Emily Stuart, new head of innovation at Pladis UK & Ireland  2100x1400

Source: Pladis

Emily Stuart was previously marketing manager and commercialisation controller at Pladis UK&I

Snacking specialist Pladis has promoted Emily Stuart to the position of head of innovation for its UK & Ireland division.

She becomes the latest female appointed to a leadership role at the manufacturer, closely following Taryn-Lisa Molle-McConnell being named UK&I vice president of R&D. Pladis owns and produces a portfolio of biscuit and cracker brands including McVitie’s, Jacob’s, Carr’s, Go Ahead!, Flipz, and BN.

Stuart is stepping up to head of innovation after just over half a year as marketing manager for the McVitie’s Masterbrand, where she was said to have been instrumental in driving brand growth and consumer engagement through major projects including a dedicated McVitie’s documentary on Channel 4 and a nationwide ‘Great Biscuit Break Bonanza’ campaign.

Prior to this, she spent two years as Pladis UK & Ireland’s commercialisation controller, managing the delivery of a portfolio of innovation projects. Her career in the food and drink industry spans 13 years in total, including stints in numerous commercial, strategy, and category roles at both General Mills and PepsiCo.

In her latest role, Stuart will report to CMO Aslı Özen Turhan and work in collaboration with R&D, commercialisation, and brand teams to drive the company’s innovation strategy. This includes curating the pipeline to meet business objectives and identifying and defining opportunities to drive further growth.

Recent innovations include a chilli beef flavoured variety of Jacob’s non-HFSS Crinkys and a golden caramel flavoured version of McVitie’s Digestives.

“I’ve had some brilliant critical experiences during my time at Pladis, which have developed me professionally and personally,” commented Stuart.

“My new role as head of innovation for our UK&I region gives me the opportunity to apply the learnings from my cross-functional background across retail, category, customer, project management and marketing to deliver compelling consumer-led innovation across our portfolio of incredible brands.”

Pladis UK reported growths of 14.9% and 11/8% in sales and adjusted EBITDA, respectively in its full-year results for 2023. These were largely down to price hikes of products and supply chain cost base reduction actions, it said.