People to Watch 2020: Brittany Anderson
Company: Saputo Inc. (U.S. Cheese Division)
Title: Consumer Insights Manager
Education: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (bachelor’s, marketing; minor in economics)
Brittany Anderson didn’t know that she had roots in the cheese industry until she accepted her first job out of college at DCI Cheese Co. It was then that her ailing grandmother shared for the first time that her great-grandfather was a cheesemaker when he immigrated to the U.S. from Germany, and her grandmother and family lived upstairs from the factory where he made muenster cheese.
Anderson had been a marketing intern at DCI in her senior year of college, which led to a full-time position after graduation. When DCI was acquired by Saputo just a year later in 2011, she was planning trade shows, executing brand promotions and building vendor relationships, but “the one job that I enjoyed more than anything was analyzing sales post-promotion,” she says.
It was then that Anderson switched gears and became a consumer insights analyst while still at Saputo, feeling like this work was where she truly belonged. Life eventually took her to California, and she assumed a role as national retail insights category manager at Treasury Wine Estates. But, ultimately missing her Midwest roots, she returned to Chicago less than two years later and rejoined Saputo, where she now serves as the company’s consumer insights manager.
Her responsibilities include focusing on the retail side of the business for both dairy and specialty/deli channel products. “This involves supporting internal leadership and customers with insights, consumer trends and proactive recommendations to grow business,” she says. She also has been able to work on foodservice and industrial projects, and she’s not one to turn down projects, especially when she can gain more exposure to other departments and resources in the company. “Through this, I’ve been able to connect internally and externally on how we can better look at data and discover trends,” she says.
Anderson has brought customer insights to light using retailer data combined with syndicated resources and qualitative learning. “I’ve been involved with customer meetings where we’ll present a current business review and insights using retailer data, but we’ll have the opportunity to show qualitative consumer research we’ve either conducted internally or through our data partners to help bring to life our recommendations to grow business,” she says, adding that the goal is to have customers completely engaged.
“It’s fun to look through those lenses and see what’s working on the outside, what they’re seeing and what we can add in the partnership to build and engage with our customers more,” Anderson says. The department is also working to grow its relationship with both Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) and the Dairy Management Institute; Anderson finds collaborating with DFW on different topics in the industry important, to see how the organization is looking at data and what its views are as an industry leader.
Anderson’s passion is being able to support the company’s internal teams with insights, consumer trends and recommendations to help grow business for their clients. In a global company like Saputo, she says the possibilities are endless in terms of her next steps. “That’s why I like to take on different projects and work with various departments to see their inner workings,” she says. “I’ll bring my experience and look to broaden exposure to different channels of the business.”