Blog

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Independent Grocery

  The National Grocers Association is actively monitoring the growing spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) both internationally and domestically, and the impacts it will have to the independent grocery industry. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided information to help with preparedness planning, and we write to you to make sure…
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HFC Phase Down: What You Need to Know About the EPA’s New Refrigerant Rule

Background: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule to phase down the production and import of a refrigerant known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 85 percent over a 16-year period. The proposed rule stems from legislation passed by a bipartisan majority on Capitol Hill and signed by former President Donald Trump last December.…
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The Independent’s Playbook: Give Them More In Store

By Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs One of the biggest retail stories to come out of the pandemic is the turbo boost in the growth and consumer acceptance of online grocery shopping. Within a matter of weeks, the quest for safety as the coronavirus ravaged the countryside drove shoppers to embrace…
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Daisy Pimentel: A Grocery Leader Making a Difference in the South Bronx

By Pat Jones-NGAF TA Center Project Assistant Daisy Pimentel, co-owner and operator of two Fine Fare Supermarkets in the South Bronx with her husband Frank, has made it a priority to be involved with community members as much as possible and provide much needed services and programs.  So, when Daisy learned about nutrition incentives, she…
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Biden’s Speech to Congress: Progressive Goals, Centrist Rhetoric

By Robert Yeakel, NGA Director of Government Relations Last night, President Biden gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress. At almost the 100-day mark of his administration, Biden’s address highlighted not only the accomplishments of his first months in office, but also signaled the agenda that lay ahead.   From getting Americans back to work to making sure…
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Supermarket Industry Lobbies for Key Policies During Annual “Day in Washington” Fly-In

More than 230 supermarket retailers and wholesalers from 143 companies and food industry state association executives from across the nation connected virtually this week with Members of Congress during the annual “Day in Washington” supermarket industry fly-in. Members of the National Grocers Association (NGA) and the Food Industry Association (FMI) participated in more than 220 meetings with Members of Congress and legislative staff to advocate for…
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Biden’s Jobs Plan

By Robert Yeakel, NGA Director of Government Relations Two weeks ago, President Biden unveiled the next step in his “Build Back Better” agenda by calling on Congress to pass an infrastructure package. The American Jobs Plan, as the White House has coined it, lays out more than $2 trillion in federal spending on infrastructure and other domestic investments. The administration sees this as a one-two punch to not…
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Retail Partnerships for Distribution Challenges

By Chelsea Matzen, Project Manager, NGA Foundation Small rural groceries and corner stores in cities may strike up very different mental images but they both face a similar problem: distribution. Tiny neighborhood stores often don’t have the economies of scale to efficiently work in a traditional manner with wholesalers. One solution that these small retailers are starting to pursue is cross-docking or…
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Improving WIC for Retailers is Key to Success of the Program

By Molly Pfaffenroth, NGA Senior Director of Government Relations Every five years, Congress has the opportunity to consider Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) legislation to improve child nutrition programs, including school meals and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The last time a CNR bill was signed into law was the…
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Politics and Pandemic Put Card Payments in the Spotlight

By Robert Yeakel, NGA Director of Government Relations It has been over a year since the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life and transformed how customers interact with retail. Almost overnight, businesses built out their e-commerce platforms to reach a customer base that – due to lockdowns or public health concerns, or both – could no longer shop in person.   Even…
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Redefining ‘Local’ Means Wins for Grocers and Student Team

Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of  Communications and External Affairs Redefine “local” to expand your supply chain. Diversify your suppliers to find new sources of local products. Gain a competitive edge by having unique offerings and demonstrating your value to the community. These basic steps proved to be a winning recipe for California Polytechnic State University…
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NGA Celebrates Frozen Food Month

By Eric Payne, NGA Manager of Communications March is Frozen Food Month, an annual recognition of reliable, convenient, and healthy frozen products available at independent grocery stores throughout the country.   While frozen foods are now a staple in household freezers, this wasn’t always the case, with the process for effectively freezing food mastered only about 100 years ago. Consumers nowadays may take these convenient products…
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How to Leverage Eating Trends To Drive Produce Sales: Webinar Key Takeaways

Jim Dudlicek, Director, Communications and External Affairs Even before COVID made good general health and resistance to illness more important, consumers have been paying more attention to the wellness benefits derived from the foods they eat. Few foods are as synonymous with health as fresh produce, making fruits and vegetables essential for good nutrition. To…
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Nutrition Incentives are the Future of SNAP

By Molly Pfaffenroth, NGA Senior Director of Government Relations Independent community grocers are critical partners in the public-private partnership of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). With grocers uniquely and best positioned to implement this program  in their communities, many of which are rural and urban food desert areas, SNAP is one of the most efficient and effective federal programs in…
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Do You Know Who Our Superheroes’ Superhero Is?

By Harold Lloyd, Harold Lloyd Presents I am so proud our industry is finally getting the “essential” branding it deserves. I distinctly remember in my early 20s getting mocked for thinking I needed a graduate degree to work in a supermarket. Now, you are “superheroes,” right up there with other true professionals, first responders, doctors…
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An Open Omnichannel Ecosystem: Webinar Key Takeaways

By Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs How does an omnichannel ecosystem benefit the independent retailer? What should independents be considering when building out their ecommerce solution? How can you ensure a seamless customer experience across your digital offering? To answer these and other questions about the robust ecommerce opportunities in grocery,…
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The Independent’s Playbook: There’s No Going Back

Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs Last summer, I advised retailers not to underestimate the demand for online grocery shopping. Looks like that’s turning out to be good advice. The numbers are in for January and data indicates that consumers are continuing to embrace e-commerce. In all likelihood, they’ll continue to use…
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Navigating the COVID Tax Season: Webinar Key Takeaways

By Jim Dudlicek, Director, Communications and External Affairs The pandemic of the past year brought on many complications to doing business, both operational and financial, making the 2021 tax season appear more daunting. In a recent webinar hosted by NGA, Robert Graybill, president and CEO of FMS Solutions, shed light on some of the newer…
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Building Trust and Offering Incentives in South Atlanta

By Pat Jones, Project Assistant Focused Community Strategies (FCS ) has been a fixture in underserved Atlanta communities for 20 years, dedicated to community revitalization with the goal of bringing neighborhoods back to health. According to its website, “FCS  invests deeply in one under-resourced Atlanta neighborhood at a time, building upon the neighborhood’s strengths to…
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