Valencia, CA – Every citrus variety has a story to tell, from the groves to the grocery store, and Sunkist Growers is translating that story into strategy for its partners nationwide. As the leader in category management solutions in the citrus space, the cooperative recently announced the promotion of Cassie Howard to Director of Category Management.
“Cassie has been a key player in developing fact-based business solutions for our retail and foodservice partners,” said Christian Harris, Chief Operations Officer at SunkistGrowers. “While category management is a familiar concept at retail, Sunkist is putting an increased emphasis on this expertise and value-added service to support our partners in delivering the best offering for their consumers. In Cassie’s role, she has the important job of analyzing industry data from multiple sources, to help our partners make better business decisions that grow our citrus categories.”
Christian added, “The number of Sunkist customers requesting category management support has more than doubled, and we’re answering the call with the build-out of this capability. It makes sense to put additional resources behind the program.”
With the marketing department absorbing the category management team, Mark Madden had this to say, “The plans and insights that category management provides go hand-in-hand with the marketing solutions we offer. We are excited to celebrate Cassie’s accomplishments and to officially welcome her to the marketing arm of Sunkist. She brings a wealth of knowledge and key insights, keeping Sunkist innovative and adaptable to current trends.”
In her role as the head of Category Management, Cassie keeps on top of consumer trends as it relates to Sunkist citrus categories, packaging solutions, and benchmarking opportunities for partners of the 125-year-old cooperative. Cassie added, “Packaging options can change the category. It’s rewarding to see our partners have success with something I recommended, and it’s fun to be able to see them grow alongside Sunkist.”
“I got my start in category management when it was just getting formally introduced to fresh produce,” said Cassie Howard. “The numbers [in the data] are like puzzle pieces. You can have all of these ideas around what you think is going on with a certain category, but with the numbers behind it, you can see real solutions to the ever-changing consumer behavior.”
A California native, Cassie holds a Bachelors in Business and Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Fresno. She is passionate about produce, and enjoys cross-stitching, traveling with her husband and exploring the outdoors. During her spare time, Cassie makes blankets for the Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno.