News Briefs


NGA Gives Industry Vet Service Award

NGA Industry Service Award Teaser

The National Grocers Association (NGA) has bestowed its Industry Service Award on Michael Ridenour, former head of industry relations and sale operations at Chicago-based Kraft Heinz Co. 

Presented Oct. 25 during NGA’s Executive Conference & Public Policy Summit, the award is given to an individual or company whose years of service in the food industry have contributed to better working relations and understanding between retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. 

“For more than 36 years, Mike has been a passionate advocate for America’s independent grocers, helping to create a strong marketplace where retailers and their customers benefit,” noted Greg Ferrara, president and CEO. of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “Mike’s leadership and support of the independent supermarket industry throughout his career have had a positive and lasting impact.” 

Ridenour began his career with Kraft Foods in Atlanta as a sales representative and took on various managerial and executive roles across the U.S. He was also a member of NGA’s board of directors, helping to guide the organization’s mission on behalf of independent grocers. 


SpartanNash Supporting Local Food Pantries

SpartanNash Food Pantries Teaser

Food solutions company SpartanNash will launch its annual in-store fundraiser this week through Nov. 6 in support of local food banks in its market area Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. All 147 company-owned stores under the banners of Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, Dan’s Supermarkets, Martin’s Super Markets, Supermercado, VG’s Grocery, Forest Hill Foods and Ada Fresh Market are taking part in the campaign.  

The program enables shoppers to make donations at checkout or online through SpartanNash’s Fast Lane e-commerce service. Customers can donate $1, $5, $10 or round up to the nearest dollar at the register during checkout. Every dollar donated can provide up to 10 meals, according to Chicago-based Feeding America

“With inflation and the already existing financial strain the holidays bring, many more families are needing extra help putting food on the table this year,” said SpartanNash SVP, Communications and SpartanNash Foundation Executive Director Adrienne Chance “We are calling on SpartanNash associates and store guests to help us raise critical funds for food pantries in advance of the holiday season.” 

Since starting the annual fundraiser in 2016, the SpartanNash Foundation has raised more than  $1.7 million in support of local food pantries. 

SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. No. 41 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Djibouti, Korea and Japan. SpartanNash also operates 147 supermarkets and employs 17,500 associates.


DoorDash, Walgreens Connect Underserved Communities to COVID-19 Treatment

Paxlovid Teaser

In line with DoorDash’s work to broaden access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments, the company has rolled out a new initiative to provide critical treatment to people in underserved communities across the United States. In answer to the president’s call to action, DoorDash and Walgreens have teamed to enable the free delivery of prescriptions of Paxlovid, an oral medication that can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19, directly to the homes of at-risk Americans such as seniors. 

Under the initiative, patients with a prescription for Paxlovid being filled at Walgreens will be able to have their medication delivered through DoorDash at no additional cost. Eligible consumers will be able to get free same-day delivery of Paxlovid via and the Walgreens app, with contactless delivery powered by Drive, DoorDash’s white-label fulfillment platform that enables direct delivery for any business. 

“DoorDash is proud to again respond to the White House’s call to action and partner with Walgreens to expand access to life-saving COVID-19 treatments ahead of the winter months,” said Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean, VP of communications and policy at San Francisco-based DoorDash. “The pandemic has shown the urgent need for collaboration across the public and private sectors, and we look forward to working with our partners at Walgreens to ensure that those who need these critical COVID-19 treatments can access them in an equitable way.” 

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, which operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Harps to Enter New Market Areas With Acquisition

Harps Food Stores Sells and Leases Back 13 Stores Essential Properties CBRE

Fast-growing Harps Food Stores has revealed a deal to purchase independent grocer The MarketsWith this acquisition, Harps reportedly will gain six store locations in central Louisiana and one in southwestern Mississippi.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Harps said that the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

[Read more: “Harps Lifts Several Directors to VPs”]

“We are excited to enter into these new markets for Harps in Louisiana and Mississippi,” said Kim Eskew, chairman and CEO of Springdale, Ark.-based Harps. “The Market stores have served these communities with excellence for many years, and we are thrilled to add them to the Harps family.”

We are excited for the new possibilities for growth and success that Harps can bring to our stores,noted Barry Loy, president of the 50-plus-year-old The Markets. We wish Harps and the Markets team members many years of success.

Harps is the largest employee-owned company based in Arkansas and the 30th largest in the United States. The company operates more than 130 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.


Southeastern Grocers Tallies $500K in Hurricane Aid

SEG relief teaser

As communities across its footprint continue with cleanup and begin to rebuild after Hurricane Ian, Southeastern Grocers has donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts and disaster preparedness.

About half of the donation came from Southeastern Grocers shoppers and associates, who showed their generosity during a recent register campaign at Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores. Shoppers could donate $1 or $5 or round up their bill to the nearest dollar. Before the 2022 hurricane season even got underway, the retailer gave $250,000 to the Red Cross through its SEG Gives Foundation, earmarked for storm readiness.

“After experiencing Hurricane Ian’s devastating force over our Florida communities, we’ve witnessed firsthand how the American Red Cross provides a lifeline to neighbors in need on the long road to recovery. We are humbled by our customers and associates who generously donated at our registers throughout the five coastal states we serve, and their support allows us to continue to stand with the Red Cross to support their crucial storm recovery and relief programs to strengthen and rebuild our communities when they are most vulnerable,” said Raymond Rhee, Southeastern Grocers' chief people officer.

In addition to supporting storm response and recovery in a financial way, the grocer provided resources in the wake of Hurricane Ian. It estimates that more than 2,000 Southwest Florida families were assisted by donations of bottled water, ice, nonperishable foods and cleaning supplies, along with medications and health care items from the grocer’s mobile pharmacies.

Several food retailers, including Florida-based Publix, Midwest-headquartered Hy-Vee and national companies like Amazon and Walmart, provided assistance as Floridians and residents and businesses in other Southeastern states dealt with the aftermath of the extreme weather event.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


NGA Exec Conference, Public Policy Summit Kicks Off

NGA Logo Teaser

The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, opened its 2022 NGA Executive Conference and Public Policy Summit, taking place Oct. 24-26 at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., with more than 200 grocery executives from retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies in attendance. Nearly 20 educational sessions with industry experts and analysts are planned.

The event began with a panel on the state of independent grocery, featuring Leon Bergmann, CEO of Earth City, Mo.-based Save A Lot; Garrett Piklapp, president of Boone, Iowa-based Fareway Stores Inc.; and Daniel Nazario, regional VP, wholesale accounts at Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., moderated by Anne-Marie Roerink, principal at 210 San Antonio-based 210 Analytics. The session discussed the current health of independent community grocers, and the impact of the post-pandemic economy, inflation, the supply chain and consumer habits on merchants. 

“The summit brings together retail and wholesale leaders in the independent supermarket industry and their trading partners for important insights, conversations and engagement, to position their companies for strategic growth” noted Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “Our industry continues to experience disruption, with more to come next year.  The important insights and conversations that will take place during the summit will position our members to embrace the challenges and opportunities and set their companies up for continued success.” 

The event will also include NGA’s 40th anniversary celebration, with a special evening planned to mark the milestone.

Ahead of the conference and summit, the Women Grocers of America held its first convening of the Executive Female Leaders Network in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 23-24.

Save A Lot, with more than 850 stores in 32 states, is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while family-owned Fareway, which  employs more than 12,000 associates in its 130-plus stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota, is No. 77 on PG’s list.