SN's third-annual Category Excellence report is publishing during a time when the U.S. economy is sluggishly emerging from a deep and protracted recession. Retailers and suppliers generally have similar goals in mind — they both want consumers to buy more of the products they're selling. But, during challenging times like these those goals must share a unique alignment. New products need to be hits, category management efforts must respond to ongoing shifts in the economy, and in-store execution needs to be top-notch. So it is encouraging to see how innovative the food retailing industry has remained despite the economy. From new products and new sustainability initiatives to new ways to reach customers via social media, it is clear that the fresh food suppliers represented in this report are in tune with what consumers want, and with what their retail customers need.