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Product Manager (Makes Friendly Stuff)

19th May 2017



Reports toSenior Product Manager


Direct Reports: None


Contract: Full time, 40 hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)


Purpose of role

Responsible for maximising range productivity for UK core baby market. Achieve this by championing our consumer and delivering innovative products which ooze Ella’sness and offers what’s best for little ones.  Lead the brand planning process for your specific portfolio and implement the agreed recommendations including:

  • NPD – Inspire the team and champion your projects through our NPD gate process from concept through to launch and post-launch review. NPD should be on brand, on time, on budget demonstrating a commercially sound product funnel.
  • Identify and lead EPD product improvement projects which deliver increased value to little ones and Ella’s and demonstrate this through comprehensive post-launch review
  • Discontinuations – recommend and lead the process, working with Deals (Sales) and Clockwork (Operations) to minimise customer disruption and potential write-off
  • Use the appropriate tools available to make the best decisions for consumers and minimise risk to the business.


Role activities / responsibilities

Range Management

  • Lead the brand plan inputs and analysis for your UK portfolio in order to make proactive recommendations on changes to the range to the Senior Product Manager as part of the brand planning process.
  • Proactively reach out to Deals (Sales), Friends (Marketing), Yummy New Stuff (Product Development), Safely (Technical) + Keeping Families Happy (Customer Care) for relevant brand planning inputs. Use this alongside your knowledge of our brand to make recommendations that optimise our portfolio and SKU productivity in both the short term (12m) and to feed into the longer term rolling 3 year innovation plan
  • Own and deliver the inputs for your portfolio going into the monthly NPD meeting (Playgroup), to get the maximum engagement and alignment from the business, keeping projects running on time and on brief


  • Create compelling propositions for both NPD and EPD, for product and pack that deliver against strategy, offering consumers something that is better than the current market offering, with a real + unique Ella’s point of difference that they will love!  
  • Champion our consumers by keeping them front of mind and keeping projects on brief – be Kids First always
  • Deliver against our ‘business minded’ brand planning objectives for SKU productivity in your portfolio. Confirm fit to strategy and business requirements (margin/COGs targets)
  • Lead projects from ideation through all gates, championing them through the process, presenting all requirements to pass each gate, including reporting the P+L, making clear recommendations to key stakeholders and ensuring the gate sign off process is achieved on time



  • Own the delivery of stand-out packaging (design + pack format) for your portfolio through the gate process, striving for right first time. (Consumer pack as well as SRP/outer packaging if any changes)
  • Brief design agency (look, feel and structure of packaging), leading the process from concept development to artwork release, making recommendations and gaining inputs and approvals from the right stakeholders at the right time.
  • Work closely with Safely (Technical) to confirm packaging formats, cutter guides / dielines, inputting into pack copy GRIDS, providing product imagery for review and approving final artwork files from repro and printers.
  • Own packaging naming and claims, completing legal checks on time.
  • Attend print runs as required to approve packaging on press
  • Ensure your packaging projects come in on time + on budget. Manage the appropriate budget reporting in the trackers, completing monthly reviews with Sums (Finance)
  • Make budget recommendations for your portfolio based on relevant NPD/EPD process to Senior Product Manager


  • Develop a deep expertise of the UK market place, retail dynamics, consumer and shopper behaviour via consumer + category insights, relevant press + store visits, industry relevant events etc.
  • Manage UK NPD + EPD insight projects using all the available insight tools (Besties, Brand Health Check, U&A, pen portraits etc.) and other data sources from internal teams
  • Make recommendations and share insight with key stakeholders and wider Ella’s family as appropriate to drive your projects forward, delivering against consumer needs
  • Work with Recipe Developer and Packaging Technologist to ensure relevant benchmarking and competitor review is completed during NPD + EPD projects as required
  • Ensure your insight projects come in on time and on budget. Manage the appropriate budget reporting in the trackers, completing monthly reviews with Sums
  • Make budget recommendations for your portfolio based on relevant NPD/EPD process to Senior Product Manager

Other Stuff

  • Input to the 360 launch planning process, ensuring the consumer proposition, USP and key messages are clearly understood + communicated
  • Support the Deals team in sell-ins as necessary
  • Share and collaborate with the wider marketing team (Friends), contributing your passion and ideas.

What you will need:

  • Ability to embrace, embody and exude all that is special and unique about Ella’s Kitchen
  • Solid product management experience
  • Knowledge of NPD with a successful record of developing products from concept to launch across different markets
  • Experience of commissioning and using insight to guide product development
  • Experience of managing packaging design, from brief through to approval
  • Be truly Business Minded in your approach to projects and products
  • Naturally creative, with an imaginative approach to innovation, product development and problem solving
  • Great commercial skills with the ability to analyse P+Ls and make informed decisions
  • Excellent influencing skills – the ability to persuade stakeholders of the commercial and brand value of our product proposition
  • Demonstrable ability to live and breathe our values: We Want to Win, We’re Business Minded, We’re Childlike, We Think Differently, We’re Good to Each Other


And What You’ll Get In Return:

  • Bucket loads of training and development, supporting your career pathway
  • Competitive salary
  • Discretionary bonus scheme
  • A Box of Treats, including private medical, dental, pension, life assurance, 25 days holiday and the ability to buy more, high street discounts, a yummy breakfast every morning, pamper days, Give It A Go days… to name but a few!
  • A really awesome place to come to work every day… our beautiful Barns in the Oxfordshire countryside

Want to apply?

Please go to the Ella’s Kitchen ‘Jobs’ page here to complete our application form. You’ll be asked to upload your CV + a short note all about why Ella’s Kitchen, and this role, is the perfect next step for you. We will be reviewing applications as we receive them so we recommend submitting your application as soon as possible! Good luck!

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