NACS Updates Category Definitions

Changes include expanding the Automotive, Edible Grocery, Other Tobacco, Wine and Liquor categories to better fit what retailers are selling under those umbrellas.


ALEXANDRIA, VA – The new NACS Category Definitions and Numbering Guide – Version 7.1 is now available for download.

In developing the updates, the NACS Research Committee worked closely with industry leaders and key stakeholders to make a few important changes to the 7.0 version, which was published in 2010. These changes improve the clarity of the guide and reflect recent updates resulting from product transition and diversification.

“These categories can be used by the industry to establish performance benchmarks and a framework for retailers and manufacturers to have meaningful discussions regarding market performance comparisons,” said NACS Research Committee Chairman Joe Sheetz. “However, it is important to emphasize that a product’s inclusion in one of the categories set forth has no meaning, express or implied, other than uniformity of treatment for benchmarking and comparative performance purposes.”

Specific updates include:

  • The Other Tobacco category has been renamed Other Tobacco Products; a subcategory of E-cigarettes was added while the subcategory of Other Tobacco Products was renamed Other Tobacco.
  • The Wine category has the new subcategory Other Wine.
  • The Liquor category has two new subcategories: Cocktail Mixes and Other Liquor.
  • The Edible Grocery category has the new subcategory Water/Beverage Enhancers.
  • In the Alternative Snacks category, the Health/Energy Bars subcategory has been renamed Health/Energy/Protein Bars.
  • The Automotive Products category has the new subcategory Other Automotive, which includes fuses, gas cans, light bulbs, tools and emergency items.


NACS released its first guide, the Category Definitions and Numbering Guide 1.0, in 1998 to provide a framework for data collection and benchmarking the industry’s category performance.

The new NACS Category Definitions and Numbering Guide – Version 7.1 is available for download in both PDF and Excel formats.