Case study: Allpress Espresso

When we are in the market, our number one priority is representing your brand, not ours.

Case study:  Allpress Espresso

Under tight timeframes Allpress Espresso needed a UK GM to join their leadership team and drive growth in the UK market.  Our innovative approach recognised that the best candidates aren’t looking.  We quickly developed an on-brand job page that made it easy for candidates to start a conversation.  We allowed “one click” applications with Linkedin after enticing candidates to be immersed in the Allpress brand and culture.  The job advertisement was pushed out across multiple digital platforms including Linkedin, Google, Facebook and Twitter.  We placed the role and delivered an impactful candidate experience.  Call us to find out more.


Allpress Job Openings

Allpress Form



The New Generation of FMCG Exporters

We’ve all heard of Zespri, Goodman Fielder, Sealord and Fonterra, just to name a few of NZ’s largest FMCG exporters.  But it’s some of the less well-known companies like Steens Honey and Smartfoods that are taking on the world and becoming the next generation of leading NZ exporters.  These company names may not be as recognisable but their products are definitely making big names for themselves on the world stage.

So when these companies recruited for people to help drive their export strategies, we, at Synergy Consumer, wanted to represent these world class exporters and provide them with the best FMCG candidates to get the job done.

Steens are the largest producers of high UMF Manuka honey in the world.  Steens were pioneers of Manuka honey production, collecting the purest Manuka honey available from some of the most remote and untouched parts of NZ, with minimal cost to the environment.

Found on the shelves of upmarket stores like Harrods, Waitrose, and Selfridges and bespoke health shops, Steens Manuka honey is winning over the British population not only for its taste but also for its health and healing qualities.

Another health conscious brand loved by New Zealanders is Vogel’s cereal, manufactured by Smartfoods.  This innovative company has a huge presence both domestically and in Australia, but it is now their exports to Asia that are climbing ahead.

Realising export success is not easy and doesn’t happen overnight.  Having an outstanding team is fundamental, a challenge when you don’t yet have a global brand to lure the talent.  Distilling and articulating an amazing career opportunity to someone who may never have considered deviating off the well-beaten career track is what we are good at.  And when career and company expectations align…everybody wins.

FMCG – it’s in our blood

Someone asked us the other day if it’s true that we ONLY recruit in the FMCG sector. Correct!  And here’s why…

  • Research and consulting firm Coriolis estimated in 2012, the FMCG industry represented $28.7 billion in retail sales and $26.3 billion in exports.  It’s now 2015…and things have grown.
  • If you look at the wider FMCG value chain, including farming and food retailing/food service, the sector employs 344,820 people in 85,252 organisations. That’s around 1 in 5 of the New Zealand workforce!

The Sales, Marketing, Category, Supply Chain and Operations people who drive the sector forward have unique skill-sets.  Having a deep understanding of who and where they are is how we deliver value back to the sector.

If you work in FMCG and haven’t stopped by yet, give us a call and come and have a coffee.


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Signing off for 2014…here’s our year in review…

Well, here we are at the end of 2014 and our first full year in business. We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported Synergy Consumer on our journey so far.

And what a great journey it has been!  We’ve come a long way over the last twelve months and are delighted that there seems to be genuine appetite in the FMCG community for what we’ve got to offer.

It all started with Sara, Hamish and Kevin taking the biggest plunge of their lives and kicking off Synergy Consumer in late 2013.  This time last year they were scouring the market for suitable premises, determined to find a welcoming environment that people would actually want to come and visit.  While most were enjoying their Christmas holidays, they were busy kitting out the office to be a great space to work, even building the office tables out of old flooring oak and scaffolding pipes!

Finding our amazing espresso machine on TradeMe was a lucky break (it was the machine used on the set of The Hobbit…signed by most of the cast) and our “pièce de résistance” was the board room table built from Lego. We all love our office environment and feel like it’s a home away from home, so if you haven’t dropped in already, make a coffee date with us for early 2015!

So, website built, phones plugged in and we were off! By mid-2014 (when all the building work was done;) Johnny came on board and Synergy Consumers winning FMCG Sales, Marketing, Category Management and Supply Chain recruitment partnership was complete.

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved this year and are looking forward to even bigger wins in 2015.  Some of the highlights have been:

  • Placing most of the Senior Leadership Team for an iconic NZ food manufacturer
  • Setting up the Key Account and Category teams for two large FMCG businesses
  • Being appointed as a preferred recruitment partner for several leading FMCG companies
  • Sourcing a talented returning kiwi for a pivotal export role for a rapidly growing company in the primary sector
  • Attending the FGC conference in Queenstown, where we learned a lot and had a ball!

So season’s greetings and happy holidays to one and all and we look forward to catching up in the New Year to chat about your career options.

Sara, Hamish, Johnny and Kevin



Hamish Marr gives a snap-shot of NZ’s FMCG sector

  • NZ FMCG marketing roles continue to move offshore
  • FMCG sales people need more advanced analytical skills
  • continued emergence of Category function but Foodstuffs merger creates a “wait and see” approach
  • increasing competition for the best up-and-coming FMCG talent
    • counter offers at an all time high
    • candidates are increasingly knowledgeable and discerning about their career options
  • ongoing focus on costs

Short and sweet!

Key Account Management

Kevin O’Shannessy of Synergy Consumer shares his expert insights.

Here are some insights from various industry leaders on how Key Account Managers (KAM) can make a real difference to not only the success of the organisation that they represent but also the retailer that they work with.

It’s no secret that sometimes a KAM role within the grocery trade is a healthy challenge. I know, I’ve been in the role and had the exposure to some of the not-so-pleasant meetings and tasks that these roles are famous for. Be encouraged that our industry is evolving and therefore the classic KAM role is evolving too.

As we are all aware, New Zealand leads the world in some great and not so great things. Having more products sold on promotion than any other country is possibly not so cool. I believe this a symptom of an industry accepting the focus on price and promotion most of the time is what our KAM’s need to do. However, this world leading statistic needs to change and KAM’s can play a key part.

Walk the walk

Build authentic relationships and do what you say you’ll do. Yes, back to basics – but don’t underestimate how much you’d stand out if you practiced this rule consistently. You’d probably be surprised how much this approach would improve your business results too.

Spend time with an expert to train you in areas outside of just pricing and a promotional calendar. If that expert is your leader, great. If you feel that you could benefit from extra training, ask the question. A sales leader in the FMCG industry who has had some FMCG exposure in Australia, UK or the US could really accelerate your development. Become more commercially astute.

Treat the store relationships and the link between them and the retailer head office just as important as each other. Success comes when your great head office ideas are executed well within the store. Yes, that’s incredibly important with the independents but how often are Countdown stores the gap that takes a KAM from good to great. The culture of fear is probably not spoken about much. KAM’s stick to the highly administrative demands of promotions and deals as they don’t want to rock the price and promotion boat! Make time to think about how they can genuinely help grow a category. Put aside time specifically with the retailer not to talk about price. You’ll be surprised how responsive the retailer will be and the variety will make your role far more interesting.

There is a limit to the words I can write in this article… if you’ve got to this point, take this message away: As a KAM take responsibility for your development. There has never been a better time to challenge the status quo and be a pioneer.