Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame Inducts 2 From Grocery Industry
The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has inducted John Larsen, senior director of space planning for Albertsons Cos., and Jeff Thomas, retired VP of sales for the Crystal Farms division of Michael Foods, to its Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame.
The Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame was created in 2010 to recognize industry leaders who have contributed greatly to the refrigerated food industry.
At Albertsons, Larsen manages the space planning of all of the grocer's supermarkets and manages a team of more than 50 people corporately, and 120 people across the divisions. He handles store remodels, resets and remerchandising.
Before Albertsons and Safeway merged, Larsen was VP of dairy, refrigerated in the corporate marketing department of Safeway. He has held many other positions at Safeway, Kroger's Quality Food Centers Inc. and Stock Market Foods/Thriftway since starting in the grocery industry in 1984.
Thomas retired from Minnetonka, Minn.-based Michael Foods in 2014 and now is a logistics volunteer for ICA Food Shelf, a social services agency for the needy, also based in Minnetonka. He started in the food industry at an early age with his grandfather Carl and parents, Robert and Rosalyn, owning a local brokerage. In 1989, he joined Michael Foods to launch the Simply Potatoes refrigerated line and stayed with the company for more than 25 years.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal-kit company Plated. The company is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.
Harrisburg, Pa.-based NFRA is a nonprofit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated food industry, as well as the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, the June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion, and the Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program.