Senior Category Manager (Cat) – Cincinnati, OH

A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet. What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

The Sr. Category Manager is responsible for providing category solutions and shopper-based insights to drive category growth on assigned businesses or segments (e.g., Dog or Cat) and is working with our Kroger customer partner. Our mission is to provide unparalleled value to stakeholders and to become the customer’s “First Choice in Category Leadership.” The associate will manage the relationship with their account to include third party entities that work on behalf of the customer (i.e., PLM, 84.51°). The associate is responsible for conveying and receiving information relevant to the category and coordinating with their sales counterparts and cross-functional teams to deliver and execute effective business solutions in the area of category leadership, consumer and shopper insights.

Principal Accountabilities
o Create, communicate, and coordinate category leadership initiatives and related action plans that deliver account and joint business planning objectives
o Develop and communicate an assortment strategy that most effectively manages space, execution against must-have items, and placement of new items
o Understand and execute category leadership concepts including but not limited to: assortment reviews, pricing analysis, new item introductions, promotional planning and evaluation, consumer usage analysis
o Provide the team and stakeholders with on-going information regarding initiatives, opportunities, issues and changes to plans
o Coordinate and work with cross-functional (e.g., retail) and internal (e.g., Category Growth Managers and Sales Planner) partners to most efficiently and effectively leverage all resources to ensure the best possible plan and execution
o Monitor and communicate relevant market data to customer and internal stakeholders
o Present mega-trends and category growth drivers to the customer
o Research and provide direction to customer on trends as they present themselves via industry journals/experts
o Develop and deliver timely reporting for evaluation of customer and Mars performance
o Leverage access to all information systems which affect the ability to perform category analysis and implement category management processes
o Utilize tools and processes such as item optimization, customized marketing, shelf space optimization/utilization, in-store merchandising, pricing, and promotion planning
o Lead in development and execution of primary research projects in conjunction with customer strategic development plan and in collaboration with assigned Shopper Insights manager
o Leverage relevant secondary research/data sources to identify & quantify business opportunities
o Develop and execute plans for implementation of marketplace initiatives designed to test theories developed via primary and secondary research

  • Planogram Creation and Revision

o Develop and recommend merchandising solutions to generate category growth and implement Shopper Based Design insights
o Draw planograms and shelving recommendations for all assigned categories and segments

Key Functional Skills/Knowledge

  • Demonstrates ability to select, analyze and integrate consumer/shopper, customer and category information to deliver business solutions in alignment with Mars and customer strategies
  • Demonstrates the knowledge and application of Category Management processes and theories of delivering value-added category and shopper solutions
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the strategies, processes and structures of Mars and our customers (or ability to learn)
  • Stays current with new developments and seeks ways to use technology to increase learning, productivity and business results
  • Understands the roles and importance of vendor relationships and manages vendors to provide business solutions that address stakeholder’s needs and improve the company’s competitive position
  • Effectively plans and manages major business projects and activities that directly support key unit goals

Preferred Qualifications:
Bachelors Degree and/or Advanced Degree
5 years of CPG experience in Consumer-Packaged Goods sales, category management, analytics, or consumer and shopper insights
2 years of category management experience
2 years of Kroger experience and familiarity with Kroger’s KOMPASS process, CCO process, and JBP process
Experience with Kroger specific data sources to include Market 6 POS data and Kroger’s Shopper Card data (84.51° data or dunnhumby)
Experience with Space Management Software (JDA or Apollo)
Ability to travel 20% of the time
Clean driving record and valid drivers license
Willingness to submit to a background check and drug screen


Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.


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