Blog

Emerging Benefit Cards in Food Retail

By Ted Mason, Retail Technology Consultant As a food retailer, you may have already or soon will experience a customer presenting a new type of benefit card for payment in your store. These cards, often bearing the brands of major retailers, may be issued by health insurance companies, medical facilities or for over-the-counter (OTC) products…
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Food Allergy Awareness

By Jill Hollingsworth, VP, Food Safety and Retail Industry Relations, Ecolab In recognition of Food Allergy Awareness Month, we are providing a brief refresher on the facts about food allergens and what retailers should know about this important issue. What are Food Allergens? Food allergens are food proteins that can cause an allergic reaction in…
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The Independent’s Playbook: Growing Into Plant-Based Products

Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs The meat department is a point of differentiation – and one of pride – for many independent grocers. In-house butchers providing custom cuts from a full-service counter historically have been fixtures in community supermarkets. Meat sales were robust during the depths of the pandemic, and even as…
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Help Promote Food Access in Indigenous Communities with GusNIP

By Pat Jones, Project Coordinator The National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TA Center) will be partnering with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) to offer a free webinar, “Help Promote Food Access in Indigenous Communities with GusNIP,” on May 16 at 4:30 p.m. EST. The purpose of this webinar is to…
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The Independent’s Playbook: Navigating Inflation

By Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs When it comes to inflation, the light at the end of the tunnel increasingly resembles an oncoming train. The ingredients of a lingering pandemic, a labor shortage, high fuel prices and global turmoil have become a recipe for a miserable concoction that pleases no one’s palate.…
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Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Requests for Application Released

By Pat Jones, NGAF TA Center Project Coordinator The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released the requests for application (RFA) for both the nutrition incentive and produce prescription grants funded through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). In this phase, non-profits and government agencies will pull together applications to receive nutrition incentive…
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Gen Z and the Future of Grocery: Webinar Key Takeaways

Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs Gen Z – young people born between 1997 and 2012 – are the most racially and ethnically diverse of any generation. They are the first generation that has entirely grown up with the Internet. There are 67 million of them, and they are the future of…
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The Independent’s Playbook: Celebrate and Have a Good Springtime

By Jim Dudlicek, Director of Communications and External Affairs The pandemic may not be officially over, with new variants still raising concerns. Yet even with lingering uncertainty, as well as rising food prices, consumers are saying they’re ready to host large gatherings again for the spring holidays, so independent grocers should be prepared to embrace…
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Creating a POS Standard for Nutrition Incentives: Key Webinar Takeaways

By Pat Jones, NGAF TA Center Project Coordinator The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (or GusNIP) offers retailers a chance to provide extra food dollars to help low-income shoppers include more healthy fruits and vegetables in their diet. While GusNIP has been widely successful (when properly implemented), the ability of a store to conduct nutrition incentives on their…
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The FDA Model Food Code

By Jill Hollingsworth, VP, Food Safety and Retail Industry Relations, Ecolab What is the Food Code? The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Code is a model code that encompasses guidelines and recommendations for best food safety practices to ensure that food offered at retail food establishments and in food service is safe, unadulterated, and honestly…
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The Independent’s Playbook: April Showers, Sales Flower

By Jim Dudlicek, Director, Communications and External Affairs It’s probably no surprise that practically every day of every week of every month is the official national day, week or month for some type of food, providing a seemingly endless supply of marketing and merchandising opportunities for the independent grocery retailer. In addition to offering a…
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Listeria Update and Awareness

By Jill Hollingsworth, VP, Food Safety and Retail Industry Relations, Ecolab A report released by FDA and a recent recall serve to remind us of the high priority we need to place on controlling Listeria monocytogenes in the retail environment. Let’s take a closer look at these two events.   FDA Avocado Assignment  The Food and…
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Committing to a Food Safety Culture: Webinar Key Takeaways

Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs A food safety program is only as good as your organization’s commitment to food safety culture. How do you assess your food safety culture? How do you change it? Why is food safety culture so critical to your food safety program? The National Grocers Association hosted…
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NGA Provides Independent Grocers with Resources to Help Ukrainians

As tragic events continue to unfold in Ukraine, many Americans are looking for ways to help. Over the last several weeks, we have seen many stories of NGA member companies like SpartanNash donating $1 Millon in support of Ukraine and Harvest Market creating a “Sunflowers for Ukraine”, with 100 percent of proceeds being donated to…
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The Independent’s Playbook: Keeping it Real (Cold)

By Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs March is Frozen Food Month and I’m sure grocers have been leveraging the occasion to drive traffic in a category that has grown increasingly popular in recent years. There may be less than two weeks left in the month, but there’s no reason to be…
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Developing Nutrition Incentive Partnerships at Upcoming Events and Conferences

By Patrick Jones, Project Coordinator One of the most crucial aspects of establishing a GusNIP (Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program) project is relationship-building. Grantees must form connections with interested retailers (and vice versa) that they can trust to serve as stewards for these vital programs.  With the pandemic, this has been a difficult endeavor, but…
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Key Qualities to Look for When Choosing an Antimicrobial Fruit and Vegetable Wash

By Jill Hollingsworth, VP, Food Safety and Retail Industry Relations, Ecolab We all know the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. But foodborne illness, outbreaks, and recalls have consumers, retailers, produce growers, and regulatory authorities concerned about the safety of these products. The challenges inherent in fresh produce safety are different from most other…
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WHAT IS FOOD SAFETY CULTURE?

By Jill Hollingsworth, VP, Food Safety and Retail Industry Relations, Ecolab A food safety program is only as good as the organization’s commitment to food safety and the actions of the people who make up the organization. An example Think about this…an associate sees a utensil fall on the floor. No one is around to…
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WHAT IS HEALTHY PEOPLE 2030?

By Jill Hollingsworth, VP, Food Safety and Retail Industry Relations, Ecolab WHAT IS HEALTHY PEOPLE 2030? In August 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services launched Healthy People 2030, the fifth iteration of this initiative. The plan lays out a set of national goals and measurable objectives to guide policies, programs, and actions for…
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