The NGA Show kicked off Sept. 13 with a humorous but heartfelt tribute to independent supermarkets' resilience during the pandemic. (Photo credit: PG Executive Editor Gina Acosta)
The 2021 NGA Show, the trade show for the independent supermarket industry, kicked off on Sept.19 with a sold-out Expo floor and strong retailer and wholesaler attendance, according to event organizers. Over three days at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the show will feature nearly 50 educational sessions and more than 100 speakers discussing issues facing food retail.
The in-person event features beefed-up safety protocols for attendees, who are required to wear masks at all indoor events and present proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to enter.
“After 18 of the most challenging months our industry has ever faced, we are honored and excited to be returning to Las Vegas with an in-person NGA Show to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our Supermarket Superheroes,” noted Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of the Washington-D.C.-based National Grocers Association (NGA). “The NGA Show continues to be the marquee event for the supermarket industry to network and learn best practices. We’re already looking forward to returning to Las Vegas next spring to celebrate NGA’s 40th anniversary.”
The first day of the show began with a presentation from the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART), “The Path to Retail 4.0: Get Ready or Get Left Behind,” which delved into the ongoing disruption taking place in the industry and how retailers can foster a culture of innovation. Additional sessions focused on such topics as e-commerce, automation and ransomware, sales trends, diversity, and crisis management.
At the Opening Session, Ferrara paid tribute to the industry for its performance during the pandemic. “Nothing about this past year and a half has been business as usual, and as we continue to navigate our ‘new normal,’ we have heard from many of you about the challenges and pressures you’ve faced during these unprecedented times, and how you have partnered with NGA to find support and solutions,” he noted. “And despite the uncertainty, we know that our industry is looking to the future for ways that you can enrich your communities, strengthen your businesses, and support your associates.”
The day ended with The Kraft Heinz Co.-sponsored Opening Keynote address by celebrity chef and inspirational speaker Chef Jeff Henderson, who shared his personal story of redemption, self-transformation and commitment to helping at-risk youth.
The 2021 NGA Show continues through Sept. 21. The event is produced and managed by Clarion Events as part of the Food & Beverage Group in partnership with NGA.