JOB FILLED - Associate Category Manager

Job Description: 

Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA) is growing and seeking an Associate Category Manager for our team! This is a unique opportunity to develop your career through exposure and support of INFRA’s Category Management, Promotions, and Purchasing team.  Come grow with us and create a positive impact in the food industry. 

At INFRA, our mission is to strengthen our members through collaboration to forge a sustainable future. INFRA builds strategic alignment among its 300+ independently owned members to strengthen our position in the natural foods industry with purchasing power, marketing, programs, tools, training and events, and more. 

If you love spreadsheets, data management, planning, and partnering with others, and have an interest in learning more about Category Management, Promotions, and/or Purchasing, this is an ideal opportunity for you. As the Associate Category Manager, you will play an integral role on our Purchasing team supporting INFRA Deals, the promotional programs we deliver to our members. You will have the opportunity to connect data and information as it flows through our business, from manufacturer, through distribution, to the retailer, and ultimately to the consumer. This is a position with an equal focus on human and data connection, where you’ll partner with all positions on our Purchasing team. 

Interested in learning about the Category Management career? Start a conversation by submitting your resume and cover letter if this feels like a job where you can shine:

What you will own and improve:

Promotions Support
  • Monthly cycle support for INFRA Deals, INFRA’s promotional programs delivered to members, including data collection, data entry, and ensuring data integrity, and striving for smooth, accurate workflow
  • Support processing of vendor INFRA Deals contracts monthly, including use of Contract Management systems and Databases
  • Maintain descriptions within Contract management database (currently FileMaker) monthly for the INFRA Deal flyer
  • Support proofing INFRA Deals flyer for correct product images, product specifications, and pricing
  • Manages NPO (New Placement Offer) setup and collaborates with Marketing on program deliverables
Category Management and Purchasing Support
  • Generate vendor SPINS and meeting reports for trade show preparation and meetings for Category Managers
  • Primarily responsible for accepting and organizing in-office deliveries of vendor samples, etc, and coordinating vendor inquiries, connecting contact to the appropriate Category Manager or other INFRA team members.
  • Supports collection and analysis of vendor sample feedback from staff
  • Supports data collection and entry for various projects
  • Provides Purchasing team program and other project assistance as requested 
Support for Promotions Events 
  • Supports Purchasing team on promotions and buying events
  • Supports INFRA’s hosted Tabletop buying event for members during INFRA’s Annual Conference 

What you already know:

  • 1 year of experience within buying or category management, inventory, purchasing, procurement, scanning dept, office administration, data coordination, or other similar positions.
  • Experience in retail, grocery, or the Natural Foods Industry preferred.
  • Exceptional attention to detail, ability to connect the dots, and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to manage and effectively prioritize multiple projects and deadlines while consistently delivering high quality results.
  • A lover of technology, including advanced skill in Microsoft Office suite and database management, particularly Excel. Exposure to Powerpoint preferred.
  • Self-directed, success with taking initiative.
  • Advocate for change and high value on continual improvement.
  • Ability to establish great working relationships and communicate effectively with any audience, including confident communication and presentation skills.
  • Enjoys proactively collaborating and providing great service to others. 

What you will learn: 

  • How INFRA’s Category Management, Promotions, and Purchasing teams function, gaining exposure to Category Management team outcomes and providing a potential career path into Category Management, INFRA Member Programs, Events & Education, or Merchandising within 2 years.
  • How our complex set of systems and processes work together within the robust food distribution chain.
  • How to support independently owned member stores within the intricacies of the natural food industry and understand the intersections of manufacturing, distribution, and retail.
  • How effective data, reporting, and events are used within INFRA and the larger grocery industry to support INFRA’s business model. 
  • How to apply your innate ability to connect the dots to create the best results for multiple stakeholder groups.

*This role is an hourly position, located out of our St. Paul MN office as a part of our hybrid workforce, working a mix of flex days and 2+ days in office.
*Travel up to 5% may be requested, but not required, for this position.

INFRA is committed to creating an inclusive workplace. We know that diversity of identities, experiences, and ways of thinking result in stronger lives for all our members and the communities we serve. Research shows that systemically excluded communities such as people of color, women, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities may be less confident in applying for positions where as little as one skill doesn’t appear to fit – we welcome your resume and encourage you to apply.

INFRA is a mission-driven organization that strongly believes in rightful living. We provide our employees with robust technology, collaboration, professional development, hybrid work options, flexible schedules, work-life balance, and time in person with our a tight-knit team and members. Each of us receives a full suite of employee benefits including paid vacation and sick time; health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance; a health savings account; a 401(k) retirement plan; and more. 

Confidential Job: 
Last Resume Date: 
Friday, May 6, 2022 - 3:15pm
Contact First Name: