GMA Honors CPG Companies for Innovation, Creativity

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GMA Honors CPG Companies for Innovation, Creativity


The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and its Associate Member Council (AMC) have presented E. & J. Gallo Winery and PepsiCo Inc. with the 2012 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity. The honor is bestowed annually on companies for creativity, innovation and making a significant impact on the industry knowledge base.

“It is ingenuity such as that demonstrated by E. & J. Gallo and PepsiCo that allows our industry to grow, thrive and, most importantly, satisfy its consumers,” noted GMA President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey.

The Washington, D.C.-based trade association evaluated applications in two manufacturer divisions, those from companies with total sales of less than $3 billion in Division A and companies with $3 billion or more in sales in Division B.

Gallo received the Division A award for developing the comprehensive in-store wine education platform known as the “Climb the Vine” program. The nonbranded education and merchandising initiative aimed to demystify wine and make it approachable to the average American shopper.

After choosing a well-known national retail partner for the pilot project, Gallo implemented a four-phase initiative that increased wine sales more than twice the rate of its competitors, saw sales of focus items rise more than 31 percent, and achieved a 16 percent jump in household penetration, actually bringing new users to the category. Gallo is currently expanding the pilot program to include other retailers.

“This award could not have been possible without the support of our retailer partner and their willingness to test new concepts to further drive conversion and penetration of the wine category,” said Herb Smith, national director of sales for Modesto, Calif.-based Gallo.

PepsiCo clinched the Division B award for the ambitious sustainability project of converting a 25-year-old Frito-Lay facility in the Arizona desert into a nearly net-zero manufacturing plant, meaning that only slightly less electricity is generated on-site than is consumed, and other sustainable manufacturing practices are employed, among them on-site process water recycling.

The Casa Grande project retrofit was so successful that Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is now applying learnings from the site to its entire manufacturing plant system worldwide. The Casa Grande plant generates 75 percent of its energy from renewable sources, cutting grid-supplied electricity by half, and natural gas usage dropped by a remarkable 80 percent. The plant additionally recycles 75 percent of its water on-site.

“PepsiCo seeks to maximize efficiencies across every aspect of our business,” observed Tom Greco, president of Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo. “Our business relies on key natural resources like water and fuel, and we’re pursuing innovative solutions that allow us to operate more efficiently today while also ensuring that we have a path towards sustainable long-term growth well into the future.”

Greg Smith, global lead partner, KPMG LLP and chair of the GMA Associate Member Council, presented the awards during the Leadership Luncheon at the GMA Executive Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo.