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Woolworths, Australia’s largest grocery chain, has hired U.S. fresh food and fitness consultant Suzy Monford to take on a key executive role in reshaping product development and branding at all of the chain’s stores across the continent and New Zealand.
Monford, founder and president of San Antonio-based Food Sport International, a fresh food and consumer lifestyle consulting firm with worldwide clients in the grocery, restaurant and health/fitness industries, will be the Sydney-based company’s head of fresh product and concept development.
After working with H-E-B and H-E-B Central Market for a decade, Monford left the largest privately held U.S. grocer to establish herself as a consultant, in the process becoming a certified holistic-health coach and an internationally certified fitness instructor.
In her new role, Monford will develop products and concepts, including meats, seafood, produce, deli, prepared foods, bakery, catering, coffee shops and restaurants, for more than 870 Woolworths locations. She sees her mission as helping “the storied Woolworths brand continue to lead and innovate the grocery retail industry on a global scale.”
Added Monford: “We take fresh food for granted in the United States, but in Australia it’s a major challenge to bring fresh meats and produce to market. It’s a large continent with a sparsely inhabited geographic center famous for its rugged terrain. Logistically, Woolworths does an amazing job of bringing quality products to people.”
Among her first duties at Woolworths, she said, will be to implement “fun, seasonal pushes to showcase the extraordinary local harvest. That could be in local produce, in meats or wine.”
According to Woolworths, 100 percent of its fresh meat and poultry and 96 percent of its fresh fruits and vegetables are grown and farmed in Australia. The company also owns and operates Macro Wholefoods Market and Thomas Dux.