Brady Long, representing Buehler’s Food Markets in Wooster, Ohio, claimed Ohio’s Best Bagger title at the 2015 Ohio Best Bagger Contest Aug. 11. Grocery baggers from seven Ohio companies participated in the contest held at the Giant Eagle Market District Grandview Yard, in Columbus, Ohio.
Long was one of four baggers representing Buehler’s and he 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 2016.
“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 Brady was unbelievably consistent.”
In addition to Long, top scores went to Sarah Morris from Giant Eagle in Pickerington, Caitlyn Black from Dorothy Lane Market in Dayton, Haylie Rollerson from Community Markets in Ada and Ashley Bergdorf from Giant Eagle in Akron. Each of the top five won cash prizes.
The Ohio Grocers Association represents nearly 400 member companies, including retail grocers, wholesalers, manufacturers and related suppliers to the food industry.