Times listed are in local time 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
 

10 AM - 6 PM 

 

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

12 - 2 PM  NGA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING (Committee Members Only)
2:30 - 3:30 PM EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE WELCOME & OPENING SESSION | 5 TRENDS EVERYONE WILL BE CHASING TOMORROW

You think you’re on trend, but are you? Tastes and habits pivot so quickly these days, it’s better to be ahead of what’s coming next. No one wants to get left behind, so the folks at SPINS have dug deep into their vast resources of data to help you find the trends that are on the horizon. Walk away from this session with a head start, ready to stock the truly hot products that customers are starting to look for. Set yourself apart by being the retailer that helps set the trends instead of merely following them. 

 

SPEAKERS

Jason Lovelace, Chief Commercial Officer, SPINS, LLC
Dawn Valandingham, Head of Retail, SPINS, LLC 

3:30 - 3:45 PM  NETWORKING IN COLLABORATION ZONE
3:45 - 4:15 PM  COUNTING DATA AMONG INDEPENDENTS' STRENGTHS 

 

There’s strength in numbers, whether that’s people or data, so why not harness both? Aggregating data across multiple independent retailers makes us larger than our superstore competitors and enables new opportunities. From better price optimization to the early detection of shifting trends, independents can become a force to be reckoned with by collaborating on how best to leverage data and insights to improve both the shopper experience and the bottom line. A large customer base is important, but linking customer data to basket data powers the personal service for which independent community grocers are well known. Join this session to learn how taking an experimenter’s approach can give your team the tools and evidence they need to make better decisions.

 

SPEAKERS

John Abbene, President, BRdata Software Solutions 
John Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer, IGA, Inc.

4:15 - 5 PM  SUPERMARKET SUSTAINABILITY: HOW TO RESONATE WITH SHOPPERS 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished shopper passion for sustainability – on the contrary, in our divided age, sustainability is one of the few priorities on which most Americans agree. And as supermarkets have become even more central to people’s lives over the past year, shoppers expect grocery retailers to lead the way when it comes to protecting the environment and local communities. In fact, most consumers are willing to travel an additional five to 10 minutes to visit a store they believe has a stronger impact. This session will reveal these and other findings of the most recent study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America: “Sustainability and Food Retailing.” Council members will share shoppers’ sustainability priorities by generation, demographic and geography, along with initiatives that will resonate most with each group.   

 

MODERATOR 

Michael Sansolo, President, Sansolo Solutions LLC, Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council  

SPEAKERS

Ted Balistreri, Owner, Sendik's Food Market
John Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer, IGA, Inc. 

5 -6 PM NETWORKING RECEPTION
6:30  - 9 PM NGA BOARD OF DIRECTORS DINNER (Committee Members & Invited Guests Only) Sponsored by The Kellogg Company

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM NGA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING (Board Members Only) 
7:30 - 9 AM CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST IN COLLABORATION ZONE
9:00 - 9:30 AM HOW GROCERS CAN BE CYBER-SECURE 

As grocers integrate the latest technology into their operations and e-commerce continues to grow, the potential for cybersecurity threats increases dramatically. With incidents of data breaches, identity theft and ransomware on the rise, how can grocers minimize the risk to their digital systems? This session will cover the basic steps of protecting your stores and personnel from security threats, what you need to be watching for at store level, cautionary measures beyond encryption, safeguarding connectivity in the age of plastic payments, compliance with PCI standards, and more.

SPEAKERS

Craig Kassing, IT Director, MarketSmart RGA
Aimee Minion, Senior Account Manager, Trustwave
Robin, Senior Channel Account Manager, Trustwave

9:45 - 10:30 AM FUTURE FORECAST: FOOD RETAIL CONSUMER AND COMPETITIVE OUTLOOK FOR 2021-25

 

Nobody can foretell the future, but Burt Flickinger comes closer than most when it comes to what’s in store for retailers. The renowned retail expert will examine the consumer and competitive trends that offer the most profitable growth opportunities in the near term for NGA members. Burt is well known for exploring all the details, so be prepared to take good notes. This session will cover a range of relevant topics, including: Shifts in your consumer’s shopping behavior; More effective buying and merchandising to gain more share from the big chains; How to market and advertise more efficiently and effectively to boost sales; The tremendous future for your exclusive and private label brands; Low-cost expansion opportunities to grow your business; Implementing a strong sustainability program to drive profitable sales growth; & Reining in rapidly rising operating cost.

 

SPEAKER 

Burt Flickinger, III, Managing Director, Strategic Resource Group

10:30 - 11 AM NETWORKING BREAK IN COLLABORATION ZONE
11- 11:30 PM  FOLLOW THE SCIENCE: HEALTH AND SAFETY BEST PRACTICES FOR SHOPPER AND EMPLOYEE CONFIDENCE

 

Cleanliness and food safety have always been paramount in our industry, but the past year has raised consumer awareness of this aspect of our business to new heights. Mike Stigers, CEO of Cub Foods, will educate attendees on the elevated hygiene and sanitation standards expected of retail operators in today’s competitive environment. Mike will demonstrate how implementing science-based best practices for your food safety and public health program not only aids top-line retention but bottom-line health. You’ll learn the benefits of committing to a higher level of cleanliness in your operations to ensure customer confidence and employee retention.

 

SPEAKER 

Michael Stigers, Chief Executive Officer, Cub Foods

11:30 - 12 PM  THE STATE OF SNACKING IN THE 2020s

 

Snacking is a $1.2 trillion opportunity for retailers and manufacturers. This session examines the evolving role snacking plays in the future of food, from being a source of comfort and relief in a pandemic to trends such as shifting at-home snack eating and buying habits in the 2020s and beyond. This analysis of Mondelēz International’s second annual study on snacking digs deep into snacking surges in the U.S., at-home snacking habits and snack shopping going virtual – a must-see for emerging stronger in 2022. 

 

SPEAKERS 

Rick Brindle, Vice President, Industry Development, Mondelez International
Jason Nunes, Customer Vice President, Mondelez International

12 - 1:15 PM NETWORKING LUNCH Sponsored By HappyorNot
1:15 - 2 PM  E-COMMERCE AFTER COVID: WHERE IS ONLINE GROCERY GOING NEXT? 

The next big thing is the endless aisle, the ability to offer every SKU in your wholesaler’s warehouse. In this session, e-commerce solution provider ShopHero and distributor Dot Foods will explain how their partnership makes endless aisle easy and affordable for independent retailers. They’ll illustrate the importance of offering a robust solution that strengthens the relationship between grocer and shopper, provides new revenue streams for retailers and wholesalers, and future-proofs the independent industry against box-box and chain competitors. Retailers will also offer their perspectives. 

 

SPEAKERS

George Eversman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Retail, Dot Foods, Inc. Matt Garner, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, ShopHero, Inc. 

2 - 2:30 PM  GROCERS, HOW DID COVID-19 CHANGE YOU?

 

The pandemic disrupted how customers buy groceries. How did it change the way you sell them? Online grocery shopping surged, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg relative to the transformative ways you, your team and your organization should be evolving. It’s not necessarily about thinking big, but rather thinking differently. It starts with retesting our beliefs about retailing, then altering behaviors based on the new realities, which should produce better outcomes. It requires a different frame of reference, a focus on the customer and an inquisitive approach to insights and issues. Come with an open mind and check your mental baggage at the door.

 

SPEAKER 

David Bishop, Partner, Brick Meets Click 

7:15 - 9: 15 PM EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DINNER (Committee Members Only)

Sponsored by the Kraft Heinz Company