About Dafne Perez, Regional Head of Consumer Marketing ( Cooking), Arla Foods MENA

Dafne is a marketing strategist with an intuitive commercial mindset who has over 18 years of experience in top FMCGs like Kellogg’s, Nestle, Arla Foods. Latina at heart but with a global mindset, she was born in Mexico and lived as an expat in Denmark and the UAE. Her passion has taken her to work with different business models and different geographies such as Latin America, China, South East Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

She considers herself a conscious leader with high orientation to results and people but also passionate about building business and brands with purpose. Her out of the box thinking and ability to turn complex problems into simple solutions has helped her to drive global and local brands, launch new products and lead integrated communication campaigns. As Regional Head of Cooking for MENA at Arla Foods, the worlds’ leader of organic dairy, she has successfully steered strong regional brands like Kraft, The Three Cows and PUCK within the cooking territory. She has been a jury member of the EFFIE’s and MMA Awards 2022 edition assessing the best marketing campaigns in the MENA region.

She is passionate about human behaviour and understanding how the environment influences consumer’s thoughts and decisions. She believes that adding play into your everyday work can deliver better business results and strengthened team’s commitment and satisfaction. In her spare time, she practices mindfulness to maintain a healthy mind, gets a boost of energy dune bashing and satisfies her foodie cravings exploring hidden gems in town.

About her thoughts for the industry

Pricing: As the cost of living increases, pricing in fast moving consumer goods has taken a new sense of significance, especially when brands are struggling to keep market positions or profitability due imminent price increases. Managing price and promo effectively is a marketing competence that should not be underrated. However, It’s a challenge not solely for the brand or sales teams but the whole commercial unit.

Sustainable diet: As consumers become more health conscious in KSA and UAE, new generations are also becoming more environment conscious. Hence, I would expect in the coming years to see more people turning to sustainable diet solutions, products that help consumer to eat well in a way that doesn’t impact the environment. This new and exciting business opportunity is small now but growing fast, the sooner small or big food manufactures start exploring concepts around this, the better they can be prepared for the future.

Neuroscience application in marketing: We are seeing more cases of using neuroscience to access insights that are at the very core of human behaviour. Coca-Cola, Mars, Apple just to name a few, have leveraged tools to predict consumer preference impacting marketing strategies. This topic fascinates me and hope to start seeing a few regional cases in the future.

Equity: As part of women’s day celebration, I believe that equity starts with us, women, by supporting each other in the workplace, by creating a sisterhood in our organizations, by sharing our experience with other women so that we can create better opportunities for us. Together we can achieve more, so next time you have an opportunity to positively impact another woman’s career, take it!