Food Merchandiser: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Food merchandisers are responsible for the distribution and merchandising of food products to store clients. Food merchandisers restock and rotate products and resolve any service issues. Typically, food merchandisers must have a minimum of a high school diploma and prior merchandising experience to enter this career.
Food merchandisers develop and implement merchandising plans to assist in the marketing and promotion of foods at their client locations. They are responsible for promoting and marketing food products by means of store displays. Food merchandisers may use visual techniques to attract customers. They also assist with the billing and pricing of food products and client food orders. Food merchandisers are also the primary contact between their employers and store clients. These professionals typically work for food distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers.
Daily duties of a food merchandiser may include taking inventory, removing any expired or damaged products, replacing products, and meeting with store managers for re-ordering products. The merchandiser may have additional responsibilities such as assisting in strategies and producing goals for the company and clients. They may also assist with selecting food products during seasonal times, surveying stores, and forecasting products and sales. Typically, it is also the merchandiser's responsibility to address any customer complaints or issues and maintain an adequate customer service level.
Employer requirements range from possessing a minimum of a high school diploma to holding a bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer several years of merchandising or sales experience, which can be gained from previous employment.
Potential food merchandisers must possess proficient verbal and written communication skills. Strong presentation and negotiation skills are also preferred. Food merchandisers must also be highly organized and detail-orientated. Knowledge in computers and software programs are also needed.
Food merchandisers may be required to use their personal vehicle and understand how to operate a company route truck. Employers require a valid driver's license and a clean driving record. Some employers may require a background check along with a physical and drug test.
Job Outlook and Salary Info
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of all types of wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, including food merchandisers, will more or less keep pace with the overall health of the economy; the BLS noted that throughout the 2010-2020 decade, employment of such workers is expected to grow by about 16%, consistent with the national average for all occupations. The Bureau published the median annual salary earned by wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, not including those for technical and scientific products, as $54,230 in May 2012.
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