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October/November 2018 Vol 72, Numbers 10/11

FOOD RETAILERS SUMMIT

From the perfect location for out-of-office thinking to making new connections and strengthening ongoing relationships to ice sculptures, awards, and trophies to insightful speakers and motivating messages, the 2018 Food Retailers Summit mixed business with recreation to create a memorable success. See pages 8-10 for highlights.

Also Inside  WMU Student Earns Felice Scholarship, page 5  Retirements, Acquisitions, Awards, and more, pages 6-7  State OKs Distribution of $424K to Grocers Fund Members, page 12  Supreme Court to Decide Legality of Banning Out-of-State Wine Delivery, page 13

Take Advantage of MRA’s Private Insurance Exchange

In July, the Michigan Retailers Association launched the MRA Private Insurance Exchange to give members a way to save on insurance costs and offer their employees the best insurance coverages available. MRA has an array of health insurance options including several plans from Priority Health and Health Alliance Plan (HAP). Also on the Exchange: Retailers Insurance Company’s member-only dental insurance, administered by Delta Dental; VSP vision insurance; and Guardian for life insurance, disability insurance, and worksite benefits. “The Exchange meets a clear member need and is particularly helpful for small retailers who only have a few employees,” says MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan. “Our goal is to provide members with more benefit options as well as cutting-edge technology to quickly evaluate plan benefits and costs.” Through the Exchange, employees will be able to compare and purchase health insurance, as well as dental, vision, life, and disability. The Exchange offers a defined contribution program, which lets employers decide which insurances to offer employees and define how much they’ll contribute toward employees’ benefits. Employees then use these contributions to select insurance products that best meet their needs. Renewing your group health plan in January? For a January 1 effective date, your plan needs to be in place by November 30, so now is the time to start looking for the right health care plan. To learn more about the MRA Private Insurance Exchange, see retailers.com/ 7 private-exchange.

Michigan Retailers Association 603 S. Washington Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933

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president ’s message

Fall Musings James P. Hallan Publisher Lisa J. Reibsome Editor

Advertising Index Campbell Group ............................................. 13 Consumers Energy ........................................... 4 Grazing Fields ................................................ 14 IFRA............................................................... 12 Lipari Foods ................................................... 11 Michigan Lottery ............................................. 2 SpartanNash ................................................... 15 Star Truck Rentals ............................................ 6 Effective January 1, 2018, Michigan Grocers Association is officially a division of the Michigan Retailers Association

Michigan Grocers Division Board of Directors Rich Beishuizen, Country Fresh Craig Diepenhorst, H.T. Hackney Dave Duthler, AMRA Energy Jim Forsberg, Arctic Glacier Premium Ice Jim Gohsman, SpartanNash James P. Hallan, Michigan Retailers Association John Leppink, Leppink’s Food Centers Ken McClure, Kroger Company of Michigan Bryan Neiman, Neiman’s Family Market DJ Oleson, Oleson’s Food Stores Joe Risdon, Prairie Farms Dairy Don Symonds, Lipari Foods Thom Welch, Hollywood Markets Jim Zyrowski, Ben’s Supercenters Michigan Food News is completely recyclable. Printed on recycled paper with soyoil-based ink. Publisher does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers in business competition. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS © 2018 Michigan Retailers Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contact Information Lisa J. Reibsome, communications director 517.449.2256 MGAReibsome@comcast.net  Michigan Food News advertising  Michigan Food News all content, layout, and printing  Grocers Division public relations Grocers Division Michigan Retailers Association 603 South Washington Avenue, Lansing MI 48933 517.372.5656 or 800.366.3699 www.Retailers.com

Food Retailers Summit We just concluded the newly reformatted Food Retailers Summit, and judging by our survey results, it was a very successful event. In this edition of the Michigan Food News, you will see a recap of the events. As we all know, the only constant is change, so we mixed up the format this year to add some new twists. The Grocers Division Board will meet to evaluate the results and make plans for next year. If you missed this year’s Summit, we hope you will be able to join us in 2019. Elections All elections bring new personalities and ideas into the policy-making mix. Some of the new ideas are good, while others not so much. Regardless, it’s vitally important that we have a seat at the table to express our views. If we don’t show up, others will fill the seats at the table, and often a different message will be told. We encourage you to check out our Friends of Retail designations for candidates and perhaps contribute to our PAC. Holiday Shopping Halloween is now over and the rush is on to prepare for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve/Day, and more. Crazy but exhilarating days are in store for all of us. Curiously, this year the maximum amount of shopping days fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which should boost sales. Despite a few headwinds, the economy is strong and unemployment is at record lows. Let’s hope it continues and is a record-setting sales year for everyone. Membership Dues Soon you will receive your membership invoice in the mail. I hope you consider renewing your investment in Michigan Retailers. Our transition of the Michigan Grocers into the Michigan Retailers has gone extremely well. The overriding goal of all the parties was to maintain the identity of the 120-year-old Michigan Grocers Association while maximizing the strength of a larger organization. Looking back, I hope you will agree that the first year of the combined organizations has met your expectations, with the continuation of the summer golf outing and fall summit, plus access to a broad range of MRA benefits. Together we are all stronger. Thanksgiving This year the Hallan family will venture south to Gainesville, Florida, to visit our eldest daughter, her husband, and three children. Both Mary and Chip are professors with the University of Florida, so I will leave my MSU and Michigan colors at home and be a Gator for the weekend. And, despite the public discourse of discontent, we have much to be thankful for. Our management team at our Lansing based “world headquarters” wishes all of you many blessings this Thanksgiving.

it ’s the law

Renew Your FDA Food Facility Registration

The FDA requires facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or store food for U.S. consumption to renew their FDA registrations between October 1 and December 31, 2018. While “retail food establishments” (grocery stores, convenience stores, and others whose primary function is to sell food directly to consumers) are exempt, central kitchens, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities must register. A distribution center, warehouse, or central kitchen that is not at the same general physical location as the retail food establishment does not meet the definition of “retail food establishment” because it does not sell food from the facility directly to consumers. Therefore, these facilities are required to register. For further clarification, see www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation, click “Food Facility Registration.” It should be noted that renewing a registration is distinct from updating a registration, and even food facilities that registered with the FDA as recently as September 2018 will be required to renew now. Facilities should ensure they properly renew during this period so their FDA registrations remain valid for 2019. If a facility fails to renew its registration, the registration is considered expired and will be removed by the FDA.

Taxable Earnings to Increase to $132,900

The Social Security Administration has announced that, effective January 1, 2019, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $132,900, up from $128,400 in 2018. As a reminder, both employers and employees pay a 6.2% Social Security tax on an employee’s earnings, up to the maximum amount of earnings subject to the tax each year. October/November 2018  Michigan Food News 3


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Buy Nearby Weekend Successfully Spreads ‘Buy Local’ Message Michigan Retailers Association hosted a successful Buy Nearby Weekend, October 5-7, to create shopper excitement and grow local sales. Recall that the Buy Nearby campaign is Michigan Retailer’s shop-local initiative to educate consumers on the importance of keeping shopping dollars in Michigan and making them feel good about keeping their money in the Mitten. While the campaign runs throughout the year, it is formally celebrated during the first weekend in October, called “Buy Nearby Weekend.” This year, more retailers and retail groups participated in the Buy Nearby Weekend than ever before! It was heartening to see retailers’ creative social media posts and ideas for encouraging people to enter the event’s shopping contest. Five shoppers won $100 gift cards for posting a shopping photo with the buynearbymi hashtag. MRA spread the Buy Nearby message broadly across the state by partnering with MLive.com and the media outlet’s Michigan’s Best program (the folks who name “Michigan’s Best Doughnut,” “Michigan’s Best Pizza,” and so on by polling readers about their favorites). And the Buy Nearby Guy had fans wherever he went – Gaylord, Wayland, Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery in Grand Rapids Township, Old Town Lansing, Caro, and Frankenmuth. He even hopped on a Bird scooter to twirl around the state Capitol. Successful as it was, the Buy Nearby program is not just about one weekend. It’s about raising awareness year-round about the effects of shopping local. In 2017, Michiganders sent $18.5 billion to out-of-state retailers, a recent economic study by Public Sector Consultants showed. The study also found that the state’s economy would grow by $1.2 billion and nearly 10,600 jobs would be created if residents switched just one in 10 purchases from an online seller to a Michigan

Amy Sherman and John Gonzalez are the statewide reporters for MLive’s Michigan’s Best series. They showed the Buy Nearby Guy some love during the Buy Nearby Weekend. Thanks to DTE Energy and Retailers Insurance Company for their generous sponsorship of the Buy Nearby campaign. It’s been the best year yet, with more communities than ever participating in Buy Nearby Weekend. The commitment to shop local goes on.

retailer. MRA will continue to tout the benefits of shopping local day in and day out. To learn more, order handouts with all those meaty economic numbers to stuff in shopping bags or put next to your cash registers, or schedule the Buy Nearby Guy for your next event, see buynearbymi.com/retailers.

WMU Student Earns Michigan Grocers Felice Scholarship

Western Michigan University student Jessica Mallwitz was selected by university faculty as a Paul M. Felice Scholarship winner. The scholarship is funded by the Michigan Grocers Division of the Michigan Retailers Association. Jessica is a senior in the Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing Program and will graduate in December 2018 with a bachelor’s in Food and Consumer Product Goods Marketing with minors in Economics and Business. She holds an associate’s degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is a member of WMU’s Food Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association. She interned in the Merchandising Department with SpartanNash over the summer and recently accepted a position as a Deli Solutions Sales Representative with Hormel Foods beginning after graduation. Jessica says she is “humbled to be given this scholarship,” sharing that — “Last year I worked full time and took five classes and barely made ends meet. This scholarship couldn’t have come at a better time.” She looks forward to starting her career in the food industry and being able to “give back in the future.” She is shown here with WMU’s Dr. Frank Gambino, Director, Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing. The award was presented at WMU’s annual Food and Consumer Package Goods Scholarship Luncheon in October.

NGA President Peter Larkin Announces Retirement

National Grocers Association President and CEO Peter Larkin will retire from the organization effective December 31, 2019. Larkin’s retirement from NGA caps off a nearly 40-year career in the supermarket industry. Larkin has spoken at Michigan Grocers Association conferences and been a great supporter of Michigan’s retail food industry. He’s shown here on the left with Supervalu’s Mike Schiffli and Lt. Governor Brian Calley at an Association event. During Peter’s NGA tenure, the association experienced retail and wholesale membership growth that has more than doubled, ranging from single-store supermarkets to regional independent supermarket chains. Member engagement for the organization is at an all-time high as evidenced by the numerous member-driven share groups and committees, as well as the continued record-breaking growth of The NGA Show, which has nearly tripled its attendance levels with Larkin at the helm. “When I started working for the Kroger Company 36 years ago, little did I know that I would one day have the honor to serve as the President and CEO of NGA. I am grateful to our members and Board of Directors for the privilege and opportunity to lead this great organization, which truly represents the best entrepreneurs in our industry and country,” Larkin said. The NGA Board has authorized the creation of a search committee that will convene in mid-January. October/November 2018  Michigan Food News 5


Michigan to Offer Kroger’s New Home Chef Meal Kits

In October, Association Member Kroger launched Home Chef meal kits at Kroger stores in select locations nationwide. Michigan is one of the first markets included in this nationwide retail rollout, offering the new Home Chef Express product — a quick-cook meal kit ready to eat in about 15 minutes — at 71 Kroger stores throughout the state. Each week, there will be four Home Chef meal kit options available. The same recipes will also be available to customers through homechef.com, where shoppers will find additional weekly variety. “We are excited to introduce Home Chef’s new retail meal kits to our store customers,” said Kroger Senior VP of Merchandising Robert Clark. “Offering a rotating menu of recipes is one more way we are providing our customers with innovative culinary experiences and choices. The Home Chef meal kits will redefine the way customers shop for, prep, and cook their meals.” Home Chef CEO Pat Vihtelic added, “We’re excited to take this first step in revolutionizing mealtime by bringing Home Chef’s signature variety and great-tasting meals directly to Kroger customers.” Kroger anticipates rolling out Home Chef meal kits to additional markets in 2019.

Lipari Foods Finalizes Two Acquisitions

On October 19, Association Member Lipari Foods acquired Jerusalem Foods to expand Lipari’s ethnic food offerings. Headquartered in Dearborn, Jerusalem Foods was started in 1976 by Albert Batshon who owned the highly successful Falafil Palace restaurant in Ann Arbor. “We are looking forward to the addition of a full ethnic food division in the organization and expanding our current product offerings,” says Lipari President and CEO Thom Lipari. “Jerusalem Foods is a leader in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern market, and combining what they have established with all that Lipari brings to the table means increased value for all of our already diverse customer base.” On November 2, Lipari Foods closed on the acquisition of the specialty deli company Heagy Foods, including the Guernsey’s Gift brand. Heagy Foods is headquartered in Pennsylvania. “Adding a variety of their specialty deli products to Lipari’s portfolio along with ability to expand the Lipari distribution footprint will surely bring added value to both Lipari’s existing customers as well as customers that are currently serviced by Heagy Foods,” says Lipari.

UNFI Completes Supervalu Acquisition

United Natural Foods, Inc. completed the acquisition of Supervalu for approximately $2.9 billion, including the assumption of outstanding debt and liabilities, on October 22. Leadership: UNFI Chairman and CEO Steve Spinner will lead the combined entity. UNFI’s COO Sean Griffin will move into the role of CEO of Supervalu and Head of the Integration Committee, which includes executives from both companies. Griffin takes over from CEO Mark Gross, who stepped down from Supervalu after two years at the helm. Supervalu executives Anne Dament, who led the retail and private brands business, and Mike Stigers, who led the wholesale operations, are staying on and will report to Griffin. In a conference call, Spinner and Griffin reiterated plans to sell Supervalu’s retail businesses. 6

Michigan Food News  October/November 2018


Country Fresh’s Rich Beishuizen Retires Country Fresh’s Rich Beishuizen retired on September 28 after 50 years in the food industry. Rich began his career while still in high school working as a bagger for Eberhard Foods, a supermarket chain based in Grand Rapids until the early 1990s. In 24 years with the company, he served in many positions including as Store Manager, District Manager, Warehouse Buyer, and as President and CEO the last two years of business. In 1992, Rich began his career with Country Fresh Dairy. Today Country Fresh operates as a subsidiary Don Young and Rich Beishuizen of Dean Foods, and Rich served as Sales Manager/ Key Account Manager. For the remainder of 2018 and in 2019, Rich has agreed to be an advisor/consultant for Dean Foods/Country Fresh. He will continue to serve on the Advisory Board for the Grocers Division of the Michigan Retailers Association. He previously served on the Michigan Grocers Association Board and as a long-time member of the MGA Convention Committee. In addition to supporting Michigan Grocers, Rich also served on the United Dairy Industry of Michigan Board of Directors.

Meijer Receives Award, Recognition, Expands Home Delivery First Retailer to Win Double Honor from EPA

For the first time, Association Member Meijer was named a SmartWay Excellence Award winner in two categories simultaneously — as a shipper and a carrier by the EPA. Meijer is the only SmartWay partner to receive the rare distinction of being recognized in both categories simultaneously. The award recognizes companies that demonstrate how their logistical operations make a measurable difference in reducing carbon emissions, while also effectively managing fuel costs as they move goods around the country. Meijer was recognized as a SmartWay shipping partner in 2017 and as a carrier partner in 2007. The SmartWay Excellence Award is the EPA’s highest recognition.

Garners First-Ever Recognition for Disability Inclusion

Meijer received a top score of 100% on the Disability Equality Index and, for the first time, received the prestigious recognition as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion. Meijer was among 126 companies honored at the Disability:IN Annual Conference.

Expands Home Delivery

Meijer’s Home Delivery program now includes a pickup option at 227 stores across the Midwest. The service offers nearly 11 million households the option to have items delivered from store-to-door, or into a car, within a few hours. Meijer Pickup is available at any Meijer store that offers home delivery and is included as part of a Meijer Home Delivery program membership. Customers can order online and choose between pickup or delivery, and give a preferred time. Customers receive a text from their personalized shopper when the order begins and are contacted when the order is ready to be delivered or picked up. Meijer customers can sign up for the service for $99 a year and receive unlimited deliveries for free on orders over $35; a flat $7 delivery fee is added to any orders under $35. Meijer Home Delivery and Pickup orders are fulfilled by Shipt.

Star Truck Rentals Starts the Engine on New Training Academy

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 140,000-plus diesel technicians will be needed by 2022. To jump start opportunities, Association Member Star Truck Rentals launched a Star Training Academy course on October 15. During this five-week course, compatible applicants seeking a career shift will receive paid training toward acquiring skills as a diesel technician. Upon successful course completion, participants will receive job placement at one of Star Truck Rentals’ 17 locations throughout Michigan and Indiana. “Our new Star Training Academy can ease the financial challenges of shifting into a new career as a diesel technician — one that’s experiencing great demand,” says Star Truck Rentals President Tom Bylenga. “Through this opportunity, we’re sharing our commitment to innovate transportation solutions, while addressing an industry-wide talent shortage that allows us to expand our own customer service capabilities.” Diesel Technician Basics — During the five-week Diesel Technician Basics training course, participants will become familiar with key subjects, as identified by the American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council. There are only two other certified diesel technician training programs in Michigan: Baker College and Ferris State University. Throughout the U.S., there are just over 170 programs. “Up to now, we’ve been providing internships, scholarships, and tool purchasing assistance for up-and-coming diesel technician talent,” says Heather Kimble, director of human resources for Star Truck Rentals. “We believe the Star Training Academy course bridges any remaining challenges toward a technical career with great demand and many opportunities for growth.” Star Training Academy participants will receive paid training at a rate of $15 an hour, in addition to an entry tool set, which is available to own through payment installments.

MRA’s Private Insurance Exchange continued from cover

Personalized customer service is available at any step along the way: Call MRA’s Insurance Department at (800) 366.3699 ext. 681 or email MRA’s Ally Nemetz at anemetz@retailers.com. In addition, MRA continues to offer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network as health insurance options for members. To obtain a quote or get information on BCBSM/BCN insurance, contact MRA’s Nemetz at (800) 366.3699 ext. 681 or anemetz@retailers.com. MRA is All About Service MRA membership services range from business insurances to a strong credit card processing program, discount programs, information services including free labor law posters, college scholarships, legislative advocacy, a statewide shop-local program, and more. The Association has four full-time regional marketing representatives in the field providing service to members. Be sure to check out the back cover for details, and call your local contact for information about any MRA service. October/November 2018  Michigan Food News 7


Northern Michigan’s beauty and Crystal Mountain’s top-notch facilities made for a high-quality, productive Food Retailers Summit. Left to right, top to bottom: Welcoming spots such as the one seen here can be found throughout the resort. Crystal Mountain displays over 100 different varieties of perennials and shrubs each summer and plants over 5,900 bulbs each fall. Summit guests were also welcomed with food, beverages, and other gifts in the Buy Nearby Welcome Bags they received at registration. This year’s gathering marked the 120th anniversary of grocers coming together to connect and learn from each other and industry experts. Before the Summit got underway officially, Michigan Retailers Association’s Grocers Division Advisory Board met Sunday afternoon. On Sunday evening, the 2018 Al Kessel Award winners were recognized at a special dinner. Tom and Bill Welch with Hollywood Markets (holding the award) accepted the Outstanding Retailer award from MRA President & CEO Jim Hallan. Al Kessel’s son Jim was also on hand to share in the festivities. J. Bohn Popp, executive vice president of Aunt Millie’s Bakeries (holding the award) brought several of his team members to help accept the Outstanding Business Partner award. Opposite page: Monday and Tuesday mornings were set aside for education and inspiration. MRA’s Jim Hallan kicked off the opening session by providing an update on the Grocers Division activities since MGA joined forces with MRA on January 1, 2018. He also discussed legislation that’s impacting grocers including the minimum wage/paid sick leave initiative and what to watch for in the lame duck session. Food Marketing Institute President and CEO Leslie Sarasin shared in-depth research to provide a close look at what shoppers want from their grocery stores. Attendees gained insights regarding emerging shopping patterns and shopper expectations. Regency Group’s Tim Hanna discussed the Michigan Grocers Fund. He reported that the program received approval to return $424,000 of surplus premium back to its 60 members. This represents an average credit of 32% off of the premium members will pay in 2019. USDA’s Jason Allen shared helpful information about USDA opportunities for grocers and suppliers. Monday morning’s session concluded with a can’tmiss presentation from two great Target speakers: Asset Protection Director Kim Mills and Market Investigator John Shuler. They shared valuable information about loss prevention as well as provided tips on how to best respond to an active killer.


Tuesday’s keynote speaker, Michael Broome (far right), used humor to inspire attendees to maximize their potential to serve others, achieve a life balance, and enhance their sense of gratitude. The Food Retailers Summit provided quality opportunities for social interaction including the delicious CONNECT Lunch (UBCR’s Nick Kronsbein and Arctic Glacier’s Dave Bismack, below), breakfasts and dinners, and Monday night’s entertainment. Below right: MRA’s Tom Tuggle shares the audience’s enthusiasm for Mike Ridley’s great songs and well-crafted song parodies.

October/November 2018  Michigan Food News 9


Association members are enthusiastic about the activities that are unique to this fall gathering including bocce and cornhole. New this year: Sunday night’s hospitality kicked up a notch with the addition of a Euchre tournament. By changing partners each round, summit guests had an excellent opportunity to network and have fun. Euchre — 1st Place: Chris Smith with Michigan Retailers Association, 2nd: Shane Smith with Ric’s Food Centers. The winners are flanked by tournament sponsors H.T. Hackney’s Craig Diepenhorst and Bill Hillman. The bocce and cornhole participants enjoyed warm sunny weather Monday afternoon, and the finals were played under the lights later that night. Warming up for the cornhole tournament are Mehmert Store Service’s Chad Ott and Nick Beute with Eggland’s Best. Cornhole — 1st Place: Brad Knab and Chad Ott, Mehmert Store Services; 2nd: Robert Leppink and John Cole, Leppink’s Food Centers, shown here with event sponsor Bob Bauer with BMC. Bocce — Angeli Foods’ Don Bastianello shows us his face of determination. 1st Place: Todd Kennedy and Mike Smith, Polly’s Country Markets; 2nd: Bill and Tammy McDonough, McDonough’s Market. Golf — On Tuesday, the rain held off for the golf outing. Far right: Getting ready to hit the links are Thermo King’s Dave Granning, Star Truck Rental’s Brent Larson, and Lipari Food’s Jim Cooper. Winning team: Jim GohsKroger Company man and Todd Buzzell with Michigan SpartanNash, Thom Welch with Hollywood Markets. Lipari Foods Long Drive Men: Ken Lasher with Griffin Pest SoMeijer lutions. Long Drive Women: SpartanNash Arianna Meinke, Leppink’s Food Centers. 10Longest Putt: Jim Cooper, Michigan Food News  October/November 2018 Lipari Foods.

Sponsors – Thank You!

Diamond Sponsors of

Platinum Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Arctic Glacier Premium Ice

AWG The Cola-Cola Company Mehmert Store Services Michigan Potato Industry Commission TOMRA of North America

Aunt Millie’s Bakeries

Gold Sponsors Business Machines Company Dawn Foods H.T. Hackney Company Star Truck Rentals, Inc.

Bronze Sponsors Michigan Grocers Fund Retailers Insurance Company Thermo King Michigan, Inc.


Prairie Farms Launches Campaign to Connect Consumers with Dairy Farmers

Association Member Prairie Farms launched its “Join Our MOOvement campaign,” a grassroots effort to connect consumers with dairy farmers through the products they produce. Consumers looking to support local dairy farmers can visit the “Join Our MOOvement campaign” page, www.prairiefarms.com/ moovement, and sign a pledge to help dairy farmers by purchasing Prairie Farms products. Those pledging support will be entered in a daily prize drawing and a December 31 grand prize drawing. Shoppers choosing Prairie Farms products are supporting hundreds of local dairy farmers while buying the “Best of the Best” dairy products for their families, the company says. Dairy farmers across America are going out of business at an alarming rate, and entire communities are feeling the effects of the closures including an eroding tax base for rural communities, struggling churches and schools, and mounting financial debt for dairy farmers. Without a turnaround, many remaining dairy farms face an unknown future and could disappear along with a rural way of life that sustained generations of families. “We’re asking consumers to ‘Join Our MOOvement’ because our journey begins on the farm where our families are working hard to care for their cows and the land so Prairie Farms can produce and deliver fresh, wholesome, and nutritious dairy products every day of the year,” says Prairie Farms VP of Marketing and Communications Rebecca Leinenbach. By participating in the campaign, consumers are pledging to help dairy farmers, and they are also giving back to charities that are enrolled in Prairie Farms Our Caps, Your Cause program. Each week the top eight charities, determined by the highest number of votes, will receive 1,000 cap credits — that’s $50 for each charity. Prairie Farms is committed to making an impact in the communities they serve, and over $180,000 has been donated to local charities through the program.

Increase your sales this holiday season by offering something extra to your customers. At Lipari Foods we offer exclusive brands as well as national brands to help make sure your holiday sales are merry and bright.

Meijer and Lt. Governor Calley Take ‘10 Gallon Challenge’

MRA Member Meijer and Lt. Governor Brian Calley took the #10GallonChallenge and donated milk to the Greater Lansing Food Bank. The 10 Gallon Challenge is a social media challenge that began in Ohio when farm broadcaster Ty Higgins asked everyone to head to their local grocery store, buy 10 gallons of milk, and then donate the milk to a local food pantry. Participants are encouraged to snap a photo when they make the donation and share it on social media with the 10gallonchallenge hashtag. The challenge benefits struggling dairy farmers and food banks as they work to feed the hungry. In October, Meijer, Lt. Gov. Calley, and the Ingham County Health Department took part in the challenge by donating 100 gallons of milk and $2,500 to the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

New customers contact Joe Calo at joe_calo@liparifoods.com liparifoods.com October/November 2018  Michigan Food News 11


Lottery News

Michigan Lottery Makes Giving the Gift of Huge Cash Prizes Possible By Brian O. Neill, Michigan Lottery Commissioner Giving the chance to win a huge cash prize makes Michigan Lottery products a popular holiday gift item for many players across the state. It’s no secret that the holiday season is one of the most lucrative times for retailers. Consumer spending during the holiday season dwarfs all other times of year. According to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending during the holiday season has increased steadily each year since 2009. The NRF projects that consumer spending this November and December will increase as much as 4.8% to a total of $720.9 billion, up from $687.9 billion last year. To help maximize sales opportunities for retailers, the Lottery will offer players four holiday-themed games this season. The holiday games once again offer shoppers a wide range of prices and prizes suitable for stocking stuffers or individual gifts. This season’s games are: • Holiday Dazzle: $10 ticket with top prizes of $500,000 and more than $21 million in total prizes. • Peppermint Payout: $5 ticket with top prizes of $300,000 and more than $15 million in total prizes. • Holiday Lucky Times 12: $2 ticket with top prizes of $30,000 and more than $11 million in total prizes. • Festive $50’s: $1 ticket with top prizes of $5,000 and $8 million in total prizes. Launched on October 30, the holiday-themed games give retailers additional sale opportunities by extending the holiday sales season. The Lottery also has a robust advertising campaign planned to support the games. That advertising campaign is designed to raise public awareness of the games and drive traffic to retailers.

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Get the health care plan that puts participating employers and their employees first. 12 Michigan Food News  October/November 2018

State OKs Distribution of $424K to Grocers Fund Members

The Michigan Grocers Fund, a member-owned self-insured workers’ compensation program, rewards its members for outstanding performance. After only four full years of operation the Fund’s success has led the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency to authorize the second profit return to participants. Fund participants receive the surplus premium not used to pay claims and expenses. The Fund was approved to distribute $424,000 of surplus premium on their 2019 renewal. This is more than double the $200,000 of surplus premium authorized on the 2018 renewal. This represents an average credit of 32% off of the premium members will pay in 2019. The Fund’s continued excellent performance should allow for even more profit returns in coming years. The Fund is strictly regulated by the state of Michigan and a voluntary Board of Trustees consisting of actual participants who are entrusted with the fiduciary responsibility of overseeing the Fund’s operation. The board reviews every claim dollar being spent and requires claim settlements to be authorized by them. The Michigan Grocers Fund Board of Trustees is comprised of Chair Christy Kuhnke, Tom’s Food Markets; Kim Kennedy, Polly’s Country Markets; Curt DeVries, Harding’s Markets-West; Dave Duthler, AMRA Energy; and Rich Cole, Leppink’s Food Centers. Board Chair Kuhnke says she is “very pleased with the fund performance in four short years.” There are more than 60 grocer members currently in the program. The Fund allows grocers to take control of their longterm workers’ compensation costs. “By keeping the overall costs associated with workers’ compensation low, the Fund is an excellent long-term solution for employers,” Kuhnke adds. While the Fund is able to return profits primarily due to low losses, its proactive loss control efforts, aggressive claims management, and selective underwriting guidelines help to improve the results. Members consist of Michigan-based grocery owners who are focused on their employees’ safety and are committed to improving their existing loss prevention programs. Many sectors of the grocery industry are eligible to participate in the Fund. Generally, participants are supermarkets and/or grocery stores whose sales volume is primarily based on selling a general line of food and beverages such as canned and frozen foods; dairy products; a variety of beverages including alcohol; fresh fruits and vegetables; or fresh and prepared meats, fish, and poultry. The Michigan Grocers Fund is sold and serviced by a carefully selected statewide network of independent insurance professionals with grocery industry experience. For more information, contact the Fund Administrator, RPS Regency at (800) 686-6640 or visit www. migrocersfund.org.


Two Bills Move Closer to Becoming Law Bill Allows License to Sell Beer, Wine in Small Towns House Bill 5719, introduced by Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), seeks to allow retailers in cities, villages, and townships with less than 1,000 residents the ability to obtain a Speciality Designated Merchant (SDM) license to sell beer and wine. The House passed the bill in May. The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee approved the bill in October, and it now goes before the full Senate. The current law allows for the issuance of one license to sell beer and wine for every 1,000 people living in that town. “Many communities in rural areas of the state don’t reach that population threshold and cannot obtain a Specially Designated Merchant license,” said VanderWall. “That is a detriment to those towns looking to add retail options for their residents.” If the Senate approves the bill, it will go to the governor.

Bill to Change Weigh Station Requirements, Penalties

Supreme Court to Decide Legality of Ban on Out-of-State Wine Deliveries

In early October, U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled that the Michigan law banning out-of-state retailers from shipping wine directly to customers is unconstitutional. “Michigan departed from a hermetically-sealed three-tier system when it chose to permit its wine retailers to join the digital marketplace and engage in direct shipping to customers,” Judge Tarnow wrote. However, a few days later, the judge decided to hold off on his ruling, meaning the prohibition on out-of-state retailers shipping wine to Michigan customers will stay in place for now. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a similar Tennessee case, Tennessee Wine and Retailers Association vs. Clayton Bird. Judge Tarnow stayed his own ruling until the higher court makes its decision. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case by June 2019, which is the end of its current term.

House Bill 5090, sponsored by Rep. Scott VanSingel (R-Grant), aims to decriminalize a truck’s failure to stop at a weigh station. The bill also exempts small tracks and dual axle trucks towing utility trailers from having to stop at weigh stations. The House passed the bill in the spring. The Senate Committee on Transportation approved the bill in September. It now goes before the full Senate for a vote.

Michigan UIA Alerts Employers to Website Changes

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency reports that a change is coming to the way employers log into their MiWAM account on the Unemployment Insurance website. From the home page (michigan.gov/uia), there now will be individual links to log in for employers and claimants, taking employers to a separate MiWAM home page from claimants. If an employer has bookmarked MiWAM, the site will redirect to the unemployment insurance home page for access. The change is the result of the implementation of MILogin, which brings together MiWAM and Pure Michigan Talent Connect (PMTC). The new process allows claimants to access their unemployment account through MiWAM and job seeker account through PMTC using a single ID and password. Address verification: When employers access their account through MiWAM, they will see a “Verify Employer Contact Information” screen asking them to verify the employer’s address, phone number, and email address. This must be completed before navigating through the MiWAM account.

Healthy Options Fuel Customer Satisfaction with Grocery Store Food

The food companies that take notice of consumers’ growing interest in fresh, natural, and organic products continue to reap the rewards. Customer satisfaction with grocery food — defined as packaged food products ranging from chocolate, baked goods, and cereal to meat, cheese, and frozen foods — climbed 1.2% over last year to score an 82 (out of 100), according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s Nondurable Products Report 2018. The gain is partially the result of a slower-than-expected rise in food prices, but quality improvements have also contributed, the report says. “A growing demand for healthier foods has reshuffled the playing field for grocery brands,” says ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg. “In 2018, we saw the sales of plant-based foods grow by 20%, and one in 10 consumers have tried a gluten-free diet. These aren’t fads; customers want to adhere to a healthier lifestyle, and they’re more satisfied with brands that offer those options.” Additional findings:  Customer satisfaction with personal care and cleaning products is up 3.8% to an ACSI score of 83.  Customers continue to turn their backs on sugary sodas in favor of bottled water and other health-conscious beverages; customer satisfaction with soft drinks fell 2.4% to a score of 82.  As soda consumption wanes, the group of all other beverages including bottled water improved its customer satisfaction score, rising 1% to an 83.  Customer satisfaction in microbrews is the highest it’s ever been, up 1.2% to score an 85. Of the megabrewers, Anheuser-Busch InBev is up 1% to 85.

Hey Food Processors & Distributors, The Campbell Group has you covered! • Authorized Michigan Grocers Fund Agency • $1,300,000 Returned to Members in 2017 • Excess Premiums Returned to Members • We Have Over 25 Years Experience in Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance

Want to learn more? Mark Castillo, CIC 269.599.4560 mcastillo@thecampbellgrp.com

October/November 2018  Michigan Food News 13


In Michigan, Meat is the Big Spend for Grocery Shoppers

Every five years, the U.S. Census Bureau measures the 10 most popular grocery products sold in each state. The Census Bureau recently released data showing what percentage of sales these grocery categories account for in Michigan and across the country. Most popular: Michigan grocers sell more meat to consumers than any other category. The next biggest categories in Michigan are produce followed by dairy and frozen foods. Nationwide comparison: The study also compared each state’s sales in each category to the national average. Michigan sells more than the national average in two categories: (1) candy and prepared snacked foods and (2) fish and seafood.

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Meat and Poultry Michigan grocers sell $1.32 billion, which is 10.3% of their total sales, compared with 10.5% for all U.S. grocers. Produce Michigan grocers sell $931 million, which is 7.2% of their total sales, compared with 9.2% for all U.S. grocers. Dairy Products Michigan grocers sell $687 million, which is 5.3% of the total sales, compared with 7.1% for all U.S. grocers. Frozen Foods Michigan grocers sell $656 million, which is 5.1% of the total sales, only slightly less than the 5.2% for all U.S. grocers. Packaged Soft Drinks & Other Nonalcoholic Beverages Michigan grocers sell $516 million, which is 4.0% of the total sales, which is the same percentage as all U.S. grocers.

14 Michigan Food News  October/November 2018

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Candy and Prepared Snack Foods Michigan grocers sell $481 million, which is 3.7% of the total sales, slightly more than the 3.5% for all U.S. grocers. Fish and Seafood Michigan grocers sell $454 million, which is 3.5% of the total sales, which is more than the 2.4% for all U.S. grocers. Deli Items Michigan grocers sell $327 million, which is 2.5% of their total sales, compared to 3.8% for all U.S. grocers. Beer and Ale Michigan grocers sell $216 million, which is 1.7% of their total sales, compared to 2.1% for all U.S. grocers. Prescriptions Michigan grocers sell $148 million, which is 1.2% of their total sales, compared to 4% for all U.S. grocers.


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Meet your Marketing Representatives

Your Association has four full-time regional marketing representatives in the field providing service to members and signing up new ones. Their areas and contact information are shown below.

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Profile for Michigan Retailers Association

October 2018 Michigan Food News  

The October 2018 issue of Michigan Food News, the official publication of Michigan Grocers, a division of the Michigan Retailers Association...

October 2018 Michigan Food News  

The October 2018 issue of Michigan Food News, the official publication of Michigan Grocers, a division of the Michigan Retailers Association...