Food solutions company SpartanNash hosted more than 1,500 food and grocery suppliers and independent retail customers this week at its 2022 Fall Expo at the DeVos Place Convention Center, in the company’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. Featuring the theme “Delivering Seasonal Values,” the event provided a platform for independent grocery customers, CPG brands and SpartanNash leaders to share upcoming trends, discuss critical industry topics such as inflation, and work together to find innovative solutions to mitigate rising food prices and help pass cost savings on to shoppers.
The event was SpartanNash’s first customer interaction of this size since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Attendees participated in several educational sessions on such topics as supercharging marketing efforts, specialty and variety merchandising, shopper expectations, promotional planning, prevention of severe incidents in the workplace, and crisis response.
Customers also had access to hundreds of deals and promotions at expo booths and auctions, where they could discover new products offered by national CPG brands, specialty suppliers and SpartanNash’s updated OwnBrands. Before the expo opened, independent retail customers could attend a model store event at nearby SpartanNash-owned Family Fare and D&W Fresh Market stores, enabling them to be inspired by innovative merchandising and marketing efforts.
“The SpartanNash Expo was extremely energizing this year, with a heightened focus on delivering the ingredients for a better life, made possible through our unique industry insights and solutions, as well as through the continued benefits from our Supply Chain Transformation initiative,” noted SpartanNash SVP and Chief Merchandising Officer Bennett Morgan, who joined the company this past January. “In the midst of the highest inflationary environment we have seen in the past 50 years, the partnerships and collaboration with our CPG-brand partners, national accounts and 2,100-plus independent grocers have been instrumental in combating higher costs to provide the millions of households we serve with best value on food and everyday household essential items. We are proud to be the distribution partner of choice for our customers, and we are committed to finding even more food solutions to drive superior results.”
“With all the challenges that come along with being an independent retailer, it’s nice to know that we can rely on SpartanNash as our trusted food distribution partner,” said Jason Nilssen, owner of Baldwin, Wis.-based Nilssen’s, a longtime SpartanNash customer operating grocery stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota. “Being able to count on value-added insights and expo-related savings, particularly amid inflation, labor shortages and ongoing supply chain issues is critical to our business operation.”
The expo also included an appearance by record-setting Heisman trophy winner and 11-year National Football League wide receiver Desmond Howard, and a keynote address from Michigan native, veteran and Paralympic medalist Melissa Stockwell, SpartanNash’s Our Family brand ambassador.
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 company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Djibouti. SpartanNash also operates 148 supermarkets and employs 17,500 associates.