Its buyout has put Golden Wonder into an optimistic mood, Margaret Hood says
Golden Wonder’s marketing director, Paul Boothman, isn’t fazed by the
financial burden resulting from the company’s management buyout from
Dalgety last week. This is despite the fact he is the custodian of the
brand, a shareholder, and that his house is on the line if things don’t
Boothman seems to relish the challenge of halting the decline in the
crisp brand’s market share. Though the market leader in the 60s and 70s,
Golden Wonder now comes a poor second to PepsiCo’s Walkers brand.
‘This is not a nail-biting experience,’ an upbeat Boothman claims.
‘There was some apprehension when we first looked at the possibilities
of taking over the company, but I have been with Golden Wonder for a
while and I am confident of my abilities. It is great to have the
opportunity to do what we believe is right for the brand.’
Boothman, 35 years old, started working at Golden Wonder in 1985 as
product manager for crisps, and later Pot Noodles. This was followed by
a year working on projects in Holland. In 1992, he took over
responsibility for all Golden Wonder snacks, including the key Nik Naks,
Wheat Crunchies and Wotsits brands. In January this year he was promoted
to head of marketing.
Boothman and his five buyout partners, led by the chief executive, Clive
Sharpe, have four main brands in their stable.
Golden Wonder Crisps, Wheat Crunchies, Nik Naks and Wotsits were
allocated vastly increased adspends to boost brand values when the
business went up for sale. This year, pounds 12 million has been
earmarked for advertising - including pounds 5 million for crisps -
through Ogilvy and Mather.
Boothman says: ‘At the end of the day, it is about teamwork. The six of
us involved have known each other for a while - we know each other’s
strengths and weaknesses. In the past two months, we have been through
every spectrum of emotion together, and know each other extremely well.
Given a focused common goal, we can achieve great things.’