Job Title: Category Management & Trade Marketing Lead

Reporting to: Commercial Head - Vegetables

Location:  Research Triangle Park, North Carolina


About Pairwise:

Pairwise is a mission-driven food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2017 by eminent scientists in the gene editing and biotechnology fields, Pairwise holds licenses from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to base editing and high-fidelity enzymes. We also are tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. Our team is primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stone fruit, with the first product expected in early 2022. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.


About This Role:

This new position will report to the Commercial Head and will work closely with internal & external stakeholders (Marketing, Sales and Finance) and external stakeholders (commercial partners, customers, syndicated data providers, etc.).  As we expand our footprint across the food/ produce landscape, we are seeking an individual to leverage channel, customer, category, and commercial understanding to analyze & integrate multiple insight sources to define where to play and how to win over the short and long term.


Category Management will provide the language, process framework, and metrics for communicating strategic and tactical recommendations to our channel partners.  Ultimately, the Lead is responsible for supporting profitable volume growth and winning category market share for Pairwise brands. This position is also responsible for working closely with Sales to execute programming and service standards commensurate to gaining share of category.


The role will be part of Pairwise’s dynamic future and helps to drive the company’s go-to-market strategy and execution.


Essential Functions: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Develops category strategy and assists customers with integrated category strategy development. 
  • Provides strategic and tactical recommendations on the Distribution, Shelving, Merchandising and Pricing to improve overall category and Pairwise performance. 
  • Responsible for developing customer specific presentations of relevant consumer insights, competitive responses, and new item/category selling presentations.
  • Develop a syndicated/ shopper/ customer data strategy for the company. 
  • Manage the use of syndicated data to make fact-based sales decisions, including quartile analysis, store clustering, decision trees, market basket analysis, and new/lost/retained analysis.
  • Plan and manage Category specific customer calls - e.g. Category Reviews, Business Updates, New Item Presentations and Efficient Assortment / Planogram work.
  • Attend and effectively present on sales calls with key customers. 
  • Develop strong working relationships with category buyers and cross functional departments. 
  • Provide market and competitive brand updates to the commercial team to include timely and accurate communication of changing field conditions that may affect volumes as well as staffing changes at distributors and competitors.
  • Oversee special pack and display development and execution.
  • Oversee new item set-up and data sync (as needed).
  • As well as other projects, duties, and/or responsibilities as needed.


Required Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; MBA preferred.
  • 10+ years of CPG experience required 
  • 5 years’ experience in Category Management, Customer Management, Trade Marketing, Insights or Sales Strategy
  • Extensive knowledge of syndicated POS data sources (ACNielsen or iRI) required
  • Demonstrated excellence in communication and stakeholder management.
  • Customer focus to maximize business results; Capability to develop and influence strategy at senior levels at both customers and manufacturer.


Preferred Education and Experience:

  • Versatile team player that is comfortable under pressure and able to solve problems.
  • Solid analytical skills and ability to translate data into fact-based decision making to support strategic planning and program implementation.
  • Experience with space planning / planogram software a plus.
  • E-commerce / DTC or Click-and-Collect experience a plus.
  • Experience with Household Panel data a plus.
  • Effective in data gathering, able to work in an unstructured environment, strong communication skills and able to build partnerships internally and externally
  • Public speaking skills and ability to articulate complex concepts to cross-function audience.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage and influence C-level executives.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to set clear priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • High emotional intelligence and conflict resolution; able to effectively maintain relationships via flexibility, collaboration and negotiation.
  • Ability to build strong working relationships with clients and colleagues across departments, geographic locations, and time zones


Other Considerations:

  • Travel: This position is expected to travel for professional development and business meetings not likely to exceed 30% of the time.  
  • This is a full-time position working approximately 40 hours per week. 
  • Supervisory Responsibility - None. 



  • Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HAS/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!
  • Uncapped PTO, in addition to company holidays.
  • Casual work environment.
  • Cutting-edge, driven community looking to lead the industry in innovation and nutrition.


Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and use hands to finger, handle or feel, and techniques that require fine motor skills and repetitive motions.  The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk.   The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.  The employee is regularly required to talk or hear.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.



EEO Statement

We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status