Ken Sheridan is the co-founder of Page Turner Awards with his wife, Paula Sheridan.
Ken has a wide and varied career with top FMCG brands and can boast that he was involved with developing the Monster Munch snack brand for kiddies as well as being part of the team behind Tetley's round teabags and the Powwow water brand European launch! Ken is an avid cyclist and is often seen winging his way through the Andalusian countryside and discovering new gastronomic delights to share with his award-winning author wife Paula.
Ken's career has moved from top consumer brands to smaller entrepreneurial ventures...
Thames Valley to Courage Brewery
Upon graduating from Thames Valley University in Business Studies, Ken Sheridan embarked on a marketing career that started as a Marketing Statistician for The Courage Brewery, where he compiled stats on market trends before moving into the national account sales team.
Here Ken obtained his grounding in brand marketing and sales to major retail outlets. Before leaving Courage, he was promoted to New Product Development Brand Manager where he identified new product opportunities for the company.
Cow and Gate and Smiths Crisps
Sheridan moved to Cow & Gate Baby Food as Product Manager to head up the launch of a new baby food product. Shortly afterwards he was head hunted to Smiths Crisps in Reading as a Brand Manager for Snack Brands.
Here he developed Monster Munch, Quavers and Scampi Fries, of which Monster Munch is still thriving today.
Ken found that one of the most invigorating challenges when marketing the Monster Munch brand was learning new ways to market to a very challenging 5 to 11 year old audience.
This entailed adverts they would watch, new flavours they would enjoy and promotions they would participate in. He could always tell if his design team had come up trumps with their advertising ideas when the kids jumped up and shouted.
One of their inventions was to run on pack promotions using new blockbusting film releases. Sheridan attended various film premieres including Steven Spielberg's 'Back to the Future', Cubby Broccoli's Bond film 'Octopussy' and often found himself in cinemas with Roger Moore and other celebrities.
Cream Crackers versus Hovis Biscuits
After three exciting years at Smiths, Sheridan became Marketing Manager at Huntley and Palmer on brands such as Jacobs Cream Crackers, Hovis Biscuits and Bath Oliver Biscuits.
This provided a fascinating contrast in how to market a 100-year-old brand, Jacobs Cream Crackers to a traditional audience as well as bring the brand to a fresh marketplace by finding young users and new snacking occasions.
It was here that Sheridan gleaned the secret of 'centre dusting' a cream cracker, which made all the difference to its lightness and delicacy.
Another big challenge was to ensure the motive stamped on the Bath Oliver Biscuit had a correctly formed 'nose' – the marketing team were forever rejecting biscuits because the nose was too large!
Tetley's Round Tea Bags
Lions Coffee, which was part of the Tetley group, was calling and Sheridan soon became their Marketing Manager. For the next 18 months he lived on the aroma of ground coffee before moving across to the tea division to become Marketing Manager of Tetley Tea.
At that time Tetley was the number 2 teabag brand in the UK and chose to re-launch itself in a round teabag format during 1990. Tetley's round teabags was a huge success driven by a marketing budget of £25m.
One of the biggest door-to-door sampling programmes was rolled out across the UK. Over half the homes in the country were given a pack of eight Tetley teabags to get them into the habit of drinking tea from a 'round' teabag.
This, coupled with a huge 'Tetley Teafolk' advertising campaign, drove the brand to an outright number one in the UK. A position it maintained for several years, forcing other teabag brands to consider their own bag shape, and round is now the most popular drinking shape. It took over five years to conclude an exhaustive research and development programme, in an attempt to find the engineering solution which would allow teabags to be produced in millions every day.
At the time Tetley sold around 15 million teabags daily and it proved to be an engineering feat to produce round teabags on this scale.
Pepsi and Sunkist
After this Ken Sheridan was promoted to General Manager of the Tetley Catering Division. He then moved to Hong Kong with Hutchison Whampoa as General Manager of their soft drinks and fresh juice businesses.
Part of his portfolio was marketing the Pepsi and Sunkist brands in Hong Kong. When Hutchison bought two water cooler companies in the UK, Sheridan became the Managing Director of the UK business with a brief to grow Hutchison's share of the water cooler market.
Spectacular growth ensued with the business acquiring 13 additional companies and this coupled with aggressive sales and marketing campaigns, tripled the size of the business in 18 months and gave Hutchison outright market leadership in the extremely buoyant UK water cooler market.
The company then re-launched all their water cooler businesses as one brand: Powwow, a mould breaking water cooler initiative at the time. Sheridan became Global Brand Director and launched Powwow into several European Countries.
Work From Home Venture
In the mid eighties Ken decided to give corporate life a back seat and spent a few years as a Marketing and Management Consultant before developing Remote Employment. Ken Sheridan started Remote Employment with his wife Paula to help Mums and Dads get a better work life.
It took six months to plan and launch the website. The idea was founded after years of having the need for flexible workers and finding a home based solution for field sales teams, yet not finding a recruitment service for other job roles that could easily be suited to employees working from home.
Ken believes companies will benefit with this online service as it is over 50% cheaper than conventional recruitment advertising and offers monthly and yearly subscriptions, rather than a one off advert. The work remotely concept can be used for the creation of new positions and to test the cost benefit before making the position permanent. Remote work is also ideally used for handling employment peaks and troughs in a cost-effective way.
Page Turner Awards
Another venture where Ken and Paula joined forces is Page Turner Awards. The inaugural year has proved a fantastic success with many life-changing experiences for writers and authors.