Category Manager (Food & Beverage): La Plata, MD

The Category Manager will serve as the ambassador for the food category, and is responsible for driving category management principles through the application of strong, proactive data analytics and consumer/shopper insights. The Manager will provide compelling presentations and other information in support of sales and category growth and guidance to other Category Management team members. This person will own the food category management strategy and is accountable for developing relationships at the vendor and customer level.

The Category Manager organizes, directs, plans and controls activity that ensures customer value, excellence in presentation, quality and consistency of product, innovation, productivity and ethical community and organization responsibility. Generally the time management required for success in this position is 25% field time and 75% administrative time.

This position requires a seasoned knowledge of the products and disciplines provided in merchandising programs. Incumbent will possess strong marketing background that focuses on identifying and satisfying customer needs. As this is a staff support function, it is critical that the incumbent possess superior written and verbal communication skills.

Strong interpersonal skills enable the incumbent to effectively incorporate programs and disciplines into the management culture at all levels. The incumbent develops and submits for approval marketing strategy plans. Ultimate responsibilities lie with the incumbent for the implementation of all aspects of the approved strategy: products, pricing, promotions, training, and management measuring systems.

The incumbent works very closely with the Area Manager, Franchisee, and Store Manager. A healthy working partnership is vital to the overall success of the company. While the needs of all team members should be considered in all situations, the needs of our customers and our commitments to them should be the deciding factor in all decisions. This delicate balance of management relationship is critical. The incumbent will act as an advisor to line management in the annual budget process.

The incumbent is responsible for the development, utilization, and monitoring of management reports that accurately chart progress and identify areas of opportunity

Responsibilities:

  • Developing business plans and strategies to grow category sales, market share, and category space.
  • Performing category and channel analysis in a fast paced environment to drive food category growth period over period.
  • Educating the franchisee and operations team on consumer and business insights /tools.
  • Being the expert and thought leader of the food category / leading discussions with retail partners to drive category growth.
  • Ensuring continued sales and gross profit contribution through quality marketing strategy and effective execution of the strategy.
  • Analyzing and evaluating demographic profiles and consumer purchasing behavior in individual account/categories and groups of accounts/ categories.
  • Ensuring that the integrity of the "brands” are maintained to the standards of our brand and vendor partners.
  • Constantly monitoring performance of managed brands/products to ensure it meets organizational objectives.
  • Performing competitive analysis by category, brand and package to identify trends, opportunities and challenges to core business areas.
  • Identifying new business opportunities for new products, re-launches, packaging changes, range extensions and proposes initial plans to exploit these opportunities.
  • Developing, communicating, implementing and coordinating all foods promotions; participating in all national programs that are suitable.
  • Developing, communicating, implementing and coordinating all new programs using the EVA process and EVA modeling.
  • Cooperating with community to enhance the company's image.
  • Striving to get maximum efficiency from our programs, advertising, and promotions.
  • Participating in annual sales, gross profit, EVA planning through the budgetary process, and committing to the attainment of same.
  • Assisting in requests by senior management for information/presentation to support strategy, driving sales & execution of category vision.
  • Liaising with internal departments and external agencies to ensure full communication and success of marketing plans.
  • Staying abreast of national/global consumer food trends across channels / categories.

Requirements:

  • BS/BA in relevant field; Marketing/Business Administration preferred
  • +5 years of experience in a fast-paced consumer packaged goods environment or relevant agency experience
  • Must have a minimum 3 years of multi-unit leadership experience in a retail Prepared Foods environment.
  • A consumer driven food and beverage leader and innovator with a proven record of developing and executing best in class customer service and operations in a convenience/retail, fast casual environment. Experience in multi-unit environments critical.
  • Ability to evaluate and analyze consumer trends that drive sound product and brand innovation and ongoing program development.
  • Exceptional communication, organizational and project management skills, with strong ability to collaborate across the business and work under pressure.
  • Category leadership, project management, retail sales & analytics expertise
  • Ability to analyze, interpret and act upon statistical information and data daily. This would include daily sales, food costs, profit margins, inventory controls and food & beverage purchasing protocols
  • Demonstrated success in setting and meeting or exceeding sales and margin targets.
  • Procurement experience.
  • Strong proven customer service, communication and presentation skills.
  • Excellent computer skills – proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Ability to travel to store locations and key conferences/events.
  • Knowledge of contemporary food service trends, contemporary marketing trends, and knowledge of health and safety requirements.
  • ServSafe or comparable food and beverage safety training and certification
  • Office productivity software skills (e.g., PowerPoint, Excel, SAP)
  • Using promotion databases, financial reporting and promotional analysis
  • Interpreting and carrying out shopper communication objectives to ensure reason-to buy is readily apparent on finished deliverables
  • Managing projects with deadlines to meet customer needs
  • Ability to think strategically and increase effectiveness in achieving overall strategies in a highly collaborative environment
  • Ability to develop strong relationships across many functions and external partners
  • Strong oral and written communication skills to influence and secure cross-functional support
  • Excellent analytical skills and business acumen to build strong business cases for change

 

Compensation:

Competitive salary range commensurate with education and experience.

Please apply directly to Courtney by sending your resume in Word format to: courtney@dcmstaffing.com. Please list your subject line as: "Category Manager Candidate: (Your Name)"

ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED IS CONFIDENTIAL.
THERE IS NO COST INVOLVED FOR ANY APPLICANT AS ALL FEES ARE CLIENT/COMPANY PAID.

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