Entry Period Opens for 2024 Convenience Store News Category Captains Awards

Innovative, creative and profit-generating category management platforms can be recognized in 21 different categories.
Angela Hanson
Category Captains 2024

CHICAGO — Convenience Store News is now accepting entries for its 2024 Category Captains awards program. This competition recognizes overall excellence in innovative, creative and profit-generating category management platforms.

Awards are presented in 21 different categories, such as candy and snacks, cigarettes and other tobacco products, all types of foodservice and more.

Convenience store industry suppliers and distributors that provide their retailer customers with category leadership and innovation in any of the listed categories are eligible to enter. There is no entry fee. If a submission could fall into more than one category, nominators should choose one, with the judging panel having final say.

The 2023 Category Captains winners can be seen here.

What Makes a Category Captain?

A Category Captain is generally the retailer's most important vendor, supplier or manufacturer in a particular category. This company works alongside the retailer to provide relevant consumer data, improve performance in their category, and increase overall sales and profit growth.

As each retailer has a distinct set of expectations and deliverables for a Category Captain, a supplier's ability to customize its products, services, promotions, merchandising materials and programs is a key factor in determining the award winners.

Above all else, a Category Captain's efforts contribute to the growth and success of an entire category, not just the supplier's own products or brands. Companies should be able to demonstrate in their entries the innovative ways they do this, as well as discuss the resources they devote to supporting overall category growth.

Additionally, examples of specific successful retailer partnership programs are beneficial in entry submissions, as are financial results (in percentages, not actual dollars). Upon request, financial information can be withheld from eventual coverage of winners.

How to Enter

To enter the 2024 Category Captains awards program, suppliers and distributors must submit: an overview synopsis of 1,000 words or less about their category leadership; a high-resolution company logo; and up to five supporting images of the products or lines offered.

Entries will be accepted through Jan. 12, 2024, and be evaluated on factors such as:

  • How the supplier/distributor supported their retailer customers' needs and built sales overall in the category;
  • What new programs, technologies, business systems, merchandising schemes or promotional tactics were employed; and
  • What their retailer partners think of their category management platform.

Judging is conducted by Past Times Marketing, a consumer research and product evaluation firm based in New York. Past Times President and CEO Susan Durtschi has more than 40 years of experience as a buyer, merchandise manager, private label product developer and online marketer for a variety of national and regional retailers and her own retail company.

Winners will be announced in February and spotlighted in the March 2024 issue of Convenience Store News.

Click here to enter the 2024 Category Captains awards program.

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