Sunkist names Cassie Howard director of category management

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-Howard

“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 Sunkist Growers. “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, vice president of marketing and global licensing, said, “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, Howard 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. “Packaging options can change the category," said Howard. "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 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, Howard holds a bachelor's degree in business and master's degree 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, Howard makes blankets for the Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno.

Students gain real world experience thanks to L&M internships
The future of the produce industry will depend largely on new people being introduced to the field, which is why L&M Cos. offers internships based on seasonal needs throughout the L&M farms, warehouses and sales teams. “Intern programs in fresh produce are great exposure for young people to be a part of a vital industry,” Read More ...
New Whole Foods Market features 75 local growers
Whole Foods Market recently opened a new 35,000-square-foot store in East Austin, TX. Special features of the new East Austin store include: Produce department offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including selections from about 75 local growers throughout the year including fresh flowers, peaches and Read More ...
Retailer announces plans to rebuild
CUB and its franchise partner Jerry’s Foods announced its commitment to the Minneapolis community to rebuild its Broadway Avenue and Lake Street stores, both of which are owned by Jerry’s Foods. CUB also announced that while those two locations remain closed, CUB plans to open temporary community stores at each location to Read More ...
Sun World takes firm stance on IP rights breach
California-based variety development and licensing company Sun World International LLC has reached settlement of a dispute with a prominent Australian table grape producer (and associated entities) within the Sunraysia region. This follows breaches of Sun World’s intellectual property and contractual rights discovered Read More ...
Fall Creek names regional director for Mexico
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc., a global blueberry breeding and nursery company, has announced that Alberto Medina-Mora has joined the company as regional director for Mexico. Most recently, Medina-Mora served as senior director of development and innovation at NatureSweet Mexico, a vertically integrated tomato grower, Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse