KeHE Distributors Job - 39584347 | CareerArc
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Company: KeHE Distributors
Location: Naperville, IL
Career Level: Mid-Senior Level
Industries: Food, Beverage



Good people, working with good people, for our common good.

Sound good?

KeHE-a natural, organic, specialty and fresh food distributor-is all about "good" and is growing, so there's never been a more exciting time to join our team. If you're enthusiastic about working in an environment with a people-first culture and an organization committed to good living, good food and good service, we'd love to talk to you!

Primary Responsibilities:

The Category Manager is responsible for being a subject matter expert in market dynamics affecting natural, specialty, and/or fresh categories. The individual in this position will maintain KeHE's reputation as a best-in-class distributor, while achieving their goals and objectives. A successful candidate will have a strong understanding of analytics and data to maximize category sales and margin, while developing a category strategy with a curated, balanced brand portfolio. As with all positions at KeHE, we expect that all actions will be consistent with KeHE's Mission, Vision and Values.

Essential Functions:
  • Identify and monitor consumer and product trends and insights to support category strategies and supplier negotiations through multiple sources, including but not limited to:
    • KeHE internal metrics, including supplier performance
    • Product attribute, category, and retail channel trends
    • Consumer behavior shifts
    • Shopper purchase patterns
    • Market visits, trade shows, industry events
  • Manage existing suppliers and brokers to ensure a continuous flow of relevant line-extensions, promotional support, and performance reviews.
  • Forage for innovative products that will shape the future through strategic involvement with industry partners, shows, publications, etc., while creating a highly curated brand portfolio. Proactively seize non-traditional, horizontal assortment growth opportunities.
  • Nurture small and emerging brands to increase industry knowledge and maximize marketplace potential, while maintaining supplier partnerships with predictable performers.
  • Define purpose and role of category within KeHE portfolio and set, measure, and track specific category metrics to ensure performance success.
  • Translate data into actionable and innovative insights to create turn-key, influential solutions for KeHE's sales team and retailer partners. Generate industry leading category reviews and brand selling tools and effectively communicate and present information to relevant audience.
  • Develop impactful promotional programs and marketing events with existing and new suppliers that align with determined go-to-market strategy.
  • Maintain highly competitive marketing fund agreements and methods to optimize sales and assortment productivity throughout KeHE's nationwide distribution network.
  • Participate in planning, developing, enhancing and implementing KeHE shows and events to meet attendance and performance objectives.
  • Organize and lead meetings with both internal stakeholders and external vendor partners.
  • Work collaboratively with various departments within KeHE to achieve traction for new products, programs, and sales growth associated with category strategies.
Minimum Requirements, Qualifications, Additional Skills, Aptitude:
  1. 4-year bachelor's degree in business or related field of study.
  2. Experience within the food industry with 3+ years of Category and/or Sales Management.
  3. Demonstrate facility using syndicated purchase data, consumption data, panel/demographic data, and consumer insights (e.g. IRI, SPINS, Nielsen, Mintel, CSIA, ShopperSights).
  4. Natural, specialty, and/or fresh product knowledge with ability to provide examples of facilitation of selling category and product solutions (e.g. presentation, webinar, tools).
  5. Proficiency in MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  6. Possess a sense of urgency and attention to accuracy and detail.
  7. Ability to effectively manage a wide variety of tasks simultaneously and often with minimal direction or time conflicting pressures.
  8. Willingness to travel domestically, occasionally over weekends (about 20-35%).

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