My Foodservice Work: Olivia Sinclair, UK Marketing Manager, Planted | My work on food and drink

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Last name: Olivia Sinclair

Age: 28

Job title: UK Marketing Manager

Company Location: Planted, London

Education: Archeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Why did you decide to pursue a career in catering? I’ve always been a foodie, and I love it for two reasons. First, there’s always something new and exciting to try – whether it’s a new flavor trend, a new restaurant opening, or a new chef on the scene. Second, everyone has an opinion about food – it’s super open to everyone – and I’m fascinated by the different things people like and why.

Tell us about your job in a sentence (or two): In a nutshell, I’m making the UK super excited about the the most delicious and clean vegetable meat. As a small team here in the UK, my role covers everything from overall strategy, running our PR agency, creating branded events and trade marketing.

What does a typical day look like for you? Complete enough! Typically, my day will start with a roundup of the team for an update on all things sales, marketing, and operations; and a chance to see what exciting opportunities arise, or if there is anything we can support each other with. Next, a call with our PR agency to review media coverage that week, as well as upcoming stories and speaking opportunities, ahead of time with our digital team based at our head office in Switzerland (taking into account the time difference!) to review the social media schedule for upcoming posts. Lunch time and it’s a quick hit at M&S. Back in the office to review recipes written by our Mob Kitchen campaign partners and sign them off to post online later in the month. A few emails over coffee, then straight back into the calls. A quick chat with our Head Chef Francois (before Planted he was in a three Michelin star restaurant!) about the dishes we’re going to wow visitors with at this year’s Casual Dining show, then with our Head of Sales about our retailer presentation to come, before heading out of the office to Planet Organic to see our new outlet in action.

“The best part is being part of an industry that just might help us in the climate crisis”

Tell us how you went about applying for your job. I was approached on LinkedIn, and I was really excited about the idea of ​​Europe’s fastest growing plant brand. I speak some German, and so on top of being in an industry I love, for a brand with values ​​that match mine, with the ability to travel and speak German, and an international team – that sounded too beautiful to be true! The application was three rounds in total, spanning approximately four weeks. It was a virtual interview, then the second round was a face-to-face and the presentation of a task challenge (looking back, I can’t believe how nervous I was chatting with my current boss!) before a last round virtually with one of the founders and the CMO.

The toughest question after the classic “How could I get us started here in the UK?” and “What are my strengths and weaknesses?” was probably “What would my colleagues say about me?” followed by “What would my friends say? “. I totally see now that it was about bringing values-driven people into the right culture and attitude.

What’s the best part of working for a food company? To be part of an industry so relevant to people’s daily lives; and one that may well help us in the climate crisis. The landscape is changing and it’s so exciting to see new technologies, new laws and new infrastructure go from idea to action in a short period of time. Innovation is truly joyful, and when you pair it with products that are genuinely good for us, animals, and the planet, what’s not to love?

And what’s the biggest misconception people have about working in food and beverage? How easy it is to put a product on the shelf. Even the best products are subject to line review windows, buying cycles, changing buyers, endless paperwork and unanswered emails. The next time you see a product on that Sainsbury’s or Tesco shelf, I can show you a team of people and their blood, sweat and tears that made it possible.

What advice would you give to other young people wishing to enter the agri-food industry? Have an opinion. Spend time on devices. Get to know your favorite brands and why. I think back to my first internship at a small food and drink PR agency, and I was delivering new products to journalists in their offices across London from a wheeled suitcase in the middle of a sweltering month of July. I felt like an apprentice candidate, but it taught me the importance of building media relationships, the power of sampling, and how to get exciting coverage and buzz around your product.

What is your ultimate career dream? Be famous for promoting a responsible, sustainable and gourmet brand.

Do you want to know more about the food and beverage professions? Check out GrocerJobs for the latest job openings

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