The National Grocers Association, the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, along with sponsoring partners The Kellogg Co. and Unilever, celebrated the winners of their annual Creative Choice Awards Sept. 21 at the 2021 NGA Show at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Winners of the contest, which honors the best marketing and merchandising programs in the independent community grocery industry, were recognized during a breakfast session. The session also included a panel discussion of winning retailers, led by veteran industry observer and consultant Michael Sansolo.
“The past 18 months brought grocers unprecedented challenges and changes, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most grocers’ usual lineup of promotions was drastically changed, forcing many to start from scratch,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “But, independent community grocers are among the most innovative and resourceful retailers around, and their stories of triumph prove they’re able to flourish even in the most trying times.”
Contest categories this year were adjusted in deference to the pandemic-driven “new normal.” Judged by a panel of industry experts and trade press members, the contest features eight categories in which one winner and at least one honorable mention was chosen from entries submitted between Dec. 1, 2019, and Jan. 15, 2021. The judges, composed of industry experts and trade press, determined the category winners based on creativity, clarity and the effectiveness of each campaign entered.
Additionally, from the category winners, one “Outstanding Marketer” and one “Outstanding Merchandiser” were selected by the independent supermarket community and their supporters through online voting.
Marketing and merchandising category winning entries received display trophies at the ceremony. Winners of the “Outstanding Marketer/Merchandiser” title will receive complimentary registration to the 2022 NGA Show.
Nominations are open for the 2022 Creative Choice Awards. More information can be found at nationalgrocers.org/creative-choice/.
Below are the 2021 Creative Choice Awards winners, by category:
Connections Through Social Media
1-15 Store Winner: Eddie’s of Roland Park: Holiday Content
15+ Store Winner: ShopRite Essential Thanks
Connections Through Digital Marketing or Mobile
1-15 Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market: Virtual Wine/Culinary & More
15+ Store Winner: Lowe’s Market: Washing Machine
Traditional Media – TV, Radio and Print
1-15 Store Winner: Newport Avenue Market “We Believe”
15+ Store Winner: Met Foods / Met Fresh Supermarkets: Como Tu
Grand Opening or Remodel
1-15 Store Winner: LaBonne’s Markets
15+ Store Winner: Brookshire Grocery Co.
Local, Specialty or Emerging Products
1-15 Store Winner: LaBonne’s LaBada Bing
15+ Store Winner: Associated Grocers of New England Corporate Stores: Brand Creation & Product Launch
1-15 Store Winner: Charley’s: Supporting the Best Restaurants in the World
15+ Store Winner: Coborn’s Operation Round-Up
1-15 Store Winner: Trig’s Make it Merry
15+ Store Winner: Family Fare: Explore Michigan
1-15 Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market Lobstermania
15+ Store Winner: Brookshire: Hatch Chile
Supermarket Superheroes Award, presented by The Kellogg Company:
ShopRite Essential Thanks
Excellence in Agility Award, presented by Unilever:
Coborn’s COVID-19 Campaign
Eddie’s of Roland Park: Holiday Content Campaign
Associated Grocers of New England: Brand Creation & Product Launch
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes.
NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit nationalgrocers.org.