The Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA) hosted its third Annual Bipartisan Bag-Off on Jan. 23 at the Minnesota State Capitol. The event highlighted the Minnesota food industry and the impact it has on serving consumers, providing careers and investing in its communities.
The Bag-Off featured four legislators: House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), Assistant Senate Minority Leader Jeff Hayden (D-Minneapolis), and Assistant House Majority Leader Fue Lee (D-Minneapolis), who competed with Minnesota’s 2018 Best Bagger runner up Robert Hoss of Chris’ Food Center in Sandstone.
“Baggers truly exemplify the food industry’s dedication to customer service,” said MGA. “They are the people responsible for the last experience customers have in a store, and the contest provided an insider look at the importance of this role to industry. Additionally, the contest used the ever popular reusable bag, which demonstrates the food industry’s commitment to consumer choice and the well-being of the communities we serve.”
A panel of MGA members judged the five contestants based on speed, distribution of weight between the bags and proper bagging technique, along with style, attitude and appearance. Department of Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley served as the official bag weigher.
Keeping the trophy in his caucus, Representative Daudt won the competition with speed and weight distribution. He was presented a trophy and $1,000 to donate to a food charity of his choice within his district.
The Minnesota Grocers Association also donated $10,000 on behalf of its 2018 Bag Hunger Campaign to Second Harvest Heartland. The donation was accepted by Marcus Schmit, director of advocacy of Second Harvest Heartland.
“The MGA would like to extend a special thanks to the legislators, volunteers, MGA Board of Directors and MC Tom Hauser for their time and making this event a success,” the association said.
MGA has represented the state’s food industry since 1897. It has more than 200 retail members serving more than 1,300 locations statewide, as well as more than 100 distributors, manufacturers and wholesale partners.