Krystal Smith, a bagger at the Hannaford supermarket in Burlington, Vt., has been crowned the best grocery bagger in America after winning the national Best Bagger Championship, sponsored by ConAgra Foods.
The contest, held Monday at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas during the 2011 NGA Annual Convention and Supermarket Synergy Show, is a year-long, nationwide program in which the best-of-the-best grocery baggers in the country compete for great prizes and the title of America’s Best Bagger. Contestants are judged on speed, bag-building technique, weight distribution between bags, and style, attitude and appearance.
As the winner, Smith takes home “bagging rights” as well as a $10,000 grand prize, the coveted Golden Grocery Bag trophy and the Pan-Oston “Best Bagger Golden Lane” for the organization. The second-place winner received a prize of $5,000 and third through fifth places received prizes of $1,000 each.
Here’s a list of this year’s winners:
Champion: Krystal Smith, Hannaford Supermarket, Vermont First Runner-Up: Jessica Lewis, Yoke’s Fresh Market, Washington Second Runner-Up: Andrew Hadlock, Macey’s, Utah Third Runner-Up: Matt Medley, Lund’s Food Holding Inc., Minnesota Fourth Runner-Up: Roland Mattox, Quality Foods of Commerce Inc., Georgia
This year’s Best Bagger Championship drew from 21 states across the country and marked the competition’s 25th year anniversary. “Each year we hold this competition to shine a light on the baggers and their unending commitment to this industry,” said NGA President Peter Larkin. “And year after year, from the state level to this national stage, they continue to embody the true values of independent grocer.”
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry.