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UNFI Reveals 2021 Master Marketer Award Winners

Michigan-based Elmer’s County Market named 2021 Grand Master Marketer
UNFI's Master Marketer competition recognizes best-in-class marketing efforts by independent grocery retailers served by the company’s wholesale distribution business.

UNFI has revealed the 22 category winners of its annual Master Marketer competition, which recognizes best-in-class marketing efforts by independent grocery retailers served by UNFI’s wholesale distribution business.

Along with the category winners, Elmer’s County Market, a family-owned grocer based in Escanaba, Mich., was named the 2021 Grand Master Marketer for overall consistent performance over the years.

“While the grocery industry continues to fulfill its essential purpose of providing food and services to communities across North America, we at UNFI believe it’s important to recognize the dedication and innovation throughout,” noted UNFI Chief Customer OfficerSteve Dietz. “We’re proud to work with each of the nominees and winners from this year’s Master Marketer program. Congratulations to all, and to Elmer’s for their achievement as this year’s Grand Master Marketer recipient.”

One hundred and fifty-five marketing programs were submitted for the 2021 Master Marketer awards, which are judged based on the creativity, clarity and effectiveness of the stores’ marketing efforts. Entries were assessed by professors and marketing students from St. Joe’s University, University of Wisconsin and University of Michigan.

The full list of winners by category is as follows:

​​​​Tier 1: Stores 30,000 Square Feet and Smaller

  • Extra Effort Advertising: Jong’s, Lake Providence, La.
  • Fresh Department – TIE: Babbs Supermarket, Spencer, Ind., and Baesler’s Market, Sullivan, Ind.
  • Grand Opening/Anniversary: Solomon’s Lucaya, Freeport, Bahamas
  • Industry Promotion: Babbs Supermarket
  • Natural, Organic, Specialty: Turnip Truck, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Public Service/Community: Graceway Supermarkets, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  • Radio Spots: Bridgewater Foods, Bridgewater, Va.
  • Website/Social Media: Sunflower, Columbus, Miss.
  • Tier 1 Master Marketer – TIE: Babbs Supermarket and Graceway Supermarkets

Tier 2: Stores Larger Than 30,000 Square Feet

  • Extra Effort Advertising: Chris’ Food Center, Sandstone, Minn.
  • Fresh Department: Dorothy Lane Market, Dayton, Ohio
  • Grand Opening/Anniversary: Haymaker Shop N Save, Monroeville, Pa.
  • Industry Promotion: Elmer’s County Market
  • Natural, Organic, Specialty: Dorothy Lane Market
  • Public Service/Community: Chris’ Food Center
  • Radio Spots: Elmer’s County Market
  • TV Commercials: Dorothy Lane Market
  • Website/Social Media: Harvest Market/Niemann Foods Inc., Champaign, Ill.
  • Tier 2 Master Marketer: Dorothy Lane Market

Tier 3: Store Groups With 5 or More Locations

  • Extra Effort Advertising: Pay-Less Market Inc., Hagatna, Guam
  • Fresh Department: Duluth Super One Foods, Duluth, Minn.
  • Grand Opening/Anniversary: Hibbing Super One Foods, Hibbing, Minn.
  • Industry Promotion: Kirby Foods Inc., Champaign, Ill.
  • Private Brands – TIE: Duluth Super One Foods and Supermercados La Torre, Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Public Service/Community: Shop N Save, Greenburgh, Pa.
  • Radio Spots: Sentry Foods, Delafield, Wis.
  • TV Commercials, Cub, Stillwater, Minn.
  • Website/Social Media: Cub
  • Tier 3 Master Marketer: Pay-Less Market Inc.

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 47 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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