2018 Category Captains: Progressive Grocer Honors Top Solution-Focused Partners
Rare is the grocery shopper who’s looking for just one thing. Or, perhaps better stated, looking for just one item.
Increasingly, the one “thing” they’re looking for is a solution – something that solves their need for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacking, special occasion, etc.
It’s up to retailers and their supplier partners to join forces and find the best ways to guide, steer, curate, bundle, illustrate – in other words, present that solution to the consumer to make them them perceive your store, whether accessed physically or digitally, as essential to their basic needs.
“Every day and at every turn, new disruptive competitors and increased expectations from customers are challenging tried-and-true industry practices and our customary ways of operating. But we have choices,” Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute, recently blogged. “We can either let others upset our apple carts on their terms, or we can work with our supplier partners to upend our own apple carts in order to see things in new ways, making the needed adjustments to create the more agile marketplace our shoppers want.”
Progressive Grocer’s annual Category Captains awards recognize the best examples of such partnerships of the past year. CPG companies that seek to leverage the whole store, rather than just the aisle full of their own branded products, are the partners most valuable to grocers.
Our editorial team reviewed dozens of nominations for the most compelling examples of new programs, technologies, business systems, merchandising schemes and promotional tactics that played a key role in driving sales through shopper-centric solutions that address key consumer need states.
We looked for collaborations that addressed retailer needs specific to regions and markets, effective leveraging of shopper insights, strategic adjacencies between store departments, and evidence of impact on overall category and sales growth.
Entries selected as Category Captains delivered on these criteria at the highest level; those designated Category Advisors (honorable mention) showed promise for further development and success.