Category Development Manager

Date: Jul 5, 2024

Location: London, ENG, GB

Company: Suntory Global Spirits

About Suntory Global Spirits


Suntory Global Spirits is a world leader in premium spirits. With a clear vision and strategy, a world-class portfolio of brands, and an inclusive, engaging culture, the business is growing its global footprint with an ambition to achieve $10B in sales by 2030.


We are a company rooted in two centuries of family heritage with a rich interplay of diverse cultures. Combining the new with the familiar, we encourage our people to inspire brilliance. To push boundaries. To pursue excellence and quality at every step.


Unleash Your Spirit and join a global team dedicated to crafting new experiences, from seed to sip.


About the role


As Suntory Global Spirits accelerates its global footprint, we are establishing our own commercial business in the UK. As one of the largest, most sophisticated spirits markets in the world, the UK offer significant  potential for our portfolio of premium brands. We’re building a world-class team to create a new and exciting business that is rooted in strong foundations, led by our values and long-term commercial ambition.

What makes this a great opportunity?

As Suntory Global Spirits accelerates its global footprint, we are establishing our own commercial business in the UK. As one of the largest, most sophisticated spirits markets in the world, the UK offers significant potential for our portfolio of premium brands. We’re building a world-class team to create a new and exciting business that is rooted in strong foundations, led by our values and long-term commercial ambition.


· Be part of the establishment & set-up of direct route-to-market project to elevate UK market to the next level.

· Exposure to a wide range of stakeholders, including senior leaders.

· Opportunity to contribute to driving commercial results and process improvement within a newly set up company.


The Category Development Manager will support our goal to become the worlds most admired spirits company by utilising compelling, data based category stories to grow our business across all channels and build our credibility as category builders in the spirits industry.


As a key partner across all channels, this is an exciting, influential and varied role that needs someone who is just as comfortable pulling the “so what” from extensive and complex data, as they are presenting “why it matters to you” to key accounts.

Role Responsibilities


· Utilise multiple data sources to analyse market and category performance across all our sales channels to identify opportunities for growth and foresight on potential challenges

Act as the voice of the category; challenging the Commercial Leadership team and your peers to always take a category building approach, reinforcing your voice with sound data points and effective category stories

· Deliver concise and effective category selling stories that can be understood by a variety of audiences and take initiative on who needs to understand them and when around key trading periods

· Build on and leverage relationships with existing and new Off Trade, On Trade and eCommerce customers with our account management teams to support the growth of the Premium Spirits category

· Provide an unbiased perspective on the context of the category, considering the consumer, shopper and retailer to:

- Identify key questions & challenges for the business

- Develop effective customer sell-in stories

- Support the development of shopper centric NPD & innovation

· Able to utilise your expertise to contribute to key business processes:

- Weekly & monthly performance updates

- Competitor performance tracking & reviews

- Customer demand planning, forecasting and risks & opportunities process

- Annual P&L planning

- Annual brand and channel planning

· Identify, define, and execute growth projects enabling timely and well-targeted changes that anticipates on the developing market

· Partner with Brand Marketing at all levels to ensure category considerations are interwoven into brand development and asset creation

· Work closely with the Insights & Reporting Manager to create harmonic category & insight led stories that enable commercial teams to win with their accounts

· Ensure close collaboration with Marketing to bring brand plans to life in the marketplace and support with customer presentations

· Working closely with other functions such as Finance, HR and Operations ensure the best possible delivery against agreed KPI’s and targets.

· Provide wider category insight to the business to contribute the medium-term plan.



· A minimum of 4 years category management and/or insight experience within the FMCG sector

· Confident using key data sources such as Nielsen, DunnHumby (Tesco), Nectar (Sainsburys), Beet (Ocado) and CGA

· Demonstrates understanding of retailer needs and how effective category strategy can address them


Key skills and behaviours

· Expert in simplifying complex data and conveying the “so what” of category data as concisely and simply as possible

· Expert influencer with an understanding of the role of establishing category and insight as the foundations of commercial selling stories

· Demonstrable experience of partnering with Senior Managers, Heads of channel and Directors; able to act as a leader without direct people management

· Able to present confidently to external customers at a variety of levels

· An ability to forecast accurately and an attention to detail

· Ability to flex style to a diverse range of internal and external audiences

· Effectively demonstrates ability to use data to create commercial arguments

· Understanding of shopper needs and how to utilise this to drive brand and commercial objectives

· Entrepreneurship and an eye for new opportunities

· Developed influencing and negotiating ability

· Well-developed written & verbal communication, presentation skills

· A desire to learn and progress in a fast-growing business

At Suntory Global Spirits, people are our number one priority, and we believe our people grow together in diverse and inclusive environments where their unique insights, experiences and backgrounds are valued and respected. Suntory Global Spirits is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, military veteran status and all other characteristics, attributes or choices protected by law. All recruitment and hiring decisions are based on an applicant’s skills and experience.

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