GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The convenience-retailing industry is experiencing rapid consolidation, digital disruption and nonstop regulatory restrictions. And yet category managers take these challenges head on, driving traffic and sales for their brands despite the headwinds of the marketplace.
It’s with this strategic focus in mind that CSP named its 2018 Category Managers of the Year from the stage at Winsight’s Convenience Retailing University (CRU) conference in Glendale, Ariz.
Sponsored by Altria Group Distribution Co., the ceremony celebrated champions in six core in-store categories.
“These awards celebrate the women and men who truly understand the pulse of today’s consumers, and how to drive more sales by better serving them,” Abbie Westra, editor-in-chief of CSP and director of convenience content for Winsight, said as she announced the winners alongside Krister Hampton, manager of trade relations for Altria Group Distribution Co.
“We’re honored to be able to put the spotlight on them,” Westra said.
Suppliers nominated potential finalists in early 2017 and, under the direction of CSP editors, three finalists from six key categories were chosen. The voting process started in December 2017 and closed in late January of this year. Winners were announced live on stage at CRU in an Academy Awards-style ceremony. They will also be featured in a special section of CSP’s 2018 Category Management Handbook.
CSP’s 2018 Category Managers of the Year:
|Foodservice/Dispensed Beverages||Greg Lorance||Cumberland Farms|
|General Merchandise/Health & Beauty Care||Richard Ginther||Kum & Go|
|Packaged Beverages||Whitney Simpson||Pilot Flying J|
|Snacks & Candy||Kurt Fraschetti||Circle K - Great Lakes|
|Tobacco/OTP||Kraig Knudsen||Circle K - Heartland|
|Multiple Categories||Aaron Mace||The Wills Group Inc./Dash In|
Chicago-based Winsight LLC is a recognized leader in business-to-business media and information services for the convenience-retailing, foodservice and grocery industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio, including five publications: CSP, Restaurant Business, FoodService Director, Convenience Store Products and Winsight Grocery Business. Winsight also offers a suite of digital products, including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, video products, mobile and tablet apps, and custom marketing solutions. In addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings, Winsight also produces seven exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences: Restaurant Leadership Conference, Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, Outlook Leadership Conference, Convenience Retailing University, FSTEC, MenuDirections and Restaurant Directions. In 2015, Winsight acquired Technomic Inc., a provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services for the food industry. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to www.winsightmedia.com.
Pictured: Kurt Fraschetti (from left), Circle K Great Lakes; Whitney Simpson, Pilot Flying J; Aaron Mace, The Wills Group Inc./Dash In; Kraig Knudsen, Circle K Heartland; Greg Lorance, Cumberland Farms (not pictured: Richard Ginther, Kum & Go).