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Rewinding A Decade

In 2012, while Robert and Will were bringing Food Strategy Associates to life, many of the team were in leadership positions at some of the world’s leading Food & Beverage companies. Fast forward a decade, and this underpins the success of our business model today. Our unique blend of board-level industry experience and top-tier consulting provides our clients with an unrivalled proposition in Food & Beverage strategy consulting.

To round off our 10-year anniversary celebrations, we felt a team throwback to 2012 was very much in order! Below are examples of the different positions some of the team were in…

Robert and Will decided to set up Food Strategy Associates in 2012, as they saw an opportunity to launch a better strategic consulting offer than was available at the time in the Food & Beverage industry.

Among other roles, Robert had been Managing Director at Quorn, M&A Director at Premier, and Strategy Director at United Biscuits and Kraft Foods. Likewise, Will had headed up the Grocery Division at Premier, was Group CEO at Whitworths, and was Managing Director at United Biscuits.

Robert is now the Managing Partner of Food Strategy Associates and Will is the company Chairman.

In 2012, Ian Coulter was New Ventures Director at The Coca-Cola Company, where he launched a variety of categories for the business including coconut water. Prior to this, he had led packaging teams across Europe for the business and was instrumental in the development of the fridge pack and aluminium bottle.

Ian Weston, on the other hand, was across the pond, working for Dow Jones & Company as Senior Vice President of Special Projects where he led the due diligence on the Wall Street Journal, and the revitalisation of Dow Jones following its acquisition.

Both also had over half a decade of top-tier consulting experience at Boston Consulting Group under their belts.

Nigel was in the midst of setting up and running the Global S&OP Improvement Programme Office at Unilever following two decades in various senior Operations positions, including Head of Operational Excellence at Hovis. He also led the dry powders operational restructuring of Premier Foods after its acquisition of RHM.

Peter was two years into his five-year stint as Managing Director at Jose Cuervo International, where he was responsible for 95 markets where the Spirits business operated. This came after a decade at PepsiCo, where his last role was Chief Marketing Officer of the international snacks and cereals portfolio.

Steve identifying the next big biscuit trend
Stuart taking Steve’s insight in a literal fashion

Steve was Research & Insights Director at United Biscuits and on the UK&I executive board. Here, he played a key role in the turnaround of UK performance (#1 fastest-growing Top 20 UK F&D business 2012-16), and the business’s sale to Yildiz Holdings in 2014. Before that, Steve spent 10 years in global strategy roles, culminating in the role of Head of Corporate Intelligence at United Biscuits.

Stuart was Chief Marketing Officer at Burton’s Biscuits and was part of the senior management team that successfully sold the business to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund in 2013. This came after years of working for some of the world’s favourite food brands, holding senior Marketing & Strategy positions with Cadbury, Kraft Foods and Premier Foods.

Richard was working in the Strategy team at SAB Miller, and a year later would move to Peru to take up the role of Strategic Project Manager for Backus (SAB Miller Peru). Here, he led the closure of Bolivian operations and completed multiple due diligence exercises for the business. He would later go on to work at Bain, and as Strategy Director at Science in Sport.

Annabella had just begun her consulting journey, working at Adv+ in her native Venezuela. She consulted for private businesses within a context of high inflation. She also led a product portfolio redesign for a major multinational beverage company.


The majority of the junior members of the team were at different points in their teenage years with years of fun in the food and beverage world to come!

Many things (hair colour inclusive) have changed in the last decade but our reason for being has not. We look forward to continuing to provide our clients with our unique proposition – a blend of real-world experience, top-tier consulting and analytical horsepower – for decades to come!

Please get in touch with us below to discuss how we can support your Food & Beverage, or Food Packaging business.