Cancel OK

‘State of the Produce Manager’ report explores training, career pathing, job satisfaction, and more

State of the Produce Manager Report

Jan. 8, 2024 — Retailers looking to better support and equip their produce managers have a new resource to explore: the first-ever State of the Produce Manager report, created by industry consultant Ashley Nickle.

Based on a survey of more than 200 produce managers, the report delves into questions including:

•   How much leeway they have to make decisions for their department.

•   Whether they believe they have the necessary resources to serve customers well.

•   In which areas they want more education or training.

•   How they feel about their work.

•   What they know and want to know about the career path opportunities available to them.

Developed with input from industry-leading produce directors, the survey and report were designed by Nickle to help retailers better understand the state of the produce manager and to zero in on opportunities to boost recruitment, retention and performance for this critical role.

The research revealed several correlations that merit exploration, including higher job satisfaction among 1) produce managers with at least some leeway to make decisions for their department and 2) produce managers with at least some understanding of career path opportunities with their organization. The survey results also indicated a significant appetite for additional training and education among not only newer produce managers but veterans as well.

“Our goal with this report is to kickstart conversations within individual organizations about what the next level of engagement with and empowerment of produce managers looks like for them,” Nickle said. “The upside here is enormous.”

Retailers interested in accessing the complimentary report can email Nickle or reach her on LinkedIn. She will also share the survey questions with retailers looking to replicate this research with their own teams.

Nickle, who is also the founder and host of The Produce Retail Podcast, will also dive more deeply into findings from the report in a series of episodes that include discussions with industry members and outside experts to provide more insight on topics including career pathing, leadership, leeway and more.

“From my early days in the industry, the produce executives I learned from always emphasized the importance of the produce manager, and I’ve never forgotten that,” Nickle said. “The produce managers I’ve been fortunate to meet over the years are some of the most resourceful, hard-working, enthusiastic people I know, and I’m confident that investments made in them are ones that will yield remarkable returns. I can’t wait to hear what retailers are doing now and are doing next to continue empowering these professionals.”

About Ashley Nickle Growth Strategies LLC

Ashley Nickle launched her own business in 2021 to work with produce suppliers and their retail partners on maximizing promotions, developing content strategy, increasing engagement and more. Her years as a member of the trade media gave her occasion to learn from hundreds of industry members over the course of countless conversations for articles, videos, podcasts, trade shows and other forums. She continues to engage across the industry through the conversational platform she founded as part of her business: The Produce Retail Podcast.

About The Produce Retail Podcast

Hosted by Ashley Nickle, the podcast features conversations on strategy, business partnerships, planning, training, leadership, communication, merchandising and much more. The Produce Retail Podcast can be found on Apple and Spotify.