NACS Category Definitions & Number Guide

Version 8.0 reflects new product transition, diversification and innovation

Convenience is evolving—so are the definitions

Common category definitions are the building blocks in developing marketing strategies and category management plans. They allow retailers to lower inventory levels, reduce out-of-stocks, build a clearly differentiated offering and more quickly pivot offers when customer behaviors and preferences quickly change, which has become commonplace in the era of COVID-19.

Category-Definitions_Version-8.jpgNow available for download, the latest release of the NACS Category Definitions & Number Guide (Version 8 released in early 2021) was developed by the NACS Research & Technology Committee and reflects significant updates to the last broad iteration (Version 7.0 released in 2010) and landmark release of Version 1.0 in 1998. Since then, industry sales have grown from $186 billion to $648 billion and pretax profits have shown a similar growth curve. Version 8.0 also comes at a critical time, after more than 30,000 new products were introduced into the convenience retailing channel in 20201—nearly 100 new products a day. The new definitions and guide:

  • Provide a framework for data collection and benchmarking the industry's category performance
  • Simplify the terminology
  • Clarify and add descriptions to reduce the misalignment of products across our industry
  • Provide retailers, suppliers and manufacturers with a common language to have meaningful discussions about operations, store-level benchmarking, and market and category performance comparisons
  • Adequately capture product transition, diversification and new innovation 

Download Version 8.0 Now (PDF)

1Source:  NIQ Total U.S. Convenience; All UPCs with more than $100 in item sales for CY2020  with $0 versus CY2019