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President’s Message

Summer musings james p. hallan MRA President and Chief Executive Officer

Weather I must admit, commenting on the soggy Michigan weather is getting a bit old. As I pen this column, Lansing is getting drenched by yet another rainstorm, and this is not a light drizzle. As my wife, a native of Portsmouth, Ohio, would say, “It’s a gully washer.” For those of us flatlanders, that means the rain is pouring down from the hills of southern Ohio to the valleys below. No question, this is a season to remember. Our hearts go out the farmers who are struggling to get their crops planted. Golf Outing Another casualty of the weather is the original date of the Michigan Retailers and Grocers Golf Scramble. Several days of heavy rain made the Brookshire course unplayable. The good news is that we have rescheduled the outing to July 30. And it’s not too late to register. You can sign up today at retailers.com. I hope for plenty of sunshine and to see you there! Auto Insurance Many thought it could never be done, but after years of stalemate, leaders from both sides were able to reach across the aisle and craft an auto reform package that represents a good-faith attempt to provide rate relief while giving policyholders new coverage options. Nobody seems happy with the result. In my years participating in the political process, that usually means a fair deal has been struck. Fiscal Year Our fiscal year ends on June 30, and I can report that the health of Michigan Retailers is sound. We had a very good year. Membership is up and year-end financials are solid. We’ve now completed almost 18 months of integrating the grocers into Michigan Retailers, and I believe we have created a vibrant Grocers Division that honors its storied history. We hope you are enjoying the new design of Michigan Food News and

the new electronic bulletin, called the Michigan Food eNews, that provides timely news for the industry. If you have any additional ideas, please send them our way. Buy Nearby Our program to remind folks to keep their “money in the Mitten” is in full swing. Our mascot has made numerous visits throughout the state. Our Vice President of Communications, Meegan Holland, has made several presentations to local communities about how to create your own Buy Nearby event and more are scheduled. It’s simple, yet powerful information. If you would like materials promoting the Buy Nearby message, please contact Rachel Schrauben at rschrauben@retailers.com. Food Retailers Summit: Sept. 25 - 27 Last year we made some changes to the fall conference event with the goal of giving both retailers and suppliers more chances to connect. We kept your favorites, including bocce and cornhole, and added some new twists. After the success of that event — renamed the Food Retailers Summit — we’re excited to return to the beautiful Crystal Mountain Resort this September. Your involvement is key as we continue to grow this event! Plan now to attend and see page 13 more details. Valued Employees At our Lansing-based “world headquarters,” we employ about 40 people. Certainly this is small compared to the workforce in many grocery stores, but no matter the size, it always takes good people to keep the wheels turning smoothly and customers happy. In July, three of our valued employees will retire: Judy Schafer and Linda Pierce, both with Retailers Insurance Co., and Debbie Johnson with MRA’s health insurance program. Combined, they have provided 87 years of excellent service to association members. We thank them for their dedicated service and wish them the very best in their well-deserved retirement.

Michigan Grocers Division Board of Directors James P. Hallan, President Michigan Retailers Association Rich Beishuizen Country Fresh Craig Diepenhorst H.T. Hackney Dave Duthler AMRA Energy Jim Forsberg Arctic Glacier Premium Ice

Jim Gohsman SpartanNash John Leppink Leppink’s Food Centers Ken McClure Kroger Company of Michigan Bryan Neiman Neiman’s Family Market

DJ Oleson Oleson’s Food Stores Don Symonds Lipari Foods Thom Welch Hollywood Markets Jim Zyrowski Ben’s Supercenters

Michigan Grocers Association is a division of the Michigan Retailers Association

James P. Hallan Publisher Lisa J. Reibsome Editor & Ad Sales

(517) 449-2245 MGAReibsome@comcast.net Publisher does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers in business competition. © MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS 2019 MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS


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Beverage market retail dollars, volume growth rates accelerated in 2018 The U.S. refreshment beverage market grew again in 2018, with retail sales increasing 3.8 percent and volume 2.2 percent, according to newly released data from Beverage Marketing Corporation. By both measures the market grew faster than it had the year before. Beverage-specific factors, such as the continued growth of the bottled water segment, as well as more general ones, such as the continuing growth of the economy, contributed to the overall increase in beverage volume, which neared 33.9 billion gallons in 2018. In terms of retail sales, the market approached $180 billion, propelled both by the fast growth of small, niche segments as well as the solid growth of bigger, established categories, such as carbonated soft drinks. All but one segment of the refreshment beverage market increased retail sales in 2018. Fruit beverage growth declined, while ready-to-drink coffee and tea, bottled water, energy drinks, sports drinks and carbonated soft drinks all grew sales. Bottled water, which surpassed carbonated soft drinks to become the number-one beverage by volume in 2016, grew again in 2018 but at a slower rate than in prior years. The category’s essential qualities — healthful, natural, calorie-free and convenient — appeal to consumers. Volume increased by almost 5 percent and retail sales advanced by more than 7 percent. After this study was released, the Center for Environmental Health released new findings of high arsenic levels in two bottled water brands owned by Whole Foods and Keurig Dr Pepper. It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact this has on bottled water sales. Beyond Bottled Water Niche segments once again outperformed most traditional mass-market ones. With regard to both volume and dollars, value-added water, energy drinks and ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee moved forcefully in 2018. Indeed, value-added water outshined all other segments with a 15.5 percent increase in volume and a 16.6 percent increase in retail dollars. No other segment saw double-digit growth rates in either volume or dollars, but energy drinks and RTD coffee moved up with growth rates in the high single digits. In addition, carbonated soft drinks’ retail dollar sales grew by 2.4 percent even as volume declined slightly as companies continued to downsize packages and introduce more no-sugar offerings in response to consumer demand. Despite their growth, no energy drink, RTD coffee or value-added water brand ranked among the leading trademarks by volume. —By Lisa J. Reibsome, editor

U.S. Beverage Market Changes in Volume & Retail Dollars By Segment 2017-2018 Segments

Percent Change Volume Retail Dollars

Value-Added Water Energy Drinks Ready-to-Drink Coffee Bottled Water Sports Drinks Ready-to-Drink Tea Carbonated Soft Drinks Fruit Beverages Total

15.5% 16.6% 8.6% 8.4% 8.8% 7.9% 4.9% 7.3% 2.8% 4.9% -0.3% 2.7% -0.4% 2.4% -3.0% -1.2% 2.2% 3.8%

Source: Beverage Marketing Corp.

Leading Beverage Trademarks* Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10



Coke Pepsi Mountain Dew Dr Pepper Nestle Pure Life Gatorade Sprite Poland Spring Dasani Aquafina

Coca-Cola PepsiCo PepsiCo DPSG NWNA PepsiCo Coca-Cola NWNA Coca-Cola PepsiCo

*Includes all trademark volume, for instance all types of Coca-Cola including Diet Coke, Zero-Sugar Coke, etc. Source: Beverage Marketing Corp.

2018 Top Brewing Companies

The Brewers Association (BA) recently released its annual list of the top brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. The top six are unchanged from 2017. BA Reports Top 10 Brewing Companies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Anheuser-Busch Inc. 6. MillerCoors 7. Constellation 8. Heineken 9. Pabst Brewing Co. 10.

D. G. Yuengling & Son Inc. (craft brewery) Diageo FIFCO USA (formerly North American Breweries) Boston Beer Co. (craft brewery) Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (craft brewery)

Biggest Brands

In June, 24/7 Wall Street and Beer Marketer’s Insights reviewed shipping volume to identify America’s biggest brands: 1. Bud Light 6. Corona Extra 2. Coors Light 7. Modelo Especial 3. Miller Light 8. Natural Light 4. Budweiser 9. Busch Light 5. Michelob Ultra 10. Busch MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS


Craft beer industry provides economic impact for Michigan Michigan State University published a first-ofits-kind study that shows the economic impact of the entire value chain of craft beer on the state. The study quantifies Michigan’s beer industry and provides a model for all states to precisely measure their own craft beer industry. It found that the beer value chain in Michigan generated nearly $500 million in Gross State Product in 2016, contributing nearly $1 billion as well as 9,738 jobs in total aggregate economic contributions. According to the study, Michigan had three microbreweries in 1993; today there’s more than 330, and that number is growing. Michigan ranks fourth in the number of breweries — first, east of the Mississippi River — and 11th overall in terms of craft beer production.

For more about the study, see Michigan State University’s research site at https://bit.ly/2Y7WF4R.

A boon for grocers: ready-to-drink beverages are shaking up the adult beverage market While price is likely the most well-established purchase driver across the consumer packaged goods space, convenience often runs a close second. And from a retail perspective, it’s an attribute that’s boosting sales in categories that previously weren’t very convenient. This is according to new Nielsen research which looks at how the search for convenience is driving sales of ready-to-drink cocktails. Consumers told Nielsen why they purchase single-serve readyto-drink cocktails: n “As a convenient way to have a cocktail,” 55.5 percent n “I can buy them in my grocery store,” 35.7 percent n “They are light and refreshing,” 34.2 percent n “Easy to sip over the course of an evening,” 32.2 percent n “Can easily be consumed anywhere,” 31.6 percent n “Contain the right amount of alcohol by volume,” 25.5 percent n “Cheaper than a bottle of vodka,” 21.0 percent n “Is a beverage everyone likes,” 16.9 percent n “Doesn’t fill me up too much,” 11.7 percent n “To better align with my health and wellness goals,” 8.8 percent Newer alternative packaging — cans, boxes, Tetra Pak, etc. — are playing a role as well, as they provide for more convenient and portable options. The study found that cans are no longer just for beer. There are now 22 wine brands that put 386 different wine items in cans and generate more than $81 million in annual sales. A year ago, canned wine accounted for about $46 million in annual sales. Nielsen also reports that the ready-to-drink realm isn’t just for cocktails: ready-to-drink products are boosting grocery sales across all alcohol beverage categories, with the emerging malt-based cocktail segment leading the pack in growth. Annual sales in this segment are up 574 percent, and malt-based cocktails now account for $4.7 million in annual sales.

Ready-to-Drink Alcohol Categories Sales growth vs year-ago

Malt-based 574% cocktails Hard seltzers 193% Canned wine 77.5% RTD wine-based cocktails


RTD spirit-based cocktails


Tetra-pak wine


Source: Nielsen scantrack, off-premise

Grocers: When marketing and merchandising readyto-drink beverages, keep this in mind — Nielsen found that shoppers are looking to purchase these types of beverages for the following occasions or reasons: n Relaxing or unwinding at home n To drink by myself n During a holiday n When attending or hosting an outdoor picnic/BBQ n Special occasion or celebration n To bring to a small gathering n Meal at home n By the beach/pool n When traveling or on vacation MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS


Legislative News

n Legislation delaying the requirement to maintain a multiline telephone system (MLTS) that automatically provides detailed location data to the 9-1-1 dispatcher is now law. Public Act 30 of 2019 requires buildings over 7,000 square feet containing MLTSs to comply with this standard by Jan. 1, 2020. However, penalties for noncompliance ($500-5,000 per offense) will not start until Jan. 1, 2021. The new law provides several exceptions. Please see retailers.com, “Government Affairs News,” for details. n The Michigan House Tax Policy Committee advanced the MRA-supported Wayfair codification and marketplace bills that would require marketplaces like Amazon to collect Michigan sales tax on behalf of third-party sellers selling to Michigan customers. The four-bill package now goes before the House Ways and Means Committee for a vote. n Both the House and Senate Health Policy Committees reported e-prescribing legislation (HB 4217, SB 248, SB 254). Requiring prescriptions to be sent electronically to the pharmacy will reduce fraud and prescription errors. The legislation also provides consumer benefits of less time waiting at the pharmacy and increased likelihood of customers remembering to pick up and take their medication, improving their health outcomes. n Legislation to limit sales of cough syrup or other medication containing dextromethorphan to minors was recently approved by the House. HB 4412 will require retailers to check ID for any individuals who appear under age 25 before selling the product. An initial violation of the act will be penalized with a warning letter and subsequent violations will carry a fine of $50-$100. If approved by the Senate, the new law will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. n Legislation to reduce vaping among Michigan teens is now law. Public Acts 17 and 18 of 2019 prohibit a person from selling or giving a vapor product or alternative nicotine product to a minor and increase the monetary penalty for doing so. Also under the new laws, retailers must store nicotine products behind the counter or in a locked case or face a civil infraction and a fine. Stores that sell e-cigarettes and other nicotine and tobacco products must display updated signs that will be provided by the department. The new laws take effect Sept. 2, 2019.



Supreme Court rules to protect SNAP data

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the USDA is not required to release a store’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) redemption data under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The case originated in 2011 when the Argus Leader, a South Dakota newspaper, submitted a FOIA request to USDA seeking annual store-level SNAP redemption data for more than 300,000 SNAP-authorized retailers during a five-year period. The USDA declined, and the newspaper sued. When a lower court sided with the newspaper and USDA declined to appeal, the Food Marketing Institute intervened with an appeal. In May 2018 the appeals court ruled against FMI, and FMI appealed to the Supreme Court. In August, the Supreme Court temporarily halted the release of the SNAP data, keeping it private during the appeals process. Now, with the June Supreme Court ruling, store-level SNAP data will remain private. The Supreme Court concluded that store-level SNAP data qualifies as “confidential” under the legal standard (Exemption 4 of FOIA). Exemption 4 protects from mandatory disclosure a private party’s “commercial or financial information” when that information, which the government happens to have in its possession, is “confidential.” The opinion reverses a 1974 lower court interpretation of “confidential” that determined private information would not be deemed “confidential” unless its disclosure would cause “substantial competitive harm.” The Supreme Court rejected that approach. FMI believes that the new standard will protect private financial information today and in the future: “We agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling that a 45-yearold interpretation of what constitutes ‘confidential commercial and financial information’ required reexamination,” FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. “The nation’s grocery stores have long kept confidential the amount consumers spend at individual stores whether through payment by cash, credit, debit or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”

Busch’s President & CEO Gary Pfeil (above left) and Head Recruiter Jeromie Ortiz grill up lunch for associates at the Canton location as part of Employee Appreciation Day. (Right) The inviting store front of the Canton location, which opened in March 2017, showcases Busch’s emphasis on farm-to-table produce.

Meet Busch’s New President Gary Pfeil Busch’s Fresh Food Market President & CEO Gary Pfeil is a fairly new edition to the 44-year-old family-owned grocery chain. Starting as Interim President in November 2017, he was named President and CEO in March 2018, succeeding previous president Mike Brooks. A native of Boston who relocated with his wife to Michigan, Pfeil says the biggest adjustment is that the rest of his family — grown children and his grandchildren — are back on the East Coast. Still, he really likes Michigan. “It’s beautiful, and I especially I love the parks,” he says. “I enjoy traveling around the state. Of particular note so far have been good trips to Mackinac Island and the Traverse City area.” Pfeil brings to the job 20 years’ experience with the Massachusetts’s grocery chain Roche Bros., including serving as its president. “Busch’s and Roche Bros. are very similar grocery chains,” Pfeil says. “They are both run by brothers and supported by great employees. They have a similar number of stores, all with a strong commitment to quality, personal service and traditional values.” For Busch’s, those values took root in 1975 with the purchase of two stores in Clinton and Saline by family patriarch Joe Busch and business partner Charlie Mattis. When Joe retired in 1986, sons Doug, John and Tim took over, acquiring and building more stores. Today there are 16 locations throughout southeast Michigan. Pfeil is charged with providing leadership direction for the company. “My goal is to guide the company to its next level,” Pfeil says. “When I first came to Busch’s, I started the process

of building rapport with our associates so they know that I hear and trust what they have to say. It’s been a successful mission. In fact, in my 44-year career, I’ve never felt more connected to a group of people than I do here. John and his team are fantastic.” That team is currently comprised of about 1560 associates. Pfeil says the strength of his “down-to-earth management style is to empower people to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.” He adds, “I like to be in the stores and to talk with associates. I strongly encourage them to honestly present the good and the bad so I can help resolve issues.” Busch’s District Manager Melissa Fenner says she likes Pfeil’s style. “He’s easy to talk to and very open to feedback,” she says. “He’s broken down walls and is willing to try new things or even retry old things if there’s a good reason for doing so.” Pfeil likes to say that failure is an option. “If we’re not failing at times, then we’re not trying enough new things,” he says. “We need to keep moving and not become comfortable resting on our laurels.” Busch’s Head Recruiter Jeromie Ortiz says Pfeil’s focus on clarity and consistency has created a good work environment. “Everyone in the organization is on the same page now, rather than feeling like we have 16 individual businesses,” Ortiz says. “We’ve worked to implement a stronger orientation program, better onboarding and more extensive training,” Pfeil explains. “We’ve also changed the pay scale and bonus program with a focus on helping associates develop their careers.” continued on page 10 MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS


Busch’s President Gary Pfeil continued from page 9

“We appreciate that Michigan Grocers/Michigan Retailers Association has our back on legal, legislative and regulatory matters including recently helping us

“All that has made a difference,” Ortiz says. “Retention is up about 34 percent.” Besides refocusing on company associates, Busch’s continues its deep-rooted tradition of giving back to the communities it serves. The company just completed a very successful All aBout Children (ABC) food drive raising $262,256 to help families that struggle to feed their children during the summer months. “One of the big fundraising programs is our Cash for Education program,” Pfeil says. “Through this program we have given over $1.6 million to local schools during the past five years. In addition, we assist local food banks through rescue programs and food drives.” Busch’s is a longtime association member, having joined Michigan Grocers Association in 1978. Busch’s Chairman, John Busch, served on the Michigan Grocers Service Corporation Board for over 15 years. Pfeil shares in supporting the association. “Relationships are very important in the food industry,

so we see value in attending events such as the legislative reception and golf outing,” he says. “We appreciate that Michigan Grocers/Michigan Retailers Association has our back on legal, legislative and regulatory matters including recently helping us get a liquor license for our Clinton store. Communication is also important, keeping us in the loop on industry happenings. We want to be present in the Michigan marketplace, and being part of MRA is one way to do that.” Moving forward, Pfeil sees the company continuing to grow. “We are always on the lookout for ways to grow organically,” he says. “If it was the right location, we would certainly consider adding another store within our current southeast Michigan market.” —By Lisa J. Reibsome, editor

Busch’s uses unique shelf tags throughout the store to identify local items. “I think we do local better than anyone,” Pfeil says. Busch’s is proud to carry over 4,000 Michigan products, many of which are made only a few miles from their stores. “We stock a local option when possible,” Pfeil explains. “We have such a great reputation for carrying local items that suppliers ask us to carry their products. We often start small by trying something out in just a few locations.”

Pfeil likes to say, “It’s not one thing, it’s everything, that’s what makes a difference,” and the Canton floral shop provides the perfect example of what he means. When the store opened, department sales were weak. Store guests didn’t realize they could shop inside the beautiful glass room of plants and flowers. Pfeil says that adding a simple floor sign inviting guests to “come on in” has led to a dramatic increase in sales.

get a liquor license for our Clinton store.”

–Gary Pfeil

Of the thousands of local Michigan products Busch’s offers, craft beers are among the most popular. The company taps into this in several ways. A large selection is for sale in all the stores. In Canton, store guests can even buy a beer (wine or cocktail) from the in-house restaurant JB’s Smokehouse — named after company founder Joe Busch — and enjoy it while they shop. “We also do something called Tap Takeovers where a local brewer comes in to discuss their beer, and they take over our taps so people can try it,” Pfeil says. “We fill growlers for people who wish to purchase and take home a tap beer.” 10 JULY/AUGUST 2019


A wholesale customer of SpartanNash, Busch’s Fresh Food Market is a celebration of all things fresh, as its name suggests. “We have a niche. One of our points of difference is that we have a real emphasis on fresh,” Pfeil explains. “We’re better at that than a lot of other chains. Our guests come for our fresh meat, seafood, produce, flowers and more.” Pfeil says being the largest independent in a land of giants such as Kroger and Meijer is a good place to be. “Busch’s is small enough to be able to maneuver quickly and good enough that we can compete with the big chains in a lot of areas,” he says.

Busch’s offers online shopping with curbside pickup. Pfeil says, at this time, there isn’t enough steady demand to provide delivery. Asked if he worries about competition from online shopping and mergers such as Amazon and Whole Foods he says, “I worry about everything and everyone, but the reality is that we need to be most concerned about ourselves. We need to stay on top of our game, making sure we continue to know our markets and what our guests want. I think Busch’s has all the right ingredients to stay successful.”

Busch’s has a central kitchen, located in Clinton, where they make deli and bakery items for the stores. “We’re looking to expand our offerings,” Pfeil says. “Right now we mainly make breads, muffins, cookies and cakes, but we’re looking to provide a greater selection such as our own danishes.” Busch’s is also focused on baking items in popular sizes such as half pies. “Everything we’ve done on a smaller scale has been successful,” Pfeil says. “Smaller sizes provide the right amount at the right price point for a lot of our guests.”

“We are focused on creating great Chef’s Cases, where we offer a wide selection of house-made entrées, sides dishes and more,” Pfeil shares. “We’ve increased our offerings to go way beyond the standard supermarket ready-to-eat items, and we’ve added dimension to our displays to appeal to store guests.” Pfeil reports that fresh-prepared sales are up about 34 percent. “A goal that still in the making is to improve our delis and bakeries,” he continues. “We’d like to have the deli of the future, so we are looking for a unique element to make it stand out. We don’t know yet what that will be, but we’d like to have it figured out and in place by the start of the year. Then that deli can become a prototype for our other stores.” MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS


Members celebrate Michigan Dairy Foods Awareness Day at Capitol

To celebrate Michigan’s $15.7 billion dairy industry, legislators, industry representatives and the public gathered on June 12 at the State Capitol for Michigan Dairy Foods Awareness Day. MRA Members Kroger-Michigan (above left) and Country Fresh (above right) were two of the 12 vendors displaying and distributing free dairy products including pizza, ice cream, novelties, flavored coffee, cheese, chip dip, milk and yogurt. Attendees were able to meet NBA veteran and Detroit Pistons Community Ambassador Earl Cureton. Senator Ed McBroom and Representative Julie Alexander, who are both dairy farmers, gave remarks.

Buy Nearby unveils two new features As the busy season to promote MRA’s shop-local campaign

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kicks into high gear, Buy Nearby Guy is out visiting parades, festivals, 5Ks and business expos. And MRA is working hard to make the campaign as relevant as possible to your downtowns Two new features include: (1) MRA has revamped the coloring book and (2) MRA is offering each downtown that holds a Buy Nearby event a $100 gift card to give to a lucky shopping winner who uses the hashtag #buynearbymi to post a shopping selfie or a photo of a purchase made during the event. In addition, MRA Communications and Marketing VP Meegan Holland is giving presentations to downtowns about how to jump-start a small business or how to create their own Buy Nearby shopping event. MRA celebrates Buy Nearby Weekend on Oct. 4-6 this year. However, downtowns are encouraged to hold the event when it is convenient for them. MRA will publicize those events on social media and provide promotional materials and talking points to educate shoppers and the media. To learn more about creating your own event or boosting retail in your downtown, contact Meegan at mholland@retailers.com.

Grocers and suppliers: Join us at Crystal Mountain for the Food Retailers Summit

What’s better than meetings that feel a bit like vacation? How about a worthwhile meeting “Up North” in the fall, where business gets done and you’re surrounded by a dazzling landscape? It’s difficult not to feel relaxed at a resort such as Crystal Mountain, which is why we’re returning this September for our annual event — refreshed and renamed last year as the Food Retailers Summit. This year’s gathering will have favorite activities that are unique to the event, including bocce and cornhole. Also returning is the Euchre tournament, which was a big hit when it debuted last year. By changing partners each round, summit guests had an excellent opportunity to network and have fun. We expect more of the same this year! Developing strong business relationships is important for business success, and these activities are a great way to get to know industry peers and build camaraderie. Information is also vital for success. The summit agenda has timely, relevant presentations including: n A look at digital innovations in grocery — what you need to know about click and collect, delivery, scanning apps and more. n MRA VP of Government Affairs Amy Drumm will give a can’t-miss legislative and regulatory update. n Human resources expert Jodi Schafer will lead a frank conversation about managing human resources. She’ll discuss the most common HR situations for retailers that can quickly spiral out of control if not handled correctly as well as the legal

and practical aspects of marijuana in the workplace and recent changes in employment law. Plan to join us for a lively and interactive presentation. This year’s summit falls on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and on Thursday night, Cliff Erickson — singer and 12-string acoustic guitar performer — will entertain you. Billed as “one of the finest acoustic performers throughout the Midwest,” he Jodi Schafer will perform a mix of original music and cover songs including hits by Johnny Cash, The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Summit planning is ongoing, so watch your email for updates in the Michigan Food eNews and check out retailers.com. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Sponsor support is critical to the high quality of the event and to your company’s brand building. To learn more and for summit registration information, please contact MRA’s Nora Jones at (800) 366.3699, Cliff Erickson ext. 344 or njones@retailers.com.




Train staff to help protect your store from foodborne illness outbreaks Food inspectors reveal top six violations By Tim Slawinski Food and Dairy Division Director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

For many grocery stores, with schools closed for the summer and people looking for summer jobs, this time of year can mean an influx of new employees. New employees must be properly trained to understand the role they play in preventing a foodborne illness outbreak. It’s also a good idea to periodically remind existing staff about safe food handling practices. If proper food safety procedures are not followed, foodborne illness and other dangerous consequences can occur. Often, managers or employees don’t recognize they are at risk for contributing to a foodborne illness outbreak. Below are the top six violations Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development food inspectors found in retail food establishments during inspections in the past six months as well as recommendations for how to correct them. 1. Improper hot or cold holding temperatures of potentially hazardous foods Potentially hazardous foods that require time/temperature control for safety must be held at proper temperatures to minimize the growth of any pathogenic bacteria that may be present. Minimizing the number of bacteria on food helps prevent foodborne illness. If foods are held in the temperature danger zone, above 41°F and below 135°F, for too long, then pathogens will multiply and can cause foodborne illness. To prevent this from happening, keep hot-held foods hot, above 135°F and cold-held foods cold, below 41°F. When thawing foods, be sure to use approved methods, such as in the refrigerator or under cool running water. Make sure you are cooling foods as rapidly as possible, at least from 135°F to 70°F in two hours or less; and from 70°F to 41°F in no more than four hours. Unsafe cooling is a leading cause of foodborne illness.



2. Improper sanitation of utensils and equipment When utensils, equipment or other food contact surfaces are not cleaned and sanitized properly or often, they can be a cause of foodborne illness. Utensils such as cutting boards and knives should be cleaned and sanitized at least once every four hours if in constant use. Utensils should also be cleaned and sanitized between tasks, such as cutting raw chicken and then slicing raw vegetables. (Ideally, separate cutting boards and knives should be designated for these two food preparation tasks.) Employees should regularly clean and sanitize equipment, such as ice and soda dispensers, as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent pathogen growth. 3. Infrequent or improper handwashing Proper handwashing is perhaps the most critical component in preventing foodborne illness. Employees should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and after completing tasks that could contaminate them including using the restroom, taking out the garbage, handling money, sneezing or coughing, touching their face or hair, or doing anything else that could contaminate the hands. In addition, handwashing must be done before putting on a new pair of gloves. Food establishments must provide conveniently located handwashing facilities in food preparation areas. These sinks must be provided with hand washing soap and paper towels. 4. Cross-contamination Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria from one food to another. Cutting boards, utensils and equipment can transfer bacteria. Food can directly contaminate other foods by being placed on shared surfaces or stored so one food drips onto another. This is especially a concern when handling raw meat, poultry and seafood, so keep these foods and their juices away from already cooked or ready-to-eat foods and fresh produce. When refrigerating food, store raw meat, poultry and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags and on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator, to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. When preparing food, wash hands and surfaces often. Use hot, soapy water and paper towels or clean cloths to wipe kitchen surfaces or spills. Wash cutting boards, dishes and counter tops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item. Use an approved sanitizer. A solution of one tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water may be used to sanitize surfaces and utensils. Always use a clean cutting board. If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, replace them.

Lottery News 5. Improper cleaning of food-contact surfaces Cleaning is the process of removing food and other types of soil from a surface such as a countertop, deli meat slicer, soda dispenser or cutting board. Cleaning and sanitizing procedures must be part of the standard operating procedures that make up your food safety program. Improperly cleaned and sanitized surfaces allow harmful microorganisms to live and multiply. They can then be transferred from one food to another. Food-contact surfaces must be cleaned as needed throughout the day but no less than every four hours. Make sure to use the right cleaning agent because not all cleaning agents can be used on food-contact surfaces. Glass cleaners, some metal cleaners and most bathroom cleaners cannot be used because they might leave an unsafe residue on the food-contact surface. The label should indicate if the product can be used on a food-contact surface. 6. Improper sanitizer solution Proper sanitizing is essential and must be performed on food-contact surfaces after they are cleaned and before they are used again. Properly prepared and used sanitizing solutions can be the difference between preventing a foodborne illness outbreak or not. Typically, equipment and utensils are cleaned using a four-step process: n First, scrape or rinse away the bulk of the food residue. n Next is the wash step: scrub away food residue using a detergent and elbow grease. The detergent is applied to break down the remaining food and remove any film that can cover bacteria and shield them from the sanitizing step. n Third is the rinse step: rinse away food and detergent residues leaving a surface that is clean to sight and touch. n Finally, apply a sanitizing solution by immersing, swabbing or spraying. This solution must be prepared and used according to the manufacturer’s directions. Apply sanitizers so they remain on the surface being cleaned and left to air dry. Always check that the proper sanitizer concentration is used, not too much or too little. Test sanitizing solutions with an appropriate test kit to measure the concentration. Test kits are specific to the sanitizer, so make sure to use the right one. Once an item has air dried and is free from food residue, store it in an inverted position, so the food-contact surface is facing down and protected from dust. Proper employee training can greatly reduce the risk of a foodborne illness outbreak. Many businesses fail to recognize that a single foodborne illness can have devastating consequences for employees, customers, suppliers and ultimately your bottom line and reputation. Please rely on your MDARD inspector as a resource to help prevent a foodborne illness.

Games launch to boost sales By Brian O’Neill Michigan Lottery Commissioner

Pull Tabs debuted in October 2003 and offer players a fun play experience while spending time with friends at restaurants, bars and other establishments across Michigan. In 2018, Pull Tabs posted record sales of about $33 million with nearly $2.5 million in commissions to Lottery retailers. So far in 2019, strong player support has pushed up Pull Tabs sales by 2.2 percent — $511,140 — compared to last year. To generate excitement and boost sales, the Lottery continues to create new ways for players to enjoy Pull Tabs. The newest game, CashBot, reflects that by adding technology to extend Pull Tab play. This game is set to launch on July 9. To play CashBot, players will open all five tabs on the ticket to reveal the symbols. If they uncover three consecutive winning symbols in any horizontal row and reveal CashBot in another window, they then will text the SMS number to start using CashBot to reveal the multiplier for their ticket. Multipliers will be 2X, 5X or 10X the prize revealed. CashBot will offer players a chance to win prizes ranging from $1 to $10,000. Texting is not required to play CashBot. Retailers note: Winning CashBot tickets may be cashed at any Lottery terminal for the full multiplied winning amount. New Big Spin Instant Game Expected to Boost Sales The Big Spin instant game also will go on sale July 9. Each $10 Big Spin ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $10 to $1 million. This instant game features a second chance game that offers players a chance to win prizes from $100,000 to $2 million. Players may enter non-winning Big Spin ticket Spin Codes at www.MIBigSpin.com to be entered in a drawing for the opportunity to appear on a televised show. Each of the 20 winners will have the opportunity to spin the Big Spin wheel to win at least $100,000 and up to $2 million. In addition to Big Spin, these two instant tickets also debut on July 9: $3 Bonus Cashword and $5 24 Karat Gold.

We’re sending valuable intel, are you receiving it? Watch your email for our new electronic bulletin — the Michigan Food eNews. Twice a month, on Wednesday, we email members an update with timely, relevant information about events, regulations, policy changes, laws, legislation, people and industry news, opportunities and more. Please make sure the email address, grocers@retailers.com, is on your Safe Senders list. And look for the following — Sender: Michigan Retailers Association, Subject: Michigan Food eNews, Content: Concise intel to keep you “in the know.” Questions? Contact Lisa Reibsome @MGAReibsome@comcast.net. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS


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July-August 2019 Michigan Food News  

The July-August 2019 issue of the Michigan Food News, the official publication of Michigan Grocers, a division of the Michigan Retailers Ass...

July-August 2019 Michigan Food News  

The July-August 2019 issue of the Michigan Food News, the official publication of Michigan Grocers, a division of the Michigan Retailers Ass...