Job profile: Category analyst

Job Title:

Category Analyst


Helen Maltby


Northern Foods – Pork Farms Bowyers

Professional Qualification(s):

Business & Administration BSc

Degree Studied at Bath University

Brief job description

  1. Customer, category & brand analysis with insightful interpretation.
  2. Recommendation of category enhancing plans across Pork Farms Bowyers customer base.
  3. Supporting the marketing function in the development of the Pork Farms & Bowyers brands.

My career so far…

I started off my career on the agency side working for a specialist market research agency, where I was responsible for conducting market research projects using advanced statistical techniques including Conjoint & Chaid.

I then moved to the client side as a research exec to gain more business acumen and joined the research department at Kraft Foods where I worked on both continuous and branded research projects. A key part of my role was supporting the brand team with actionable consumer insight.

As I re-located to Nottingham I had the opportunity to take the role of category analyst at Pork Farms which has enabled me to gain invaluable commercial experience whilst continuing to drive consumer insight within the marketing function

What does your job involve in a typical day?

There are two strands to my current role which reflect what I do on a day to day basis.

The first is to support national account managers with category stories to help influence ranging and distribution within their customers, for example to gain listings for NPD (new product development) or defend current product ranges.

The second element of my job is to support the brand team on various different projects including brand planning, NPD and advertising development & tracking.

There is no typical day in the life of a category analyst at Pork Farms but as an example this is what happened yesterday….

I started the day by finalising a customer presentation which was a mix of category insights, market data and brand plans. I then checked the status of a research project we have in the field and I made sure the arrangements for the research debrief are all OK. By lunch time I had complied a list of issues to pass onto TNSofres (our consumer panel data provider) and phoned them through for the account team to action. I then spent a couple of hours training a new graduate on the consumer panel databases to ensure she is able to get basic market data from the system. Late afternoon I got involved in a meeting to discuss the new packaging changes and how they impact on the brand from a consumer perspective. At the end of the day I got a last minute request for brand share and market information that was needed for the board meeting this morning.

What do you like most about your job?

I have always loved working with brands, making sure in-store ranging, new product developments & advertising are in tune and relevant to our consumers. The great thing about my role is the tangible outputs – customers implementing a range recommendation, packaging is changed on the back of my recommendations & strategic brand plans are built from market analysis that I do.

What skills are required in your job?

You need to be analytical and have strong communication skills. Good time management and attention to detail are also key to do this kind of role. Being flexible and a team player with drive to get the job done are essential for project work. And you need to be a believer in the consumer.

How many people work for you?


What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?

Food is a really exciting market to work in and the role you do will be vastly different depending upon if you work in ambient, chilled or frozen and whether you work on brands or on private label products. The pace of NPD also depends upon the market and company you work for. All I can say is ask lots of questions about the role and speak to as many people working in the market / company as possible to get a rounded picture of the kind of work you will be doing.