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Category Development Manager - Leeds


Leeds, GB

Are you a passionate and 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 in our growing Drinks business?

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

This role is solely dedicated to the Soft Drinks Category; working with category data to better equip our commercial community to retain and grow incumbent business


You will report into the Category Development Controller and will be responsible for developing execution plans for all channels taking the category strategies as a start point. This will go hand in hand with being the expert at a channel level and creating category channel plans that identify specifically how to win in each channel across Dairy Drinks.

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

  • Use our Category Strategy to collaboratively build & have on going ownership of the cross channel / fixture MBB Toolkit so that we have a ‘best in class’ guide for the broader MBB team to work towards
  • Be the Soft Drinks Category expert– provide insights, growth opportunities, and performance insights at a channel level highlighting strategic growth opportunities and implementing plans to address
  • 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 soft drinks 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 innovation & branded initiatives
  • 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’
  • To have tenacity and ability to drive change within a global organisation
  • 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
  • Prior FMCG experience in a strategic category/commercial/strategy roles
  • Extensive experience of strategy development and deployment in retailers with demonstrable results


The closing date for applications will be 31st-March- 2023

For more information please contact Oliver Burr at


We have a purpose for Good

At Arla, we strive to unlock the highest potential in each other while working together to create a sustainable future of dairy. We call it Stronger People Stronger Planet and it is deeply anchored in our organisation and founded on our commitment to respecting human rights, increasing access to healthy dairy nutrition, inspiring good food habits, and improving the environment for future generations. In order to succeed we need to hire people with a sustainable mindset. Could this be you?


It has come to our attention that there are a number of fraudulent emails and fake recruitment campaigns on the internet from people purporting to work for Arla Foods. Learn more via this link.



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