National Grocers Association Awards “Outstanding Marketer” to Cecil K’s Hometown Market, “Outstanding Merchandiser” to Coborn’s

February 26, 2019

San Diego, CA- National Grocers Association (NGA) today revealed this year’s top winners of its Creative Choice Awards in the Marketing and Merchandising categories. The “Outstanding Marketer” and “Outstanding Merchandiser” titles are the highest award of the Creative Choice Awards contest.

Outstanding Marketer was awarded to Cecil K’s Hometown Market, located in Holton, Kansas, for its “First Annual Christmas Tree Decorating Contest” video, which showcased their support of the community and raised charitable donations in a friendly competition. Four Christmas trees were decorated in the center aisle of Cecil K’s by four local Jackson County businesses, each choosing a local Jackson County charity to benefit in the contest. The trees were voted upon by the public from November 25 – December 24 using customers’ Cecil K’s receipts. Prizes were sponsored for 1st-4th place in the contest by Cecil K’s and other local Jackson county businesses.

Outstanding Merchandiser was awarded to Coborn’s, located in St. Cloud, Minnesota, for its “Food For A Cause Campaign,” which worked with vendors and guests to donate to local food shelves. Guests donated $24,745 and $19,745 worth of non-perishable food to local food shelves. In addition, Coborn’s donated $85,000 to fund additional charities and non-profits that support children and fight hunger and 3,000 turkeys to local food shelves the week before Thanksgiving.

“Independent grocers are implementing amazing campaigns and initiatives each and every day in their stores that set them apart from their competition. Congratulations to both Coborn’s and Cecil K’s for their innovative ideas and the excellent work they do for their communities,” said Peter Larkin, president and CEO of NGA.

The Creative Choice Awards honors the best merchandising and marketing programs in the grocery industry that have increased and positively impacted overall store sales or provided a unique benefit to the community. Over 500 entries were submitted from supermarket operators throughout the country. Entries were judged on the criteria of creativity and effectiveness by a panel of 28 industry experts.

The contest, sponsored by Kellogg’s and Unilever, featured 10 different categories with two winners for each, one entry from a one to 15 store operator and one entry from a store operator with 15 or more supermarkets. The marketing campaigns and merchandising events or promotions were held between December 1, 2017 and December 1, 2018. To see a full list of 2019 Creative Choice Award winners, click HERE. To learn more, visit