Blog

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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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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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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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 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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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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How Grocers Are Grappling With Inflation: Webinar Key Takeaways

Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs A historic period of inflation has pushed grocery prices ever higher as the nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. A labor shortage, supply chain issues and other factors are driving up costs, but many consumers, as well as some in high levels of government, just…
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Independent Grocery

  The National Grocers Association is actively monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) both internationally and domestically, and the impacts it has on the independent grocery industry. As additional information becomes available, NGA will continue to keep our members updated on public health guidance, best practices, and other precautionary actions that you can take protect your workforce…
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NGA Members Address Food Insecurity, Supply Chain Challenges, and Leveling the Playing Field

By Eric Payne, NGA Manager of Communications RF Buche Testifies About Food Insecurity to House Committe  The holiday season is always a busy time for independent grocers, as customers rely on them to supply their Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. And while these demands draw much of our attention, NGA and our members have been advocating over the last two months for several important topics…
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Where There’s a Will There’s a Way for SNAP Produce Incentives

By Ted Mason, Retail Technology Consultant Too often, retailers would like to implement a SNAP produce incentive program for the benefit of their SNAP shoppers, but their POS system is incapable of conducting electronic incentive transactions. Thankfully for SNAP shoppers in Greensburg, Pa., Tom Charley, co-owner of the Charley Family Shop ‘n Save Supermarket, persisted…
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Attracting Young Talent to the Grocery Industry: Webinar Key Takeaways

By Jim Dudlicek, Director, Communications and External Affairs It’s no secret that independent community grocers have a lot to offer young workers who are seeking a meaningful, challenging and rewarding career. But when it comes to selling this younger talent pool on a career in grocery, independent retailers are battling both the competitive offerings from…
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Legal Challenges & Private Sector Vaccine Mandates: Hurry Up and Wait

By Robert Yeakel, Director of Government Relations The legal challenges to the Biden administration’s private sector employer vaccine-or-test mandate have been consolidated as BST Holdings, LLC, et al v. OSHA, et al and are now before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Following the 5th Circuit’s ruling in November affirming a stay of the Emergency…
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Make the Most of an NGA Membership: Webinar Key Takeaways

By Jim Dudlicek, Director, Communications and External Affairs How is NGA working for you? NGA hosted a recent webinar that served as a membership primer for new members or existing ones looking to reacquaint themselves will all the features and services the association has to offer. Member Services Manager Sarah Long and other department staff…
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NGA Foundation Webinar Series Focuses on Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

By Eric Payne, NGA Manager of Communications NGA offers many webinars throughout the year that keep the independent grocery industry informed about the latest news on Capitol Hill, current industry trends, and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. This is valuable content NGA members can use each day to improve customer service, safety protocols, and a variety of other areas…
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