Category Planning Manager – Food, Harwich, Essex

Category Planning Manager – Food

Food experience essential

Permanent Full Time, based in Harwich, Essex 

If you are looking to further your career with an exciting global, outward-looking company we would be delighted to hear from you.

Surya Foods is one of the largest suppliers of authentic world foods in the UK and the company behind Top 3* UK rice brand Laila basmati.

It is part of the rapidly expanding, family run Flying Trade Group (FTG) which boasts an annual UK turnover in excess of £130-million and operates in over 30 countries. Impressive growth has seen FTG enter the 2018 Sunday Times Top Track 250 league tables and the Sunday Times International Track 200 in 2019.

The biggest supplier of world food lines into supermarket giants Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, with extensive independent retail accounts across the UK, Surya Foods also represents some of the world’s leading brands including Britannia Biscuits, National Foods, FOCO, Ajinomoto and Samai among others. In 2020, we plan to extend our horizons into new core mainstream categories and own-label as we transition to a mainstream FMCG manufacturer and need a Category Planning Manager to help facilitate this growth. We will be launching well over 100 products into new product categories in 2020.

The scale and breadth of our business activities means we can offer great variety and a fantastic environment to start or further your career and owing to our company’s ambitious growth plans we are always looking for talented employees to complement our team.

Our company culture supports and nurtures personal development to ensure a first step with us always brings further opportunities.

We are recruiting, on a permanent basis, for an experienced Category Planning Manager working across all channels and food categories, on all of our brand and private label development.

We are looking for that special someone with great category vision. Using data sources, market research and consumer insights, you will be able to identify commercial opportunities, formulate a product and promotional calendar and support the commercial team with strong strategic category plans.

You will excel at data analytics, spotting and identifying trends and undertaking market reviews to create the right ranging, pricing and promotional strategies. You will have a track record of collaborative internal relationships with commercial teams, developing them to sell your category vision successfully. You will have a track record of being a highly trusted “true independent industry expert” that major customers have turned to, to help them make the right commercial decisions to grow their sales, profits and create long-term sustainable competitive advantage. You will ideally have experience in both brand and own-label products and have a minimum of 5 years’ experience at a major food retailer or FMCG manufacturer in food category roles.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop a multi-channel growth category strategy for each product group
  • Develop a multi-channel growth category strategy for each major customer aligning to each individual customer’s key objectives
  • Grow “Surya” owned brands to a wider audience
  • Grow “Agency Partner” brands to a wider audience
  • Be known as the “go to” Category Specialist and building fantastic relationships with customers
  • Determine the optimal range, price and promotions strategy for each product
  • Identify a forward “pipeline” of new product development utilising company manufacturing
  • Presenting new category solutions internally and externally

Day to Day Working

  • Ability to work autonomously and within a team.
  • Strong strategic thinker – solving customer problems and creating new solutions
  • Strong Project Management Skills
  • Strong Presentation and communication skills
  • Analytical skills imperative.
  • Ability to understand shopping behavior and patterns.
  • Building relationships internally and externally.


Online application form

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