OMAHA, Neb., Feb 04, 2010 — It’s not just about bragging rights, it’s about “bagging rights”. The nation’s top grocery store baggers are heading to Las Vegas Feb. 11 to compete in the 2010 National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) Best Bagger Championship presented by ConAgra Foods. The competition will be held as part of the N.G.A.’s annual conference, which features a keynote speech by former President George W. Bush.
Competitors will be rated on speed, bag-building technique, weight distribution between bags, style, attitude and appearance. A combination of jars, cans, boxes and loaves of bread will pose the challenge for each contestant as he or she races against the clock to bag the items the best way possible. For the first time at the contest, eco-friendly, reusable bags will be used.
With the involvement of ConAgra Foods this year, the prize pool has increased versus previous years. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, the second place contestant will earn $5,000 and the third through fifth place winners will net $1,000 each.
“These competitors are hard-working, young professionals from community based retailers in each state,” said Frank DiPasquale, executive vice president of N.G.A. “They are great examples of how many grocery stores are committed to customer service and this competition is a fun way to recognize and reward these baggers for their accomplishments.”
Twenty three states are sending their top performers to vie for the title of the nation’s best bagger. The 2010 N.G.A. Best Bagger Championship presented by ConAgra Foods competitors are:
— Alabama: Malcolm Griggs, Publix
— California: Kyle Casera, Nugget Market, Inc.
— Georgia: Danny Goodwin, J.H. Harvey Co., LLC
— Iowa: David Kistenmacher, Fareway Stores, Inc.
— Indiana: Kyle Perry, Martin’s Super Markets
— Kentucky: David Williams, Food City (K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.)
— Massachusetts: Ryan Hebert, Trucchi’s Supermarkets
— Michigan: Maryann Pears, Martin’s Super Markets
— Minnesota: Jessie Seamans, Lunds
— Missouri: Ben Riemann, Woods Supermarket
— Nevada: Sara Sandstrom, Whole Foods Market
— New Jersey: James Wilmott, ShopRite of Hunterdon County
— New York: Arcola Pointer, D’Agostino Supermarkets, Inc.
— North Carolina: Michael Belliveau, Harris Teeter
— Ohio: Chris Glockner, Buehler’s Food Markets, Inc.
— Pennsylvania: Courtney Acton, Genuardi’s Family Markets
— Rhode Island: Hamzat Onikoyi, Shaw’s Supermarket
— Tennessee: Brittany Cavender, Kroger Mid-South
— Utah: Andrew Hadlock, Maceys, Inc.
— Virginia: Rachel Goff, Ukrop’s Super Markets, Inc.
— Vermont: Dawn Tye, Hannford
— Washington: Glenn Cragun, Yoke’s Fresh Markets
— Wisconsin: Claire Dittmann, Metcalfe
N.G.A. is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale 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. Most independent operators are serviced by wholesale distributors, while others may be partially or fully self-distributing. Some are publicly traded but with controlling shares held by the family and others are employee owned. Independents are the true “entrepreneurs” of the grocery industry and dedicated to their customers, associates, and communities. N.G.A. members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about N.G.A. and the independent sector of the industry, see the N.G.A. website: www.NationalGrocers.org.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., /quotes/comstock/13*!cag/quotes/nls/cag (CAG 22.77, -0.06, -0.26%) is one of North America’s leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America’s households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip and many ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying potato, other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.
Source: ConAgra Foods, Inc.