Sainsbury’s was crowned Grocer of the Year for the first time in nearly two decades at last night’s Grocer Gold Awards 2024 – topping an outstanding evening of celebration at the Royal Albert Hall.

The lavish ceremony, hosted by Myleene Klass and with memorable entertainment from the Mark de Lisser Singers, saw 34 winners announced in total, with Sainsbury’s securing the ultimate award, prevailing over a strong shortlist comprising last year’s winner, Marks & Spencer, as well as Tesco, Lidl and Aldi, and Company Shop Group. 

Adam Leyland, The Grocer’s editor-in-chief and chair of the 67-strong judging panel, hailed Sainsbury’s outstanding performance as the only big four supermarket to gain shopper spend from both Aldi and Lidl amid the cost of living crisis. 

“Restoring growth while increasing profits is not an easy thing to do at the best of times, but especially with the highest inflation in decades, and the discounters – and other rivals – also opening a significant number of new stores. But Sainsbury’s has given shoppers permission to enjoy its wide range of food and drink through much more competitive pricing, most notably the launch of Nectar Prices last April, and its impressively rapid rollout.”

Sainsbury’s win was one of many big and bold decisions by the judges. 

Sainsburys Grocer of the Year

Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts, and chief food commercial officer Rhian Bartlett

The Grocer Cup was won by Greggs CEO Roisin Currie, only the second woman to win this award, with the solid silver trophy recognising her relentless operational and strategic success in transforming the former high-street bakery chain into the UK’s biggest fast food chain. 

There were also a number of giant killing feats, with the likes of RTD Moth, sparkling water brand Dash, kimchi and pickle brand Vadasz and healthy snacks brand Love Corn prevailing against far larger rivals in the drinks, soft drinks, food brand and SME brand of the year categories respectively. 

Yet it was also a great night for a whole host of leading retailers, wholesalers and suppliers. And none more so than Tesco, which secured six wins, more than any other retailer on the night, including the award for Britain’s Favourite Supermarket, which it won for the 10th year in a row.

In a historic first it also won The Grocer 33  Price award, as well as the Availabilty award.  

And it was crowned Employer of the Year, standing out due to its “pioneering and highly successful work to support diversity and inclusion and its support for young people through a range of unique and well executed programmes, as well as more competitive pay and a significant step up in maternity and paternity benefits”, said Leyland. 

And there were two further wins for Online Service Provider of the Year and for Own-label Range of the Year, with its Tesco Finest range. 

The final Grocer 33 award for Customer Service was won by Waitrose.

And Waitrose Lichfield GSM Barry Griffiths took home the Store Manager of the Year for his strong leadership skills during a £4.5m refit to his store while obliterating all its targets.

Pride of British grocery

Multinational fmcg brand Coca-Cola  was another big winner on the night, bagging the Consumer Initiative of the Year award for its #TakeATaste campaign, whose clever marketing-focused on converting elusive younger consumers into loyal drinkers.

Coca-Cola’s challenge to itself was to “reassert its dominance” in a soft drinks  market full of emerging players by bringing social medial-loving consumers to their first taste of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar  through a campaign that used QR codes and virtual reality. This saw the brand turn coupon-ing upside down as consumers ‘grabbed’ cans of Coke Zero from billboards and other out-of-home ad spots before ‘taking them’ to a retailer to redeem for the real thing.

And the Supplier of the Year was won by Procter & Gamble, whose fantastic NPD programme and superb execution has delivered sales, share and category growth. 

The Own-Label Supplier of the Year was Angus Soft Fruits. A business that is showing the way forward for fresh produce suppliers through superb customer service, clever development of new varietals, pioneering packaging innovation and exciting contract wins in Asia and the Middle East. 

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Also flying the flag for Britain was Fever-Tree, which in a significant milestone, has grown the US into its biggest market.     

Pip & Nut founder Pip Murray was named Entrepreneur of the Year after transforming her homemade nut butter formulations into a national sensation with more than 45,000 stocking points.

Murray began the business in 2013 to fuel her marathon training, following her frustration at the number of nut butters containing artificial additives. Two years after launch, Murray landed on Selfridges’ shelves before securing her first major multiple listing with Sainsbury’s.

“Pip Murray is an inspiration, a natural leader with a keen focus on sustainability, moving from plastic to glass jars in 2021 before being certified carbon neutral last year and striving towards net zero by 2040,” said Leyland.

The win for Technology Initiative of the Year went to retail and distribution specialist CJ Lang for its rollout of interactive digital screens that link to electronic shelf-edges and discreet camera technology to help manage in-store ranges and availability.

The rollout in Spar Scotland was CJ Lang’s largest investment in its history, showing both customers and suppliers how the business can move convenience retail forward.

For details of all the winners and why they won, visit The Grocer’s special Grocer Gold Awards coverage below.


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Sainsbury’s wins Grocer of the Year for the first time in two decades