Home » Consumer Panel Survey Released, Industry Leaders Honored At NGA Gala

Consumer Panel Survey Released, Industry Leaders Honored At NGA Gala

Coca-Cola's Joe Bruke at NGA

Price is no longer the No. 1 concern of supermarket shoppers, so finds the 2013 benchmark survey from the National Grocers Association (NGA) in conjunction with Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert. Earlier this week, NGA released the results of the latest annual Consumer Panel Survey at the NGA Show in Las Vegas. The survey results, discussed in-depth by industry leaders during a panel discussion during Tuesday’s General Session, indicate that consumers will be on the lookout for stores that offer tailored solutions to them such as nutritional guidance, ease of navigation and knowledgeable department experts. Price is no longer the only consideration in choosing where to shop—consumers also want an environment that feels fresh, upbeat and innovative, while making them feel welcomed and appreciated.

The session, sponsored by MilkPEP, offered takeaways from industry experts on why independent grocers are best equipped to meet the needs of the changing customer. The complete survey results are available for purchase at NGA’s website, www.nationalgrocers.org.

NGA recognizes industry leaders at Chairman’s Gala

At Tuesday evening’s NGA Chairman’s Gala, the Women Grocers of America (WGA) honored three women who have made a substantial impact on the independent grocery industry. WGA presented Debbie Dory of Newport Avenue Market with its Woman of the Year Award. For more than 20 years, Dory has been a pioneer to the industry and her community. Her award-winning Newport Avenue Market was the first IGA Plus store on the West Coast and has been voted Best Grocery Store in Central Oregon for 15 years in a row. In 2013, Newport Avenue Market became the first Boar’s Head Deli of Distinction west of the Mississippi. But Dory’s leadership extends beyond the store. Co-founder of the Hunger Prevention Coalition, her store served as the pilot store for “The Help Fill Empty Plates” program, which has raised more than $429,000 for the coalition. Despite the trying economy, her drive to create extraordinary customer service resulted in 12 percent growth in 2012 and movement toward a second-generation leader in her daughter, Lauren.

WGA also presented the Humanitarian Award to Kathleen DiChiara, founder, president and CEO of the Community Foodbank of New Jersey, which distributed 39 million pounds of food and groceries last year.

Frances “Chi Chi” Puhl, SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary of Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), received WGA’s Legend Award for her contributions to the growth of AWG from a small two-warehouse wholesale cooperative into the $8 billion operation it is today.

NGA President and CEO Peter J. Larkin then presented the 2013 Clarence G. Adamy Great American Award to Kevin Doris, president and CEO of Gerland Corp. This award is NGA’s most distinguished public affairs award, with only 21 recipients since its inception in 1982. Doris received the award for his support of NGA’s government affairs program, leading its resolve to never stop fighting on behalf of the independent retail and wholesale grocer in Washington, D.C. He was an early supporter of NGA’s Grocers PAC, and is a longtime supporter of NGA’s Campaign to Preserve Competition, Consumer Choice and a Democratic Workplace. Whether traveling to meet with his senators and members of Congress in Washington or to Austin, Texas, to meet with his state legislators, Doris remains focused on the important role that grocers play by educating their elected officials on the implications that legislation and regulation have on the grocery industry.

“Kevin Doris has had a tremendous positive impact on NGA’s government affairs program,” said Larkin in his remarks. “He recognized that the independent grocers’ need for a strong voice in Washington must be matched with a commitment by its members to get involved and engage with their elected officials.”

Also at the gala, NGA Chairman Joe Sheridan, president and COO of Wakefern Food Corp., recognized longtime industry veteran and good friend Joe Burke with the NGA Industry Service Award. Burke, VP of retail industry affairs at Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, has for more than 34 years played an important part in the successful tradition of Coca-Cola and its service to independent retailers. Through his leadership of the North America Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council, Burke has fostered meaningful and cutting-edge research that has innovated the industry. Additionally, he has played a key role in fostering meaningful relationships as a distinguished member of NGA’s Trading Partner Advisory Council.

Attendees at the Chairman’s Gala then enjoyed dinner and an evening of entertainment featuring Motown hits by multi-platinum artists Human Nature, made possible by key sponsors Wakefern Food Corp., General Mills Inc., Visa Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. as well as Anheuser-Busch InBev, E.&J. Gallo Winery, The Hershey Co. and The Queens Flowers. Proceeds from the event went to the Grocers Research and Education Foundation (GREF).

In the featured photo at top: NGA President Peter J. Larkin with Joe Burke of Coca-Cola Refreshments USA. Burke was the recipient of the NGA Industry Service Award. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gatty)


More NGA Show photos can be found here.



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