BREAK WALLS FOR CATEGORY MANAGEMENT PROFIT: REPORT

MADISON, Wis. -- Bakery and deli officials concerned with increasing profitability through category management need to work toward breaking down traditional barriers between store departments, according to a recently released report.dardization of both category management practices and computerized information across the food industry.The report, "Category Management for the Supermarket Deli and Bakery,"

MADISON, Wis. -- Bakery and deli officials concerned with increasing profitability through category management need to work toward breaking down traditional barriers between store departments, according to a recently released report.

dardization of both category management practices and computerized information across the food industry.

The report, "Category Management for the Supermarket Deli and Bakery," was developed for the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association, here, by Blattberg, Chaney & Associates, Chicago, who surveyed product suppliers and manufacturers as well as retailers.

The report, besides bolstering the trend toward supermarket category management with data from studies and surveys, also analyzes current category management practices, looks at the effects putting a category management program in place will likely have on a business and gives specific steps toward planning and implementing such a program.

Based on the findings in the report, IDDA and the study's 14 manufacturing sponsors will conduct category management tests early next year, and produce by next spring a category management manual tailored specifically for supermarket bakery and deli operations.

The survey on which the report is based reveals current category management participation at the manufacturer, supply and retail levels.

More than 27% of responding retailers say they currently practice category management in the bakery/deli, and of those not currently practicing category management more than 40% plan to adopt a program within the next year.

More than 30% of manufacturers and suppliers surveyed employ category management practices, the report found, and more than half the remaining suppliers intend to begin implementing a program soon.

Survey respondents believe that category management in bakery/deli will improve the product assortment, inventory management, profits and cost management within their departments.

"Enhanced consumer focus," however, ranked last in terms of responses to the survey. The report is available from the IDDA.