The National Grocers Association (NGA) launched the beginning of a year-long celebration at a special reception Sept. 20 at its fall conference in Minneapolis, Minn., to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of the association, which resulted from a merger between the National Association of Retail Grocers of the United States (NARGUS) and the Cooperative Food Distributors of America (CFDA). This merger marked the first time independent retailers and wholesalers joined under one organization.
“Since its inception in 1982 NGA has not wavered in its mission to ensure independent grocers have the opportunity to succeed and serve their customers. The independent sector truly represents the entrepreneurial spirit of America and it’s that spirit and innovation that has been the foundation of NGA for the past three decades,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA.
“In kicking off this year-long celebration we not only recognize the important contribution and vision of individuals such as NGA’s former President and CEO Thomas K. Zaucha, who helped mold NGA into the organization it is today, but also look forward to the future and the role NGA will continue to play as the representative of the independent sector,” added Larkin.
“For the past three decades NGA has been the leading voice for the independent grocery sector, ensuring a level playing field for retailer and wholesalers to compete and serve their customers. Some of the nation’s best supermarket operators are independent grocers and its through NGA that independents are afforded the unique opportunity to exchange best practices and concepts with their peers in an industry that is constantly evolving to meet the demands of today’s consumer,” said Joe Sheridan, chairman of NGA and president of Wakefern Food Corp.
To commemorate this special occasion, NGA published a 30th anniversary magazine, released to attendees at a special reception held at the close of the conference. It includes a timeline of NGA’s history and personal testimonials from past chairman, current members and industry leaders. A special champagne toast was made followed by a celebration that included a commemorative cake produced by local Minneapolis grocery and NGA member Lunds. The reception was made possible in part by support from Coca-Cola, Sterilox, and E&J Gallo Winery.
NGA will celebrate this anniversary, which officially is Oct. 1, throughout the coming months—including at the NGA Show in Las Vegas, Feb. 10-13, 2013.