Industry News / Supplier News / News / Category Colonels Awards

Stability The Hallmark of Category Colonels

June 13, 2013

When the beginning of the year rolls around, and voting opens for the next installment of PLBuyer’s Category Colonels awards, there are a few things you know you can count on.

And one of them is Nice-Pak and Ralston taking home an award. They’ve done it in all 13 years that our magazine has hosted the contest, consistently recognized by our readers as leaders in the private label industry.

As we hear more and more retailers talking about wanting more than transactional relationships with suppliers, wanting to find true partners to help lead the industry and their brands going forward, it’s worth taking a look at some of the 2013 Category Colonel winners.

The company with the most awards this year was LiDestri. Followed by Cott. Windsor Foods. Garcoa Labs. Tower Labs. Bay Valley Foods. Sturm Foods. Karlin Foods. Lance Private Brands.

These are names that stand out in their respective fields, and have for a long period of time. And as you look down the list of winners, familiar faces such as Jel Sert, Vi-Jon Laboratories, Barrel O Fun Snack Foods, Clement Pappas, Lakeside Foods, Presto Products, Red Gold, Schreiber Foods and Simmons Pet Food all appear with multiple gold awards.

Being a leader in the private label supply industry is in large part about innovation, about quality, about process. But there is something to be said today for longevity, trust, and stability.

Coming out of the Great Recession, a host of companies in every industry have come and gone, subject to the crushing effects of slow consumer spending, a credit crunch, and some of their own mistakes in overextending their businesses.

But look at these names, these companies, these honorees. They haven’t gone anywhere. Many of them have made it through as strong or stronger than ever, despite the hard times. They haven’t rested on their laurels and let their single top product simply go through the chain. They’ve expanded, they’ve changed, they’ve followed the trends and found ways to connect to their retailers and consumers.

These are the companies that have put together lasting partnerships with their retailers, and they are the trusted companions that will continue with those relationships going forward.

Plenty of new companies have come along, and will continue to pop up and grow. Some of them will create products and categories that can change the industry. And some of them might become fixtures on our Category Colonel award winner list. As suppliers such as LiDestri, Cott and others have done over the years.

But all of those new entrants, all of those smaller companies looking to find a way to make their mark in the private label industry, could do well to learn the lessons from companies such as these.

There is something to be said in today’s market for trust. For stability. For quality. And for longevity.

PLBuyer wants to congratulate all 234 award winners, as well as all the readers who took the time to participate in the contest.



Alternative Beverages Gold Cott
Alternative Beverages Silver Clement Pappas
Asian Food Gold Windsor Foods
Asian Food Silver Day-Lee Foods
Baby Food/Formula Gold PBM Products
Baby Food/Formula Silver LiDestri Foods
Baked Goods Gold Cloverhill Bakery
Baked Goods Silver Bonert's Slice of Pie
Bakery Mixes Gold Gilster- Mary Lee
Bakery Mixes Silver Bektrom
Beverage Mixes Gold Jel Sert
Beverage Mixes Silver Sturm Foods
Beverages - Sport/EnergyNutritional Gold Cott
Beverages - Sport/EnergyNutritional Silver Berner Food & Beverage
Beverages, Alcoholic Gold Winery Exchange
Beverages, Alcoholic Silver LiDestri Foods
Beverages, Organic Gold SunOpta
Beverages, Organic Silver Cott
Beverages, Smoothies Gold Frozsun Foods
Beverages, Smoothies Silver Jasper Products
Bottled Water Gold Niagra Bottling
Bottled Water Silver Cott
Bread/Dough - Frozen Gold Joseph Campione
Bread/Dough - Frozen Silver T. Marzetti
Bread/Dough - Refrigerated Gold Dakota Brands
Bread/Dough - Refrigerated Silver Furlanis
Breakfast Foods Gold Malt-O-Meal
Breakfast Foods Silver Ralston
Candy Gold Palmer Candy
Candy Silver Brach's Confections
Carbonated Soft Drinks Gold Cott
Carbonated Soft Drinks Silver SunOpta
Cereal Gold Sturm Foods
Cereal Silver Ralston
Cheese Specialty Gold Schreiber Foods
Cheese Specialty Silver Dairy Foods USA
Cheese: Natural Gold Great Lakes
Cheese: Natural Silver Saputo Cheese
Cheese: Shelf - Stable Gold Schreiber Foods
Cheese: Shelf - Stable Silver ICCO Cheese
Coffee Gold Massimo Zanetti
Coffee Silver Mother Parker's
Condiments - Barbeque Gold Li Destri
Condiments - Barbeque Silver The Carriage House
Condiments - Ketchup Gold Red Gold
Condiments - Ketchup Silver The Fremont Company
Condiments - Mayonnaise Gold Ventura
Condiments - Mayonnaise Silver Cains
Condiments - Mustard Gold Olds Products
Condiments - Mustard Silver Golding Farms
Condiments - Salsa Gold Red Gold
Condiments - Salsa Silver LiDestri Foods
Cookies Gold Lance Private Brands
Cookies Silver Interbake Foods
Crackers Gold Lance Private Brands
Crackers Silver Bloomfield Bakers
Dairy Gold Morningstar
Dairy Silver Lucerne Foods
Dairy - Organic Gold Aurora Organic Dairy
Dairy - Organic Silver Jasper Products
Deli Meats Gold Carl Buddig & Co.
Deli Meats Silver West Liberty Foods
Desserts - Frozen/Refrigerated Gold J & J Snack Foods
Desserts - Frozen/Refrigerated Silver Jel Sert
Dry Dinner Mixes Gold Karlin Foods
Dry Dinner Mixes Silver S.T. Specialty Foods
Eggs Gold Willamette Egg Farm
Eggs Silver Michael Foods
Fruit - Canned Gold Seneca Foods
Fruit - Canned Silver Pacific Coast Producers
Fruit - Frozen Gold Frozsun Foods
Fruit - Frozen Silver Imperial Frozen Foods
Fruit Snacks Gold National Raisin
Fruit Snacks Silver Mariani
Gelatin/Puddings Gold Jel Sert
Gelatin/Puddings Silver Sturm Foods
Hispanic Foods Gold Windsor Foods
Hispanic Foods Silver Bay ValleyFoods
Ice Cream/Novelties Gold Fieldbrook Foods
Ice Cream/Novelties Silver Lucerne Foods
Italian Food Gold Windsor Foods
Italian Food Silver Seviroli
Jams/Jellies/Preserves Gold LiDestri Foods
Jams/Jellies/Preserves Silver The Carriage House
Juices - Refrigerated Gold Florida's Natural
Juices - Refrigerated Silver CitruSource
Juices - Shelf-Stable Gold Cott
Juices - Shelf-Stable Silver Clement Pappas
Kosher Products Gold Giovanni Foods
Kosher Products Silver Hormel Foods
Meals (Prepared) - Frozen Gold Windsor Foods
Meals (Prepared) - Frozen Silver The Perfect Bite Co.
Meat - Refrigerated/Frozen Gold Windsor Foods
Meat - Refrigerated/Frozen Silver Little Lady Foods
Meat Canned Gold Crider
Meat Canned Silver Hormel Foods
Meat Snacks Gold Old Wisconsin
Meat Snacks Silver Specialty Foods Group
Nuts/Seeds/Trail Mixes Gold Amport Foods
Nuts/Seeds/Trail Mixes Silver John B Sanfillippo & Son
Oils Gold Fine Italian Food
Oils Silver Ventura
Olives Gold Bell-Carter Foods
Olives Silver Mario Camacho Foods
Organic Cookies Gold Lance Private Brands
Organic Cookies Silver Commercial Bakeries Corp
Organic Foods Gold Pacific Coast Producers
Organic Foods Silver Shandiz
Pasta - Dry Gold Dakota Growers
Pasta - Dry Silver American Italian Pasta Co
Pasta - Refrigerated / Frozen Gold Bertagni
Pasta - Refrigerated / Frozen Silver Freiberger
Pickles Gold Bay Valley Foods
Pickles Silver Mario Camacho
Pizza - Frozen Gold Palermo's Pizza
Pizza - Frozen Silver Little Lady Foods
Potatoes - Frozen Gold Cavendish Farms
Potatoes - Frozen Silver Lamb Weston
Poultry - Frozen/Refrigerated Gold Tyson Foods
Poultry - Frozen/Refrigerated Silver Pierre Foods
Prepared Meals Gold Karlin Foods
Prepared Meals Silver Gilster - Mary Lee
Produce Gold Cavendish Produce
Produce Silver Walker's Food Products
Rice Gold Karlin Foods
Rice Silver Riviani Foods
Salad Dressings Gold Bay Valley Foods
Salad Dressings Silver Ventura Foods
Salty Snacks/Chips Gold Barrel O' Fun Snack Foods
Salty Snacks/Chips Silver Snak King
Salty Snacks/Pretzels Gold Barrel O' Fun Snack Foods
Salty Snacks/Pretzels Silver Evans Food Group
Sauces and Marinades Gold The Carriage House
Sauces and Marinades Silver Chelten House
Seafood Canned Gold Transnational Foods
Seafood Canned Silver Bumble Bee
Seafood Frozen Gold High Liner Foods
Seafood Frozen Silver American Pride
Snack/Granola Bars Gold Shandiz
Snack/Granola Bars Silver ConAgra Foods
Snacks/Appetizers - Frozen Gold Great Amercian Appetizers
Snacks/Appetizers - Frozen Silver McCain Foods
Soup - Canned Gold Bay Valley Foods
Soup - Canned Silver Morgan Foods
Soup - Refrigerated Gold Overhill Farms
Soup - Refrigerated Silver Marsan Foods
Spices/Seasonings Gold Gel Spice
Spices/Seasonings Silver McCormick
Spreads Gold Winona Foods
Spreads Silver Cedar's
Sweetners Gold Heartland Sweetner
Sweetners Silver Associated Brands
Syrups Gold LiDestri Foods
Syrups Silver Bascom
Tea Gold Harris Tea
Tea Silver Sturm Foods
Vegetables - Canned Gold Lakeside Foods
Vegetables - Canned Silver Senneca Foods
Vegetables - Frozen Gold Lakeside Foods
Vegetables - Frozen Silver Bybee
Vinegar Gold Mizkan Americas
Vinegar Silver LiDestri Foods



Antacids/Digestive Aids Gold Raritan Pharmaceuticals
Antacids/Digestive Aids Silver TEVA Pharmaceuticals
Baby Diapers Gold Associated Hygienic Products
Baby Diapers Silver Valor Brands
Baby Products Silver Vi-Jon Laboratories
Baby Products Gold Garcoa Labs
Bath & Body Gold Garcoa Labs
Bath & Body Silver Chemolee Corp
Batteries Gold Fuji Novell Batteries
Batteries Silver Powermax Battery
Cleaning Aids Gold Clean Ones
Cleaning Aids Silver Sun Products
Cold Remedies Gold Tower Laboratories
Cold Remedies Silver OHM Labs
Cosmetics Gold US Nonwovens
Cosmetics Silver 220 Laboratories
Cotton Gold US Cotton
Cotton Silver United Exchange
Eyecare Gold KC Pharmaceuticals
Eyecare Silver Bausch & Lomb
Facial Care Gold Garcoa Laboratories
Facial Care Silver Nice-Pak Products
Feminine Care Gold Albaad Rostam
Feminine Care Silver Rockline Industries
First Aid Products Gold Vi-Jon Laboratories
First Aid Products Silver US Cotton
Foils/Wraps Gold Reynold's Packaging Group
Foils/Wraps Silver Durable Foil
Food/trash Bags Gold Presto Products
Food/trash Bags Silver Webster Industries
Footcare Gold Tower Laboratories
Footcare Silver Garcoa Labs
Haircare Gold Vi-Jon Laboratories
Haircare Silver United Exchange
Home Diagnostics Gold Mansfield Medical Dist.
Home Diagnostics Silver Lumiscope Company
Home Fragrances Gold Delta Brands
Home Fragrances Silver Stonewall Kitchen
Household Cleaning Gold Delta Brands
Household Cleaning Silver Clean Ones
Laundry Products Gold Sun Products
Laundry Products Silver US Nonwovens
Light Bulbs Gold Feit Electric
Light Bulbs Silver Linkage Technologies
Oral care Gold Tower Laboratories
Oral care Silver OraTech
OTC Gold Tower Laboratories
OTC Silver Perrigo
Paper Products - Napkins/Towels Gold U.S. Alliance Paper
Paper Products - Napkins/Towels Silver Global Tissue Group
Paper Products - Office/Other Gold Huhtamaki
Paper Products - Office/Other Silver Aspen Products
Paper Products - Tissues Gold Clearwater Paper
Paper Products - Tissues Silver Cascades Tissues Group
Personal Care Silver US Nonwovens
Personal Care Gold Essential Labs
Pet Food Gold Simmons Pet Food
Pet Food Silver Camerican International
Pet Supplies Gold Simmons Pet Food
Pet Supplies Silver Winston Company
Plastic Cups/Bowls/Utensils Gold Dart Container
Plastic Cups/Bowls/Utensils Silver Solo Cup
Plastic Storage Gold Presto Products
Plastic Storage Silver Webster Industries
Pre-Moistened Wipes Gold Nice-Pak Products
Pre-Moistened Wipes Silver Diamond Wipes
Shaving Products Gold KAI-Universal Group
Shaving Products Silver Personna/American Safety Razor
Skin Care Gold Garcoa Laboratories
Skin Care Silver Sun Laboratories
Vitamins/Nutritional Supplements Gold Century Foods
Vitamins/Nutritional Supplements Silver BestSweet

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