When Hormel Foods introduced a new brand recently, it called on external partner C.B. Powell Ltd. to effect the change with all of the Hormel Foods customers in Canada. The results were an extremely smooth transition, no disruption of sales and a Pride of the Jersey award for the team at C.B. Powell, a distinction usually reserved for Hormel Foods employees.
“I admire their focus and passion to ensure our brands are successful,” says Cheryl Berry, sales and marketing manager for the Canadian arm of Hormel Foods. Cheryl has worked with the team at C.B. Powell throughout her six years with the company, but the relationship is even older than that. “C.B. Powell has represented Hormel Foods for over 20 years,” she says.
C.B. Powell Executive Vice President Colin Glaysher has been onboard for nearly all of them. A 16-year veteran of the company – and the Hormel Foods account – Colin leads what he calls “a team effort” to distribute Hormel Foods grocery products throughout Canada.
“Stan Atkinson oversees our company’s business management team. When he started his career with C.B. Powell, he was assigned to the Hormel Foods business. Mike Purewall is the current business manager for STAGG® Chili and Hormel® bacon,” Colin says.
We also have a full logistics department that manages inventory, warehousing and customer delivery in addition to handling forecasting, a fully-automated fund management system and point-of-sale data analysis,” Colin says.
I admire their focus and passion to ensure our brands are successful.Cheryl Berry, sales and marketing manager
Of the 25 employees at C.B. Powell, “Everyone has a hand in the Hormel Foods business,” he adds. “We’re pretty lean, but I like to think we are efficient.”
Cheryl agrees wholeheartedly, rattling off a long list of tried-and-true brands such as STAGG® Chili, SPAM®, Hormel® bacon, Manny’s® and House of Tsang®. “C.B. Powell has helped Hormel Foods build these brands to their No. 1 position in Canada,” she says.
“We take title and distribute, working closely with the Hormel Foods team on marketing and trade promotions,” Colin says. “It’s a relationship that means the world to us.”
In addition to getting the products on store shelves, which is job one, there are myriad other tasks and challenges that C.B. Powell handles with aplomb.
“There’s always something,” Colin says. “New-product launches and price increases, for example. We work with the customers to negotiate them without losing business. If it has to be escalated, someone from the Hormel Foods team – Cheryl or Maureen Lilly, vice president of Americas for Hormel Foods International, – will step in. Not too many get to that, but still, we know they’re with us all the way.”
In fact, so close are the two teams that Colin says, “They don’t need to announce when they come to the office. They just stop in. They’re part of the family.”
Part of the Family
The relationship goes both ways. To wit: STAGG® Chili once saved Colin’s big-game party. He’s not shy about calling it his favorite Hormel Foods product for that reason.
“We always hosted a big-game party, and my wife would make homemade chili,” he says. However, one year she was out of town. Panicked, but not defeated, Colin took some cans of STAGG® Chili, put them in his slow-cooker and added a dash of chipotle seasoning. “Everyone thought it was homemade,” he says.
The C.B. Powell group is proud to represent products that Colin calls “excellent.” Even more fulfilling is the working relationship with Hormel Foods that has grown over the years.
“Hormel Foods recognizes and rewards good work,” he says. C.B. Powell was the first external partner to receive the company jersey, something that Colin and team were “very, very honored by.” Another gesture by Hormel Foods is an annual holiday luncheon in December.
“It might sound corny, but you feel appreciated. It motivates you to do more,” Colin says.