( Courtesy NGA )

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The National Grocers Association named K-VA-T Food Stores and Food City as Outstanding Marketer and Brookshire Grocery Co. as Outstanding Merchandiser.

Food City’s recognition stemmed from its grand opening for a new store in Abingdon, Va. Features in the store include tomato and potato bars that allow shoppers to try out different varieties of each commodity.

Brookshire rose above the competition for its award with a 12-foot grocery cart that created excitement in the communities the company serves and has now traveled 16,000 miles, enjoying media coverage along the way. Brookshire has gotten more than 150 requests for the cart to attend parades, festivals, food drives, store openings and more.

Leading up to the announcement of the overall marketing and merchandising award winners, numerous other independent grocers were celebrated for their promotional efforts. Sendik’s Market received kudos for a Peach Party event during peak season. The company drummed up interest in the event through radio, print, billboards and social and got departments throughout the store involved, with peach sausages from the meat department, peach donuts from the bakery and peach salads from the deli.

Coborn’s earned an award for the Healthy Tip Tuesday video series it produces on Facebook Live with its dietitians.

Dorothy Lane Markets, Bowman’s Market Acquistapace’s also received awards.

Harps Food Stores, while it did not win a specific category, received a mention for numerous entries that demonstrated how the grocer’s department heads encourage their teams to think out-of-the-box and get creative. One of those events was a Hatch chile roast.