Nat’l Co+op Grocers Adds CatMan Director


National Co+op Grocers (NCG) has hired Jason Stein as its director of category management. Stein spent 16 years at Whole Foods Market Inc., where held the role of senior category leader, in which capacity he headed the company’s legacy and pilot category management programs.

In his new position, Stein will oversee NCG’s product sourcing and negotiation for its promotional and pricing-support programs, Co+op Deals and Co+op Basics, along with furthering NCG’s reputation as an organization that champions relationship building and mutual benefit.

According to Iowa City, Iowa-based NCG, the addition of Stein also enables it to develop and deliver a category management program for its virtual chain of food co-ops.

“I’m passionate about food as social justice, and there’s no better opportunity to help make food retail more fair and equitable throughout the supply chain than by working for food co-ops,” said Stein. “It’s exciting to be a part of a company that is a pioneer in the natural foods industry and that continues to succeed in a competitive marketplace.”

“Jason’s demonstrated track record of progressive responsibility with all levels of retail at Whole Foods, coupled with his leadership role in their past and future category management programs, makes him uniquely suited to lead our category management team,” noted NCG Senior Director of Purchasing Ben Nauman, adding, “Jason’s hire signals our continued commitment to providing top-tier leadership in product selection and pricing for our co-ops and our renewed commitment to the development of the NCG Core Set program.”

NCG’s 148 member and associate co-ops operate more than 200 stores in 38 states.