Seeking to further accelerate innovation as consumer snacking continues to rise, Utz Brands, Inc. (NYSE: UTZ) announced it has appointed Shannan Redcay to the role of Senior Vice President of Innovation and Value Creation.
She is charged with advancing the brand’s innovation initiatives including Utz’s entry into new potential categories, forms and formats and ultimately delivering consumer-led innovation that capitalizes on emerging trends.
Dylan Lissette, CEO of Utz Brands:
“I expect great things to come from Shannan's expertise which is in bringing the highest quality products to market and developing new product and packaging ideas that are in lock-step with the needs of our consumers, both new and existing.”
“Shannan and her team have demonstrated that the most effective way to solidify an emotional and lasting connection with our consumers is to give them something they haven't even thought to ask for – and that comes from understanding what is most relevant to them.”
A member of the executive Utz leadership team, Redcay oversees a team of professionals responsible for product innovation, quality assurance, and product and packaging development.
Among her team's primary responsibilities is facilitating communication and synergies to ensure that new product and packaging ideas are not only sound but are customized for where and when consumers are snacking.
“Working to understand where consumers are at is a big part of what we do, especially now.”
“One of the current day challenges we face is the drastic shift in consumer behaviors. People went out of 'exploratory mode' and instead sought sources and brands of comfort in the early part of 2020, so we need to not just mine customer data and monitor trends but also make some predictions to a certain extent.”
In this role, Redcay and her team will seek inspiration from other categories as Utz looks to enter new areas of snacking and gain product diversity, as it has with its recently announced acquisition of Conagra's H.K. Anderson filled pretzel brand (set to close in November 2020).
Innovating with speed in a more nimble and proactive manner is just as critical as looking at Utz Brands’ assets through a different and forward-looking lens as the company gains momentum.