The Economic Power of Independent Grocery Partners: Webinar Key Takeaways

August 16, 2021

Jim Dudlicek, Director, Communications and External Affairs

Independent community grocers generate more than $250 billion in sales, but their strength is felt far beyond the checkout lane. Creating more than a million jobs and generating billions in wages and tax revenues, this economic engine benefits contributing and parallel sectors, from manufacturing to technology to transportation and more.

NGA recently hosted a webinar, led by John Dunham of John Dunham & Associates, authors of NGA’s latest economic impact study, that explained how important independent community grocery retailers and wholesalers are to their suppliers and other industry stakeholders, and how together they can make their communities stronger.

More details from the economic impact study can be found here. Meanwhile, the following are some key takeaways from the webinar:

It’s more than just sales. The impact of independent grocery operators, including retailers and wholesalers, is felt on several fronts. Independents are an economic engine in terms of the number of jobs directly due to grocery retailing, jobs at firms supplying independent grocers, the number of jobs supplying goods and services to the industry, wages paid to all those employees, taxes paid by the industry, and the linkages of the independent grocery sector to other firms across the country.

Demand for supply. Supplier impacts do not include the actual groceries being sold by the store, but they include all goods and services purchased from other industries in order to operate. Independent grocers are responsible for more than 330,000 supplier jobs paying $21.2 billion in wages and accounting for more than $64.5 billion in economic output. The top suppliers to the grocery industry include real estate, warehousing and utilities.

Indies are everywhere. The independent grocery industry supports suppliers in all 50 states and 435 congressional districts. The resulting jobs provide an average wage of more than $63,000.

We’ve got the goods. Independent community grocers sold $253.6 billion worth of products in 2020. Sales differ from economic impact, or output, which is total sales revenue minus its cost of goods sold. Top product suppliers to independent grocers include fresh produce, meat, dairy, and frozen and prepared foods.

Helping folks become more food secure. The industry also feels the impact of sales driven by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Sales to SNAP recipients are responsible for almost 250,000 industry jobs and more than $23 billion in economic activity. Of that, SNAP sales are responsible for more than 17,000 supplier jobs paying about $1 billion in wages.

Calculate the impact of independent grocers on your area at

To view this webinar, click here.