This week, we caught up with the group marketing strategy manager of Eat Well Live Well, Tracey Rowles.
Image supplied: Tracey Rowles, Eat Well Live Well group marketing strategy manager, and her mother.
Playing a key role in strengthening our knowledge about nutrition, Rowles uses her 20 years of experience in marketing to learn and refine best practices for nutrition and health marketing strategies at Eat Well Live Well.
We spoke to her about her work and what she gets up to behind the scenes…
Tell us a bit more about what you do?
My role consists of championing the adoption and execution of the Tiger Brands health and nutrition strategy as well as managing the Eat Well Live Well Institute and education programme so that we realise our purpose ‘to make healthier eating choices easier for all South Africans’.
I provide guidance and best practices to our brand teams on strategic brand positioning and planning. I am also responsible for building an effective learning programme that closes marketing competency development areas whilst creating a repository of ‘best practice’ marketing tools.
What’s really behind your selfie?
This is a selfie of my mom and I. My parents are retired and live in the Cape so I don’t get to see them that often.
When we took this pic my Mom was 71! She looks great for her age considering that she has had NO surgical intervention. I got my passion for health and nutrition from her and was exposed to the right way of eating from a very young age.
She always subscribed to the age-old adage, “You are what you eat”. To this day I am grateful for these learnings and find myself passing on these foundations to my own children, friends and colleagues.
Growing up, what did you want to do?
I wanted to be a fashion designer.
How did you end up doing what you do now?
Through my pursuit of fashion design, I worked in London for a large retailer in their buying department. I realised that I enjoyed the mix of business, strategy and creative development vs purely being in a creative profession.
My first role in brand marketing was at L’Oreal - where the hiring philosophy was centred around finding people who had a ‘sensitivity to metier’.
L’Oreal is where my career in brand management and marketing began. That was over 20 years ago and today I continue to keep my ‘sword sharp’ by adopting a lifelong learning habit and staying in tune with social sciences and ever-refining best practices in marketing and strategy.
Tell us a bit about some highlights of your career.
The highlight of my career has been at Tiger Brands where I have had the privilege to flex my purposeful marketing muscles across some of South Africa’s most loved brands and develop a brand positioning tool that we fondly call the brand ‘pawprint’.
I also look after the Eat Well Live Well programme which seeks to help people make healthier eating choices on a budget. I am really proud of the work we have done to date with The State of Nutrition reports as well as our nutrition guide books.
When you’re not busy working, what do you do? How do you socialise these days?
I am a founding member of a Toastmaster club in my area called ‘Storymasters’. The club was founded in 2020 and it has been truly fulfilling to watch seemingly shy introverts find their voice and become competent communicators.
My husband and my sons are avid cricket enthusiasts and my weekends are largely consumed by spectating school and club cricket; attending to my Toastmaster volunteership and planning the ‘healthy’ meals for the following week.
In between, I try to attend yoga classes, go for runs or walks with my dog, catch up with friends and read non-fiction or listen to audible novels.
What are you watching/reading/listening to right now?
I am re-reading Impact Players by Liz Wiseman. I am really into non-fiction self-improvement books.
What’s your favourite gif?
I absolutely love the minions and as I always tell my kids when you get a snack attack eat a banana first and then you are less likely to crave sugary snacks.
Give us some of your best loadshedding survival tips?
If you work full-time like I do you must find a gap over the weekend to meal prep. Prepping for the week means that you can plan nutritionally balanced meals for you and your family.
Arrange your fridge where the fresh fruit and veg are on the shelves and the butter, spreads and processed proteins are in the drawers. When you or your family open that fridge door you want the healthy snacks to be visible and ready to eat.
In regards to loadshedding - you can never go wrong with a simple sandwich. I like to prepare mine open using brown bread topped with crunchy lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and some tuna mayonnaise. I always keep washed and shredded iceberg lettuce in a bag, chopped veggies that are ready to ‘gooi’ and prepped tuna mayo and/or chicken mayo for my anytime open sandwiches. They are so easy to make - I can even do it in the dark!