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Dorothy_Lane_Market-night.jpg Dorothy Lane Market
Ohio gourmet grocer Dorothy Lane Market this year won two NGA Creative Choice Awards, in fresh merchandising and digital marketing.

National Grocers Association reveals 2021 Creative Choice Award winners

Thirteen independent grocers recognized for marketing, merchandising

The National Grocers Association (NGA) has released the winners of its 2021 Creative Choice Awards, which spotlights the best marketing and merchandising programs in the independent grocery industry. 

Thirteen independent supermarket operators — grouped into segments of one to 15 stores and more than 15 stores — will take home 16 awards across eight categories, plus two special mentions. The Creative Choice Awards recognize the top marketing and merchandising campaigns in the independent grocery sector based on creativity, clarity and effectiveness, according to Arlington, Va.-based NGA.


Winners of this year’s awards, supported by sponsoring partners Kellogg Co. and Unilever, will be honored this fall at The NGA Show 2021, scheduled for Sept. 19 to 21 in Las Vegas. Display trophies from the winning entries will be highlighted at the event.

Connections Through Social Media  

1-15 Store Winner: Eddies of Roland Park, “Holiday Content” 

15+ Store Winner: ShopRite, “Essential Thanks”

Connections Through Digital Marketing or Mobile 

1-15 Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market, “Virtual Wine/Culinary & More”  

15+ Store Winner: Lowes Market, “Washing Machine” 

Traditional Media: TV, Radio and Print 

1-15 Store Winner: Newport Avenue Market, “We Believe” 

15+ Store Winner: Met Foods / Met Fresh Supermarkets, “Como Tu”

Grand Opening or Remodel 

1-15 Store Winner: Labonnes 

15+ Store Winner: Brookshire Grocery Co.  

Local, Specialty or Emerging Products 

1-15 Store Winner: LaBonnes, “LaBada Bing” 

15+ Store Winner: Associated Grocers of New England (corporate stores), “Brand Creation & Product Launch”  

Community Engagement 

1-15 Store Winner: Charleys, “Supporting the Best Restaurants in the World”  

15+ Store Winner: Coborns, “Operation Round-Up” 

Center Store/Frozen/GM/HBC 

1-15 Store Winner: Trigs, “Make it Merry”  

15+ Store Winner: Family Fare, “Explore Michigan” 

Fresh Departments 

1-15 Store Winner: Dorothy Lane Market, “Lobstermania”   

15+ Store Winner: Brookshire, “Hatch Chile”  

Special Recognition 

Supermarket Superheroes Award (presented by Kelloggs): ShopRite, “Essential Thanks”   

Excellence in Agility Award (presented by Unilever): Coborns, “COVID-19 Campaign”

From the category winners, one “Outstanding Marketer” and one “Outstanding Merchandiser” will be selected by the independent supermarket community through online voting, NGA said. Voting will open in early July and run through to Aug. 30. Winners of the “Outstanding Marketer/Merchandiser” titles will get complimentary registration to the 2022 NGA Show.

The Creative Choice Awards were judged by a panel of industry experts and trade press members, who selected from entries submitted between Dec. 1, 2019, and Jan. 15, 2021. This year, NGA noted, award categories were adjusted to reflect the “new normal” for the retail grocery landscape that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the crisis, the contest tallied a record number of entries, more than 650 in total, the association said.  

“2020 brought grocers a year of unprecedented challenges and changes, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. That meant most grocers’ usual lineup of promotions was drastically changed, perhaps even tossed out altogether to start from scratch,” commented Laura Strange, senior vice president of communications and external affairs at NGA. “But independent grocers are among the most innovative and resourceful retailers around, and their stories of triumph this year demonstrated their ability to flourish even in the most trying times.”

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