LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., maker of more than 70 brands of grocery products, and H. E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, Texas, operator of 286 grocery stores largely in Texas, have been named the Category Masters of the Year for 2000.
year. Category management is a consumer-focused business practice that essentially uses sales data to make decisions about shelf placement and merchandising.
The program is sponsored by Brand Marketing and SN, two business-to-business publications at Fairchild Publications, New York. John Karolefski, editor-in-chief of Brand Marketing, presented the awards on stage in a packed ballroom at one of the conference's general sessions. Accepting the awards were Duncan MacNaughton, H-E-B's general manager of grocery procurement and merchandising, and Chris Hogan, Kraft's director of sales information and technology.
"Category management is about understanding customer behavior, and using that data to market to them and deliver food, drugstore and seasonal/GM solutions," said MacNaughton.
Since 1996, Kraft Foods has generated more than $400 million in added annual sales from newly introduced products. The company, which markets more than 70 brands, has been granted 500 new patents since 1990.
"Category management continues to evolve," said Kraft's Hogan. "Technology will be the catalyst that can make all aspects of category management more accessible and more real time, more applicable and transferable across all categories."
Readers of Brand Marketing and SN determined the winners. In parallel voting, manufacturers chose three top retailers, while retailers chose three top manufacturers. The choices were ranked in order of preference, and the results tabulated.
The selection criteria for the Category Masters awards focused on identifying the organizations that have the right people, the right information and the right strategy in place for category management.
The ACNielsen Category Masters Conference brings together retailers and manufacturers to exchange insights and knowledge on consumer-focused category management business practices.