MULTIPARTNER CATEGORY MANAGEMENT HAS PROMISING START

SAN ANTONIO -- While the most basic category management relationship involves only a manufacturer and a retailer, early results of an effort adding broker and wholesaler input to the mix have been positive.This category management project brought together Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City; Cristal Co., a broker based here; five manufacturers and Super S, a 45-store chain based here.Refrigerated product

SAN ANTONIO -- While the most basic category management relationship involves only a manufacturer and a retailer, early results of an effort adding broker and wholesaler input to the mix have been positive.

This category management project brought together Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City; Cristal Co., a broker based here; five manufacturers and Super S, a 45-store chain based here.

Refrigerated product sales (excluding cheese) increased 4% to 10% at Super S during a recent four-week period vs. a year earlier, said Joey Ely, director of category marketing resources at Fleming.

He added that one category within refrigerated juices declined 4% during the test.

Ely emphasized that the results were preliminary. "Remember, we're looking strictly at this four-week period as our only measure, because we just implemented the program during that time," he said.

"It's very early on in the process, without promotions and without consumers being used to the new shopping patterns that we put into the set."

As an example of its category management efforts, Ely pointed to chilled juices. Super S carried 92 stockkeeping units of chilled juice. The team recommended Super S offer between 70 and 80 SKUs to capture the majority of the market share dollars.

In the San Antonio market, the top 10 SKUs in chilled juices account for 35% of the total dollar share. Ely said the team's recommendations were to help create the best product assortment to match the needs of the consumers.