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CSNews Honors 2017 Category Captains


JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Twelve suppliers have been chosen as "Category Captain" winners in 13 product categories in Convenience Store News’ 2017 Category Captains awards program.

Now in its fourth year, the Category Captains program recognizes the outstanding category management initiatives implemented in the convenience channel over the past year.

Past Times Marketing, a consumer research and product evaluation firm based in New York, once again judged the entries based on information supplied by the participating companies.

All entries were judged based on the following criteria:

  • Product innovation;
  • Creativity in merchandising, marketing, promotion and advertising;
  • Use of consumer insights to drive category sales;
  • Innovative and dynamic category management tools;
  • Demonstrated commitment to meeting the specific needs of retailer customers;
  • Efficiently lifting sales for the entire product category; and
  • Fact-based evidence of market-specific or account specific results.

Winners in the annual Category Captains program stand out because they have earned retailers’ trust and help their clients grow sales and profits in the entire product category.

The 2017 Category Captains are:

Alternative Snacks: General Mills Convenience

Beer/Malt Beverages: Anheuser-Busch

Candy: The Hershey Co.

Edible Grocery: The Kellogg Co.

Foodservice/Prepared Food: Tyson Convenience

Foodservice/Cold & Frozen Beverages: f’real foods

Foodservice/Licensed/Franchised: Hot Stuff Pizza

Health & Beauty Care: Lil’ Drug Store Products Inc.

Other Tobacco Products: Swisher International Inc.

Packaged Beverages: The Coca-Cola Co.

Packaged Sweet Snacks: McKee Foods Corp.

Salty Snacks: General Mills Convenience

Wine & Liquor:  E. & J. Gallo 

Several of this year’s honorees are repeat winners in the same category: Hershey in candy, Swisher International in other tobacco products, General Mills in alternative snacks, and McKee Foods in packaged sweet snacks. Additionally, General Mills picked up a second award this year in the salty snacks category.

All of these winning companies have earned convenience store retailers’ trust to help manage and grow an entire product category’s sales and profits — not just the vendor’s own product line. They also make sure a retailer’s strategy is not driven by a supplier agenda. Instead, these Category Captains work with the retailer to ensure that the category’s product assortment and pricing meet the needs of that retailer’s target shoppers.

Look in the March issue of Convenience Store News for full coverage of the winners.

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