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Julia Pascu

Andy Kemp-King

The former bosses of the leading grocery benchmarking programme in the UK and Ireland have announced the expansion of their own research group, creating several new jobs.

Julia Pascu and Andy Kemp-King had been running the Advantage Report in the UK and Ireland for nearly 20 years under a franchise agreement with Advantage Group International (AGI), based in Canada. 

They had worked with leading suppliers, UK and Irish retailers and wholesalers on the Advantage Report, which became the industry-standard programme for measuring and benchmarking performance between the key trading partners.  

The Advantage Report franchise agreement ended on 31 December 2020, and as a result Ms Pascu and Mr Kemp-King have now decided to focus activities on their separate business called Finger on the Pulse Research Ltd.

Ms Pascu, managing director of Finger on the Pulse Research, explained that this would create several new jobs at the company which is a subsidiary of Advantage Group UK Ltd, owned by herself and Mr Kemp-King.

This business-to-business research agency focuses on providing bespoke research solutions to a range of clients in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector and other industries.

Ms Pascu said: “AGI has decided to take over the operation of the Advantage Report programmes through a corporate model, with a branch in the UK. 

“Having run our own business, albeit under licence, for nearly 20 years, Mr Kemp-King and I decided not to transfer to the newly formed branch but instead take the opportunity to focus on Finger on the Pulse Research.

“We are very grateful for the franchise relationship we have had with AGI since the early 2000s and we wish them all the very best in the future.

“The expansion of the Finger on the Pulse Research company will now enable myself and Mr Kemp-King to offer research solutions to the CPG sector and other industries.

“The business specialises in providing bespoke research services, in particular gathering stakeholder feedback on behalf of clients from their customers, suppliers and employees.”

Recent projects by Finger on the Pulse Research have included employee, customer satisfaction and supplier surveys for major food manufacturers, healthcare businesses, automotive and defence groups.

Areas explored as part of recent projects have included: working from home, diversity in the workplace, and measuring the impact of Brexit on the supply chain.

The company has also conducted a COVID-19 study to understand the challenges faced by suppliers and retailers during the first wave of the pandemic, identifying what ‘best in class’ looked like for both retailers and suppliers.

Now that the Advantage Report franchise has ended, Ms Pascu and Mr Kemp-King will be further developing Finger on the Pulse Research, which has been operating since 2014. More details on the business can be found at www.fotpresearch.com.

Ms Pascu’s early career was in international key account management and marketing before completing an MBA at the University of Bath. She has since worked in the CPG sector and market research for nearly 20 years. 

She added: “I am passionate about helping clients drive stronger and more successful relationships based on collaboration, trust, transparency and mutual respect.”

Mr Kemp-King, who is now the research director of Finger on the Pulse Research, has had an extensive career on the retailer, wholesaler and supplier sides of the CPG industry.

He said: “I enjoy combining my industry and commercial experience with the research experience I’ve gained over the past 20 years in developing and managing complex benchmarking programmes.

“This has involved me working with and helping clients at all levels of the CPG sector to measure, understand and further develop their business relationships and commercial performance.

“The new focus on expanding our own business will enable us to deliver industry leading projects to an even wider range of clients across the CPG and other sectors.”