Nominations are now being accepted!
Thank you for your interest in Progressive Grocer’s 25th annual Category Captains Awards. This program recognizes leadership among supplier companies that serve America’s retailers of food and consumables and is the longest-running program of its type. We are glad you are here and interested in sharing your company’s story of category leadership.
We’ve all been through a lot during the past 18 months. The onset of the pandemic in early 2020 caused tremendous disruption to consumer behavior, retail operations and trading partner business practices. The discipline of category management was upended last year, and it required Progressive Grocer to adjust the criteria by which supplier initiatives were evaluated.
Those criteria have been adjusted again for 2021 as the retail world has moved closer toward normalcy, even though the pandemic situation remains dynamic. The discipline of category management remains dynamic, too, amid a still evolving pandemic situation that pushed attributes such as speed, agility and resourcefulness to the fore last year.
Those qualities remain highly desirable among retailers’ trading partners, but the moderation of pandemic conditions has renewed the emphasis on more traditional aspects of category management. For example, there is again an elevated need for retailers to work closely with suppliers that offer great products, leverage consumer insights, provide accurate demand forecasts, have agile supply chains, make data-driven pricing and promotion decisions, employ advanced analytics, and drive demand through innovative shopper engagement strategies.
These are just a few of the broad attributes that make a supplier worthy of the distinction of Category Captain. However, to truly make such a determination, more specifics are needed. As you complete your entry form, we would ask you to consider the following:
- What was the most important shopper insight or innovation you brought to your retail partners since June of last year?
- How did your organization address pandemic-driven supply chain challenges to ensure retailers of all types had adequate product quantities?
- Which new methods of collaborating with retailers were especially innovative or creative?
- Which new operational challenges did your organization overcome as COVID-19 lingered?
- How did the new insights or innovations your company developed build total category volume?
- How did your initiative promote connectivity between complementary store departments?
- How did your initiative boost basket size, trips or overall store sales?
- Were you able to leverage artificial intelligence to optimize assortments or optimize pricing decisions?
- Did your initiative invigorate a dormant or declining category, or create a new one to address an unmet consumer need?
- How were digital methods such as social media or retail media leveraged?
- 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?
Here’s what to do next….