Las Vegas, NV – The 2021 NGA Show, the premier tradeshow for the independent supermarket industry, opened with a sold-out EXPO floor. Over the event’s three days, the NGA Show will feature nearly 50 educational sessions and more than 100 speakers discussing issues facing food retail during the three-day conference at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Enjoying strong retailer and wholesaler attendance, the in-person event opened with enhanced safety protocols for attendees, who are required to wear masks at all indoor events and present proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to gain entry.
“After 18 of the most challenging months our industry has ever faced, we are honored and excited to be returning to Las Vegas with an in-person NGA Show to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our Supermarket Superheroes,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “The NGA Show continues to be the marquis event for the supermarket industry to network and learn best practices. We’re already looking forward to returning to Las Vegas next spring to celebrate NGA’s 40th anniversary.”
The show kicked off today with a presentation from the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) titled “The Path to Retail 4.0: Get Ready or Get Left Behind,” which explored the ongoing disruption taking place in the industry and how retailers can foster a culture of innovation. Other sessions today focused on topics ranging from e-commerce, automation and ransomware to sales trends, diversity and crisis management.
During the Opening Session, Ferrara celebrated the industry for rising to the occasion during the pandemic. “Nothing about this past year and a half has been business as usual, and as we continue to navigate our ‘new normal,’ we have heard from many of you about the challenges and pressures you’ve faced during these unprecedented times, and how you have partnered with NGA to find support and solutions,” he said. “And despite the uncertainty, we know that our industry is looking to the future for ways that you can enrich your communities, strengthen your businesses, and support your associates.”
Additionally, Ferrara outlined NGA’s key initiatives, including a comprehensive rebranding for the association, including a new logo and tagline, “At the heart of the community”; a new economic impact study demonstrating independent grocery’s strength as an engine for economic growth locally and nationally; and enforcement of antitrust laws to create a level playing field for independent grocers.
The day closed with the Opening Keynote address – sponsored by The Kraft Heinz Company – by celebrity chef and inspirational speaker Chef Jeff Henderson, whose personal story of redemption, self-transformation and commitment to helping at-risk youth was an appropriate message for an industry that continues to serve its communities while being profoundly impacted by world events.
The 2021 NGA Show continues through Sept. 21.
The NGA Show has been the place where independent grocers gather for more than 30 years, connecting supermarket retailers and wholesalers, food manufacturers and service providers from around the world to share innovative solutions and best practices that support and strengthen the independent supermarket channel. The NGA Show is produced and managed by Clarion Events as part of the Food & Beverage Group in partnership with the National Grocers Association (NGA). For more information and to register, visit www.theNGAshow.com.
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit www.nationalgrocers.org.