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01/18/2022

Progressive Grocer Commemorates a Century of Grocery Innovation

The modern food retailing industry emerged about 100 years ago, and with it was born an innovative brand with a commitment to serve

100 YEARS OF FOOD RETAILING

The first issue of Progressive Grocer was published in January 1922, a time when the grocery industry operated in ways that would be unrecognizable to today’s shoppers. It was also a time when major changes were happening in American society, including where and how people purchased food. This resulted in a great transformation in grocery that saw retailers adopt new business practices, new technologies and new methods of serving shoppers that seemed revolutionary at the time, but are taken for granted now.

The grocery industry was at a turning point, and as is often the case in situations when an industry is born or arrives at a critical juncture, there isn’t a precise date that the industry can point to and say, “That’s when it all began.” That said, the debut of PG is as good a place as any to serve as a reference point. Food retailing existed prior to the publication’s arrival, of course, but the roots of the industry as we know it today were establishing themselves during the early 1920s. World War I had ended a few years earlier, the Great Depression wouldn’t begin for several more years, and grocery was beginning to change in profound ways.

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A New Century of Service Begins
The "100 Years of Food Retailing" special report offers a decade-by-decade look at the arc of the industry as seen through the unique lens of PG.

The founders of PG recognized the fundamental changes that were happening and the need to inform, entertain, inspire and advocate for the industry. The grocery industry was modernizing quickly to serve a growing nation with new expectations. As this transformation occurred over the past century, PG was there to chronicle the changes, provide practical information to help operators grow sales, and serve as an efficient platform for suppliers of products, equipment and services, with the goal of reaching a highly fragmented market dominated by independent grocers.

It has been a remarkable journey, as the past century saw tremendous change, disruption, tragedy, innovation, sacrifice and triumph. For complete cover of the "100 Years of Food Retailing" special report, click in the box above as we offer a decade-by-decade look at the arc of the industry as seen through the unique lens of PG.

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