Private Label Product Manager: New Seasons Market

New Seasons Market is a chain of privately-owned neighborhood grocers operating in the Portland Metro area of Oregon. Founded by three families and 50 of their friends in 1999, the chain currently operates ten stores in Portland, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Happy Valley and Lake Oswego and Beaverton’s Progress Ridge neighborhood. According to their website:

Three families and 50 friends got together back in 1999 and decided to open a grocery store. Not just any grocery store, mind you, but one that carried everything from the essentials to the extraordinary. It had to be friendly, fun, neighborly and supportive of sustainable agriculture. So, on Leap Day, 2000, dreams and ideas gave way to our first store opening at Raleigh Hills.

As a locally owned business, we take pride in supporting local farms, ranches and other small businesses through our Home Grown program. The Home Grown symbol points out products from produce and meat to hand lotions and scented candles that come from local companies. So, you can support the local and regional economy with your dollars. And we can further our strong commitment to sustainable agriculture.

We show our commitment to the community by giving 10% of our after-tax profits to various organizations through grants and donations. And our staff gets out there to volunteer, engage and participate!

Looking ahead, we want to grow at a sustainable pace. We’re not looking to be the biggest grocery store in town, just the friendliest. Visit our stores and you’ll find that each one has its own unique character and personality. We are your neighborhood grocery store.

Private Label Product Manager

Department: Operations
Employment Type: Regular Position
Expected Hours Per Week: Full-time
Wage Range: Salaried

External Job Description:
Directs Private Brand initiatives to bolster the company’s value proposition while meeting sales and margin goals. Leads a cross-functional team to develop and deliver new products that align with company goals of supporting our local community and promoting sustainable agricultural / business practices.

Job Functions:
Strategic Planning

  • Works with COO, Marketing Director and Merchandising Director to ensure Private Brand positioning in alignment with overall NSM tiered brand strategy.
  • Partners with merchandising team to define strategic opportunities at the vendor, category and product level.
  • Conducts research as necessary to further define customer demand, understand trends and capture best practices.

Product Development

  • Responsible for process engineering to achieve an efficient and timely product development process.
  • Facilitates smooth communication with co-packers to ensure timely development of products.
  • Oversees execution of package design that clearly communicates product attributes and reinforces our core brand values.

Quality Assurance

  • Defines and maintains NSM product quality standards.
  • Partners with Food Safety Manager to ensure food safety of all packaged products that carry the NSM Private Brand label. .

Marketing / Promotion

  • Sets pricing strategy in alignment with product quality and competitive positioning.
  • Works with category Merchandiser in vendor negotiations to deliver competitive pricing.
  • Develops detailed plans to drive awareness, trial and repeat purchase of private brand products.
  • Works closely with Director of Marketing to ensure successful product launch in stores including staff education, POP/signage, events, social media, couponing, sampling, etc.
  • Tracks and measures sales and profitability of Private Brand products and performs analysis to determine impact on overall category profitability.

Physical Requirements
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a staff member to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Regularly required to sit or stand, bend, climb and reach.

Important Notice
The job duties, responsibilities, requirements & conditions, physical requirements and work environment listed in this job description are examples of the tasks that a staff member may be required to perform. New Seasons Market reserves the right to revise the job description at any time and to require staff members to perform other tasks as circumstances or conditions of business change.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Minimum 10 years experience in Private Brand management for a multi-unit retailer
  • Broad functional experience in strategic planning, project management and product development
  • Bachelors degree in marketing, finance, economics or food science, or equivalent experience
  • Experience with rapidly growing and profitable organizations
  • Proven communication and collaboration skills that inspire and motivate co-workers at all levels
  • An outside-the-box thinker who is not limited by traditional views
  • A drive to gather relevant information, push key information out to staff, educate and facilitate efficiency for improved results
  • Belief in respectfully challenging standard practices to find better ways to get things done
  • Values community, sustainability, food and fun


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.