An iconic brand, Griffin’s Foods is synonymous with many of the sweet treats New Zealanders grew up with, like Krispie, Shrewsbury, and ToffeePop biscuits. For Alison Barrass, CEO of Griffin’s, the history of the company is something she is extremely proud of, and hopes to preserve. “It’s 150 years of great New Zealand heritage that we are managing here,” Alison says.

“I think part of our job is to ensure that the iconic brands and products don’t change much, and that we nurture and preserve the gift of that heritage and community engagement that we have been given to look after.

“The other part that we need to focus on is to make sure that there are avenues so the business can continue to grow and provide job security and opportunities for the 850 people that work for us. What we have done in the last six years in particular is transform the business from a local New Zealand business into an international player. We have gone from most of our products being sold only in New Zealand to now a third of our business being sold offshore.”

Alison, a local New Zealander, started her career in field sales. This grassroots experience gave her the best platform to understand the dynamic FMCG industry. “Starting at the front line of any business is a great place to understand the customer and the market that you are operating in. I love the food industry: it’s fast paced, dynamic, and innovative. I think it’s a great place to be.”