Category Colonels Awards
Special Report: 2013 Category Colonel Awards

Stability The Hallmark of Category Colonels

July 3, 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.

—Chris Freeman, Editor, PLBuyer

An Overview of the Winners

There were 166 different companies honored, 11 more than were honored in 2012. And multiple winners abounded, with 40 companies winning at least two awards. The 13th version of the Category Colonels contest featured 234 awards given over 117 categories, the most categories honored in the history of the competition.

Category Colonel stalwart LiDestri picked up the most overall awards in the 2013 contest. The maker of sauces, dips and salsas earned seven awards, including three golds and four silvers, the most silvers of any company in the contest.

Cott was next up with six overall awards, including four golds and two silvers.

Windsor Foods was honored with the most golds in the 2013 contest. All five of its Category Colonel awards were golds. Garcoa Labs also brought home five awards, four of them golds.

Tower Labs picked up four golds for all its awards, while Bay Valley Foods also collected four awards, including three golds and a silver. Sturm Foods also picked up four awards, including one gold and three silvers.

Two other companies earned three gold awards: Karlin Foods and Lance Private Brands.

Other companies earning three Category Colonel awards were: Jel Sert (2 golds, 1 silver), The Carriage House (1 goal, 2 silvers), US Nonwovens (1 gold, 2 silvers), Ventura Foods (1 gold, 2 silvers), and Vi-Jon Laboratories (2 golds, 1 silver).

Companies earnings two Category Colonel awards included: Barrel O Fun Snack Foods (2 golds), Clean Ones (1 gold, 1 silver), Clement Pappas (2 silvers), Delta Brands (2 golds), Frozsun Foods (2 golds), Gilster-Mary Lee (1 gold, 1 silver), Hormel Foods (2 silvers), Jasper Products (2 silvers), Lakeside Foods (2 gold), Little Lady Foods (2 silvers), Lucerne Foods (2 silvers), Mario Camacho Foods (2 silvers), Nice-Pak (1 gold, 1 silver), Pacific Coast Producers (1 gold, 1 silver), Presto Products (2 golds), Ralston (2 silvers), Red Gold (2 golds), Schreiber Foods (2 golds), Seneca Foods (1 gold, 1 silver), Shandiz Natural Foods (1 gold, 1 silver), Simmons Pet Food (2 golds), Sun Products (1 gold, 1 silver), SunOpta (1 gold, 1 silver), United Exchange (2 silvers), US Cotton (1 gold, 1 silver), and Webster Industries (2 silver).

Finally, PLBuyer would like to single out two companies for continuing a winning streak in the Category Colonels competition. These companies have won Category Colonel awards in their respective categories every year since the contest began: Nice-Pak (Pre-moistened Wipes) and Ralston (Breakfast Foods/Cereal).

 Congratulations to all winners in the 2013 competition. 

2013 PLBuyer Category Colonels Winners

                               Food & Beverage Category Colonels

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


                               Non-Food Category Colonels

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

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Private Label Buyer.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

September 2014 New Food Products

This month's new food products include cane sugars, barbeque sauce, condiments in squeeze bottles, cinnamon snack seasoning, and jalapeno tzatziki, ice cream, herb toasts, corn puffs, instant coffee, coconut water, and a water enhancer.


Coming with a clear, comprehensive plan was the key to success for Longo Brothers Fruit Markets when the grocer decided to roll out a two-tier private label strategy, Jenny Longo and Robert Koss tell PLBuyer editor Chris Freeman in this podcast.

More Podcasts

Private Label Buyer Magazine

PLB September 2014 cover

September 2014

The September 2014 issue of Private Label Buyer includes a convenience channel update, as well as category insights on frozen store brand trends and health and beauty items. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Private Label Segments

Which segment of private label will see the biggest growth over the next year?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

PLB Marketplace


facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40pxgoogle+ icon 40px