PB Careers: Culinary Trend Director – Cost Plus World Market
Alameda, CA 94501
The Culinary Trend Director will play a strategic role in creating and supporting the vision for the Entertaining Merchandising Division, including Food, Beverage and Kitchen/Tabletop departments. This will include inspiring merchant teams with new ideas within a format that can be applied to each department; assisting merchant teams with the reinvention of product categories as needed in order to meet business needs; assisting with the development of products within categories as necessary to achieve divisional strategies. This position will work closely with the store operations’ Culinary Council to develop, guide and manage customer-facing store samplings, as well as store associate product sampling and development of associate training materials. The Culinary Trend Director will also work with marketing and e-commerce teams to develop additional content for print materials, signage, web and social. In addition, the Culinary Trend Director will assist the visual team in kitchen, food and beverage areas to elevate and highlight products as needed.
- Lead culinary innovation, new programs, new products, cohesive collaborations, and sampling initiatives.
- Research and develop new products and concepts to capture trends and showcase trends, cultures and cuisines.
- Work with merchant teams on all aspects of Entertaining Merchandising, including product sourcing, recipe development, presentation, and merchandising standards, packaging and labeling guidelines, team member training and customer sampling education.
- Drive culinary excellence by being a champion for new food products, cultivating culinary talent and curiosity among merchant teams, and fostering a passionate inquisitiveness for all things food and entertaining.
- Tests, develops and ensures consistency in recipes, product quality, and hard good instructions/procedures.
- Partner with Vice President of Entertaining team on product assortments, visual merchandising, signage, marketing, in-store events, product collaborations, and cross-divisional collaborations.
- Work with Merchants for private label product sourcing. Partner with the Marketing team in regards to launching, promoting, branding, messaging/signage and labeling of programs and venues.
- Work with Store Operations’ Culinary Council to develop, organize and oversee food demonstrations to help drive traffic, sales, and excitement.
- Spearhead culinary food tours, comp shops, and tastings.
- Develop and maintain Culinary SharePoint and seasonal food trend reports.
- Visits and experiences with competitors and their products. Timely communication to Leadership including recommendations.
- Direct and Guide the execution of creative briefs for brand standards
- Direct and guide the development of private label products in food, beverage and kitchen/table top
- Lead seasonal presentations with themes, cuisines, flavors, colors and packaging direction
- Organize and lead merchant team on travel and tradeshows objectives based upon trend research
- Synchronize technology capabilities with in house and overseas agents to service merchant team with their product development
- Establish a powerful resource structure for trend identification that can be utilized by the merchant team
- Manage the purchase of supplies and services within budget guidelines
- Distribution of seasonal presentations to merchants
- Genuine passion for food
- Minimum of 7 years of culinary, hospitality or culinary retail leadership/product development experience – Culinary degree a plus
- Proven ability to drive cross-functional teams to desired results
- Ability to identify, develop and manage product extensions
- Proven ability to effectively communicate with excellent written and verbal skills at all levels and across all departments
- Strong computer skills and ability to analyze financial metrics
- Capable of teaching and training others in a constructive and positive manner
- Organized and systematic approach to work and the ability to prioritize efficiently and delegate responsibilities
- Excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) and a true team player
- Demonstrated flexibility and interpersonal skills that interact with many levels of retail professionals
- Ability to travel 4-5 times per year
- Strong leadership skills, takes the lead in initiating projects
- Food safety certification – If not currently certified, will commit to completing certification within 6 months of start date
- Able to operate commercial food preparation equipment
- Bachelor’s or Design degree required