The efforts of three rising stars of fmcg to build stronger partnerships with retailers were recognised on Wednesday as they were named as finalists in the IGD's Leading Light Award 2011.

The trio showed "drive, creativity and determination", said Emma Ilbrey, an HR director at Kraft Foods sponsor of this year's awards, which are organised by the IGD's Leading Edge networking forum.

Louise Boyden, customer supply chain manager at L'Oréal, won her place in the final for her role in setting up a new participation model with retailers to optimise stock levels of suncare products.

"By applying this model we were able to save £2m in excess stock. As a result we had the best suncare year we've ever had last year," she said.

Britvic customer marketing manager Susanne Judd made the cut thanks to an initiative that measures the effectiveness of the company's in-store ­'activation' and then applies findings to Britvic's future plans.

As a result, the activity was no longer based on 'gut feel' but on genuine ­insight, she said.

The third finalist was Lindsay Moores, founder of fresh veg pot supplier Adams' Very Clever!, who has gone from selling her products in farmers markets to winning a listing with one of the multiples.

The winner will be announced at next month's IGD Food Industry Awards on 11 October.