NAME:
Sue Toy

CURRENT POSITION:
Vice President of Category & Shopper Leadership

COMPANY:
Tyson Foods

TENURE WITH CURRENT COMPANY:
6 years

YEARS OF INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE:
20+

GIVE US A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR CAREER.
I started my career at Walgreens before joining Nielsen, and then Pepsi – so I’ve seen all sides of CPG. I eventually came to Tyson via the Hillshire acquisition, and the investment in category management was not quite where we wanted it to be. We realized how critical it was for Tyson to be thought of as best-in-class in the industry, so we’ve done a lot of work since then to build the team and capabilities.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE OF YOUR CAREER?
What I have learned most clearly during the COVID pandemic is, at the end of the day, we support the sales organization and our retail customers. There was a moment at the beginning when we were a little unsure of our role, as the sales team became solely focused on supply chain/in-stocks and retailers cancelled promotions and category resets. We, as a team, had to pivot into a more ‘rapid recovery group’ to build insights around category forecasts, understanding shopping behavior during this time and offering ideas and solutions (both short term and long term) to meet the needs of the new shopping routines. This thought leadership enabled us to have conversations with our retail partners that went beyond supply and made the team very relevant as the pandemic progressed.

WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE PART OF THE CMA BOARD?
I’ve been a member of the CMA since my Pepsi days, and I am excited about the evolution of the board, which is still in its infancy. I think we can work together to shape what the future will look like for Category and Shopper Insights and I am thrilled to be a part of it!

WHAT ROLE DO YOU SEE THE CMA PLAYING IN THE CPG AND OVERALL RETAIL INDUSTRY?
Ideally, the CMA will continue to provide thought leadership, identify best practices, connect us with each other, and hold events and webinars that bring together the leading minds in the industry. I also think the CMA could play a bigger role with the work streams we have ongoing to figure out how Shopper Insights can play a larger role and incorporate that into more organizations.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE CATMAN DISCIPLINE GOING FORWARD?
I think it is the integration of omnichannel. Data availability continues to be a challenge across categories and suppliers. We’re at the point where if we don’t help each other, we will all have inconsistent approaches that will lead to lack of clarity with our retail partners. We need a new framework for how to think about it and a standard set of tools, which I think the CMA can help with.

HOW ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS IN RETAIL?
I think retailers willing to be true strategic partners through joint growth planning will be our focus. We must continue to find ways to invest and prioritize our spend to ensure we are understanding the shopper needs and the solutions needed to meet them. If we stay focused on the shopper, we will all win.