USA – Utz Brands has promoted its senior director of innovation and quality assurance, Shannan Redcay, senior vice president of innovation and value creation, reports Food Busines News.

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.

Ms. Redcay currently oversees product innovation, quality assurance and product and packaging development.

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,” Ms.Redcay said.

“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.”

Ms. Redcay will seek inspiration from other categories as Utz looks to enter new areas of snacking and gain product diversity, she added, citing the company’s recently announced acquisition of Conagra Brands’ H.K. Anderson filled pretzel brand.

“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,” said Dylan Lissette, chief executive officer of Utz Brands.

“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.”

Ms. Redcay joined Utz in 2015 as director of product innovation. Before that, she spent nearly a decade at WhiteWave Foods Co., where she held several roles, including food scientist and director of R&D for the company’s packaging and regulatory, dairy and Dean Foods divisions.  She also was a whey protein scientist at Leprino Foods.

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