Logistics Officer”, helping create packaged goods for export. In 1999 I was offered the Marketing Assistant role for Asia, which included supporting business development in one of the fastest growing export regions. In 2000 I moved across from International into the domestic Canned Meat business, then in 2001 my role expanded into an ANZ management role. In 2004 the Desserts and Canned Meal segments were added to my portfolio. After my second child, I came back to look after the Wet & Dry Baby Food portfolio – which came with a whole new set of insights to offer! In 2012 I joined the Ketchups Condiments and Sauces (KCS) team, and am happily using my foodie experience to help develop some exciting new products for our Cooking Sauce portfolio.  It’s fair to say Heinz Wattie’s has offered many exciting and varied opportunities over the years.

What motivated you to join us?

I grew up with Wattie’s, which meant I already had a bond with the brand without really realising it.  I also knew Wattie’s was a big FMCG company, and having come from another big global company, I knew that meant opportunities to try out different roles and to learn a lot about a new industry. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Creating new products! Being able to see the results of your efforts and having success in the marketplace. Along with the diversity of what I do each day – no day is the same!

Why you’d recommend us as a place to work?

Working with great people who I can learn from has always been key for me. Wattie’s attracts very talented people who care deeply about the brands in our many categories – so there is a lot great things you can do as a team with such positive people to work with. Plus we operate in so many categories!

What’s your career highlight, what you’re most proud of?

One of the projects that I was probably most proud of, and is still in use today, was helping to create a Baby Feeding instruction DVD which Plunket & Health professionals use to educate new mum’s on how to feed baby – it’s a Wattie’s resource material which I know through feedback from health professionals, is valued by many new parents!  It’s nice to know it’s made a difference to parents and organisations like Plunket who value our support.  Presenting that resource to a Plunket conference to confirm the roll out nationally was a great achievement for Wattie’s Baby Food.

What motivates you outside of work? Who inspires you?

My children are my key motivators, and my husband inspires me (sounds gushy I know, but it’s true!) as they are all sponges for learning in one form or another and this inspires me to do the same.

What do you like to do most in your spare time?

I’m a bit of a movie and book buff, but also a keen foodie dabbling in cake decorating, so they are my favourite things to do outside of spending family time – but best if they can be combined!

What’s your favourite product and why?

One of my new cooking sauce products to be launched very soon – but I can’t tell you anymore about that!