The supermarket industry possesses a wealth of emerging talent whose ideas and energy will take it into the future with fresh ideas and innovative practices. Some of the business’ most junior members, however, are already making their mark in a major way, representing top grocers, suppliers and service providers across the country.
That’s why Progressive Grocer has decided to honor these young dynamos with our inaugural class of GenNext Awards. This program recognizes individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated a commitment to a career in either the grocery or CPG industries; innovation through the work they’re doing; leadership, including the capacity to inspire and lead others, and a commitment to learn from others; and a commitment to getting involved in the industry – such as through associations – and helping through charities or in the community.
We asked for nominations and received more than 160 from across the grocery industry, not just, as expected, the retail and consumer packaged goods sectors, but also marketers, a food brokerage, a certification organization, a distributor and an investment bank, to name a few. Reading through the submissions, we were struck by how much talent exists among the grocery business’ younger cohort; that made narrowing our selection to just 25 honorees extraordinarily difficult.
Ranging in age from a tender 22 to a seasoned 39, all of our honorees exhibit an admirable work ethic, an ability to effect real change in their respective organizations, and a sincere dedication to helping not just their own companies, but also the overall grocery business, succeed. With such fine examples as these, the food industry’s brilliant future seems assured.