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SuperValu’s inaugural national sales expo

SuperValu Inc., one of the nation’s leading grocery distributors, will welcome more than 3,900 grocery industry professionals to St. Paul, MN, this week for the company’s first-ever national sales expo, a three-day trade event. The expo will feature more than 20 educational sessions and over 330 expo booths, providing independent grocery retailers from over 1,250 stores the opportunity to gain valuable insights, innovative merchandising ideas and best-in-class grocery retail solutions from industry experts.

The expo, themed Sales 4 All Seasons, began Aug. 12 and runs through Aug. 14. The event will be held at the RiverCentre convention center in downtown St. Paul.

“We are thrilled to invite many of the grocery retail industry’s finest to our inaugural national sales expo,” Janel Haugarth, SuperValu’s executive vice president and president of independent business and supply chain services, said in a press release. “The Sales 4 All Seasons event was created specifically for our independent grocery retailers. Along with unprecedented opportunities to network and share best practices with their peers, the expo will offer our retailers a one-stop resource to drive sales, build loyalty and grow their businesses.”

Sales 4 All Seasons will be the company’s largest, most comprehensive selling expo to date and will feature 330-plus vendor booths staffed by category experts on everything from fresh produce, meat and seafood to center store, frozen, bakery and deli. Seasonal merchandise offerings, consumer packaged goods suppliers and service providers from across the country will offer diverse solutions for SuperValu’s expansive independent retailer base. Expo guests will also have exclusive access to new products and SuperValu’s innovative private brand lines, as well as limited-time promotional buying opportunities.

In addition to a chance to join their peers to discuss the state of grocery retail and what lies ahead for the industry, expo visitors had the opportunity to attend some of the more than 20 educational sessions during the Sales 4 All Seasons “Education Day” on Aug. 12. Sessions explored a range of diverse, on-trend topics — such as how to drive sales through gluten-free products and smarter snacking options, and the effects of new technologies on the retail industry.

Headlining the expo’s Education Day was keynote speaker and best-selling author Jason Dorsey. Known as The Gen Y Guy, Dorsey wrote his first best-selling book at 18 and has been featured on a variety of shows, including “60 Minutes,” “20/20,” “The Today Show,” “The View” and “The Early Show.” Dorsey will deliver unique insights and research on millennial shoppers, an increasingly important and unique demographic in grocery retailing.

Adding to the Sales 4 All Seasons experience, SuperValu has also launched a mobile app to assist attendees as they navigate the convention hall. The SuperValu Expo app, which is available for all iOS and Android-compatible devices, will provide an easy-to-use event map, a schedule of educational sessions and activities, articles related to topics discussed throughout the event and more.

Additionally, SuperValu will announce the winners of its 2014 Master Marketer Competition on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. The competition recognizes and celebrates the top marketing campaigns led by the company’s independent retailers across the country.

“The Sales 4 All Season expo is not only an excellent opportunity to come together and  share the latest innovations in grocery retailing, it is also a chance to acknowledge and commend the industry’s best work from the past year,” said Haugarth. “The Master Marketer Competition is a way to acknowledge the exemplary work of our independent retailers, who go above and beyond each day to grow their business.”

A full agenda and details for SuperValu’s Sales 4 All Season expo can be found by visiting www.Sales4AllSeasons.com.

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EPC-NEPC bring together produce trade at inaugural ‘Alliance Event for the Industry’

GROTON, CT — The inaugural “Alliance Event for the Produce Industry” was held Sept. 17-18 at the Marriott Mystic Hotel & Spa, here, attracting 130 attendees for an educational forum co-sponsored by the New England Produce Council and the Eastern Produce Council, featuring presentations by the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association.

The opening day opened with a morning tour of Lyman Orchards, located in nearby Middlefield, CT.

StenzelSilbermannCaldwellTom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association, and Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, were on hand Sept. 17 as their organizations played key roles in the educational sessions of the inaugural joint meeting of the Eastern Produce Council and the New England Produce Council, held Sept. 17-18 in Groton, CT. (Photo by Tad Thompson)The formal program opened Sept. 17 with a luncheon, followed by United’s chief executive officer, Tom Stenzel, presenting a “Washington Update.” Stenzel then moderated a panel comprised of Douglas Fisher, secretary of agriculture for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, and Steven Reviczky, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.   These agriculture leaders discussed topics of concern to United and the produce industry.

A second afternoon panel, discussing the use of produce in northeastern school foodservice programs was moderated by Andrew Marshall, United’s policy and grassroots manager.

The Sept. 18 schedule opened with Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of PMA, introducing the association’s food safety leaders, Bob Whitaker and Jim Gorny.

Whitaker and Silbermann both encouraged produce industry leaders to take aggressive action in their own businesses, as opposed to passively waiting for someone else to address the industry issues and disseminate simple answers to solutions.

Whitaker, who is PMA’s chief science and technology officer, closed his comments showing a picture of a beautiful little boy who died of food poisoning. He reminded the audience that what may seem casual decisions they make involving food-safety ramifications can mean life and death decisions. He noted that it is the young and old who are at greatest risk of food-borne illness.

Gorny, PMA’s vice president of food safety and technology, was scheduled to speak about the Food Safety Modernization Act during the afternoon session on Sept. 18. The closing session also was scheduled to feature a retail and foodservice panel.

An optional golf event was available on the afternoon of Sept. 18 at Lake Isles near Foxwoods Resort & Casino.

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