NGA Executive Conference Presents Forward-Looking Education Program

Sustainability, market trends, and operating in a post-pandemic marketplace are among the topics that the education program lineup at the National Grocers Association’s (NGA) Executive Conference will explore. The event will take place at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from September 18th to the 19th, 2021.

“Anticipating where the market will go next is the biggest challenge for grocery retailers, but it’s where the biggest opportunities lie,” said NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara. “Our Executive Conference content is designed to equip c-level independent grocery leaders with the insights they need for success.”

NGA Executive Conference sessions include the following:

Future Forecast: Food Retail Consumer and Competitive Outlook for 2021-25

Renowned retail expert Burt Flickinger will examine the consumer and competitive trends that offer the most profitable growth opportunities in the near term for NGA members. This session will cover shifts in your consumer’s shopping behavior, more effective buying and merchandising to gain more share from the big chains, and how to market and advertise more efficiently and effectively to boost sales, among other topics.

5 Trends Everyone Will be Chasing Tomorrow

The folks at SPINS have dug deep into their vast data resources to help you find the trends that are on the horizon. Walk away from this session with a head start, ready to stock the truly hot products that customers are starting to look for. Set yourself apart by being the retailer that helps set the trends instead of merely following them.

E-commerce After COVID: Where is Online Grocery Going Next?

The next big thing is the endless aisle, the ability to offer every SKU in your wholesaler’s warehouse. In this session, e-commerce solution provider ShopHero and distributor Dot Foods will explain how their partnership makes endless aisle easy and affordable for independent retailers. They’ll illustrate the importance of offering a robust solution that strengthens the relationship between grocer and shopper, provides new revenue streams for retailers and wholesalers, and future-proofs the independent industry against big-box and chain competitors. Retailers will also offer their perspectives.

The State of Snacking in the 2020s

Snacking is a $1.2 trillion opportunity for retailers and manufacturers. This session examines the evolving role snacking plays in the future of food, from being a source of comfort and relief in a pandemic to trends such as shifting at-home snack eating and buying habits in the 2020s and beyond. This analysis of Mondelēz International’s second annual study on snacking digs deep into snacking surges in the U.S., at-home snacking habits, and snack shopping going virtual.

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Counting Data Among Independents’ Strengths

Speakers from BRdata Software Solutions and IGA explain how aggregating data across multiple independent retailers makes them larger than superstore competitors and enables new opportunities. From better price optimization to the early detection of shifting trends, independents can become a force to be reckoned with by collaborating on how best to leverage data and insights to improve both the shopper experience and the bottom line. This session will demonstrate how taking an experimenter’s approach can give teams the tools and evidence they need to make better decisions.

Supermarket Sustainability: How to Resonate With Shoppers

Shoppers expect grocery retailers to lead the way when it comes to protecting the environment and local communities. In fact, most consumers are willing to travel an additional five to 10 minutes to visit a store they believe has a stronger impact. This session will reveal these and other findings of the most recent study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America: “Sustainability and Food Retailing.” Council members will share shoppers’ sustainability priorities by generation, demographic, and geography, along with initiatives that will resonate most with each group. Speakers include the Council’s Michael Sansolo, IGA CEO John Ross, and Sendik’s owner Ted Balistreri.

Why Sustainability Must Be the Strongest Link in Your Supply Chain

In this session, Dennis Raffa, senior program manager of Zero Waste World at CHEP North America, will reveal how some of the largest global manufacturers and retailers are already moving toward a regenerative global supply chain by fundamentally modifying their operations and leveraging strategic partnerships.

Follow the Science: Health and Safety Best Practices for Shopper and Employee Confidence

Mike Stigers, CEO of Cub Foods, will educate attendees on the elevated hygiene and sanitation standards expected of retail operators in today’s competitive environment. Stigers will demonstrate how implementing science-based best practices for your food safety, and public health program not only aids top-line retention but bottom-line health. You’ll learn the benefits of committing to a higher level of cleanliness in your operations to ensure customer confidence and employee retention.

Grocers, How Did COVID-19 Change You?

The pandemic disrupted how customers buy groceries. Online grocery shopping surged, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg relative to the transformative ways you, your team, and your organization should be evolving. Brick Meets Click’s David Bishop explains that it’s not necessarily about thinking big, but rather thinking differently. It starts with retesting our beliefs about retailing, then altering behaviors based on the new realities, which should produce better outcomes.

More information about the NGA Executive Conference and how to register are at