Consumer Psychology Grad Pulls in Two Prestigious Awards

Paul DazeleyPaul DazeleyIn just his first year on the job, a recent Bangor graduate has played a key role in earning his new employer not one but two national business awards.

Six months ago, Paul Dazeley was finishing his MSc degree in Consumer Psychology and Business at Bangor University. Then he heard about a job opening at Ella’s Kitchen, the organic baby food company based in Henley, near Reading. Paul asked his advisor at Bangor for advice in preparing for the interview.

Dr. James Intriligator, head of the MSc programme, suggested that Paul design some original research just for Ella’s Kitchen, to demonstrate his unique new skills. So Paul quickly created and completed a study of consumer perspectives on baby food manufacturers’ websites. It so impressed Ella’s Kitchen, a company that is committed to putting consumers first, that they offered Paul a job straightaway.  After completing his MSc programme with top-marks, he started work at Ella’s Kitchen last June.

New on the job, Paul joined the company’s Head of Making Friends, Nicole McDonnell, to present their pitch for the IGD Food Industry Awards. Up against industry giants like Nestlé and Heinz, the young UK company succeeded, winning the General Mills award for Consumer Understanding. More recently at the National Business Awards, Ella’s Kitchen also won the Blackberry Customer Focus award for small businesses.

By utilizing consumer research, Ella’s Kitchen follows a policy of putting customers at the heart of every decision. As a result, it has seen phenomenal growth in just over 4 years. The brand has achieved a 12% market share of the UK wet baby food market. Every second of every day someone around the world is consuming an Ella’s Kitchen product.

Paul Lindley, Ella’s Dad and founder of Ella’s Kitchen, explains: “Everyone at Ella’s is passionately driven to help babies and toddlers eat better food. We want them to discover that healthy food can be fun, tasty and cool, and that this will in turn develop healthy habits that last a lifetime.”

Paul Dazeley credits Bangor with preparing him for his great early success. “My project goes beyond the usual market research that most companies undertake,” he says. “I’m bringing scientific and psychological methods into a commercial setting to investigate how parents can help their infants to enjoy healthy foods. I’ve really got the right combination of knowledge and skills to help Ella’s Kitchen build on what they’re already doing.”

Bangor’s Dr. Intriligator celebrates Paul’s achievement: “Companies are starting to see how consumer psychology can deepen their understanding and benefit their bottom line. As a result, graduates of our programme are in great demand. I’m really happy for Paul. He was an excellent student and now he’s using what he learned here to achieve his own goals, and that shows what we’re all about.”

Publication date: 14 December 2010