Meet the 2024 Convenience Store News Category Captains

Sixteen agile suppliers and distributors are honored in this year's awards program.
Category Captains 2024

NATIONAL REPORT The convenience store industry is facing challenges from growing competition in the marketplace combined with the need to satisfy increasing consumer expectations related to better value. A difficult macroeconomic environment is driving consumers today to be more cautious, price-sensitive and selective about the purchases they make.

These factors were clearly evident in the more than 65 entries received for the 2024 Convenience Store News Category Captains awards competition, now in its 11th year.

In a time of ongoing economic headwinds and shifts in consumer behavior, the 16 winners selected for recognition this year — a mix of perennial category leaders and some newcomers — provide their retailer customers with the tools to succeed. From new product innovation to leveraging the latest technology, they help c-store retailers grow the overall category.

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

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.

The 2024 Category Captains are:

  1. Alternative Snacks: Jack Link's
  2. Beer/Malt Beverages: Anheuser-Busch
  3. Candy: The Hershey Co.
  4. CBD/Cannabis: J And A Consumable Products
  5. Foodservice/Frozen Beverages: Frazil
  6. Foodservice/Hot Beverages: McLane Co. Inc. 
  7. Foodservice/Prepared Food: Core-Mark International
  8. Frozen Foods: Caulipower
  9. Ice: Everest Ice and Water Systems
  10. Lottery: Idaho Lottery
  11. Other Tobacco Products/Cigars: Cheyenne International 
  12. Other Tobacco Products/Overall: Swisher
  13. Packaged Beverages: The Coca-Cola Co.
  14. Packaged Sweet Snacks: Hostess Brands
  15. Salty Snacks: General Mills Convenience
  16. Wine & Liquor: Beam Suntory
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