CMA BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
John Showalter

CURRENT POSITION:
VP, Sales Learning & Development

COMPANY:
Red Bull North America

TENURE WITH CURRENT COMPANY:
11 years

YEARS OF INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE:
30 years

GIVE US A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR CAREER.
I began my career as a field sales rep for Kellogg’s and was one of the first to join what was to become the Category Development group. I spent 10 years at Kellogg’s followed by stints at Bayer Consumer Care, and Coca-Cola before coming to Red Bull 11 years ago to help build the Category and Shopper organization. My background also includes Product Marketing, Business Development, and Channel Development.

WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE PART OF THE CMA?
To be a part of guiding the work the association does, and to tackle the most pressing issues we face in our industry.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THE CMA BOARD?
Help guide the future vision of the industry in this time of unprecedented change, and to come to a consensus on the hurdles that are in the way and what it will take to overcome them.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?  Career or personal or both.
Being a critical part of building the Category Development expertise at Red Bull, and seeing our efforts acknowledged by the industry (i.e. Kantar and Performance Monitor rankings, etc.).

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE CATMAN DISCIPLINE GOING FORWARD AND WHY?
The rising costs, particularly cost of data. Leadership in CPG companies are challenging the ROI of Insights and Category teams due to rising costs despite similar growth rates.  Too many retailers are turning their data and information into profit centers, in addition to the many other “information providers” that have popped up selling different sets of data around eCommerce.  At some point CPGs will be forced to work only with a few strategic partners which, with the shoppers’ shift in purchasing in this Omnichannel world, could change the landscape dramatically for the traditional Retailer and Manufacturer relationship.