Former Roundy’s chairman, president and CEO Bob Mariano and Ken Powell of General Mills were honored by the Grocery Manufacturers Association with Hall of Achievement awards at the trade organization’s Leadership Forum at the Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, W.V. Additionally, GMA’s 2017 CPG Award for Innovation and Creativity went to Hormel Foods and Nando’s PERi-PERi.
The Hall of Achievement award is GMA’s highest honor and recognizes the service and extraordinary contributions of distinguished food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry leaders.
“Bob Mariano’s 50-year career in the grocery industry earned him a reputation as the consummate merchant, someone with an uncanny ability to listen to and understand his shoppers,“ said Pamela G. Bailey, GMA’s president and CEO. “Ken Powell’s leadership at General Mills has been marked by listening to consumers, driving innovation and committing to a sustainable future for the world around us. He brought that same steadiness and sensible leadership to his role as chairman of the GMA board of directors,” Bailey added.
The winners of the CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity are selected each year by the GMA Advisory Council in recognition for their creativity and willingness to take risks, resulting in measurable results and significant impact on the industry.
“GMA member companies are continuously seeking better ways to connect with consumers and meet evolving consumer desires,” explained Bailey, who noted that the successes of both “Hormel and Nando’s PERi-PERi exemplify the innovation and creativity seen throughout our industry.”
Hormel Foods was recognized for SKIPPY P.B. Bites, which were created to meet a challenge by company leadership to take peanut butter out of the jar. SKIPPY P.B. Bites, the first in its category of peanut butter snacks, initially launched in 2015 in two varieties – pretzel and double peanut butter – that exceeded expected sales. The SKIPPY P.B. Bites successful launch aligned with one of the company’s key growth pillars – solving for the on-the-go eating occasion – and has set up the company for further growth in the snacking business, with the addition of granola and graham cracker options.
“Quality and innovation are two guiding principles at Hormel Foods that help the company meet consumers’ needs and satisfy appetites around the world,” said Scott Aakre, VP of consumer insights and corporate innovation at Hormel Foods. “Accomplishments such as SKIPPY P.B. Bites inspire us to continue to put the consumer first as we look for food solutions that reimagine convenience, give consideration to personalized nutrition and respond to consumers’ demands for food adventure.”
Nando’s PERi-PERi won for its launch in Atlanta of the grocery option for its famous sauce, a Southern African blend of chilies, garlic, sun-ripened lemon, fresh herbs, and spices. People enjoy Nando’s PERi-PERi sauce in its restaurants in 26 markets across the world – including Chicago and Washington D.C. in the U.S. – but the company wanted to launch its bottled sauce to consumers in cities where it did not have restaurants, officials say. It chose Atlanta for a test market, and used a combination of targeted sampling, strategic seeding, influencer gifting, and a series of pop‐up experiences to gain widespread social media sharing and earned media coverage that was supplemented by a trade marketing program.
“Around the world, we have seen that as soon as people try our famous little PERi-PERi from South Africa, it’s love at first bite,” shared Paulo Oliveira, head of Nando’s Grocery North America. “Our fresh flavor and spice speak for themselves, but it’s not easy to get samples to everyone in the US, so we’ve had to get creative in our approach. We are excited and humbled to see we’ve been so positively received by staying true to our brand and heritage."
In addition, Chad Mallory, a rising senior at Malone University in Ohio, was presented with the 2017 ENACTUS Emerging Leader Award.