Produce Category Manager

Job Description

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Company: Sysco Cleveland
Location: US-OH-Cleveland
Zip Code: 44135
Minimum Level of Education: High School or Equivalent
Minimum Years of Experience: 7
Position Type: Exempt
Travel Percentage: Up to 25%

More information about this job:  

We offer our associates the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, to contribute to the success of a dynamic organization, and to serve others in a manner that exceeds their expectations. We're looking for talented, hard-working individuals to join our team. Come grow with us and let us show you why we’re at the heart of food and service.


Position Purpose:

In Collaboration with the Produce Market Director and OpCo Leadership, coordinate the effective distribution of Category 11 products and services to customers of Sysco Broadline Operating Companies. Establish and execute sales strategy for the produce category to meet or exceed profitable sales targets. Provide training, product information, regulatory guidance, market cost guidance and customer service to internal and external customers in support of the distribution of products and services.


Sales and Marketing – Drive produce sales opportunities by collaborating with Sales Leadership. Partner with Sales and Marketing management, including Produce Specialist, in developing successful sales strategies for growing profitable produce sales; and work with front line sales associates, including Specialists, Marketing Associates, and District Sales Managers to execute your produce sales strategy. Develop and implement innovative, impactful produce marketing/promotional agendas. Utilizing the Partnership Selling Process, identify business development opportunities, coordinate sales teams to propose new business, and drive such opportunities from concept to execution. Ensure that data and activity on accounts is accurately entered and managed within Sysco 360. Support Category Management by providing product assortment and SKU rationalization recommendations that are aligned with your customer demand.

Program Quality – Ensure Quality integrity of all inbound and outbound Category 11 products. Works closely with Quality Assurance lead(s) and in conjunction with Operations and Transportation Management. Establish and maintain accountability that all inbound product is inspected thoroughly. Manage market adherence to GAP/GMP Compliance. Develop and monitor SOPs ensuring that pick locations are checked daily. Works with inventory control to manage expiration dating through SWMS reports. Schedule reoccurring meetings with Operations leadership to ensure produce department and operational functions are in sync and collaborating effectively in meeting our customers produce needs. PDN – ensure accurate, timely completion and submission. Ensure resulting claims are tracked and settled appropriately.

Market Cost and Pricing – Goal is to drive sales of produce and optimize margins. Utilizing USDA and SMS reporting, manage OPCO specific market cost decisions on a weekly basis. Collaborating with OPCO Revenue Management Director and OPCO VP of Merch, utilize available contract programs and resources to provide customer specific pricing for key OPCO customers. 

National Sales Management and Development – In collaboration with National Accounts team, oversee the ongoing deployment and maintenance of CMU/LCC Produce opportunities within a defined market space. To include:

  • Coordinating new customer on boarding activities
  • Ensuring proper buy-side/sell-side contract alignment – maintaining OPCO produce commitments in iTrade as needed in support of OPCO produce CMU and LCC Business.  
  • Addressing the needs and concerns of key CMU/LCC contacts
  • Monitoring MDA compliance


Collaborating with OPCO Leadership, lead a team of 2-4 produce professionals to meet customer expectations and achieve established case and GP$ growth goals. Positions managed will include:

  • OPCO Produce QA – in collaboration with OPCO Finance and Compliance Teams
  • OPCO Produce Specialists – In collaboration with OPCO Business Development


Training – Facilitate produce growth by driving MA support through business reviews, customer insight encounters with targeted training and education. Schedule and manage category sales training of Marketing Associates. Provide timely and effective communication with Sales force including but not limited to market conditions, product quality and availability, new items and applications.

Annual Operating Plan –Collaborate with OPCO VP of Merchandising, VP of Sales, and Produce Market Director in providing a fiscally sound produce profit plan and narrative for TRS/LCC Sales Growth, Gross Profit margin, Earned income and Sysco Brand penetration targets. Review daily financials and utilize strategic pricing strategies to ensure profitability and sales growth targets are being met or exceeded and annual operating plan realized. Manage and direct effective control of product shrink.                                                                                                Education/Experience:

Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and experience in lieu of degree sufficient to successfully perform essential job functions required. Master’s degree a plus.

  • - 3+ years management/professional experience required (5+ years preferred). Significant produce industry experience, sales, merchandising and/or operations experience within a retail, wholesale or distribution environment preferred.
  • - Strong written & verbal communications skills required
  • - Strong excel skills preferred

Ability to manage & implement innovative strategies to maximize sales & gross profit potential while driving customer loyalty & MA engagement



  • Ability to build high performing teams and enable best practice sharing and support culture
  • Ability to motivate high-performing teams & enable a culture of best practices
  • Ability to manage conflict and reach quick resolution with facts and dialogue
  • Ability to work cross functionally and build relationships across the organization/enterprise
  • Ability to communicate effectively with individuals of different backgrounds
  • Collaborative change leader who uses multiple influencing styles to drive change
  • Analytical thinker who can draw sound business conclusions based on a strong fact base
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment



Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States.

Sysco Cleveland is proud to be an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer, and considers qualified applicants without regard to race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected factor under federal, state or local law.

This opportunity is available through Sysco Corporation, its subsidiaries and affiliates.

Employment Type: Full Time