Candice Lastimado of Metropolitan Markets in Washington State Wins 2016 Best Bagger Championship
Las Vegas, NV – Candice Lastimado of Metropolitan Markets, located in Seattle, WA, defeated 24 other Best Bagger competitors from across the nation to claim a grand prize of $10,000 and the title of the National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Champion.
Designed to promote supermarket employees and demonstrate a superior core customer service skill, the nationwide competition has been held by NGA since 1987. Contestants are judged by speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique, weight distribution in the bag, as well as style, attitude and appearance, and are chosen through statewide competitions over the course of last year.
This year’s competition was sponsored by PepsiCo, Inc. and emceed for the second consecutive year by Food Network star, Duff Goldman, and held during The NGA Show at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Bethany Berger of Shaw's Supermarket in Vermont was awarded the second place prize of $5,000, and the third place prize of $1,000 went to Lauren Gillson of Lunds & Byerlys of Minnesota. Fourth and fifth place winners, winning $1,000 each, were Janessa Plummer of Plummer's Shop 'n Save in Maine and Nathan Toth of Martin's Super Markets in Indiana, respectively.
"Year after year, NGA has the pleasure of holding an event that demonstrates the collective spirit and work ethic of the supermarket industry. So often baggers or courtesy clerks are the last impression a customer has of a store, and because of this, superior bagging skills, along with friendly customer service, are critical elements to a positive shopping experience for the consumer,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “I’d like to thank all of our Best Bagger participants for another exciting competition. Congratulations to Candice, who competed with great enthusiasm and showcased her commitment to excellent customer service.”