Dairy foods are nutritious and comforting. In the hands of Rose Donatelli, they are also an exciting and growing product category for convenience stores across the country.
As the national account manager for Lactalis Canada, Donatelli has worked for almost four years to reverse the downward trajectory of dairy products. “We needed to find ways to make the category more attractive,” she says.
Donatelli and her team of key account managers, who collectively oversee a portfolio of more than $85 million in sales to retailers, pioneered change within the dairy business by being the first supplier to introduce long-shelf-life Lactantia milk and supporting a shift to products that give both traditional and non-traditional c-stores the ability to thrive within the segment. She and her team provide dairy products to more than 2,000 convenience and gas stores.
She worked with distribution partners to change delivery models and bring fresh grocery items to stores, more frequently. These became even more significant during the pandemic, as consumers turned c-stores for everyday items and fresh products.
A strong leader and relationship builder, who can quickly analyze data to understand, and position retail assortments, Donatelli works to fulfill changing consumer needs.
“There has been a lot of growth the last couple of years,” says Donatelli. “New and premium products have given convenience stores the ability to play in the sector—and that ability is not going away.”