PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have topped the rankings of best-in-class manufacturers in the 2016 annual U.S. PoweRanking® survey released by Kantar Retail today. Competition also intensified in the retailer rankings, with Walmart and Kroger finishing in a virtual tie for the No. 1 position.

The first- and second-place finishes for PepsiCo and Coca-Cola represent their highest historical rankings ever in the annual benchmarking study, which Kantar Retail has now conducted for 20 consecutive years.

PepsiCo showed broad improvement across many of the strategic and operational metrics measured in the study. The company was particularly praised for providing top-class capabilities in the area of data analytics. One major retailer noted: “PepsiCo has embraced the data and has brought new insights and analytics. They have really transformed the conversation [between our companies].” 

Coca-Cola received the top ranking for innovative marketing, receiving plaudits from retail partners for creative campaigns, such as “Share a Coke.” One retailer commented: “Coke is building the interest of consumers with their new ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The customers are excited to look for their names or favorite songs on the bottles.”

Competition among retailers for the top spot was closer than ever before with Walmart and Kroger finishing in a virtual tie.

While Walmart’s long-standing dominance among U.S. retailers now has a formidable challenger, the supercenter chain continues to outrank all other retailers in the areas of clear strategy and supply-chain management. One manufacturer noted: “Walmart has consistent, clear, widespread strategies.”  

A major factor in Kroger’s performance this year has been its ability to innovate and maximize the shopper experience by applying insights derived from both suppliers and its own 84.51 shopper insights firm. Manufacturers voted Kroger No. 1 in the categories of “best retailer to do business with,” “best buying teams,” “most innovative merchandising,” and “best practice category leadership.” One manufacturer summarized: “Kroger has developed strong collaboration and partnership with manufacturers, and they continue to deliver strong business results.”

Daniel Raynak, Kantar Retail’s Executive Vice President, Strategy and Development, comments on this year’s results: “Perhaps the quote that best summarized 2015 was, ‘Never before has so much change produced so little value for the industry.’ As we entered the 2016 calendar year, many of the same trends of 2015 continued, all of which reinforce the idea that we are in an era of permanent transition and change. However, those organizations that have embraced the change in 2016 and took swift actions against big, relevant opportunities are beginning to see the return on the changes they have implemented.”  

The purpose of Kantar Retail’s annual PoweRanking® study is to identify the manufacturers and retailers viewed as best in class by their major trading partners and to provide insight into what distinguishes them across key areas of the manufacturer-retailer business relationship. 

To download the U.S. PoweRanking® Executive Summary, click here.

For more information please contact Dan.Raynak@kantarretail.com.

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