Senior Category Manager

Date: Sep 16, 2022

Location: Evanston, United States

Company: Ornua Co-operative Limited

Job Title:         Senior Category Manager, Ornua Foods North America

Reports to:      Senior Category and Insights Manager, Ornua Foods North America

Location:         Evanston, Illinois, USA



Company Overview

Ornua is a dairy co-operative which sells dairy products on behalf of its Members, Ireland’s dairy processors and, in turn, Irish dairy farmers.  It is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, exporting to 110 countries worldwide.  Headquartered in Dublin, it has annualised sales of over €2.3 billion and a global team of 2,850 employees.  Ornua operates from 10 business units worldwide, including 16 production facilities, and has sales and marketing teams working in-market across all four corners of the globe.

The Group is structured across two divisions: Ornua Foods and Ornua Ingredients.


Ornua Foods is responsible for the marketing and sales of Ornua’s consumer brands including Kerrygold, Dubliner, Pilgrims Choice, Kerrygold, Avantage, Forto, and BEO.  Markets are served by production facilities and in-market sales and marketing teams in Africa, Asia, Germany, Ireland, the UK, the rest of Europe, the Middle East, and the US.

Ornua Ingredients is responsible for the procurement of Irish and non-Irish dairy products and for the sale of dairy ingredients to food manufacturing and foodservice customers across the world.  Ornua Ingredients is also responsible for managing volatility through de-risking and trading strategies. The business is supported by production facilities in Saudi Arabia, Spain, the UK, the US and by in-market teams in Africa and the Middle East.


Ornua Foods North America is based in Evanston, Illinois and we market and sell Kerrygold butter and cheese in the North American market.   We are the number two butter brand in the US and number one in the specialty cheese market. 


Ornua’s Values

At Ornua, our Values guide us as we work together and care for each other to achieve great things. Our five values, and their underlying behaviours, encourage us to Seek and Embrace New Ideas, Make It Happen, Be Our True Selves, Show You Care and Achieve Great Things Together.

Dynamic Working

Ornua have a Dynamic Working policy in place which facilitates flexible hours and hybrid working.

Key Areas of Responsibility:


  • Be a Butter/Cheese Category and Kerrygold Brand advocate with key retailers and tell convincing stories through data translation.
  • Champion best practice in category management across the group.
  • Develop insight-led customer focused butter/cheese category recommendations through analysis of optimum range assortment, promotions and pricing.
  • Prioritize and understand major customer performance and develop convincing presentations to expand current Kerrygold business. Develop powerful recommendations grounded in consumer and category insights to enhance new listings and expansion of current brand within store sets.
  • Build relationships with customer contacts to identify/create category opportunities which facilitate profitable sales growth for Ornua Foods North America
  • Partner with Marketing, Finance and Sales to understand the commerciality of key decisions regarding the Kerrygold portfolio and special projects as assigned.  
  • Support delivery of reporting for total business and critical segments (butter, cheese); additional reporting as necessary through own efforts as well as through management of category analyst.
  • Prepare & deliver annual cheese/butter category development plan to support joint business planning process and take a lead role with sales
  • Prepare and deliver new product roll out presentations to priority customers.
  • Manage vendors to ensure accurate data reporting (e.g. Nielsen, IRI, 84.51)


Key requirements


  • Undergraduate degree in an analytical or research field (Finance, Math, Statistics, Consumer Research etc.)
  • Minimum 3 years FMCG experience
  • Expert in the use of IRI/Nielsen POS and Panel data plus analytical tools
  • Strong presentation skills – external and internal
  • Previous experience in a sales role a plus
  • Advanced skills in PowerPoint, Excel and Microsoft Office
  • Able to articulate data concepts to a non-expert audience
  • Highly organized, able to manage multiple priorities
  • Experience solving problems independently and building processes where none previously existed.
  • Flexibility to travel to customer meetings as required


Ornua competencies


  • Expertise: Applies effective professional skill, analysis, decision making, planning and reviewing.
  • Communicative: Communicates confidently, adapting style for different situations.
  • Forward Looking: Responds positively to change and looks ahead to anticipate tasks.
  • Working Together: Is supportive, co-operative and inclusive.

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