Supervalu Names New Fresh Leaders

Supervalu Inc. has hired John Jefferson as its new vice president of produce merchandising and Tom Sargent as VP for meat merchandising.

Jefferson will oversee produce planning and execution, lead sourcing strategy development, and drive quality control efforts. Sargent will lead innovation and growth for Supervalu’s overall meat and seafood capabilities, including enterprise buying, vendor negotiations and product quality. He will also lead efforts to advance the company’s private brand meat sales.

“Customers are looking for the freshest, high-quality produce and meat in our stores, and providing both is a top priority for us at Supervalu,” said Mark Van Buskirk, EVP of merchandising, marketing and retail. “Adding both John and Tom to oversee these areas will help us accelerate this effort. I’m pleased to welcome them to the team and look forward to the positive impact this will have on our customers."

Both Jefferson and Sargent join Supervalu from The Kroger Co. Jefferson’s tenure included VP of bakery and deli, as well as administration and merchandise support. For the past year, he’s led special projects for deli sales, service and profitability. Sargent most recently led efforts in protein strategies and case-ready meats, leading to a significant increase in annual sales.

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu Inc. operates a network of 3,420 stores composed of 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business, 1,332 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 957 are operated by licensee owners; and 191 traditional retail grocery stores.

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