Photo shoots and granola from the sky

Dear blog. This week it is us, Pontus and Anna, who are giving you an update on our lives within the Lantmännen world.

After saying goodbye to my Danish friends, rød pølse (red Danish sausage), wienerbrød med chokolade (a typical Danish “Danish” with chocolate) and Danish hygge (a very Danish thing without translation, check I (Pontus) am now back in Stockholm and placed at the Marketing & Innovation department within Lantmännen Cerealia. At this placement, I am working within Category Baking together with the Brand Managers for Kungsörnen, Amo and Regal. Therefore, it is all about flour, mixes and baking now. I am working with some explorative assignments looking at what to do in the future within the baking category but I am also product responsible for some product launches. It is very interesting since there is many different functions that get involved. The whole chain from product development to production, sales and logistics needs to work together to get the products in the retailers’ shelves when they are supposed to. In the brand manager role I need to make sure that, everyone knows all the different deadlines. I am also responsible of how the packaging should look like. Because of that, I have had some interesting days at photo shoots.

PB pic 1

During these days we have been working with the photographer Helén Pe and the one making the recipes, baking and cooking have been the Swedish confectioner of the year 2014 Sara Hultberg.

PB pic 2

Very soon, you might recognize these photos on the shelves of your daily grocery store. I say no more. Still I can add that you do not leave a photo shoot like this hungry.

It is now over a month that I ( Anna ) am working as Assistant Project Manager at Change Management Department in Stockholm. In my current role, I am the packaging change agent for Cerealia, who gets to work with a cross-functional team of project manager, marketing professionals, packaging engineer and production managers. Together we are working on presenting a new packaging for some of our breakfast products. One would think that change of product pack appearance is limited to the design of a box. Well, unfortunately for specialists involved (and fortunately for an eager-to-learn-trainee) sometimes the process is far more complicated.

When all breakfast products on the supermarket shelves are quite similar in shape and size, you need to think outside the (müsli) box. Novel packaging solution could trigger greater changes in current production set up, as the whole production line might have to be modified to accommodate the change.

In my case, production and packaging facility at Järna, where müslies, cereals and granolas are made has rather unique set-up. Before ending up in a retail box on the first floor of the factory, all ingredients are passing several levels of the factory with fruits and nuts being added at one stage, mixing and portioning done at another. So technically, I would not be lying if I said that granola is falling from the sky. (Some very cheesy advertisement slogans have just appeared in my head).

What looked like a packaging project magically turned out to be a process re-engineering project where I get a chance to follow the journey of oats, nuts, fruits and other delicious things from the storage to consumer pack. On this journey, me together with the team, will be looking at alternative production scenarios, that would allow us to introduce the new packaging solution.

Re-organization of packaging process is a time and capital consuming process that cannot be done in a few weeks. I know that I will be in a different part of Lantmännen by the time the project is concluded. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to see the new look of our breakfast products on the store shelves!

Yummy greetings,

Anna & Pontus