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Diamond Foods and Henkel Recognized by GMA for Outstanding Innovation and Creativity

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GMA Press Contact

Roger Lowe

office: 202-295-3954


COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), in conjunction with its Associate Member Council (AMC), today awarded Henkel and Diamond Foods, Inc. the 2010 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity. Now in its eighth year, the award is given to companies that have demonstrated uncommon creativity, innovation, and have made a significant contribution to the industry knowledge base.

“The CPG Award not only recognizes innovation and creativity, but it also highlights emerging industry trends,” said GMA President and CEO Pamela Bailey. “Diamond Foods and Henkel are exciting examples of companies that have focused on value and innovation to connect with consumers and positively impact the company’s bottom line.”

GMA evaluated applications in two manufacturer categories – those with more than $1 billion in sales and those with total sales of less than $1 billion.

Diamond Foods, Inc. took the Division A award for its Project Underdog strategy. The strategy challenged the Diamond team to find new ways to engage the consumer, respond to customer needs and work smarter. The goal of this new business approach was to define Emerald’s role in keeping the category vibrant and relevant. The strategy worked to show the industry that brand variety supported overall category health.

By thinking big, but acting small, the strategy embraced bold ideas while focusing resources and yielded tangible results for trading partners. Retailers who increased their Emerald assortment grew their category almost twice as fast as retailers that did not. At the same time, Emerald itself achieved clear secondary leadership in the category, increasing total distribution by 34 percent, posting 46 percent sales growth and increasing category share by 200 basis points.

“Our experience with the strategy has energized and strengthened our commitment to support category health with innovation, invest every dollar where it counts and continually over-deliver for our consumers and our customers,” said Michael J. Mendes, chairman, president and CEO, Diamond Foods, Inc. “We believe our culture and approach to innovation will continue to yield strong financial performance.”

Henkel received the honor in Division B for revolutionizing the laundry industry with the launch of Purex Complete 3-in-1® Laundry Sheets. The project, which spent more than five years in development, brought game changing innovation to a traditionally sedate category.

Unlike many past innovations, Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets won nearly 80 percent of their sales volume from other brands, and its premium price per load translated into tens of millions of new sales dollars, thus expanding the category. This success drove Henkel to lead laundry detergent category growth during the launch year.

“To sustain market share in a challenging economy, this product launch makes it clear that CPG companies have a compelling alternative to simply offering escalating discounts – innovation provides consumers with better options,” said Greg Tipsord, senior vice president and general manager, Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. “Even value brands can offer greater value to dollar-conscious shoppers. It's an important lesson that Henkel is fortunate to have learned, and one that the industry at-large can benefit from.”

“The award sub-committee was impressed with the overall quality and quantity of the submissions we received, which demonstrates that innovation and creativity are thriving in the CPG industry,” said AMC CPG Award Subcommittee Chairman Phillip Friedman of QAD Inc. “The resourcefulness demonstrated by Diamond and Henkel keeps our industry competitive and allows our industry to grow in a way that is cost-effective for the companies and compelling to the consumer.”

The AMC presented Diamond and Henkel with the awards today at the GMA Executive Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.