For Further Information, Contact: 
NGA Contact: Laura Strange

Amy Riemer, Media Relations Representative
978-475-4441 (office) or 978-502-4895 (cell)

SAN DIEGO, CA, February 28, 2019 - The NGA Show closed earlier this week with 3,500 industry professionals in attendance for the three day event, which was held for the first time in San Diego. The annual trade show and conference brought together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers from all 50 states to learn, engage, share, network, and innovate.  This was the first time The NGA Show was produced and managed by Clarion UX as part of the Food & Beverage Portfolio in partnership with the National Grocers Association (NGA).

“We started this partnership with Clarion UX a year ago and couldn’t be prouder of all we accomplished together to produce an exciting and thought provoking trade show and conference in the great city of San Diego,” said Peter Larkin, President and CEO of NGA. “We thank our exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, attendees, media partners, supporting organizations and partners who helped to make the 2019 NGA Show a huge success.  We’ve already received such positive feedback on the content in the education sessions and the top-level thought leaders from across the industry who shared insightful ideas on how grocers can grow their business and better serve their communities.”

Highlights of the event, included:

  • The exhibit hall, which was 20% larger than the event in 2018, offered new products and innovations from nearly 400 exhibiting companies covering over 55,000 square feet.  There were many new exhibitors who participated to make this the largest exhibit hall in The NGA Show history.
  • New this year, was the MATCH! program, where Clarion UX staff arranged over 300 meetings between retailers and wholesalers with participating exhibitors and suppliers.
  • The Opening Keynote Session featuring former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and renowned political strategist Donna Brazile who offered their opinions on the Trump administration, the current state of Congress, and the 2020 election.
  • Attendees mixed and mingled at several networking events in San Diego including the WGA 5K Fun Run/Walk, the NGA Foundation “Party in the Park,” located at Petco Stadium, and the Closing Celebration at The Hard Rock Café.
  • Technology was a key topic discussed throughout the conference in the education sessions and was showcased on the show floor with new solutions and technology providers. The iRetail Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry offered experiences and case studies from industry thought leaders and retail executives from the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology (CART), Weis Markets, Brookshire Grocery Company, Lehi Valley Trading Company, Leevers Supermarkets, Theta Equity, and Mercatus Technologies.
  • A dynamic panel participated in the Super Breakfast Session on Thriving as an Independent and addressed how much the industry has changed over the last few years from technology, a fickle economy, new competitors and the ever-changing consumer.Panelists included senior executives John Ross, IGA, Inc.; Mike Stigers, UNFI/SuperValu; David Smith, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.; and Randy Arceneaux Affiliated Foods, who expressed their optimism about the future of independent retailers.The session was moderated by Peter Larkin, President and CEO of NGA.
  • Cheryl Sommer, Chair of the NGA Board from Kaune’s Neighborhood Market in Sante Fe, NM announced the formation of the Peter J. Larkin Award for Community Service in honor the Peter’s retirement at the end of 2019.
  • Several awards were presented including:
    • The Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award to Trygve (Trig) Solberg of T.A. Solberg Company, Inc. This award, named after NGA’s first President and CEO, is one of the most prestigious honors awarded to independent grocers.
    • WGA Women of the Year Award to Jan Gee, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association
    • The Clarence G. Adamy Great American Award to Rudy Dory of Newport Avenue Market, in Bend, OR
    • Iowa’s Dwayne Campbell of Hy-Vee defeated 22 other best bagger competitors from across the nation to claim the title Best Bagger Champion and a grand prize of $10,000.
    • Cecil K’s and Coborn’s earned top honors at the annual NGA Creative Choice Awards. Cecil K’s Hometown Market was presented with the Outstanding Marketer Award and Coborn’s took home the award for Outstanding Merchandiser.
    • First place of the Student Case Study Competition went to St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA.
  • The education program expanded to offer 60 sessions with over 100 subject matter experts who spoke on a variety of important topics including people development, finances, focus on fresh, sustainable strategies, tech trends, operating for excellence, family business succession planning, e-commerce, omnichannel marketing, foodservice, merchandising, and more.
  • At the end of the show, the San Diego Rescue Mission picked 13,000 of pounds of food and beverage to help feed meals to the men, women and children in need in San Diego.
  • Over 45% of the show floor has already been sold for The 2020 NGA Show which will be held February 23-26 back at the San Diego Convention Center.

The NGA Show has been the place where independent grocers gather for over 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 UX as part of the Food & Beverage Portfolio in partnership with the National Grocers Association (NGA). 

The National Grocers Association (NGA) is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. The independent grocery sector is accountable for close to one percent of the nation's overall economy and is responsible for generating $131 billion in sales, 944,000 jobs, $30 billion in wages, and $27 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers’ associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit

Clarion UX ( produces 37 events across 13 sectors of both trade and consumer events.  Clarion UX, which is the U.S. division of Clarion Events, UK, and backed by The Blackstone Group has become one of the fastest growing event companies in the U.S. with aggressive growth through both acquisition and launch.  Clarion acquired PennWell in early 2018, bringing 4 Tradeshow 200 events into the U.S. portfolio and super-charging the already rapid growth.  Clarion UX has offices in Trumbull, CT; Kennesaw, GA; Boca Raton, FL; Tacoma, WA, and Fairlawn, NJ. 

# # #