LAS VEGAS, NV, 2014-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — With record attendance and a larger expo floor, which featured six partner pavilions, the National Grocers Association (NGA) concluded its 2014 Show today. Over 3,100 independent grocery retailers and wholesalers, and other Show participants attended this year’s conference, while close to 400 industry partners displayed their latest products and services at NGA’s EXPO floor held in Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel.
Said Peter Larkin, NGA’s President and CEO: “I think this year’s show – our biggest ever – was all about enthusiasm: enthusiasm for a sector that has shown resiliency and is forward-looking, and enthusiasm about new technologies, services and economies of scale our members can incorporate in their businesses to grow success. I’d like to thank our show partners, the Independent Grocers Alliance, Produce Marketing Association, North American Meat Association, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology, Financial Management Solutions, Global Market Development Center, and American Frozen Food Institute for the support they provided in making this year’s show such a success.”
Added incoming NGA Chairman Rich Neimann, Jr., “With more than $130 billion in sales and nearly a million jobs, independents are a backbone of the national economy and local communities. I look forward to ensuring that the importance of the independent Grocer is understood, protected and advanced on all of our behalf.”
Outgoing NGA Chairman, Joe Sheridan, President and COO of Wakefern Food Corp., received a heartfelt Industry Tribute at the Chairman’s Gala, held Tuesday night. Also recognized at the gala was Jay Campbell, President and CEO, Associated Grocers, Inc., who received the 2014 Industry Service Leadership Award for his longtime industry service and his efforts to better working relations and understanding between retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers.
Additionally, winners of the fourth annual Food Industry University Coalition Student Case Competition were recognized at the gala. The competition strives to further the professional development of students from participating university food and retail programs.
Winning first place, and taking home $8,000, was Western Michigan University. This year’s runner-up, Saint Joseph’s University was awarded with $2,000. Prizes were made possible by the generous support of The Asparagus Club, a long-time funder of the contest, and presented by Dan Shaul, Asparagus Club president.
Students participating in the 2014 Case Study Competition examined the ‘local’ offering of Fresh Encounter, an independent retailer based in Findlay, OH, and made recommendations regarding marketing, merchandising and expanding the program to additional categories. Willard Bishop also provided industry data and insight to the students.
Other show highlights included the crowning of Andrew Hadlock of Macey’s, as the 2014 Best Bagger, and a stimulating presentation by Washington journalist and author Bob Woodward during Sunday’s opening session.
For the third consecutive year, exhibitors are donating leftover product to The Shade Tree, a Las Vegas nonprofit that assists the poor.
The 2015 NGA Show is planned for Las Vegas from February 8 – 11 at the Mirage Hotel. For more information on the NGA Show, visit www.theNGAshow.com.
If you need additional information, please contact Laura Strange at 703-516-0700.