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5 Questions For Daniel Nazario 

Daniel Nazario
Daniel Nazario

The regional vice president for wholesale at Kellanova shares his thoughts about the state of the industry for independent grocers and his outlook for the coming months.

  1. Challenges of the past year continue to linger into 2023, and despite a gradual easing of inflation, operators as well as consumers are still feeling the pressure. What are your expectations for the coming months?

We expect to continue our strong business momentum. As we have improved our supply and service levels, we are restoring our investment to create the right value proposition for our consumers. This includes a focus around sustained innovation, advertising and promotion in our key brands and portfolios across the year, and best-in-class execution to enhance our in-store presence (physical and virtual). We anticipate a still volatile and challenging environment. Thus, we will continue to partner with the independent grocery community to drive mutual growth and consumption, remaining very close to our shoppers and consumers to fulfill their needs.

  1. What should policymakers understand about independent grocers as they consider legislation that will impact your business?

Policymakers need to consider the important role of independent grocers as a reliable partner to the communities they serve (e.g., employee generation, proximity, product offerings and personalized service). Policy should ideally incentivize investment and productivity activities generated by independent grocers community rather than promote extra cost pressures.

  1. More than three years after the pandemic began, how is your business different today?

Business has become more sophisticated. We have made important investments to enable extra manufacturing capacity; we are leveraging more on data and analytics, supported by a more diverse and differentiated talent; we have implemented business disciplines that encourages us to become more nimble, agile, predictive and action oriented. Although our brands have become stronger after the pandemic, we recognize the need to continue improving our end-to-end business management (developing insights into action and anticipating changes in consumer behaviors).

  1. What must independent operators do to ensure growth and success?

Operators should continue to partner with the communities they serve through differentiated programs both in and out of store (e.g., ESG efforts, seasonal and in-store programs to deliver a more intimate experience, targeting specific cohorts including multicultural). Also, it is important to continue investing in upgrading technology to communicate more effectively with consumers and to enhance competitiveness (e.g., digital platforms, e-commerce, loyalty, coupons, shopper marketing). Finally, the partnership with suppliers is crucial to build effective and targeted programs across the year.

  1. If you weren’t in the grocery industry, what would you be doing? 

I would probably be either a lawyer or working for the sports and entertainment industry.

See The Shelby Report for more of NGA’s 5 Questions interviews.

About the author

Jim Dudlicek

Director, Communications and External Affairs at NGA

Jim Dudlicek is Managing Editor and Content Strategist at NGA. The National Grocers Association is the trade association representing the U.S. independent community supermarket industry. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

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