As part of our #IWD2020 series, we’d like to introduce you to our Innovation Director, Elaine Bourke. Elaine works tirelessly to make sure Kepak Group remains one step ahead of the game.
What is your name and your title?
Elaine Bourke – Kepak Food Division Innovation Director
Describe your role with Kepak?
As Director of Innovation, it is my purpose to ensure that we remain one step ahead of consumer trends in our retail and foodservice sectors. I work in tandem with cross-functional teams across our business to implement our innovation strategy to ensure we are leading our customers and serving our consumers as a result. We’re responsible for putting the company’s passion for food into practice and making sure our product offering remains relevant.
Tell us about a typical day in your shoes?
I’m always looking for new opportunities to innovate. I frequently organise workshops where we can generate new ideas that can help our platforms continue to grow. I’ve organised things like food safaris and consumer testing for projects which we have in our pipeline. Oftentimes I will spend my day working with our supply partners, tasting products and shaping future projects.
What do you love most about working for Kepak?
I really enjoy working for a company with such a strong family heritage; I think it helps give the business a clear sense of identity and purpose. While the company has great family roots they continue to grow and evolve, remaining open to new opportunities and adapting to changing market demands. I take great pride in using innovative initiatives to help safeguard Kepak into the future.
How is Kepak an innovative business?
Given that Kepak was first founded as a butcher shop and has grown to employ over 5,000 people in 43 different countries, I think it’s fair to say the company has innovated and evolved along the way. We’ve added innovative new products to our offering, things like our slow-cooked range which delivers restaurant quality, sous vide cooking to our customers and retail partners. We recently introduced ‘Burgers with a Blend’ which combines meat and vegetables to cater to the growing flexitarian trend.