Rockit Global Ltd (RGL) is a New Zealand based company. We have been on an exciting growth path for the past 8 years, and demand for our product continues to outstrip supply. As they say, “it’s a great problem to have.” With that being said, there is still much exciting work to be done. Short term we need to take care, communicate and manage our customers and supplies. Beyond that, our strategy calls for us to evolve and grow our customer base and expand as we grow our supplies.
RGL has the global exclusive rights to grow and distribute the apple variety PremA96, which is a fully mature miniature apple (Rockit™). The Rockit™ apple value proposition is based on the rising global demand for healthy, natural snacks that are ready to eat and packaged for on-the-go consumption. Rockit™ apples are grown, washed and packed into innovative, recyclable plastic tubes or cardboard push-packs for food safety, portability and convenience. The product is sold in 3, 4 and 5-piece tube sizes. Rockit™ apple is naturally nutritious, non-GMO, washed and ready to eat. The product is sold at a premium price in mass retail, convenience channels, including vending, campuses, theme parks, airports and hotels. The Rockit™ global brand is fresh, natural, innovative, healthy and premium. RGL sells globally with strong, long-term importer, distributor and retailer relationships in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, USA, South East Asia, Middle East, UK and Europe. To ensure year-round supply, we operate a license model with growers in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
In the US, Rockit™ is grown and distributed by a licensed third party, who are a large bulk fruit grower. As the Rockit apple trees in the region are maturing, the volume of fruit becoming available is growing very quickly. RGL has recently completed a detailed consumer and trade review which has identified a significant opportunity to target additional channels beyond the traditional fruit channels. To leverage this opportunity, we require a Regional Sales Manager to open these new channels and ensure our premium branding is executed in line with global guidelines.
The US is a key market for RGL’s long term growth. The rapid rise in US consumer demand for unique, natural, healthy portable snacks fits perfectly with RGL’s global positioning. Execution of the US growth strategy is of fundamental importance to RGL’s global business due to the sizeable number of Rockit™ trees already planted in the USA.
The Regional Sales Manager will manage and actively drive the development of Rockit™ apple sales and the Rockit™ brand in the USA. We are looking for an experienced Sales Manager with a proven track record in leading business development in California first, and then other markets as needed. You will work alongside our licensee (grower/shipper) who currently manages all customer relationships and field sales execution for Rockit Global Ltd in the US. The role will have full support from the NZ-based-Rockit team during the next several years of market building.
If you’re looking to leverage your knowledge, relationships, skills and experience, and work with a great group of creative, like-minded Kiwis (aka New Zealanders), then perhaps you have found your home. There are many very cool aspects to this role. You’re not starting from scratch, but rather from a very successful base. That said, there is so much up-side to this business. Imagine creating a whole new segment and brand within the fresh apple category. Imagine working with exclusive varieties that have broad appeal across varying consumer segments and demographics.
- Partner with RGL’s local licensee to drive profitable growth of Rockit apple sales in the US
- Identify, develop and manage new sales channels and strategic business opportunities.
- Build local brand and product awareness through the development and implementation of a marketing program (in partnership with the local licensee).
- Develop midterm sales and marketing strategies and action plans to drive profitable growth.
- Develop product and communication strategies to respond to and target the needs of our consumers.
- Develop new premium sales channels and build an engaged network of distributors/retailers for Rockit in California and the Western US.
- In parallel with the licensee, support existing distributors to actively drive retail listings and the execution of promotional programs.
- Manage and develop external agency relationships (including Media, Creative, PR, Design, Research and Data) to deliver integrated campaign plans, balancing global positioning guidelines with local activation to raise our brand’s profile in the US.
- Initiate and manage market research programs to be the voice of the US consumer across the business.
- Build and maintain good working relationships with internal stakeholders including, US sales agents, NZ marketing and commercial functions, finance and supply chain teams.
- Guardian of brand quality standards, ensuring compliance with all commercial compliance obligations.
- Accurate and timely internal communication and reporting.
Extensive experience in the US market selling premium consumer brands, including fresh produce
Established customer relationships in Retail, Food Service and related channels with a focus. on California and the Western US.
Demonstrated success in business development
- At least 8 years of experience in the snack food/apple (or related) industry preferred
- Highly developed influencing and relationship management skills
- Strong business acumen. Able to seek out, then seize an opportunity
- Able to engage with confidence with buyers and consumers to promote and sell Rockit ™ apples
- Self-sufficient, and able to work unsupervised. A self-starter
- Determined, persistent and result oriented
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Marketing or related field
- MBA a plus
- MBA desired