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GMA Honors E. & J. Gallo Winery and PepsiCo, Inc. with CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and its Associate Member Council (AMC) today awarded E. & J. Gallo Winery and PepsiCo, Inc. with the 2012 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity. The award is given annually to companies that have demonstrated creativity, innovation, and have made a significant impact on the industry knowledge base.

“GMA is proud to recognize and celebrate the creative thinking and innovation that powers the great companies and leaders in our industry,” said GMA President and CEO Pamela Bailey. “It is ingenuity such as that demonstrated by E. & J. Gallo and PepsiCo that allows our industry to grow, thrive and most importantly, satisfy its consumers.”

GMA evaluated applications in two manufacturer divisions– those from companies with total sales of less than $3 billion in Division A and companies with $3 billion or more in sales in Division B.

E. & J. Gallo Winery took the Division A award for creating the most comprehensive in-store wine education platform to date, the “Climb the Vine” program. This non-branded education and merchandising program was designed to demystify wine and make it approachable to the average American shopper.

After selecting a well-known national retail partner for the pilot project, Gallo instituted a four-phase initiative that grew wine sales more than twice the rate of their competitive market, that saw sales of focus items spiral more than 31 percent, and that achieved a 16 percent jump in household penetration – actually bringing new users to the category. Gallo is now expanding the successful pilot program to include other retailers.

“We are very honored to receive the 2012 GMA CPG Award for Innovation and Creativity,” said Herb Smith, National Director of Sales for E. & J. Gallo Winery. “This award could not have been possible without the support of our retailer partner and their willingness to test new concepts to further drive conversion and penetration of the wine category.  It is a real pleasure to be listed amongst the past recipient companies like Hershey, Clorox, Unilever, Time, and Campbell’s.”

PepsiCo received the coveted honor in Division B for its most ambitious sustainability project to date – transforming a 25-year-old Frito-Lay facility in the middle of an Arizona desert into a near-net zero manufacturing plant.

The Casa Grande project created a unique learning lab that proved it is possible for a food plant to demonstrate the company’s “near-net zero” concept.  As a “near-net zero” plant, only slightly less electricity is generated on-site than is consumed and other sustainable manufacturing practices are employed, such as on-site process water recycling.  The retrofit was so successful that PepsiCo is now taking learning’s from the site to its entire manufacturing plant system worldwide.  Now that the project is complete, the Casa Grande plant generates 75 percent of its energy from renewable sources, cutting grid-supplied electricity by half, plus, remarkably, natural gas usage dropped by 80 percent. The plant also recycles 75 percent of its water on-site.

In retrofitting the Casa Grande plant, PepsiCo brought cutting edge technologies and innovative solutions to a project that is a major milestone for environmentally sustainable plants – not only in the CPG industry but for overall U.S. manufacturing as well.

“PepsiCo seeks to maximize efficiencies across every aspect of our business. Our business relies on key natural resources like water and fuel, and we’re pursuing innovative solutions that allow us to operate more efficiently today while also ensuring that we have a path towards sustainable long-term growth well into the future,” said Tom Greco, President, Frito-Lay North America.

The official award presentations were made today by Greg Smith, Global Lead Partner, KPMG LLP, and chair of the GMA Associate Member Council, during the Leadership Luncheon at the GMA Executive Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day.  The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. 

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.  The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.  For more information, visit www.gmaonline.org.