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WILTON, Conn. -- Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble topped the "best of the best" in the industry for collaborating with trading partners to best meet consumers' needs, and bolster their own performance, said consultancy Cannondale Associates here, which on Firday released it 2005 PoweRanking Survey.
The PoweRanking highlights companies that have focused on the "point of contact," and made collaboration with their trading partners an important strategy.
Cannondale said Procter & Gamble, the top PoweRanking manufacturer, has epitomized the effectiveness of a strategy to work with retailers to reinvent aisles and enhance the shopping experience.
"The PoweRanking survey has identified the importance placed on differentiation by retailers and manufacturers," said Ken Harris, managing director. "Companies are working diligently to differentiate product offerings to consumers through products, packages, store formats, and experiences."
"Wal-Mart through its current repositioning process, and P&G with its reinvention of categories, are two examples of this trend," Harris said.
Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Clorox improved in their PoweRanking composite scores this year through their innovations in the nonfoods area. Clorox saw the largest ordinal rank improvement, driven by an intense focus on the consumer.
With respect to food companies, Kellogg's saw the largest increase over 2004, and made its debut in the Top 10. Kraft remained the No. 2 manufacturer, despite a slight drop from 2004. Frito-Lay, Campbell's, and Quaker-Tropicana-Gatorade exited the Top 10.
"Retailers indicated that nonfood companies are becoming more important to them based on the results of the survey," Harris said. "The survey also demonstrates that retailers outside of the traditional food channel are becoming more important to both food and nonfood manufacturers. This is a time of dynamic change in the industry and the PoweRanking captures this dynamic shift."
For the seventh consecutive year, Wal-Mart captured the top slot, but it continues the downturn it began last year, falling 5.1 points. Other top 10 retailers continue to improve, and the "super regionals" -- Publix, Wegmans, and HEB -- constantly challenge Wal-Mart's dominance in specific trading areas, according to Cannondale.