Allahdem, who was cheered on during the competition by his family, friends, co-workers and company leadership, has worked at Kroger since March 2016. He told The Shelby Report following his win that he practiced for the competition “five to six days a week, a couple of hours a day.”
Competitors were judged on a number of criteria, including speed of bagging and weight distribution among the bags.
In addition to a $2,000 cash prize, Allahdem will go on to compete nationally in Las Vegas in February.
Allahdem said he plans to continue to practice in preparation for that competition. In the meantime, he plans to put his winnings from the Georgia competition toward his college education. He will begin his studies at Gordon State College this fall and plans to become a nurse practitioner. His hobbies include sports, swimming and big trucks.
“We’re so proud of Elijah for his accomplishment and wish him well as he proceeds to the National Grocer Association’s competition,” said Felix Turner, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “Elijah has exceptional talents, and is a great example of Kroger’s commitment to deliver high-quality service to our customers.”