Customer Development Manager - Blue Buffalo

General Mills

General Mills

Customer Service
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Posted on Friday, August 25, 2023

Job Description

Love them like family, feed them like family.” ® Everything at Blue Buffalo starts with this simple idea.

We think of our dogs and cats as family members, so we believe their food should be natural and healthy. In fact, this was the sole reason for starting the Blue Buffalo Company. When the beloved Bishop family dog, Blue, faced a variety of health issues, Bill and his two sons set out to create a pet food that was made with only the highest quality natural ingredients—the kind of things a family member deserves. Ten years later we have, in many ways, accomplished what we set out to do—help our dogs and cats live happy, healthy lives. And we’re only getting started!

Feeding healthy ingredients isn’t just a trend for us. It’s our history. Since we started in 2003, we’ve always used high-quality natural ingredients with real meat first. Never any corn, wheat or soy. And no poultry by-product meals. It’s been that way since day one for every product we’ve ever created. And it always will be.



We are seeking a highly motivated Customer Development Manager – Pet Specialty to join one of the most exciting and fastest growing companies in the Pet Industry. The Customer Development Manager will lead the Pet Specialty Customer, driving the development and execution of the go to market strategy for Blue Buffalo. In this role, you will gain exposure across multiple levels of leadership both internally as well as externally with leading Pet retailers. You will need to leverage your strong influential leadership, previous retailer experience & cross-functional expertise to set strategies that enable both BLUE and our current/potential customers to win. We are looking for someone who can demonstrate excellent strategic thinking, exceptional negotiation skills, as well as someone who can flawlessly execute, drive a culture of inclusion, and deliver personal accountability.





  • Works closely with Internal and External partners to understand & educate on customer strategies/ priorities/ tactics/ policies
  • Aligns analytics, customer strategy and trade strategies to build an annual merchandising plan for their category/customer
  • Lead JBP process & negotiations while accelerating BLUE’s long-term strategies
  • Identify new accounts and routes to market to expand the Pet Channel


  • Develop and implement winning customer strategies that drive sales and deliver profitable growth to achieve targets
  • Lead event execution from initial opportunity through to final event (external concept/opportunity sell-in, participating items, consumer/customer offer, POS execution, SPPK confirmation, retail feedback)
  • Own and manage trade investment budgets and consistently evaluate ROI
  • Partner with cross-functional teams (Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain, Category/Insights, etc.) and our national retail team to maximize in-store presence and consumer impact
  • Completes requirements for account(s) i.e. deal sheets, promotional executions, customer presentation decks inclusive of new product innovation reviews


  • Analyze and summarize key business learnings and sales trends back to the BLUE Business
  • Identify customer-specific strategic initiative opportunities, leveraging analytics and financial acumen to operationalize both internally and externally.
  • Integrate customer data and knowledge of BLUE Buffalo’s strategies to make promotional and assortment recommendations
  • Unlock efficiencies through process improvement and promotional analysis


  • Bachelor’s Degree required and a minimum of 3-5 years of Key Account management or Retail Buying experience; Pet experience preferred
  • Advanced strategic thinking, planning, financial management, decision-making, and negotiation skills
  • High-level learning agility and ability to adapt quickly to changing demands and needs of the business
  • Strong analytical skills and experience aggregating internal and external data sources (e.g., Nielsen) of information to build an influential selling story
  • Experience working in a matrixed/cross-functional organization with partners in Finance, Marketing, Legal, Supply Chain and Sales and possess the talent to interface directly and effectively with all levels within the organization
  • Proven track record of new business development and flawless execution of strategies at store level
  • Able to travel occasionally
  • Strong sales, planning, organization, leadership, teamwork skills and proficient in software packages (Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint)


  •  Key Account management or Retail Buying experience a must
  • Preferred 5+ years of national account experience with sales, marketing, category management, shopper/ consumer insights, customer-facing account management, analytics, and/or trade funding
  • Proficiency with retailer internal systems and processes
  • Pet Category experience preferred
  • Pet enthusiast preferred
  • Preference for location in Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada

General Mills is committed to Employment Equity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates with disabilities taking part in all aspects of the recruitment and selection process.