A self-professed “people person,” this category manager for Circle K’s Midwest division, Columbus, Ind., loves collaborating with vendors on winning promotions.
Q: What are the most challenging and exciting aspects of managing snacks?
A: The most challenging is also the one thing I find to be the most exciting: the huge volume of people that you interact with. I enjoy talking and sharing ideas and best practices with vendor partners, my reps, analysts, broker, wholesale and DSD partners. And don’t forget all of the contracts and requirements that come with these partnerships.
Q: Can you share a recent vendor partnership success?
A: I started a test with a regional chip supplier to measure the impact they would have on the category. The goal was to lift the salty category as a whole and minimize cannibalization, and continue the growth we’d been experiencing with our primary DSD supplier. Pulling off the test took collaboration from our internal operations teams as well as several operators from the new supplier partner and our primary supplier. We worked well together to survey, plan, execute the rollout and follow up on results.
Q: What are your plans for the snack category this year?
A: Last year was full of fixture and merchandising changes, while this year is about focusing on products and promotions. We made several changes to the way we merchandise some product within the category, and now we are evaluating those changes while keeping the mix and promotional offers viable for customers. Our private brand will be a big piece of our activity this year. We will work closely with our manufacturing partners to ensure we get the best possible speed-to-market execution.
“Will Slattery has the energy, dedication and out-of-box thinking that moves our mutual businesses.”
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