Me & My Career: Matt Collins, KP Snacks

Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, reflects on his career path so far and the advice he would give

How would you Q describe your current role?

I manage multichannels and lead five distinct trading teams to unlock category growth in bagged snacks through our branded portfolio of snacks, which includes Hula Hoops, McCoy’s, KP Nuts, Tyrrells, popchips and many other household favourites. I’m responsible for creating happy snacking moments for all, while supporting our trade partners to thrive and prosper in the scalable, priority, bagged snacks category.

What do you love most about it?

The brands and products I represent as I love crisps and snacks and enjoy at least a packet every day! I enjoy seeing the category grow as we then strive to gain share of a growing category while seeing my team achieve their personal growth and goals.

What career did you want to have?

I wanted to be on the other side of the desk as a buyer in the grocery multiples, but I fell into sales after graduating and have never looked back

Has your career path been straightforward?

Relatively, yes! I studied Food Retail Management at Brighton University and have stayed in FMCG ever since. I enjoy the pace and variety on a daily basis. My first role was at Tchibo Coffee International, where I had five very enjoyable years learning and developing through various functions in the business. I then joined Premier Foods, which helped me grow as a leader and refined my core competencies, capabilities and skills. This provided vast experience, challenges and intensity as the business went through the IPO to a series of acquisitions and then divestments, all of which helped strengthen my leadership shadow and defined my management style before moving to KP Snacks.

What has been your best career decision so far?

Joining KP Snacks at the end of 2013. It was an exciting time for the business, having just been acquired by Intersnack after being carved out of the United Biscuits portfolio, which presented a great opportunity to help define and shape the business, from the culture to the values to the vision and to the strategy. Since then, Intersnack has invested into the business to support the organic growth that we have achieved and the complimentary strategic acquisitions of Butterkist in 2017, and Tyrrells and popchips in 2018. It has been an exciting journey so far and I can’t wait to support the next phase as we strive to grow our reputation, relevance, accessibility and size. We are fit for future growth and ready to unlock it.

What’s your secret weapon?

Attention to detail. I am always very methodical and systematic in my approach with an orientation to task management with a bias for action – taking time to logically absorb and analyse data and information, then reflecting on the ‘so what does this mean for us and our plans’ or objectively solving the problem.

The best words of wisdom you’ve ever heard or been given?

A simple acronym: DADI. This is distribution, availability, display and impact. Never forget the core fundamentals of in-store success.

If you could give any career advice, what would it be?

Do something that you enjoy and are fulfilled by, as clichéd as it is. You spend too many years at work, so enjoy it!

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