5 Must-Watch Manufacturer Sessions

We Take a Closer Look at Some Great Sources for Insight at the 2021 CMA|SIMA Conference.

The impacts of COVID on the supplier and manufacturer community cannot be overstated. Many categories in food and consumables are still struggling to stay in stock, while others in discretionary saw an instant drop off in sales last March but have been recovering ever since.

We at the Category Management Association and Shopper Insights Management Association seek to illuminate the differences in demand and shopper behavior across retail categories in hopes of providing a full picture of the retail environment for our various supplier member companies.

To do so, we are bringing over 15 presenters from CPGs and manufacturers including Kellogg, Pepsico, Newell Brands, Fruit of the Loom, Tyson, ConAgra, and more. These companies will share learnings from COVID, how they are embracing omnichannel, managing their teams in a disruptive environment and several other great insights. Our supplier members should leave these sessions with a host of learnings and new ideas from categories outside their own.

In today’s blog, we’re highlighting 5 of these must-watch sessions from the upcoming 2021 CMA|SIMA Annual Conference across various tracks, specifically geared toward our supplier and manufacturer members.

Key Findings Across Categories During COVID – Group Discussion

Tim Wilson, Sales Data Expert at Bush Brothers

Andrew Kolesnikov, Director of Marketing Analytics and Category Management of the Writing Division at Newell Brands

Sue Toy, VP of Category & Shopper Leadership at Tyson Foods

Our first presentation in our Lasting Impacts of COVID track will be a group discussion across a variety of categories to explore how each performed during COVID, lessons learned and outlook. You will hear about the dramatic differences in demand and consumer behavior across center store, fresh meat, home appliances, writing and more. Our industry experts will share their biggest surprises and learnings from COVID.

Not Stocking the Drawers – How Discretionary Categories Pivoted During COVID

Nick Matar , Director of Category Management for Fruit of the Loom, Inc.

Many food and consumable categories experienced unprecedented growth and demand levels during COVID as shoppers stocked up on items deemed ‘essential.’ But in many respects, it was feast or famine, with other categories, including those in apparel, seeing decelerating sales as shoppers weren’t stocking their drawers. Learn how Fruit of the Loom pivoted during COVID and emerged even stronger.

Making the Most Out of Virtual Buyer Meetings

Sara Reeves, Category Operations Manager at General Mills

With virtually everyone in our industry moving to remote work in 2020, it could be challenging to maintain relationships with our buyers. Hear from Sara Reeves as she shares stories and anecdotes from across General Mills, while identifying tips and tricks for making the most out of virtual buyer meetings. Crucially, Sara will show us why it’s beneficial to demonstrate kindness, practice patience and lead with empathy in our professional lives.

Not All Assortments Are Created Equal – Determining Mix by Fulfillment Type

Dave Nolen , Vice President, U.S. Category Management & Shopper Insights for The Hershey Company

Troy Ault, US Lead, Category and Shopper Intelligence for Johnson & Johnson

Determining the right assortment is one of the primary functions of category management teams. But with additional fulfillment types gaining in popularity, determining the right mix for brick and mortar, pureplay eCommerce, and click and collect isn’t quite as simple as it once was.

Tune in to Dave Nolen from Hershey and Troy Ault of J&J as they share how their companies determine assortment by fulfillment type. They will also share the complexities of assortment selection in candy and consumables, two very different categories, and how each are optimizing across channels given the nature of omnichannel shopping today.

Disrupting the Traditional Market Structure and CDTs

Robin Alex, Group Head Shopper Insights, CATMAN, & Space Management at Mondelēz

Gia Boyd, Sr. Shopper Research Manager at Mondelēz

We all live and breathe Market Structures and CDTs; they are staple components of the work we do as category managers and shopper insights professionals. But are we using the right “trees” for the right decisions?

Even the most seasoned experts agree there is a lot of gray area. Additionally, is there a way to take these actionable insights to the next level with a predictive long-term lens? In this session, we will learn how the Shopper Insights team at Mondelēz is beginning a journey to a more holistic approach to Purchase Decision Hierarchies, eventually supported by VR, AI and Machine Learning.

Of course, there are many other great manufacturer sessions scheduled throughout the 2021 CMA|SIMA Annual Conference, as well. Make sure and visit our Agenda Page to see all the latest updates on the sessions, and sound off on social media to let us know which sessions you’re looking forward to seeing!

Get your spot at the 2021 CMA|SIMA Conference today.