NATIONAL REPORT — The convenience store landscape is still proving difficult to navigate as operators grapple with lingering problems such as supply chain issues, labor shortages and higher prices due to record inflation. Changes in consumer shopping habits — from seamless checkout, mobile apps and social media influencers to artificial intelligence and virtual reality — must be optimized to achieve success.
The winners in Convenience Store News' 2023 Category Captains awards program partnered closely with their c-store customers to create successful solutions for today's challenging retail environment. They zeroed in on shopper insights to drive decisions within their categories and shared those insights with retailer partners to help them capture consumer attention and grow sales.
Fifteen skillful suppliers and distributors have been chosen as this year's honorees. Now in its 10th year, the Category Captains program celebrates outstanding category management by
partners to the c-store industry. All entries were judged based on:
- Product innovation;
- Creativity in merchandising, marketing, promotion and advertising;
- Use of consumer insights to drive total category sales; Innovative and dynamic category management tools and technologies;
- 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.
Past Times Marketing, a consumer research and product evaluation firm based in New York, once again judged the entries based on information supplied by participating companies.
The 2023 Category Captains are: