Priya Nikiforou - The Retail Expert

Priya Nikiforou - The Retail Expert

Priya Nikiforou is Polyco Healthline's Retail Product Manager. Her career began at Tesco, working in their Impulse Confectionary buying teams, before being headhunted by Polyco Healthline in 2014.

Initially working in the industrial team, Priya started off as an Assistant Product Manager at Polyco Healthline and then moved across to the retail category management team. In late 2017, having progressed through personal and professional development, Priya moved into her current role of Retail Product Manager. Describing her position within the company as varied, Priya says that on some days she might be visiting a customer, the next she could be seeing a factory and on other days she could be working on product development. In addition to this, Priya also works closely with the technical teams on things like the compliance of products much like the industrial team. Focusing on the retail aspect of the business, Priya works on consumer-facing products, making sure that they’re safe and compliant to various standards. To achieve this Priya works closely with supply chain teams to understand what is being ordered within the company.

What do you most like about developing new products from concept to launch?

The ideation phase allows for creativity with outside the box thinking which is honed in with my commercially aware considerations. We use gap analysis to identify the opportunity for a new product, we test the products ourselves and create a reason to believe in the product launch. We also consider the consumer (end user) and their decision making behind purchasing decisions. We will ask, is the consumer price sensitive, maybe they are highly visual shoppers therefore packaging and brand presence plays an important consideration in product development. Possibly the consumer is looking for functionality and convenience. We will then consider, is the pack size too large to fit on a kitchen or bathroom surface, can we implement a handy add-on feature such as packaging that also acts as a container.

When it comes to the delivery of Household Gloves and Cotton Wool products to the retail sector in B2B and B2C markets what future developments will have the greatest impact on this industry?

The continuing aim for the best price without compromising quality. We are able to add USP here with our wide procurement knowledge and relationships with our factories to work on a solution to meet our customers requirement. The environment or “Blue Planet” effect will drive purchasing decisions with the end user which is why we are at the forefront of offering sustainable packaging and product solutions.

What projects are you most excited about at the moment?

We were first to the UK market with a plastic free cotton wool bud stem moving to a paper stem, and we continue to work on exciting environmental packaging options such as biodegradable bags for our cotton wool. We also have some exciting new brand design refreshes in the pipeline.

How are you able to provide the greatest value to Polyco Healthline customers?

Through innovative, commercially minded, creative and collaborative approaches to product development working directly with the end user to understand their product solution needs whether that be for a cotton bud or a disposable glove. I bring with me a background in the FMCG sector allowing me to visualise ‘what would the consumer want, would they buy this, how would this look on shelf, is the colour and price right?’.

With my extensive knowledge in product development, I add value through innovative and being commercially-minded. I’d say I have a creative approach to product development. I also have quite fresh eyes to the category, I’m quite new so I’m looking at things slightly differently. I also have the ability to work closely with the end-user as I have done on industrial marketing and to understand end-product solution needs. For example, whether that be a cotton bud or a disposable glove, I’ve got the background in gloves as well as now in cotton products, and then I bring with me a background in the FMCG sector as well. That allows me to visualise what would the consumer want. Why would they buy this for example? How does it look on the shelf? And is the colour and price right, so those kinds of