FINLANDIA CHEESE, INC., a subsidiary of Valio Ltd., the largest and most innovative dairy co-operative in Finland, has a career opportunity to drive product profitability and lead the commercialization of new products across multiple categories. Our mission is to deliver the best tasting award-winning dairy products that have been crafted with pure, natural, high-quality ingredients. We are proud to be part of a large global, farmer owned, organization, with over 110 years of dairy experience and passion. Please visit us at www.FinlandiaCheese.com and https://www.valio.com for additional information.
The Category & Commercialization Manager will develop a long term plan and strategy for the products in their categories of responsibility, as well as lead the development and commercialization of new products that ensure profitable growth and long-term success of the company. This includes understanding market needs and developing and testing high quality, high value products and packaging that can be successfully marketed to consumers through retail, club and foodservice channels. The Category and Commercialization Manager will be responsible for managing vendors and leading cross-functional teams to execute successful launches against tight timelines, as well as supporting the Sales team with product and packaging expertise and go to market planning.
Essential Functions (not limited to):
Drive growth and profitability of the category by ensuring competitiveness of the portfolio
Identify gaps in the market, new platforms and line extensions to build NPD pipeline and collaborate with parent company’s R&D team to develop new items/formulas
Prepare business case and product feasibility studies for proposed new products including pricing and volume estimates
Lead qualitative and quantitative market research
Develop launch plans and timelines for commercialization of new items
Lead cross functional teams (composed of domestic and international members) to execute the commercialization process, monitor project progress, communicate issues, identify opportunities, align expectations, identify potential risks and overcome obstacles to deliver against tight timelines in a dynamic environment
Work closely with domestic and international manufacturing plants, converters and printers to determine production and packaging capabilities - lead design of packaging, including substrate, structure and graphics, for new items
Work with quality and regulatory personnel to identify key/unique product attributes
Key point of contact for Marketing and Sales teams for in-market performance intelligence, insights and strategy
Analyze customer-specific, market and consumer data, in order to make fact-based category management recommendations, run SKU optimization projects and support development of formal presentations for the Sales and Management teams
Understand and articulate market conditions and apply insight beyond the data
Champion actionable strategies, plan adjustments, and course corrections to optimize product performance and profitability
Propose category management solutions for new business opportunities and top retail accounts by identifying sales trends, post promotion analysis, consumer pull and opportunity gaps
Assist with the development of comprehensive mid-year and end-year reviews for retail customers
Build annual situation assessment for Marketing Department annual business plan
Skills and Experience:
Ability to develop business cases and feasibility studies – to drive and oversee profitability
Strong analytical skills (including pulling and analyzing syndicated data) and project management/launching experience
Experience in NPD and leading multi-factional teams that include participants from other global units (including R&D, Marketing, supply chain, etc.)
Strategic planning skills and excellent tactical skills – roll-up sleeves and multi-task
Branded consumer goods experience and knowledge of the retail, club and food service landscapes
Demonstrated ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced, changing, limited resource environment and the ability to work effectively under tight timelines
Strong project management skills with attention to detail and the ability to get results through others who are not direct reports
Strong agency and vendor management skills
Strategic and creative thinking with strong communication skills
Possess an in-depth understanding of designing for and printing on different packaging substrates
Possess an understanding of US FDA food labeling guidelines and keep current on new regulations
Bachelor's Degree in a relevant field, MBA preferred
5+ years of experience in product development and commercialization
Ability to travel both domestic and international -- 15%
Finlandia Cheese, Inc. is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.
We offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical benefits, company paid dental, vision and life insurance and 401(k) program.
About Finlandia Cheese, Inc.
At Finlandia Cheese, Inc. our mission is to deliver the best tasting and award-winning cheese and butter products that are crafted with pure, natural and high-quality ingredients. We are proud to be a part of twelve international subsidiaries of Valio Ltd., and share over 110 years of experience and passion. From the legendary rich nutty taste of our award winning Finlandia Swiss to our imported butter and creamy gourmet cheeses, we offer a complete lineup of premium dairy products to make snacking, entertaining and everyday meals extra delicious. www.finlandiacheese.com