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Posted Date: 12/12/2012

2012 Innovation, Business & Technology Awards

By  Alliston Ackerman
CGT’s annual awards are designed to recognize consumer goods companies that are true category leaders, successful business performers and breakthrough innovators. This year, we were charged with the difficult task of narrowing down a pool of more than 50 quality nominations to just five finalists in five award categories. These lists of finalists were then sent to CGT’s Editorial and Research Advisory Boards, which voted to elect one “winner” in each award category after reviewing measures of success, like project scope, goals and results. It was a close race in every category, but only five CG companies could be deemed the best of the best. With the votes tallied, CGT proudly reveals the Innovation, Business & Technology Award winners of 2012.


This award honors the consumer goods industry’s most innovative new product launched in 2011/2012.


Flings Pop-Up Trash and Recycle Bins

TrashCo, Inc. is a small, highly innovative consumer packaged goods company seeking to bring disruptive innovation to the historically sleepy categories of trash bags and bins. Flings come flat (only about an inch thick), can be readily stored and then carried anywhere, popped open as needed, then tied and disposed.

Ongoing consumer insight work led TrashCo to understand that two-thirds of homes lack an in-home bin to collect recyclables, and they instead stack and pile items quite randomly, creating mess and clutter.

“We felt this was an important insight, since only about 30 percent of recyclables get recaptured today,” said John Funk, president of TrashCo Inc., upon receiving the award.

TrashCo worked with Target and was able to go from concept — a smaller size specially designed for the in-house use case and compact enough to even fit under a sink — to national shipments in six months.

“As a result, collecting the recyclables today is easier and neater than ever before,” said Funk.

TrashCo is about to sell its one-millionth bin, which is an exciting milestone.

Most Innovative Product Award Finalists

Based on consumer research, Clorox created this new line of aromatizing products designed to appeal to Hispanic scent preferences and to specifically meet their needs.

Developed in conjunction with an open innovation partner, these sinfully chocolate creations are on track to reach $120 million in year-one retail sales.

This blend of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a unique honey liqueur is one of many new product innovations that resulted from a major overhaul of internal systems and processes.

These small, pre-measured doses of detergent that dissolve in the wash have been around for years in Europe, but are now making a big splash in the United States.


This award honors the consumer goods company that has continually driven growth through product and/or process innovation in 2011/2012.



A student bikes 80 miles to see it made. People make cute cat videos with it to post online. We are talking, believe it or not, about yogurt — specifically Chobani Greek yogurt. In only five years, the startup brand has muscled in on a category long dominated by powerhouses, like the $1.3-billion Yoplait and $1.2-billion Dannon.

In 2005, Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant, bought an old Kraft dairy plant that was being shuttered. He immediately hired four employees who had lost their jobs when Kraft closed its doors, and later that year brought family friend and Master Yogurt Maker, Mustafa Dogan, to Central New York from Turkey to help craft the recipe for Chobani.

More than 12 months later, in October 2007, Chobani hit shelves. In 2012, the company did an estimated $1 billion in sales and opened its second plant in Twin Falls, Idaho, to increase production capacity and develop new product innovations.

As Chobani made its way onto more and more store shelves, consumers took notice. In fact, Chobani consumers have been so expressive in sharing their passion that Ulukaya built the company’s first ad campaign around it: “Real Love Stories,” which doubled sales.

“We let customers define what Chobani was,” he says. “It sounds good because we didn’t create it — the consumer did.”

Most Innovative Company Award Finalists

Recently reorganized to focus teams on fulfilling specific consumer needs, resulting in product launches like Recordable Storybooks, Storybuddies, Blooming Expressions, a new Go Cards app and Text Bands.

Mars’ new product innovations win numerous awards from trade and consumer organizations. In addition, it invests resources to understand shopper-buying habits to help retailers drive profit.

Nestlé is constantly challenged to innovate and develop new products to meet consumer needs, resulting in three recent examples of success: New LACTOGEN with Gentle Start, Nestlé’s SPECIAL.T and the BabyNes system.

Peet’s offers roast-to-order products available in 9,000 U.S. grocery stores and multiple distribution channels. The company implemented a unified technology environment to provide visibility into all aspects of its operations.


This award is presented to the consumer goods firm that is best leveraging a solution to manage customer relationships, trade promotions, marketing and/or consumer insights.


Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Supporting Technology: Wipro Promax Analytical Solutions

Kimberly-Clark Consumer Products has implemented TPM, TPO, DSR and modeling services for North America, covering 100 percent of the business. The project has transformed the organization and is used by all Kimberly-Clark stakeholders and brokers, providing a single forecast for trade spend, volume and sales. The initiative’s goals include increasing profit for the company and its retail partners; leveraging all data and tools now available, including the integration of point-of-sale data for predictive planning; and enabling consistent forecasting process across all account teams. In addition, the implementation allows account teams to focus on account management, rather than administration, and to turn off legacy applications and embrace “off-the-shelf” solutions. The project was implemented on time and on budget and went live in June 2012; it is now being rolled out globally. Benefits include enhanced consumer insight, which creates significant lift on certain product categories, and increased forecast accuracy.

Customer Management Award Finalists

Deployed a DSR from Shiloh Technologies cost-effectively based on business priorities. In five years, BIC implemented 21 retailers, integrated new product data and store merchandiser data, and is reporting and sensing demand across retail with a single technology.

Consolidated customer point-of-sale data into one repository from Oracle, enhancing control over information assets and extending visibility. Expanded analytical capabilities enable enhanced business agility and scalability.

SARA LEE (Hillshire Brands)
Constantly changes/monitors processes to ensure its customer base is well informed about the shopper’s “Path to Purchase”. Uses Interactive Edge XP3 to update entire presentations, slides or graphs quickly and easily, as well as create and distribute standard presentations with any level of detail.

Tracks and manages social media conversations and posts via a central portal accessible to the whole consumer team; then uses data to determine which interactions were most valuable to help plan future strategies.


In honor of the late supply chain visionary Dick Clark, this award is presented to a consumer goods firm for excellence in executing improvements in supply or demand planning, warehouse management, transportation management, S&OP processes or supply chain network design.


Coca-Cola Refreshments
Supporting Technology: SAP

The Coca-Cola Freestyle Vending machine is set to revolutionize the beverage fountain and vending industry. Instead of only eight flavor choices from the standard fountain machine, this innovative machine offers the consumer more than 125 flavors. While the machine itself is revolutionary in the fountain business, it also provides valuable data collection to customers. On a daily basis, each dispenser can gather data related to machine performance, micro-dose cartridge usage and beverage consumption, which can then be leveraged throughout the supply chain as a pure demand signal. By innovatively using the data in its ERP platform, the company can react for the first time in a pure demand-driven supply chain ecosystem for rapid replenishment to keep the flavor cartridges in stock. The innovative blend of the Freestyle Machine, the data collection capabilities, and the facilitation and execution of the reorders all being automated is a tremendous benefit.

Dick Clark Supply Chain Award Finalists

Achieved supply chain improvements driven by a focus on Rapid Continuous Improvement, and a shift toward true demand-driven replenishment.

Nestlé DSD improved forecasting accuracy four percentage points and increased service levels with help from SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting. Despite growing revenues, the company is able to hold inventory costs flat, and its sales force can better plan profitable sales promotions.

Achieved supply chain advantage in a seasonally driven business with integrated demand and supply management tools as well as weather pattern recognition capabilities from JDA Software and Planalytics.

Using Terra Technology’s Demand Sensing solution enables growth while decreasing inventory, waste and costs by basing forecasts on customer data; improved 7-day demand forecasts by 40 percent.


This award is presented to the small to mid-size consumer goods firm that is
best utilizing technology to achieve substantial growth in size and/or revenue.


Phoenix Brands
Supporting Technology: Adesso Solutions

With a portfolio of widely recognized laundry care brands, including Niagara Spray Starch, Rit Dye, Final Touch Fabric Softener and Fab, Dynamo, and Ajax laundry detergents, Phoenix Brands taps into universal household needs such as caring for clothes. Phoenix Brands needed to gain better overall control of trade promotion spending to generate better efficiency and, therefore, reduce costs. The company implemented Adesso Solution’s TradeAdvantage and focused on improving open deductions, budgeting, accruals as well as data synchronization between systems. It implemented a new technology platform that enabled HQ and field sales to function as a team and achieved significant benefits. For example, over 90 days, deductions were decreased 98 percent from $7.9 million to $121,000, and overspending of $1 million was identified and corrected at multiple key retailers. Now that Phoenix Brands has a more sophisticated accrual, budget and trade deduction settlement process, it is looking at ways to significantly improve overall trade promotion effectiveness and ROI.

SMB Market Award Finalists

David’s Tea operates more than 75 retail outlets across North America and a growing e-commerce business. It implemented integrated technology to standardize its operations across locations, ensuring full visibility over inventory, sales and financial systems.

Using Oracle’s Demantra and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications, the company has a single, scalable platform that delivers enhanced manufacturing, logistics, financial management, TPM and forecasting capabilities; achieved a ROI greater than 25 percent.


Leveraging TradeInsight’s TPM application to identify and address ways to increase the effectiveness of its trade budget. In just 60 days after implementation, the company’s deduction balance dropped by 75 percent.

Demand Solutions Forecast Management and a proper forecasting process helped to reduce inventory by 20 percent and discount/obsolete inventory by 30 percent. The company is now starting several system projects, including a new sales order management process.

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