Kraft Foods MD guest speaker at Food mag awards

Darren O'Brien, managing director of foods at Kraft Foods Australia, will be guest speaker at next month's Food magazine awards, sharing his thoughts on the popularity and success of the iconic Vegemite brand.

O'Brien has been at Kraft Foods Australia for more than five years – first as sales director, then as director of modern trade for Kraft Foods Asia Pacific.

In June 2011 he was made managing director of foods, managing the business' foods portfolio from paddock to plate.

This year O'Brien took a leadership position on the Victorian Manufacturing Council, advising the state government on the state's manufacturing strategy and success.

Throughout his time at Kraft Foods Australia, O'Brien has overseen the launch of innovative new products including the first co-branded product between Cadbury and Philadelphia, Choc Philly, and LiveFree – Australia’s lowest fat tasty cheese. 

He's led major organisational change, mergers and acquisitions including the creation and merger of Bonland Dairies into the Fonterra Group in 2005 and Kraft Foods’ acquisition of Cadbury in 2010.

O'Brien's work in the business’ Singapore, India, Indonesia, China and Japan operations has given him a firm understanding of the growing and increasingly important Asian Century, which could see Australia progress from feeding 20 million Australians to 1.6 billion Asian consumers.

At the Food magazine awards night on 26 July, O'Brien will deliver a presentation titled, 90 years of happy little Vegemites – how an Australian icon still has pride of place in our hearts, and will no doubt form part of Vegemite's 90th anniversary marketing strategy.

The awards night will be hosted at Sydney's Luna Park, and will once again have The Chaser boys as MC.

The winner in each of the awards' 14 categories will be announced on the evening, which will also see guests treated with a three course dinner, a spectacular view of the Harbour and a live band.

Also attending this year's event will be our new and improved judging panel, comprising professionals from a number of facets of food manufacturing, from packaging and confectionery, to dairy and wine.

To read more on this year's finalists, click here.


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