Russell Zwanka

Photo of Russell Zwanka
Russell Zwanka
Director of the Food Marketing Program and Associate Professor of Marketing
(518) 698-8204
3142 Schneider Hall, Mail Stop 5430
Mailing address: 
Department of Marketing
Haworth College of Business
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5430 USA
  • D.B.A., International School of Management - Paris
  • M.S.M., Southern Wesleyan University
  • B.S., University of South Carolina
Teaching interests: 
  • Category management
  • Food marketing
  • Marketing research and strategy
  • Sales management
Research interests: 
  • CBD, THC, cannabis industry
  • Food and alcoholic beverage marketing
  • COVID-19 generational food impacts

Dr. Russell J. Zwanka is the director of the food marketing program and associate professor of marketing at Western Michigan University.

Appointed to the faculty in August 2020, Zwanka was instrumental in creating the first university-based Professional Category Management Certification program in the world, and helped establish WMU’s Food Industry Research and Education Center as the place for thought leadership and food industry applied research insights. Zwanka also assisted with the relaunch of in-person industry engagement between WMU students and food industry professionals.

Having spent a career in the food industry before teaching, Zwanka conceptualized and formed the food marketing concentration at Siena College, as well as the food marketing track at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He teaches category management, retail merchandising and marketing research; and has previously taught personal selling, marketing strategy, marketing principles, sales management and advanced concepts in food marketing.

Serving as the chair of the Food Industry University Coalition and as a member of the National Grocers Association Foundation, Zwanka works with other universities teaching food marketing to help educate the future leaders in the industry and shares practical food industry research with retailers and consumer goods companies.

Zwanka's 24 books are available in more than 40 countries across the globe and cover topics such as category management, food nutrition, walking a food store, public speaking, CBD and THC.

Additionally, he has led the merchandising, marketing, advertising, procurement and customer engagement areas for multiple food retail companies domestically and internationally, including serving as executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at The North West Company, senior vice president of merchandising and marketing at Price Chopper and vice president of merchandising at Bozzuto’s Inc.