Taryn-Lisa Molle-McConnell, new vice president of R&D at Pladis UK & Ireland

Source: Pladis

Taryn-Lisa Molle-McConnell, new vice president of R&D at Pladis UK & Ireland

Pladis UK & Ireland has appointed Taryn-Lisa Molle-McConnell to the role of vice president of R&D.

As the latest addition to the predominantly female leadership team at the UK&I division of the global snacking company, she will be responsible for helping grow its category-leading reputation for innovation within sweet and savoury biscuits and cakes. McVitie’s, Jacob’s, and Carr’s are among the brands in its portfolio.

“Taryn brings a wealth of experience as an R&D leader, with over 20 years of strategic research and development roles in various FMCG companies across European and global markets,” commented Pladis UK&I managing director David Murray.

Molle-McConnell joins from her most recent position as global senior director for flavour & seasoning at PepsiCo. She previously worked for the likes of McCormick, Mondelēz, and AVI, the largest biscuit producer in South Africa.

In addition to a degree in Food Technology, Molle-McConnell has over a decade of experience in the sugar and sweetener sector where she received training as a confectioner and completed multiple courses at the Sugar Milling Research Institute and Campden BRI.

“I am looking forward to working across such a fantastic portfolio of category-leading brands,” says Molle-McConnell. “Pladis has a much envied reputation for creating game-changing innovation and I look forward to the challenge of working with a first class team as we look to build on such an incredible legacy.”

Out of 13 leadership positions at Pladis UK&I, nine are now held by female leaders. Appointments in recent years include CFO Shruti Chauhan, procurement director Jennifer Parise, impulse sales director Florence Brain, strategy & insights director Anne Collard, and CMO Asli Özen Turhan.

These have joined longer standing members such as VP supply chain Nina Sparks, commercialisation director Claire Wright, and strategy & transformation director Sinead McFarlane. Male colleagues completing the line up are vice president HR Craig Spickett, commercial planning director Graham Taylor, and VP grocery Trevor Callander.

Pladis - Jacob's Mini Cheddars Smoked Cheddar and Mini Cheddars Cheddar & Roasted Tomato  2100x1400

Source: Pladis

Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Smoked Cheddar and Mini Cheddars Cheddar & Roasted Tomato

MD Murray said Pladis’ UK&I business has been going from strength to strength with its “industry-leading pipeline of innovation being key to that growth”. He added that Molle-McConnell’s wealth of experience would “no doubt charge this agenda even further for us”.

Recent NPD launches include Penguin & Friends biscuits by McVitie’s, caramelised red onion flavoured Melts by Carr’s, and Smoked Cheddar and Cheddar & Roasted Tomato Mini Cheddars by Jacob’s (see pictured above).

Pladis announced a £2m investment on a new warehouse in Carlisle last August, and more recently revealed a proposed restructuring of its Aintree factory in Liverpool, where it makes Jacob’s crackers. A consultation plan with its 763-strong workforce there is currently underway, with around half expected to be made redundant by the end of this year.

The company currently employs a total of 16,000 staff worldwide, spanning 27 bakeries across 11 countries. Fulya Fraser was appointed chief growth officer just over a year ago to help accelerate global growth at Pladis.