Time to Enter PG’s 2019 Category Captains Contest

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Time to Enter PG’s 2019 Category Captains Contest


Applications are now being accepted for Progressive Grocer’s 23nd annual Category Captains Awards competition, which recognizes overall excellence in innovative, creative, profit-generating, shopper-centric category management platforms – efforts that demonstrate how to sell solutions and boost relevance of retailers in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Enter PG’s Category Captains contest


PG will present its new slate of Category Captains and Category Advisors in its December 2019 issue, which will be devoted to showcasing overall excellence and continued achievement among next-generation category management leaders across the industry. Deadline to enter is Oct. 1, 2019.

“It’s not just about the aisle anymore – it’s about the whole store,” said Jim Dudlicek, PG editorial director. “Retailers are no longer selling categories; they’re selling solutions. We’re looking for examples of close collaboration between CPG companies and their grocery retailer partners – strategies that drive sales by addressing shopper need states, not just introducing and selling more products.”

Rather than accepting entries by category as in the past, we are now accepting entries on at at-large basis. As the trend in retailing is now toward a whole-store approach to marketing products as solutions to shopper need-states, we feel our contest must also break down these traditional silos. As such, all entries will be judged against each other across the contest rather than in individual categories.

Consider the following:

  • What was the most important new shopper insight or innovation you brought to your retail customers last year?

  • How did your new insight or innovation build total category volume, as opposed to solely your own brand/line(s)?

  • How did your initiative promote connectivity between complementary store departments?

  • How did your initiative deliver solutions that consumers are seeking?

  • How did your initiative boost basket size and overall store sales?

  • What success models did you recommend to your customers in assortment, pricing and merchandising?

  • Did your category program gain new accounts and expand existing ones?

  • How did your platform invigorate a dormant or declining category, or create a new one to address an unmet consumer need?

  • Did it leverage social media or mobile technologies in a new and creative way?

  • How did your platform address the unique needs or issues of your retail customers?

  • What are your retail partners saying about your category management efforts? 

All Category Captain applicants will be evaluated against three requisite components: innovation to grow total category volume and overall store sales, and deliver real shopper solutions; delivery of measured results, supported by sales data; and direct performance feedback from retailers.

Top achievers will be recognized as Category Captains; those that show promise may be awarded honorable mention as Category Advisors.

All winners will be notified by PG in October 2019. Entries lacking all specified criteria will be disqualified.



Complete Category Captain Awards information can be found here, while general details of the awards program can also be found below:

  1. Innovation: All entries must include an overview synopsis of 800 words or fewer, describing new category management initiatives your company/organization has employed over the past 12 months. The synopsis should include compelling examples of new programs, technologies, business systems, merchandising schemes and/or promotional tactics that played a key role in your category development initiatives to accomplish such crucial objectives as product differentiation in a specific supermarket category, increased sales for all products in the specified category and/or shopper-centric solutions that address key consumer need states.

  2. Results/Overall Retail Performance: Submit supporting verifiable, comparable market-specific or account-specific sales or market share data that supports your claims about the effectiveness of your category management program/platform. This information can be kept confidential upon request and does not have to be published, but should be provided to assist with our evaluation.

  3. Art/Graphics: Submit an electronic image of one or more of the products/programs mentioned in your synopsis. Images must be 300 dpi in resolution, in .tif or .jpg format; 4x4 preferable for minimum size.

Please submit completed PG Category Captain entry forms and related images no later than Oct. 1, 2019.

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