The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade organization representing the independent supermarket industry, along with sponsoring partners Kellogg Co. and Unilever, has revealed the category winners of the annual Creative Choice Awards Contest, which recognizes the best marketing and merchandising programs in the grocery industry.
Judged by a panel of industry experts and trade press members, the contest consists of eight categories, in which one winner and at least one honorable mention were chosen from entries submitted between Dec. 1, 2019, through Jan. 15, 2021. The judges determined the winners based on creativity, clarity and the effectiveness of each campaign entered. Two special-recognition award winners were also chosen.
Despite the pandemic, which understandably affected the way that grocers executed their marketing and merchandising programs, the contest received a new record number of entries — more than 650 in all.
“2020 brought grocers a year of unprecedented challenges and changes, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic,” explained Laura Strange, SVP of communications and external affairs at Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “That meant most grocers’ usual lineup of promotions was drastically changed, perhaps even tossed out altogether to start from scratch. But independent grocers are among the most innovative and resourceful retailers around, and their stories of triumph this year demonstrated their ability to flourish even in the most trying times.”
Out of the category winners, one Outstanding Marketer and one Outstanding Merchandiser will be chosen by the independent supermarket community and their supporters in online voting, which will open in early July and run through Aug. 30.
Marketing and merchandising category winning entries will be highlighted at The NGA Show, scheduled for Sept. 19-21 in Las Vegas, and a display trophy will be awarded. Winners of the Outstanding Marketer/Merchandiser designation will receive free registration to the 2022 NGA Show.
The winners, by category, are as follows:
Connections Through Social Media
- One- to 15-Store Winner: Eddie’s of Roland Park: Holiday Content
- 15-plus-Store Winner: ShopRite Essential Thanks
Connections Through Digital Marketing or Mobile
- One- to 15-Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market: Virtual Wine/Culinary & More
- 15-plus-Store Winner: Lowe’s Market: Washing Machine
Traditional Media – TV, Radio and Print
- One- to 15-Store Winner: Newport Avenue Market “We Believe”
- 15-plus-Store Winner: Met Foods/Met Fresh Supermarkets: Como Tu
Grand Opening or Remodel
- One- to 15-Store Winner: Labonnes
- 15-plus-Store Winner: Brookshire Grocery Co.
Local, Specialty or Emerging Products
- One- to 15-Store Winner: LaBonnes LaBada Bing
- 15-plus-Store Winner: Associated Grocers of New England Corporate Stores: Brand Creation and Product Launch
- One- to 15-Store Winner: Charley’s: Supporting the Best Restaurants in the World
- 15-plus-Store Winner: Coborn’s Operation Round-Up
- One- to 15-Store Winner: Trig’s Make it Merry
- 15-plus-Store Winner: Family Fare: Explore Michigan
- One- to 15-Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market Lobstermania
- 15-plus-Store Winner: Brookshire: Hatch Chile
- Supermarket Superheroes Award, presented by Kellogg’s: ShopRite Essential Thanks
- Excellence in Agility Award, presented by Unilever: Coborn’s COVID-19 Campaign