Victoria Robertson currently serves as KFC‘s Senior Innovation Leader/ “vegetable enthusiast” for the UK and Ireland.
Her background in plant-based nutrition and naturopathic medicine might make her a seemingly unlikely employee for a fast-food chain, but Robertson was bought on board to revolutionise the company in keeping with changing consumer needs — people want healthier, plant-based options when they go out to eat.
Robertson is one of the key drivers of KFC’s 100% vegan chicken burger that is set to be launched on 17th June 2019. The announcement of the launch went viral on Twitter as excited vegans and opinionated carnivores took to their keyboards to have their say.
She is responsible for managing KFC’s product development pipeline and team within the UK and Ireland, “with a heavy focus on nutritional change, sustainable packaging, commercial requirements and operational scale-up.”
She says she wants to transform the menu from ‘Fast Food’ to ‘Fast Good’ through a number of key initiatives including – more vegetarian offerings, non-fried products, healthier fries, 5-a-day sides and more under 600 calorie options.
While many companies have fallen short when trying to join the movement that is seeing more vegans than ever and a renewed focus on sustainable consumption, Robertson’s impressive career history indicates that she is perhaps perfectly placed to help the company join the health and sustainability revolution.
Prior to joining KFC, she worked as Head of Culinary for HelloFresh, the recipe kit delivery unicorn set up in 2011, that is now worth over $1.6 billion and operates in 8 countries. From 2015 to 2017, she led the culinary and editorial teams to streamline the company’s ideation, strategic planning, brand alignment and recipes.
To help propel the brand into the household name that it is today she focused on gaining knowledge of gastronomic trends, seasonal produce and organised supplier visits and weekly creative workshops to encourage ongoing culinary innovation in alignment with Hello Fresh’s wider business pipeline. She also led a number of partnerships — most notably a one-year collaboration with celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.
A real foodie, she has also worked as a national chef consultant, nutritional consultant, speaker and food writer and has undergone numerous training programmes around topics of sustainability, plant-based diets and naturopathic medicine.
A little outside of the box for the career she has ended up in, Robertson spent over 6 years working for the oil company, BP. Joining the BP Graduate programme in 2007, she rose the ranks leaving as European Sales Trading Originator and Emissions Operator in 2013.