Category Management Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – An ECR Community Review of current practices in Category Management 2020

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ECR Community is delighted to announce the release of a global review of Category Management practices throughout the retail and CPG sector.

The 200-page Review, supported by dunnhumby & Hoffrogge, includes 14 global case studies, 3 ECR Community Reports and major insights articles on category management, shopper marketing and relevant technology.

This global ECR Community Category Management publication has a clear objective. To build a community platform to help the practitioner and the manager to deal with the massive speed of change that is impacting the marketplace today.

The publication gives both a historic and a future view on the methodology for how to go-to-market as a retailer or a product manufacturer and is food for thought to all who have an interest in the business of value creation with the consumer and the shopper.

The Review brings together a truly representative mix of companies of all different sizes from SMEs to international corporations, as well as companies from Asia, Europe, and North & South America.

Central to this Review are the case studies from these retailers & manufacturers highlighting the role of Category Management at each step of the consumer-shopper journey and representing real examples of how Category Management is currently being used to drive growth around the world.  All these case studies are presented according to a common template and include background information to allow the reader to put into context the scale & complexity of each initiative from the outset. Included are submissions from retailers such as Rewe, Musgraves, Metro, Rainbow Department Store and Raia Drogasil and suppliers including Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Peroni, Barilla, Lactalis and Mars.

Some of the leading experts in category management and shopper behaviour have contributed insight articles including Dr. Brian Harris, Luc Demeulenaere, Ken Hughes, David Ciancio and Claudio Czapski.

While ground-breaking reports from ECR Community associations in France, Germany and Italy illustrate the collaborative role ECR can play domestically.

This is the 4th major publication on Category Management from ECR Community.  It follows the “ECR Europe Category Management Best Practices Report” 1997, “Day to Day Category Management” 2000 and “The Consumer and Shopper Journey Framework” 2011.


Declan Carolan, Co-Chair of ECR Community & General Manager, ECR Ireland says “From the student who has a career ambition to the practitioner, to higher management, this publication will stimulate new ideas and build greater understanding of why businesses win or lose because of changing market dynamics and not in the least, recently in situations of economic crisis, when consumer and shopper behavior change significantly.”

Brian Harris and Luc Demeulenaere say “For over 30 years, Category Management has provided the business principles and methodology to ensure that retailers and manufacturers focus their marketing decisions on the consumer and shopper. Its ability to adapt to the dynamic changes that are continually shaping the industry has been a hallmark of its success. This report provides the roadmap and specific actions that retailers and manufacturers need to take to ensure that their Category Management capabilities continue to deliver maximum competitive advantage. It is a “must read’ for all senior managers, Category Management professionals and students interested in a career in consumer goods marketing.”

Paolo Zazzi, Barilla says “In the Shopper Power Era inspiring people along the Consumer & Shopper Journey is crucial for any category strategy, our purpose in Barilla  is “Good for You, Good for the Planet” and it has driven our category management projects as well as drives all our operation, initiatives, investment and communication plans.  “Grow the category” for Barilla means to first add value starting from a responsible purchasing of raw material up to helping people making the right food choices in the omnichannel. This is what we have done in our projects with Carrefour.”

David Ciancio, dunnhumby says “A clear lesson from the pandemic for brands and retailers is that we are standing at the portal of the future, and that we’re never going back to the way it used to be. Fortunately, we have guiding frameworks, especially that of Category Management, to help us navigate and remain fit for the future and relevant to consumers. This report shares current best practices of vital, essential, and future-proof Category Management.”

Wilhelm Hoffrogge, Hoffrogge says “We believe in the power of the ECR and expect that the numerous international best practices will be an excellent inspiration for the current and future execution of the process. It has been our pleasure and honor to contribute to this comprehensive publication of the ECR community together with our partners.”

ECR Community is a not-for-profit group representing the network of ECR National Initiatives throughout the world which promote better working together between trading partners to fulfil consumer wishes better, faster, at less cost and in a more sustainable way.


Contact – Declan Carolan, Co-Chair, ECR Community