NGA Crowns Best Bagger
Vegas headliners have nothing on Brady Long.
Long, of Beuhler's Fresh Foods, in Medina, Ohio, defeated 22 other competitors from across the country to win the $10,000 grand prize and the title of the National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Champion.
The competition was held Monday, Feb. 13, during The NGA Show at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This year’s competition was sponsored by PepsiCo and emceed for the third consecutive year by Food Network star Duff Goldman.
Kayelyn Henley, of K-VA-T Food City in Virginia won the second-place prize of $5,000, with the $1,000 third-place prize going to Hunter Wisecarver, of K-VA-T Food City in Tennessee. Fourth- and fifth-place winners, garnering $1,000 each, were Spencer Balderas, of Shaw's Supermarket in Vermont and Molly Dittman, of Harmon's in Utah.
Designed to promote supermarket employees and demonstrate a superior core customer service skill, the nationwide competition has been held by Arlington, Va.-based NGA since 1987. Contestants are judged by speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique and weight distribution in the bag, as well as style, attitude and appearance, and are chosen through statewide competitions over the course of the previous year.
"Baggers and courtesy clerks are often the last impression a customer has of a store, and because of this, superior bagging skills, along with friendly customer service, are critical elements to a positive shopping experience for the consumer,” said NGA President and CEO Peter J. Larkin. “The Best Bagger competition truly epitomizes the spirit and work ethic of the supermarket industry. Congratulations to Brady, who competed with great enthusiasm, and to all our Best Bagger participants who showcased their passion for excellent customer service.”
NGA is the national trade association representing retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry.