GMA Honors Diamond Foods Henkel for Innovation, Creativity

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), in conjunction with its Associate Member Council (AMC), has awarded Henkel and Diamond Foods Inc. with its 2010 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity at the annual GMA Executive Conference at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. Now in its eighth year, the award is given to companies that have demonstrated uncommon creativity and innovation, as well as having made a significant contribution to the industry knowledge base.

“The CPG Award not only recognizes innovation and creativity, but it also highlights emerging industry trends,” said GMA president/CEO Pamela Bailey. “Diamond Foods and Henkel are exciting examples of companies that have focused on value and innovation to connect with consumers and positively impact the company’s bottom line.”

GMA evaluated applications in two manufacturer categories -- those with more than $1 billion in sales and those with total sales of less than $1 billion.

Diamond Foods, Inc. took the Division A award for its Project Underdog strategy, which challenged its teams to find new ways to engage the consumer, respond to customer needs and work smarter. The goal of this new business approach was to define Emerald’s role in keeping the category vibrant and relevant.

By “thinking big but acting small,” the strategy embraced bold ideas while focusing resources and yielded tangible results for trading partners. Retailers who increased their Emerald assortment grew their category almost twice as fast as retailers that didn’t. At the same time, Emerald itself achieved clear secondary leadership in the category, increasing total distribution by 34 percent, posting 46 percent sales growth and increasing category share by 200 basis points.

“Our experience with the strategy has energized and strengthened our commitment to support category health with innovation, invest every dollar where it counts and continually over-deliver for our consumers and our customers,” said Michael J. Mendes, chairman, president and CEO of San Francisco-based Diamond Foods. “We believe our culture and approach to innovation will continue to yield strong financial performance.”

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Henkel received the honor in Division B for revolutionizing the laundry industry with the launch of Purex Complete 3-in-1 laundry sheets. The project, which spent more than five years in development, brought game-changing innovation to a traditionally sedate category.

Unlike many past innovations, Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets won nearly 80 percent of its sales volume from other brands, and its premium price per load translated into tens of millions of new sales dollars, thus expanding the category. This success drove Henkel to lead laundry detergent category growth during the launch year.


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