Back to Stories

Leading People: How Kevin Oostdyk leads with passion to progress Maple Leaf Foods’ demand science and revenue management strategy

Leading People - Kevin Oostdyk

Taking on a new role within our robust marketing team, Kevin is excited about the future of our organization and the role he aims to plays.

Kevin Oostdyk is Vice President of Demand Science & Revenue Growth at Maple Leaf Foods, a position he recently moved into with the launch of our Accelerate Centre of Excellence under leader, Casey Richards.

With eight years’ experience at Maple Leaf Foods, Kevin’s background is in advanced analytics, focused on data assets, running advanced analytical models to produce insights for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies, and optimizing pricing, promotion strategies, marketing effectiveness, and more advanced strategies.

Today, Kevin’s role helps improve Maple Leaf Foods’ Revenue Growth Management practices and includes an oversight of customer and marketing insights and analytics. Together with his new team, he helps empower our brand growth across key marketing levers and enhance our use of data and insights to deliver more great food to more great people across the country.

What brought you to Maple Leaf Foods and what has made you stay?

I joined Maple Leaf in 2015 to build a revenue management function for the organization. It was a unique opportunity in the Canadian market, in particular to have the ability to build and mold something from the ground up.

Personally, I have four children and when I joined, they were much younger than they are now. My previous role had a global scope, so I was traveling quite a bit. This role at Maple Leaf afforded me the opportunity to be home with my kids more because I don’t travel as much.

Over the past eight years, there’s a lot that I’ve come to love about this company. I always say our business is complex, and the challenges are relentless. Being constantly challenged builds resilience and I really believe that’s how you grow as an individual, in both your personal and professional life. When I look back over the time that I’ve been here, I can truly see how I’ve grown as a person and as a professional. The complexity of our business also means there’s need to continuously strive to simplify things. Our business demands curious people to ask questions and cut through the complexity. As a deeply analytical person, this is right up my ally.

What makes me stay at Maple Leaf is that I think the future is very bright and exciting. We’ve come so far as an organization over the past eight years. But sitting here today, we’re at an exciting inflection point, and I can see there’s so much more opportunity we have not yet realized in terms of value creation. We can perform at an even higher level than where we are right now and that’s energizing for me.

You have a new role as VP, Demand Science & Revenue Growth. What is demand science and what role does it play at Maple Leaf?

Demand science is about understanding how to maximize consumer demand by optimizing all the commercial levers we have at our disposal.

In my role up until now, I was responsible for the revenue growth management function. The focus of this team was largely focused on the pricing and promotion investment variables. Where we have opportunity to grow is to explore how we optimize these things along with other levers we invest in. Things like marketing investments, innovation, merchandising and assortment choices, and investments in e-commerce. To this point, all these decisions have largely been made in various silos. By evaluating all opportunities in tandem, we have the ability to create a more integrated go-to-market approach and accelerate the growth of our brands.

As we enter our next growth focused chapter, what part will your role play in our new Accelerate Center of Excellence? 

My role is about empowering our organization to maximize our investments to drive brand growth, using data and analytics as the catalyst to do so. We have very smart and accomplished teams that lead different areas of our commercial business and so what we want to do is make them even smarter by giving them access to new data, tools, and insights. We’ll need to invest in new capabilities and in data literacy to help advance this agenda. We’ll also need to review our existing business processes to determine how to adapt and/or augment them with new approaches.

If we fast forward three years, what do you hope you will have accomplished in that time through your role and Accelerate’s collaborative environment? 

Measuring value creation is super important to me. My hope is that I will be able to look back to see how we have enabled the growth of our brands across multiple dimensions. I also expect that we’ll have an organization that thinks differently, that collaborates more effectively around data, and is more adaptable to new ways of working. Technology is advancing so quickly in this area and we have to learn to be increasingly agile in order to win.