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Category Development Manager - Leeds

Do you have a passion for the rapidly growing Ecom grocery sector? A strategic category and shopper expert with a keen eye for developing excellence in category execution plans?


Do you want to be part of a growing team that will be leading the direction around how to unlock category and commercial growth?

Do you thrive with high levels of autonomy and have a hunger for delivering commercial results from  thorough category and shopper understanding?


Ecom is the fastest growing channel in Dairy and Arla are looking for an experienced Category Manger to join our team. You will be the expert and share the strategic direction for online and ecom across our retail partnerships.


You will report into the Category Development Controller and will be responsible for developing ECOM, Pureplay & retail execution plans taking the category strategies as a start point. This will go hand in hand with being the expert at an Ecom channel level and creating category channel plans that identify specifically how to win across Dairy.


You will be the expert in all things ecom and online grocery retail and will have a deep and thorough understanding on Arla’s performance in those areas highlighting clear growth opportunities that can be commercialised.  Innovation is also an area that you will support through robust category rationales and post launch analysis.


Working with the sales and marketing teams, you will be a strong networker and influencer with a focus on results and execution through your commercialised category and shopper insights. You will have the leadership behaviours and experience to coach and develop colleagues to support the delivery of team and business objectives  


Key Responsibilities

  • Define the Arla Category Strategy across each channel – where to win and how to play
  • Be the Dairy expert for ecom and online grocery retailers – provide insights, growth opportunities, and performance insights at a channel level highlighting strategic growth opportunities and implementing plans to address
  • Taking the cat strats, develop retail execution plans identifying specifically how to grow the categories across each of  the  4 P’s  -  and create a standard toolkit to be tailored by each customer category manager
  • Identify range gaps – either distribution opportunities or pack size gaps that we need by channel
  • Identify range risks to Arla where sku’s are underperforming by channel/category
  • Lead key business projects, eg, channel research, shopper segmentation, fixture of the future, category input to business planning cycle, total dairy shopper principles
  • Track long term category and business performance vs long term growth plans
  • Provides holistic external insights, trends and performance KPI’s (Shopper & Channel)
  • Create clear growth driving range/portfolio/fixture/space plans/promo plans by channel grounded in shopper insight
  • Create bullet proof category rationale’s for  selective innovation
  • Provide robust post launch analysis for innovations
  • Act as a business partner to brand teams/sales teams and the wider category teams


Key Skills

  • Curious by nature and applies this to shopper/category understanding
  • A Storyteller – Can create the context of ‘Why’ and ‘How’ succinctly from multiple complex data sources
  • Commercially Astute – Full appreciation of retailer commercial challenges and business commercial challenges and able to navigate through them
  • A problem solver – Able to find solutions to complex category problems from lots of data without becoming ‘data blind’
  • Team First ‘I’ Second – A true team player and focussed on success for the team and function
  • A Performance Mindset and results driven
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and not always having 100% of the answers but enough to drive fantastic execution
  • Relationship Builder – can build a rapport quickly and maintain it and comfortable independently managing stakeholders at all levels
  • Inspires confidence – trusted to get on with the job and thrives with challenges
  • Fully conversant in all data sets and awesome at finding the insights – A true expert in category and shopper
  • Adaptable – Able to embrace change quickly and adapt to changing needs of shoppers, customers and Arla
  • Shopper and Category Obsessed – Genuine passion for understanding the shopper and using this understanding to drive a competitive advantage


Experience Required

  • Fully conversant with Kantar/Nielsen/IRI/retailer data systems
  • Experience of working with Ecom and Pureplay retailers such as Amazon & Ocado within FMCG
  • Minimum 10 years FMCG experience in category/commercial/strategy roles
  • Extensive experience of strategy development and deployment in retailers with demonstrable results


COVID-19 Notice:
We are busy producing dairy products so we can continue #fillingtheshelves and #feedingthenation. Recruiting talent to Arla thus stays one of our top priorities also during these difficult times. Necessity is the mother of invention, so we have moved to virtual hiring and onboarding processes for most of our recruitments to enable candidates and our recruitment teams to get close while respecting social distancing. If at the final stages of a recruitment, a candidate would prefer to meet in person, we take all the necessary precautions to ensure everyone's safety.


Req. 71452



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