Target today announced the hire of two new senior food and beverage leaders. Mark Kenny and Liz Nordlie will join Target to accelerate the retailer’s food and beverage strategy, aimed at offering a differentiated experience, with an emphasis on fresh produce, convenient eating and a curated assortment of affordable and accessible private brands and national brands.

“Across all categories of our business, we are investing to build an even better Target for our guests,” said Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Target. “We have been making positive progress with our assortment, presentation and operations in food and beverage this year. With Jeff Burt’s leadership, and the investment we’re making to bring on two new seasoned executives, combined with our already talented team, I’m confident we’ll be able to go even further, faster, delivering both an experience and assortment that’s uniquely Target.”Mark Kenny will join Target as vice president divisional, meat and fresh prepared food where he will oversee the meat, seafood, deli, bakery and prepared food categories. The prepared food space is growing rapidly in the U.S., and Kenny will help sharpen the retailer’s focus on convenient eating. Kenny joins Target from Walmart Inc., where he most recently was the senior director of private brands, deli and bakery. Kenny brings deep merchandising expertise across several food and beverage categories, as well as strong retail operational leadership to Target.

Liz Nordlie will join Target as vice president, product design and development for food and beverage. Target is known for its distinctive private brands that create differentiation and guest preference, and in this newly created role, Nordlie will oversee the brand direction and product vision for private brand food and beverage categories. With 27 years of brand building experience across 30 food and beverage businesses, Nordlie will lead and strengthen efforts underway with Target’s private brand portfolio. Nordlie joins Target from General Mills, Inc., where she spent 20 years in general management roles, building brands across cereal, snacks, meals, yogurt and baking core businesses, as well as natural and organics. Most recently, Nordlie was the president of General Mills baking division.

Kenny and Nordlie will join Target later this month. Kenny will report to Jeff Burt, senior vice president, food and beverage, and Nordlie will report to Julie Guggemos, senior vice president of product design and development.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.