Nearly 3,300 grocery professionals attend annual conference after 3 days of education, networking and sold-out expo hall
The National Grocers Association and Clarion Events announced the successful conclusion of the 2023 NGA Show, which brought nearly 3,300 grocery industry professionals to the Caesars Forum Convention Center from Feb. 26-28 in Las Vegas for networking and education, plus a sold-out expo hall featuring more than 300 exhibitors of products and services.
Registrations exceeded the pre-pandemic 2020 show and the event enjoyed its largest attendance since 2017.
The show brought together independent retailers, wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers from all over the United States for the three-day event. The 41st edition of the annual trade show and conference was produced by the National Grocers Association and Clarion Events.
“Thank you to everyone who came – the retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and suppliers. This year’s show hit new benchmarks for attendance and exhibitor participation, everyone coming together to learn, network and explore new products and services,” said NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara. “Thanks to all the companies who invested in their future by participating in the show. We look forward to building on this success as we plan our next show for 2024.”
Cruz Alvarado, event director of The NGA Show for Clarion Events, added, “We were excited to open the doors to the professionals who feed and nourish America for this year’s event. In partnership with NGA, we made several changes based on feedback from our exhibiting and attending customers, providing the grocery retail community with new ways to learn, connect and network – all designed to help them stay competitive, source new products and grow their business.”
Highlights of the show included:
- An expanded Sunday agenda, featuring the all-new Technology Summit and Financial Symposium, plus a “snack and see” session honoring the winners of NGA’s Creative Choice Awards for excellence in marketing and merchandising.
- The exhibit hall, featuring more than 300 exhibitors and sponsors, where retailers and wholesalers discovered products and services covering the entire spectrum from store design to innovative food products, with enhanced food offerings on the show floor. This year’s expo floor also featured education theater sessions, expanding content opportunities beyond the main stage and breakouts.
- The opening keynote address presented by adventurer Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest, who delivered a message about harnessing the power of adversity as fuel for greatness, offering a stunning example of perseverance, commitment to one’s goals and a passion for life.
- Multiple networking events including the Opening Social, Women Grocers of America Networking Reception, Best Bagger Championship and the Closing Celebration.
- Co-located with the Independent Grocers Alliance Rally and Indoor Ag-Con.
The education program expanded to offer more than 40 sessions in main stage, breakout and education theater formats, presented by more than 100 subject matter experts who spoke on a variety of relevant topics including creative recruiting, multicultural marketing, the next generation of fresh, smart technology, retail media networks, e-commerce, indoor vertical farming, sustainability, retail media, ESG, HBC, IoT, snacking, tax credits, store operations, pet care, functional foods, supply chain and adult beverages.
Several awards were presented, including:
- The Peter J. Larkin Community Service Award, to Ideal Market of Louisiana, the first supermarket in the Greater New Orleans area to provide free COVID vaccines to the community, and the only supermarket chain to never shut its doors in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
- The Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, to Jeff Strack, president and CEO of northwest Indiana grocery chain Strack & Van Til.
- WGA Woman of the Year Award, to Gwen Christon, owner of Isom IGA, for her relief efforts in her flood-ravaged rural Kentucky town despite her store being destroyed.
- NGA’s Industry Service Award, to Rick Brindle, VP of industry development at Mondelez International.
- Best Bagger Champion, with a grand prize of $10,000, was awarded to Karli West of Macey’s in Utah.
NGA’s Creative Choice Awards; a complete list of winners can be found here.
Surplus product samples from show exhibitors were donated to the Three Square Food Bank, serving Clark, Lincoln, Nye and Esmerelda counties in Nevada.
More information about each day of The NGA Show can be found at https://www.thengashow.com/press/press-releases.
The 2024 NGA Show will take place March 10-12, 2024, at the Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas.
For information and details, visit www.thengashow.com.