Group Category Manager, Oceania

Date: May 10, 2024

Location: Sydney, NSW, AU

Company: Suntory Global Spirits

What makes this a great opportunity?

United by Suntory’s Yatte Minahare spirit, the permission to dream big and the determination to make it a reality, we’re embarking on a new chapter of growth, as we partner with Suntory Beverage & Foods Oceania to create Suntory Oceania, a new multi-beverage powerhouse across Australia and New Zealand. Underpinned by our diverse talent, market-leading brands, quality craftsmanship and a strong sense of purpose as partners we will create Oceania’s fourth largest beverage player with over $3bn in retail sales.

With an inspiring growth trajectory ahead, there has never been a better time to join the Suntory family. From July 2025, we will own local manufacturing, sales, and distribution for our full portfolio of alcohol and non-alcohol beverages. By harnessing the best of Suntory from across Australia and New Zealand, we will offer a unique portfolio of over 40 market-leading brands – powered by two local manufacturing sites, five distribution centres and more than 1500 Suntorians.

This role will build our alcohol category team, capability, and strategies in Australia and NZ; responsible for developing our long-term alcohol category vision and strategy that drives sustainable growth for Beam Suntory and the Suntory Oceania partnership. It will play a key role in shaping our growth strategies to deliver commercial and brand priorities that align with customer strategies.

The Group Category Manager will also play a lead role in evolving customer relationships to realize growth at a category level by providing clear articulation of strategic insights underpinned by macro trend, category specific insights & shopper behaviours. This role is designed to create the link between Beam Suntory & customers to continuously identify mid-long term category growth opportunities and the roles our alcohol portfolio plays within it. This is achieved through an in-depth understanding of the category; the customers role within it and their category strategy and priorities while working closely with Marketing, Innovation, Sales, Insights, Perfect Store and the RGM team.

The Group Category Manager will lead the agency relationships across Australia and NZ, including Quantium, Circana, Nielsen, Summit, Invigor and Real World Marketing.
The role will lead an Oceania based category team of six direct reports and two indirects. The slate is clean for you really to make your mark with this expanded team. 

Role Responsibilities

CATEGORY STRATEGIES & GROWTH INITIATIVES
•    Develop category strategies aligned with overall business objectives and based on deep category understanding, focusing on driving revenue growth, market share expansion, and increased brand loyalty
•    Provide category foresights for AUS and NZ total market, and at each key customer level and state level
•    Develop mid/long term category insights across sub categories and channels to shape our growth initiatives
•    Provide inputs to shape our mid-long term direction that drives our portfolio & innovation strategies 
SHOPPER/CATEGORY INSIGHTS
•    Provide deep understanding of shopper behaviours, needs & drivers for the category
•    Align shopper and category insights to support our portfolio / brand / innovation strategy and shape our category vision
•    Provide holistic shopper insights to enable clear articulation of benefits of our brand / innovation strategies to category strategies

MARKET & COMPETITOR INSIGHTS
•    Provide holistic understanding of drivers and detractors of key competitor brands, the assumptions of their mid-term strategy and priorities 
•    Provide in-depth quarterly reviews of brand & NPDs by key channels and customers, the performance and growth drivers, detractors (pricing, place and BTL & customer promotion) and the shopper insights

ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS FOR PLANNING
•    Leverage Global Demand Space and Making Moments frameworks to enable our brand priorities
•    Support the alignment of annual brand plans to category drivers in an engaging format for customer planning
•    Support development of sell story for Innovations based on category vision & strategy
•    Provide category and shopper insights for successful NPD development and launch including inputs in the gate process

STRATEGY FOCUSED CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENTS
•    Develop a category framework and actionable insights for customer planning day
•    By co-leading customer planning day encapsulating development of category insights, implication to portfolio and innovation strategies with clear links to customer strategies and priorities
COMMERCIAL ENABLEMENT
•    Responsible for delivery of commercial results as integral part of cross-functional team (NSV, Volume & Share)
•    Responsible for understanding key drivers for the monthly Demand Plan 
•    Provide inputs to allocation recommendations and support depletion plans through shopper insight to deliver plan
•    All Internal reporting in relation to category performance including JSP score cards and TBL analysis
•    Provide stakeholder appropriate insights for our portfolio and brand performance that are tailored for cross functional teams & reporting  
•    Provide inputs for strategy reviews, co-lead annual budget and target setting process
PEOPLE MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP
•    Develop and execute strategic plan for building our growing Category team in Oceania. 
•    Lead recruitment, onboarding and ongoing development for the Category team, including developing best in class category capabilities in the team that deliver business performance and objectives.
•    Foster an inclusive culture within the team, role modelling our Suntory Leadership Behaviors.
•    Ongoing management and leadership of a team of 8+ employees across Australia and NZ.  
 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree (Preferred Commerce/business discipline or related field)
  • FMCG Category Management expertise (10 years min)
  • FMCG National Account Sales Management (2 years min preferred)
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to build, manage & motivate team
  • Strong project management experience
  • In-depth knowledge of the alcoholic beverages market, including consumer behavior, industry regulations, channels and customers
  • Exceptional presentation and communication – written and verbal – skills
  • Database knowledge (ACN/Aztec, Quantium, Gateways and any other customer platforms)


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