Farm to Store

Adding Value – And Sales – in Meat and Produce
Independent retailers are increasingly using fresh departments to differentiate themselves from mass and discount formats. Providing value-added services is an underused tool.  Discover how retailers are adding value in meat and produce with cut-to-order programs for fruits and vegetables as well as proteins, in addition to offering convenience products such as fresh cut-to-go packaging, ready-to-cook items, and ready-to-microwave meals in a bag. Learn how retailers have made a commitment to convenience and quality a winning combination.

Mike Davidson, Vice President, Store Operations, Buehler Food Market, Inc. 
Kristi Maurer, Store Director, Madison Fresh Market 
Peter Najjar, Owner, Cardiff Seaside Market
Moderator: George Szczepanski, Director of Business Development, Global Sponsorships & Events, Produce Marketing Association

Merchandising Local, Natural & Organics
Retailers looking to enhance their reputation in fresh foods are taking their commitment to local, natural and organics to the next level. Offering anti-biotic free and grass-fed proteins and incorporating specialty organics are just a few of the ways independents can fully commit to the natural trend.  Take home successful consumer education and marketing strategies as well as creative merchandising programs to boost sales of natural and organics. Learn how to build your identity as the source for local products in your market.

Brett Puckett, Director of Produce at Crest Foods 
Rudy Dory, President and CEO, Newport Avenue Market 
Nick Lenzi, Senior Vice President of Operations, Busch’s, Inc. 
Moderator: Steve Lutz, Vice President, Marketing, Columbia Marketing International

Seafood Merchandising
The desire to eat more healthfully is fueling consumer’s interest in seafood. The seafood department can play a greater role in contributing to store sales if merchandised effectively. Discover new approaches to packaging, merchandising and assortment and determine if full-service or case-ready is the best approach for your company.  Independent retailers will also share their marketing plans and associate and consumer communications strategies.

Josh Karns, Director of Human Resources, Karns Quality Foods
Sean Saenz, Senior Director of Meat and Seafood, Gelson's Markets
Willy Chu, Island Pacific
Moderator: Chuck Anderson, Sustainable Seafood International

Grab/Go Fresh Product – Competing with Small / Discount Formats
Grab and go fresh products have become an important way for retailers to differentiate themselves and showcase their commitment to high quality fresh foods. A well-executed program featuring convenient, attractively packaged and smartly positioned high quality offerings can be an important component of a retailer’s strategy to compete with rapidly encroaching discount stores.  Myriad options are available including made-to-order sandwiches; heat-and-eat entrees, grab-and-go sides, hot and cold food bars as well as grab and go cut fruit.  Discover how retailers are capitalizing on the dual demands for fresh and convenience to stay competitive in their markets.

Ted Balistreri, Owner, Sendik’s Food Markets 
Tom Clark, President, Clark’s Market, Inc. 
Dan Koch, Vice President, Bakery-Deli, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.
Moderator: Steve Dillard, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (Retired)

Keeping Your Talent Fresh
Educated staff are key to the success of perimeter departments. Trained meat cutters, knowledgeable associates and appreciation for the importance of food safety-related processes and procedures are just a few of the characteristics of high volume departments. Finding and keeping trained, enthusiastic and skilled associates is challenge faced by most retailers. From a panel of independent grocers, learn innovative approaches to identifying and recruiting new associates, as well as creating apprenticeship and other training and development programs.

Arlene Billberg, Fresh Director, Valley Markets, Inc. 
Gerry Kettler, Director of Consumer Affairs, Niemann Foods, Inc.
Tony Orlando, Manager/Owner, Tony O’s Supermarket and Catering
Moderator: Stephanie Reid, Executive Vice President, Shelby Publishing Co., Inc.

With over 40 specialized educational workshops led by retailers for retailers and more than 325 companies on our EXPO floor showcasing innovative and game-changing products and solutions, The NGA Show provides countless opportunities to learn from your peers and other industry thought leaders. Bring your whole team to The NGA Show and bring home ideas that will drive profitable growth for your company.