2017 Retailer of the Year: Corporate Citizen, Community Friend

From sustainability to philanthropy to wellness, Hy-Vee is a leader among its peers in grocery retailing.

The Iowa-based supermarket chain works to maintain a leadership position in the industry on sustainability. Its food waste diversion and recycling efforts have received the Iowa Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award in Waste Management. The company continues to build on its successes with a proactive approach to preserving the environment.

Hy-Vee’s corporate citizenship report, available at, outlines the progress the company has made in food waste diversion, seafood sustainability, company-wide recycling and renewable energy. A few highlights include:

Platinum Level Zero Waste Facility: Hy-Vee’s subsidiary, Perishable Distributors of Iowa, is the first in the state to reach the highest designation a company can receive from the Zero Waste Business Council.

Growing Community Involvement: Hy-Vee’s philanthropic culture is demonstrated through the outreach done by its stores and employees, as well as the financial support the company provides to many national organizations and local initiatives.

Unveiling the Electric Highway: Tesla Superchargers have been installed in the parking lots of several Hy-Vee stores as part of the car manufacturer’s first electric highway across Iowa.


Charitable Giving

Hy-Vee’s autonomous structure fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship that allows stores to custom-tailor their contributions to meet the needs of their local communities. The following are among the programs that Hy-Vee sponsors or supports:

Variety, The Children’s Charity
: Hy-Vee’s participation with Variety, an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, began in 1983 during its participation in Cash for Kids, a coupon redemption program to raise funds for children. The grocer has raised more than $14 million for the organization since then.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF): Hy-Vee’s involvement with juvenile diabetes dates back to 1921, when company cofounder Charles Hyde’s oldest son, Paul, died from the disease at age 8. Since 1998, the year former Hy-Vee CEO Ron Pearson was corporate chair for the Central Iowa JDRF Walk for the Cure, the company has raised more than $17 million through a range of corporate and store events, including walks throughout the Midwest and Team Hy-Vee participation in Rides for the Cure throughout the United States.

Hy-Vee Homefront
: This is an ongoing initiative to increase awareness of, and support for, organizations that serve our nation’s military members, veterans and their families.


Fitness Booster

Hy-Vee has led efforts to promote healthy eating and physical fitness in its home state and throughout its marketing area. Programs include:

Hy-Vee KidsFit: This is a fun at-home program designed for kids and families to help promote health, exercise and nutrition as a priority in daily life. The program is designed to be done without workout equipment to make it accessible for everyone. The KidsFit 5-Week Challenge aims to provide a structure for kids to take control of their personal health and fitness. Children can earn trophies and badges for participating in and completing daily activities.

Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile: Since 2013, Hy-Vee has brought health-and-wellness services to local communities across its eight-state region. Ever since Hy-Vee’s first Healthy You Mobile bus was introduced three years ago, the demand for the mobile unit has continued to grow. The company now has six Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles that allow dietitians and pharmacists to reach customers across the Midwest by offering biometric screenings, flu vaccinations, nutritional information, cooking demonstrations, food samples and much more.

Pinky Swear 5K and Fun Runs: Hy-Vee partners with the Pinky Swear Foundation to sponsor several kid-friendly fitness events in cities across the Midwest to raise funds and awareness for the families of children who are suffering from cancer. This year, Hy-Vee supported events in Des Moines, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Omaha and Illinois’ Quad Cities.

Behind the Scenes

To support its retail operations, Hy-Vee has established a distribution system that secures merchandise and transports it quickly and efficiently to customers. In addition, Hy-Vee has acquired or developed several subsidiaries to deliver on other parts of its mission:

Amber Pharmacy - Specialty pharmacy, Omaha, Neb.

Beverage Distributors of Iowa - Full-service liquor delivery, Des Moines

D&D Foods Inc. - Fresh salads, dips and meat specialties, Omaha

Florist Distributing Inc. - Flowers, plants and florist supplies, Des Moines

Hy-Vee Construction, Des Moines

Lomar Distributing Inc. - Specialty foods, Des Moines

Midwest Heritage Bank - Banking, investments, insurance, West Des Moines

Perishable Distributors of Iowa Ltd. - Meat, fish and seafood, Ankeny, Iowa

About Hy-Vee

In 1930, Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg opened a small general store in Beaconsfield, Iowa. That store grew to become Hy-Vee, an employee-owned company that encourages each of its more than 82,000 employees to help guide the company. Its slogan, “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle,” expresses the foundation of the company’s operating philosophy.

Hy-Vee is a touchstone for its customers’ desire for information on diet, nutrition and wellness topics. The company’s commitment to healthy lifestyles is evidenced by ever-growing HealthMarket departments featuring natural and organic products, the consulting services of in-store dietitians and chefs, and consumer and employee wellness programs. The company also sponsors the annual Hy-Vee Road Races during Drake Relays weekend at Des Moines’ Drake University, and five Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons across the Midwest that raise money for children with cancer and their families.

With sales of $9.3 billion annually, Hy-Vee ranks among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Its more than 240 stores are located in eight Midwestern states: Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Distribution centers are in Chariton and Cherokee, Iowa, with a third perishable operation in Ankeny, Iowa. Hy-Vee’s corporate office is located in West Des Moines, Iowa.