The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, together with sponsoring partners Kellogg Co. and Unilever, paid tribute to the winners of the annual Creative Choice Awards during a Sept. 21 breakfast session at the 2021 NGA Show at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The winners were revealed back in May of this year.
The contest honors the best marketing and merchandising programs in the independent grocery industry. In addition to the awards presentation, the session included a panel discussion of winning retailers, led by industry observer and consultant Michael Sansolo.
“The past 18 months brought grocers unprecedented challenges and changes, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NGA. “Most grocers’ usual lineup of promotions was drastically changed, forcing many to start from scratch. 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 tweaked to accommodate the pandemic-fueled “new normal.” Judged by a panel of industry experts and trade press members, the program features eight categories for which one winner and at least one honorable mention were selected from entries submitted between Dec. 1, 2019, and Jan. 15, 2021. The judges chose the category winners based on the creativity, clarity and effectiveness of each campaign entered.
Further, from among the category winners, one Outstanding Marketer and one Outstanding Merchandiser were selected by the independent supermarket community and their supporters via online voting.
Marketing and merchandising category winning entries were presented with display trophies at the awards ceremony, with the Outstanding Marketer and Outstanding Merchandiser receiving complimentary registration to the 2022 NGA Show.
The 2021 Creative Choice Awards winners are as follows:
Connections Through Social Media
1-15 Store Winner: Eddie’s of Roland Park: Holiday Content
15-plus Store Winner: ShopRite Essential Thanks
Connections Through Digital Marketing or Mobile
1-15 Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market: Virtual Wine/Culinary & More
15-plus Store Winner: Lowe’s Market: Washing Machine
Traditional Media – TV, Radio and Print
1-15 Store Winner: Newport Avenue Market: We Believe
15-plus Store Winner: Met Foods/Met Fresh Supermarkets: Como Tu
Grand Opening or Remodel
1-15 Store Winner: LaBonne’s Markets
15-plus Store Winner: Brookshire Grocery Co.
Local, Specialty or Emerging Products
1-15 Store Winner: LaBonne’s LaBada Bing
15-plus Store Winner: Associated Grocers of New England Corporate Stores: Brand Creation and Product Launch
1-15 Store Winner: Charley’s: Supporting the Best Restaurants in the World
15-plus Store Winner: Coborn’s Operation Round-Up
1-15 Store Winner: Trig’s Make it Merry
15-plus Store Winner: Family Fare: Explore Michigan
1-15 Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market Lobstermania
15-plus Store Winner: Brookshire: Hatch Chile
Supermarket Superheroes Award, presented by Kellogg Co.
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 and Product Launch
Nominations are now open for the 2022 Creative Choice Awards.
The largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative in the United States. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp. comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 363 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The company is No. 23 on The PG100, Progressive Grocer’s2021 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America.Pembroke, N.H.-based wholesaler Associated Grocers of New England is No. 36 on the list, whileTyler, Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co., a regional family-owned grocery business operating more than 180 stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, with banners including Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods, FRESH by Brookshire’s and Spring Market, is No. 62 on The PG100.