A genuine love for food and beverage businesses is what motivates Rachael Hedges to help her clients in her marketing consulting work, and she gets immense satisfaction from seeing companies’ brands and stories come to life.

HS: What got you interested in the food and beverage industry and how did you end up with your current role?

RH: I have been interested in food and beverage since I was young. My family owned a supermarket for 20 years from when I was six months old, and then we moved onto a beef farm. A natural progression post-marketing degree was a food blog and marketing for Wiley (who design and deliver food and beverage facilities globally). Then when I kicked off my marketing agency, RMH Consulting, of course, our first client was in food and beverage, and luckily for us, they remain a large portion of our clientele.

What is a day-to-day task that you find really rewarding in your job and why?

I love, love, love working with food and beverage businesses to help them grow their business and showcase their products to the world. This is our bread and butter – helping businesses be seen and stand out amongst the masses.

We work with food clients to define their marketing strategy and market positioning, then execute those strategies. This might be in the form of content creation, such as photoshoots, traditional and digital brochures, or copywriting, or it may be in the form of a delivery vehicle, such as website, digital and social media management, PR, events, or advertising.

It’s amazing seeing a brand and story come to life, to see the businesses grow and succeed, and to know you’ve played a small part in that.

Are there any emerging trends you see having a major impact on the food and beverage industry in the future? What are they and how do you see them changing things?

For marketing, while it’s not necessarily an emerging trend, provenance continues to be key for Kiwi products. New Zealand made. New Zealand grown. Fresh, clean, and green New Zealand.

From an operations perspective, more shared distribution centres could be an interesting perspective for New Zealand manufacturers to consider, to take advantage of better technology (ie automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS)) with less CAPEX (capital expenditure) requirements. There are plenty of opportunities for New Zealand to embrace technological advances and upgrade its facilities for greater efficiency to keep up on a global scale.

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