Since taking over as Head of Field Sales at PepsiCo back in January, Matt Goddard has been busy implementing a new strategy to further the company’s relationship with impulse retailers, something he was happy to talk to SLR about.
Hi Matt. is this your first role with PepsiCo?
No. I’ve been with the company for around 10 years now. I started working in field sales, then moved to grocery. I became an area manager and covered convenience, and now I’m back looking after field sales.
So what does your role entail?
We’re looking to build on the relationship we have with impulse retailers. We’ve been very busy. In the last two years we’ve doubled our sales force and can now make an additional 12,000 retailer visits every year.
Is scotland a focus for you?
Of course. We’ve got 11 people in our Scottish team, and they are completely dedicated to Scotland.
Do you see a lot of regional variations in Scotland?
Legislative changes apart, the way retailers operate is roughly the same in every part of the country. The top 10 SKUs may be different – Pickled Onion and Tomato Ketchup crisps being the obvious ones here! – but 80-90% is the same. Retailers just have to sell what their customers want to buy. A good retailer in Glasgow isn’t doing anything different to a good retailer in London.
What can retailers expect from a PepsiCo visit?
We’re trying to change the mindset of that relationship. It’s about helping the retailer develop their offering over the longer term. We want our reps to be seen as trusted advisors who can build sustainable relationships. It’s just not possible to do it all in one conversation.
What sort of advice will your team be sharing?
It’s always about growing sales so we’ll look at the occasions where that can happen. Meal Deals through the day are proving popular and retailers need to tap into different occasions – some stores will do better with breakfasts, others with evening solutions. It’s moving away from peaks and troughs and finding something steady that performs throughout the day, every day.
and what is PepsiCo up to at the moment?
We’ve got a lot of interesting campaigns on the go at the moment. We’ve introduced a smaller 850ml for Tropicana, aimed at top-up shoppers. It’s important we get pack formats that are right, and offere a value proposition. We’re also planning to relaunch Doritos Jalapeno Fire in single serve size, so they should drive sales this summer.
What do you think is key to successful retailing?
You’ve got to keep it really simple. Get all those basics right. It doesn’t matter all the stuff you do round the edge if you’re not getting the basics right in the first place.
How big a role are Price Marked Packs playing in the categories you operate in?
There’s definitely a role for price marked packs but you don’t want to end up in a world where everything is price marked. They have to be used intelligently. We introduced the Smith’s snack range 18 months ago and retailers have been shouting out for it – so we’ve offered two more variants to the range price marked at 39p. It’s an entry point to the category, from where they can trade shoppers up.
Are you office-based or do you get to visit stores?
Well, I’m based at an airport or in the car! My wife and children would probably say I was based on Skype! I live in Wiltshire and the office is in Reading but I’m in stores every week.
so, what’s your favour flavour of crisps?
Do you know, I’ve never been asked that before! It’s got to be Wotsits, they take me back to my school days.