Auburn University Wins Student Case Study Competition

February 28, 2023

Student team takes top honors at 2023 NGA Show in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV –  The National Grocers Association (NGA) has announced Alabama’s Auburn University as the winner of the 2023 Student Case Study Competition.

The annual competition featured teams competing in multiple rounds over the course of the 2023 NGA Show, held Feb. 26-28 at the Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas, with the final round held during Tuesday afternoon’s general session.

The Student Case Study Competition is administered by the NGA Foundation as one of its initiatives to promote career development and position independent grocery as an industry of choice for career-minded college students.

“Case studies are designed to depict real-life challenges faced by independent grocers, illustrate the career opportunities available to students, and display the creativity and innovation available in the independent grocery industry,” said Chelsea Matzen, NGA Foundation director. “We are impressed by the talent demonstrated every year and we congratulate the Auburn team as well as the other worthy contenders.”

This year’s case study subject was Dierbergs Markets, a company that dates back to 1854 and currently operates 26 stores in the greater St. Louis area. Faced with “The Great Resignation” spawned by the pandemic, independent grocery retailers must assess how they should structure their financial plans and team activities to increase recruiting and retention. Teams from 11 schools competed by delivering presentations that offered ways to develop a comprehensive strategy for the best combination of internal benefits with competitive corporate positioning.

“Independent grocers should be encouraged by the innovative thinking that comes out of the Student Case Study Competition every year, as it suggests a bright future for our industry,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “We thank all the participating schools and look forward to hosting this important Foundation program again next year and beyond.”


About NGA

NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. 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. For more information about NGA, visit

The NGA Show has been where independent grocers gather for more than 30 years, connecting supermarket retailers and wholesalers, food manufacturers, and service providers worldwide to share innovative solutions and best practices that support and strengthen the independent supermarket channel. The NGA Show is produced and managed by Clarion Events as part of the Food & Beverage Group in partnership with the National Grocers Association (NGA). For more information and to register, visit

Clarion Events operates over 180 events in 50 countries from 15 offices in the UK, the US, South Africa, Brazil, Germany, Singapore, UAE, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. Clarion can trace its roots back to 1947 and takes great pride in being one of the oldest independent event organizers in the UK. The firm has recently developed an international portfolio of brands. It is interested in several global vertical industries, including energy, security, defense, hospitality, electronics, technology, fashion, retail, gaming, and marketing. The teams at Clarion create uniquely effective and stimulating environments that can serve as a platform to build businesses, enhance customer relationships and accelerate product awareness.