Melanie Males, representing the Giant Eagle in Westlake, Ohio, claimed Ohio’s Best Bagger title at the 2014 Ohio Best Bagger Contest Aug. 12. Grocery baggers from nine Ohio companies participated in the contest held at Kroger Brewers Yard, in Columbus.
Males was one of four baggers representing Giant Eagle, and she beat 22 other competitors to win the title. The award comes with $1,000 cash and a trip to Las Vegas to compete in the National Grocers Association Best Bagger Championship in February.
“We are thrilled to showcase Ohio’s best baggers in this contest,” said Nate Filler, president and CEO of the Ohio Grocers Association. “As a former bagger, I truly appreciate that these employees are often the first and last faces seen by a customer. They play a vital role in the success of the business.”
Contestants filled three reusable bags and were judged on speed, weight distribution between the bags, technique, and style/attitude of the bagger. The top five qualifiers advanced to a final round to determine the winner.
“The clincher is always the weight distribution between the bags,” Filler said. “It’s hard to fill three bags of groceries and have their weights come out the same, but Melanie was unbelievably consistent.”
In addition to Males, top scores went to Amy Jordan from Giant Eagle in Canfield; Austin Klosterman from Chief Markets No. 2 in Coldwater; Timothy Posadny from Kroger No. 870 in Maumee; and Jared Wise from Buehler’s. Each of the top five won cash prizes.
In the feature photo at top: Ohio’s Best Bagger Melanie Males, Giant Eagle, and Nate Filler, president and CEO of the Ohio Grocers Association.