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BE A SURVIVOR Not all independent grocers are going out of business. Independent grocers can still compete and win!

Not as profitable as you once were? Independent grocers are in a fight for their lives. Don’t be the next grocer forced to shut their doors. Continuing to operate in the same manner and hoping for different results will not be a winning long-term strategy. The future remains bright for those who embrace the change necessary to survive and prosper. While transitioning wholesalers may require some extra effort and a change to the status quo, isn’t it worth it to make the call sooner rather than later to learn how Associated Wholesale Grocers can provide you a lower cost of goods and a real chance to compete in the marketplace today and in the future? For a lower cost of goods PLEASE CONTACT:

Keith Knight 615-290-6093 Wayne Hall 608-347-7318 Dave McKelvey 713-876-6240 Neal Schumacher 573-489-1545 Diane Guerrero 262-806-1203

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., 5000 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66106

President’s Message

ʻThe secret of success is focus —Thomas A. Edison of purposeʼ . MRA President and Chief Executive Officer

If you’re familiar with the column of our former President and CEO Jim Hallan, you’ve probably read his “squirrel report.” He claimed to have an uncanny ability to predict the severity of the winter season based on the ferocity of nut collection by squirrels on the golf course. You’ll be disappointed to know that I have no such ability. However, I had to chuckle when I came across the comic below. I think we can all see a little of ourselves around that table. These days it’s harder than ever to stay focused on the task at hand. In an ultra-competitive environment, it’s easy to chase the current fads or passing whims of the fickle consumer. Coupled with tariff uncertainty, volatile stock markets and the steady creep of e-commerce, retailers must balance discipline and creativity to evolve. Here at MRA, while keeping an eye on the squirrel, we’re careful not to be distracted. In fact, we’re working harder than ever to provide value for our members. This month at our Food Retailers Summit we’re bringing in experts to discuss what’s on everyone’s mind: Legalized marijuana. Marijuana is only the tip of the iceberg and downstream products like CBD oil and hemp-based products provide opportunities for retailers who are prepared and pitfalls for

others who are not in compliance with the licensing regulations. Experts will also discuss human resources implications for employers operating in a state with legalized marijuana. We know you have questions, and these experts have answers waiting for you. I hope to see you at the Summit. Another way we’re providing value right now is through our insurance coverage. Employers who purchase a workers’ compensation policy from Retailers Insurance Company already get $100,000 of EFT guard coverage that protects business bank accounts from theft. Now, we’re expanding that coverage to protect against losses resulting from data breach and ransomware events. As criminals evolve, it’s necessary for insurance coverage to follow suit. Our team is here for you. We’re ready to answer your questions about regulatory compliance, legislation, insurance, credit card processing and our popular Buy Nearby program (for more on that, please see page 11). We have 34 employees who eat, sleep and breathe retail, and we’re here to help. So call us (800.366.3699), email us (mra@retailers.com) or visit our website at retailers.com. As for those squirrels, predictions aside, I’m hoping for an extended summer, beautiful fall and mild winter.

NON SEQUITUR © Wiley Ink, Inc. Dist. By ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Michigan Grocers Division Advisory Board William J. 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

William J. 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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MRA member SpartanNash opened the Ada Fresh Market by Forest Hills Foods in April. The store aims to bring the best of Forest Hills Foods — a high-end, popular, neighborhood grocery store known for fresh foods, quality specialty items and superb customer service — to downtown Ada in a smaller store format. The 13,000-square-foot store is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Smaller Store Format

New Ada Fresh Market

“We carry the best of the best including a variety of local and organic produce, fresh fish, gluten-free items and specialty products,” says Store Director Al Samora. “But if we don’t have something a store guest wants, we can bring it to them with our Fast Lane program. That’s where customers shop online, and personal shoppers fill the orders from the Forest Hills store. They can communicate directly with customers via text to determine preferences such as how thick they want their steak. Ada Market customers then can choose in-store pickup or at-home delivery for a nominal fee.”

Meets Community Needs

“We carry products made here for people who live here,” says Samora. “For instance, in our kitchen we make Gravel Bottom beer brats with a dark-style beer from Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery, which is right next door. You can’t get more local than that.” He adds, “While our store guests love discovering Michigan treats and trendy items such as our Mochi Ice Cream products, they also love that we carry typical grocery items. That allows them to complete their shopping list while they are here.”

4 SEPT / OCT 2019


Ada Fresh Market showcases local products ranging from salsa and honey to snacks and sweets and more. The store’s “Local” tag makes it easy for shoppers to support pure Michigan products.

A few days before opening, employees were busy stocking shelves. The market has an upscale, inviting look. The modern design features high ceilings, wood beams, exposed ductwork, big windows and easy-to-navigate aisles.

The market features a wide variety of spirits, a wine wall and a beer cave offering approximately 10 by 20 feet of craft and domestic beers. A wine steward/beer expert is on staff to answer questions and help shoppers with their selections.

In demand are the market’s meal solutions, including popular deli fresh-prepared sides such as orange kale salad, four bean salad and grandma’s potato salad, made in-store. Along with a wide selection of grab-and-go items, the store serves the needs of busy customers and nearby businesses. Also popular are the artisan bakery items, from delicious desserts to donuts to pot pies and much more, which are made fresh in the Forest Hills kitchen.

The daily breakfast bar offers a fresh selection of eggs, quiche, potatoes, sausage, bacon and veggies. At lunch, the selection changes each day. Every Wednesday is $5 burger day where customers can get a burger, fries and a drink, plus load up their burger from the toppings bar. Other daily lunch specials include Monday’s $5 a pound salad bar and Tuesday’s flatbread pizza. Customers can eat in the store’s cafe or take the items to go. The market also features Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. “Our shoppers love that we carry Boar’s Head products, and the $5 lunch specials are very popular,” says Samora. “They are also are really happy that we have a full-service Starbucks with seating. It’s the only —By Lisa J. Reibsome, editor Starbucks in the area.” MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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“We look forward to working on your private brand coffee program!� Your private brand Sales Executive,

Kara Miencier 517.853.2439 | kmiencier@paramountroasters.com

Congratulations to the 2019 Felice Scholarship Winners

Courtney Farrish

Michael Flickinger

Mason Gabriel

Christopher Garbe

Michigan Retailers Association announces the 2019 Paul M. Felice Memorial Scholarship winners. Each recipient receives a $1,500 scholarship toward any accredited, nonprofit private or public U.S. university. Scholarship recipients are chosen by a third-party administrator — International Scholarship and Tuition Services. Academic record, test scores, extracurricular activities and recommendations are considered in evaluating applicants. These one-year scholarships are awarded annually to high school seniors, college freshmen, sophomores or juniors whose parents work for MRA Grocers Division members or who are part-time student employees of member companies for at least six months a year. The four 2019 winners are:  Courtney Farrish — whose mother, Kim, works for Harding’s Friendly Markets.  Michael Flickinger — whose father, David, works for Meijer.  Mason Gabriel — who works part-time at Orchard Markets.  Christopher Garbe — whose mother, Diane, works for Meijer.

“There are a lot of extremely talented students out there, and I am excited to be considered one of them,” he said upon receiving the scholarship. Michael’s brother, Paul, and sister, Sarah, are previous Felice scholarship winners. After graduation he plans to leave his “mark on the world by improving or remodeling products and systems and maximizing their potential.”

OURTNEY is a freshman at Western Michigan University where she majors in business. A 2019 graduate of St. Joseph High School with a 3.99 GPA, she was named the Herald Palladium Female Student Athlete of the Year, was a National Honor Society member, earned an academic letter all four years and received several sports awards as a fouryear varsity softball player. “I feel blessed, humbled and thankful to receive this scholarship,” she said. “After graduation, I hope to let my faith guide me and shine through me while touching as many people’s lives a possible.”

HRIS is a sophomore at Grand Valley State University where he majors in biomedical sciences/pre-med with a 3.73 GPA. In addition to making the Dean’s List, he participates in Colleges Against Cancer and other clubs. A 2018 graduate of Bay City Western High School, he graduated summa cum laude, was a Student Council and National Honor Society executive, Relay for Life team captain and Science Olympiad participant. “I am very thankful for the opportunity to continue bettering my education with the support offered through the Paul M. Felice Scholarship,” he said. “I can focus on my studies without worrying about funding my education.” After graduation he plans to attend medical school “to continue my path in becoming an ophthalmologist and helping members of my community with their eye-related health.” Congratulations to the 2019 winners!



ICHAEL is a junior at Grand Valley State University where he majors in mechanical engineering. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Product Design and Manufacturing Club. A 2017 homeschool graduate with a 3.95 GPA, he received a leadership award for student athletes at a national soccer tournament and was Student of the Month at the Kent Career Technical Center.


ASON is a sophomore at Muskegon Community College with a 3.3 GPA. He majors in secondary education with plans to teach biology. A 2018 graduate of Orchard View High School, he received varsity letters for cross country and band. He also participated in Quiz Bowl and the Links Club, which is a program that helps kids with disabilities. “I am grateful for the scholarship and the opportunity to continue to change the communities around me while furthering my education and making a difference,” he said. In addition to teaching after graduation, he hopes to “be a role model to positively impact kids' lives.”


The 2020-2021 scholarship competition will open Jan. 1. At that time, students can apply online at retailers.com until April 1, 2020. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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FACE FORWARD Meet MRA’s New President & CEO

Bill Hallan New MRA President and CEO Bill Hallan took the reins on Aug. 27. Two weeks before the big day, he sat down to talk about this with Michigan Food News Editor Lisa Reibsome. With a succession plan in place, you’ve known this change was coming for the past few years. How does it feel now that it’s finally here? It’s exciting and such an honor. I’m eager to get started. I’ve got big shoes to fill, as many of you know; but I am ready to take on the challenge. You currently wear three hats: Executive Vice President, COO and General Counsel. Will you keep some of those responsibilities? Our goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible. To backfill some of my responsibilities, we hired Tom Clement as MRA General Counsel, effective Sept. 3. That will take a lot of legal work off my plate. (Editor’s note: See more about Tom on page 17.)

What’s one first-year objective? One priority is to use technology to maintain our customer service edge. We will scale efficiencies through technology including upgrades to our customers service phone tree and website, making it easier for our members to interact with us. What motivates you to fight through challenges on behalf of Michigan businesses? In a lot of ways, I’m wired to support our members. It’s a bit like grocers who grow up helping in the family store and then become passionate about the food business. That’s how I feel about Michigan Retailers Association. My dad is finishing a 34-year career here, so for 34 of my 37 years, the association has been a big part of my life.

From an early age, I grew to understand how vital the retail industry is to Michigan’s economy and quality of life. Seeing my dad’s passion for helping retailers succeed helped to cultivate my entrepreneurial spirit. That  Bill joined MRA as VP and General Counsel spirit strengthened when I interned in 2011. here, calling on members to help with their merchant processing  He expanded his responsibilities to include systems. That was a substantial oversight of the association’s legislative summer job for a college student, advocacy program in 2012 and overall and I really enjoyed it. operations in 2013, holding the titles of EVP,

Beyond that, I plan to work closely with our management team to make sure we remain a valuable, trusted business resource for our members.

COO and General Counsel.  A graduate of Denison University and magna cum laude graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, he was a litigator with the Dykema Gossett law firm before joining MRA. 8 SEPT / OCT 2019


When something is a part of you like that, you tend to take care of it, so I am fully invested in MRA’s success. It’s satisfying to see the fruits of our labor when we’re able to make a difference for our members. It’s such a great partnership — when

our members do well, the association does well. What do you wish all retailers knew about MRA? MRA doesn’t just promote the ‘Shop Local’ movement, we put it into practice. Grocers and other retailers, of course, are well aware of the vital role local businesses and products play in strengthening communities. However, what they may not know is that, here at MRA, we put the value of local to work for our members. To that end, we developed the Buy Nearby campaign, which encourages people to buy from retailers who are invested in Michigan. Our Buy Nearby toolkit, mascot and events are all designed to help retailers increase traffic and revenue, ultimately making our state stronger. (Editor’s note: See more about Buy Nearby on page 11.) Beyond that, from our Lansing-based headquarters, we proudly serve our members from all corners of the state. That starts with our Michigan-based customer service department. When you reach out to us, the people who respond work and live in Michigan just like you do. That means that, in addition to offering first-class service and expertise, our customer service reps know what’s going on in our state, and they know what’s going on in our members’ businesses. Being plugged in puts them in the perfect position to provide personalized, expert assistance. In addition, many of our sales and customer service reps have become certified payment professionals in order to offer the highest level of expertise.

What are two MRA services you think most benefit Michigan grocers?

Who does the grocery shopping and who cooks?

Two outstanding opportunities for grocers are our workers’ comp insurance options and our merchant processing program.

Michelle shops for groceries, and we both cook. I really like to grill.

Grocers know that workers’ compensation insurance premiums can be one of the largest business expenses. As MRA members, grocers have two strong, Michigan-based options. Our Retailers Insurance Company offers workers’ comp with low minimum premium requirements and discounts for best practices. Policies have a $2 million employers’ liability limited — compared to the standard $500,000 — and include $100,000 in protection if a business bank account is breached. Several payment programs are available based on the premium size. The Michigan Grocers Fund also provides a strong format for securing workers’ compensation. As a member-owned, self-insured program, the Fund allows Michigan grocers to have more control of their long-term workers’ comp costs. The Fund was approved to distribute almost $500,000 of surplus premium on their 2020 renewal, representing an average credit of 41% off of the premium members will pay in 2020. I hope grocers consider both industry-supported options before looking at an unrelated party. Our merchant processing program is another way we help members save money. Servicing all major cards, we handle processing for thousands of businesses in all 50 states. With our no-cost comparison, it makes sense that grocers would contact us for more information on this. We can show, in writing, how they will benefit from our program. Give us a glimpse into the personal side of your life: My wife, Michelle, and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary. We have three children — Olivia is 9, Zachary is 6 and Theodore is 3. We also have an Australian Labradoodle named Penny Lane. We love to travel, especially around Michigan in the summer and anywhere warm in the winter! I am also teaching my two older kids to golf, which is a lot of fun.

What is your favorite aisle in the grocery store? I’m a fan of a good meat department. I guess that goes with my interest in grilling. In 2020, MRA will mark 80 years in business. Are there plans to celebrate? In those 80 years, we’ve become a powerful network of businesses. Going forward, our mission remains the same: to promote retailfriendly policies, protect the industry from harmful taxes, regulations, and legislation and to educate consumers on the importance of keeping their money in the Mitten. We’re fortunate to have outstanding board members who empower us to think big and a great staff to carry out our mission. That allows us to keep looking for ways to benefit our members. I hope we celebrate by having another successful 80 years!

“It’s satisfying to see the fruits of our labor when we’re able to make a difference for our members. It’s such a great partnership — when our members do well, the association does well.” —Bill Hallan, pictured here with Jim Hallan

HARVEST HAS BEGUN! Give your shoppers fresh, delicious apples from the place where apples love to grow. Contact your Michigan Apple supplier today to source the besttasting apples in the world.



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10 SEPT / OCT 2019


Grocers — Take advantage of Buy Nearby Weekend Michigan Retailers Association encourages grocers to participate in the upcoming Buy Nearby Weekend, Oct. 4-6, to create shopper excitement and grow sales. The Buy Nearby campaign is Michigan Retailer’s shop-local initiative to educate consumers about the importance of keeping their money in the Mitten — and make them feel good about doing it. The campaign runs throughout the year but is formally celebrated during the first weekend in October, called “Buy Nearby Weekend.” MRA also supports downtown businesses that hold Buy Nearby events at other times. With a minimum of six businesses on board you can sign on, and we will help you mount a great shop-local campaign. A lot of downtowns pass out our materials and hold a Buy Nearby shopper contest (we give you a $100 gift card for the prize!) during a local festival or other event as a way to spread the word. MRA will publicize those events on social media and provide promotional materials and talking points to educate shoppers and the media. You can request materials at any time, or we can load you up right before your Buy Nearby Weekend. Contact Rachel Schrauben at rschrauben@retailers.com. Buy Nearby packets include information about how to create your own Buy Nearby Program, plus: • Talking Points • Buy Nearby Coloring Books • Buy Nearby Stickers • Buy Nearby Window Decal • Bag Stuffers • Photo Contest Directions • Buy Nearby Bags • 9 x 11 and 11 x 17 Buy Nearby Posters

Buy Nearby Guy with Kroger’s Ken McClure and Rep. Padma Kuppa.

MRA’s latest initiative is partnering with MLive on videos featuring all the wonderful things that downtowns offer. (For example, here’s one about Charlevoix: bit.ly/2lAbe2R.) Don’t forget to “like” our Buy Nearby Facebook page, www. facebook.com/BuyNearbyMI, to keep up on shop-local news. Also, if your DDA, PSD or chamber group meets regularly, MRA’s Meegan Holland is available to present on how to do a Buy Nearby promotion or jump-start retail in your downtown. Contact her at mholland@retailers.com to set up a date and time.

Governor appoints two to Michigan Liquor Control Commission, names new chairperson On Aug. 21, Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Pat Gagliardi and Geralyn Lasher to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. They succeed Andy Deloney, who served as chair since 2011, and Teri Quimby; both terms expired in June. The governor named Gagliardi as chairperson. This will be his second time serving on the MLCC. In 2003, former Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed him to the commission and he served until 2011. Most recently he served as a consultant and owner of Gagliardi Associates, LLC. He is a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives where he served as the Democratic Floor Leader, Tourism Committee Chair and the Oversight and Ethics Committee Chair. He holds a bachelor’s in sociology from Lake Superior State University. When appointed to the MLCC, Lasher was the senior deputy director for External Relations and Communications for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. With almost 30 years of experience in public service, she was the interim executive director of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, director of communications for former Governor Snyder and director of communications for the Michigan Department of Community Health. She has a bachelor’s in advertising from Michigan State University. Both appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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Michigan Retailers & Grocers Outing Fine Weather, Networking and Golf


ood weather, outstanding hospitality, 6,300 yards of beautiful greens, grass swales and mounded bunkers plus great golfers made the Annual Michigan Grocers/Michigan Retailers Golf Outing an all-around success. Members came together on July 30 at the Brookshire Inn and Golf Club in Williamston to take advantage of the fresh air and splashes of sunshine to golf and network, making it a productive and fun way to spend a Michigan summer day. The Association thanks all of the golfers who participated, especially the generous sponsors listed on page 13.

WINNERS 1st Place – SpartanNash Team (15 under score of 57) Pictured from left to right: Thom Welch – Hollywood Markets Jim Gohsman – SpartanNash Steffen Nizinski – SpartanNash Rick Welch – Hollywood Markets 2nd Place – Lites Plus Team Todd Kananen – Lites Plus John Mundell – Lites Plus Bill Hallan – Michigan Retailers Association Amy Drumm – Michigan Retailers Association Men’s Longest Drive: Matt Poff – Neiman’s Family Market Woman’s Longest Drive: Dawn Feldpausch – RPS Regency/Michigan Grocers Fund Men’s Closest to the Pin #18: Steffen Nizinski – SpartanNash Men’s Closest to the Pin #7: Bill Jackovac – Lipari Foods Women’s Closest to the Pin #17: Sharon Novasal – RPS Regency/Michigan Grocers Fund Women’s Closest to the Pin #2: Cheryl Medler – Michigan Retailers Association 12 SEPT / OCT 2019


Bill Hallan with MRA, Dawn Feldpausch with RPS Regency/ Michigan Grocers Fund, Mark Castillo with the Campbell Group and Tim Hannah with RPS Regency/Michigan Grocers Fund listen to instructions before heading to their first tees.

The Leppink’s Food Centers team — John Leppink, Arianna Meinke, Robert Leppink and Rich Cole — were all smiles on the course.

Todd Robinson, Gary Pfeil, Nick Lenzi and Jesslyn Race — all with Busch’s — were happy to be out on the course enjoying time spent with coworkers and colleagues.

Neiman’s Family Market’s Matt Poff and Nate Neiman are flanked by Mehmert Store Services’ Chad Ott and Brad Knab as the team takes a break from a great round of golf to pose for a photo.

Thank You, Sponsors! Double Eagle/Eagle  Kroger Co. of Michigan  IGT Global Solutions

 Meijer

 SpartanNash

Lunch  Campbell Group

 H.T. Hackney

19th Hole  Lansing Brewing Co.

 Lipari Foods

Golf Cart: Michigan Grocers Fund Enjoying their best hole of the outing — the 19th —are Doug Watters and Don Symonds with Lipari Foods, Steffen Nizinski with SpartanNash and Ron Larson with Lipari Foods. Lipari Foods and Lansing Brewing Company sponsored the 19th Hole. Right: Arctic Glacier’s Ed Albert selects from the delicious dinner buffet options.

Hole/Tee: Arctic Glacier Premium Ice, Grewal Law PLLC, Herbruck Poultry Ranch/Egglandʼs Best, Lites Plus, Michigan Retailers Association, Retailers Insurance Company, UBCR Prize Donations: Brookshire Inn & Golf Club, Delta Dental, Douglas J Salon, Griffin Pest Solutions, SpartanNash, Schupan Recycling, Tullymore Golf Resort MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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Koepplinger's Bread has been baked in Michigan since 1932. Make sure you have plenty of Koepplinger's Bread on the shelf to satisfy loyal customer demand.

whole grains


High Fructose Corn Syrup

Baked and Distributed by Aunt Millie’s Bakeries

Michigan Grocers Fund Hits the five year mark with a bang

The Michigan Grocers Fund, a member-owned self-insured workers’ compensation program, is about to complete its fifth year in operation by releasing its largest profit return to date. The Fund just received authorization from the State of Michigan to distribute just shy of $500,000 back to its members. That brings the total returned since its inception to over $1.1 million. This represents an average credit of 41 percent off of the premium members will pay in 2020.

the Fund is after five years and believes the latest profit return is indicative of its excellent performance. “If you are not in the Fund, you really need to take a look at it,” Kuhnke says. “It was established to help grocery store operators control their workers’ compensation costs, and it’s helped with that more and more each year since it launched.”

The Fund is 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 MGF Board Chair Christy Kuhnke says Fund’s operation. The Michigan Grocers she is “extremely pleased” to see where Fund Board of Trustees is comprised of Chair Christy Kuhnke, Tom’s Food Markets; Kim Kennedy, Polly’s 41% average return back to members Country Markets; Curt DeVries, Harding’s Markets West; Dave Duthler, AMRA Energy; and Rich Cole, Leppink’s Food Centers. Members consist of Michiganbased grocery owners who are focused on employee safety and

committed to improving their existing loss prevention programs. Collectively, members share in the underwriting profits created by this commitment to safety. All dollars not used to pay for claims or overhead expenses are returned to the members along with investment income. 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, meats, dairy products and produce. The Michigan Grocers Fund is sold and serviced by a carefully selected statewide network of independent insurance professionals with grocery industry experience. Fund participants must be members of the Michigan Retailers Association. For more information visit www.migrocersfund.org or contact the Fund Administrator, RPS Regency, at (800) 686-6640.

Bolster the power of foodservice at retail with variety, speed and technology FMI just released its annual assessment of the state of foodservice at retail, demonstrating the opportunities for retailers to leverage a $13 billion category. Growing annually at 8.2 percent, foodservice is presented as a primary strategy for food retailers to differentiate and appeal to convenience-seeking consumers. FMI’s “2019 Power of Foodservice at Retail” finds that:  88 percent of shoppers want to see more new items and flavors in retail foodservice. The most frequently mentioned word in the open-ended suggestions of the survey was “more” in combination with words such as variety, food, options and items.  The highest share, at 31 percent, want to see flavor and item rotation on a monthly basis, but 28 percent want even greater levels of innovation and recommend a weekly or even daily rotation.  The importance of speed is once more underscored by the graband-go, ready-to-eat format being the most popular method, which is of interest to 68 percent of shoppers.  Heat-and-eat is the second most popular style, at 63 percent.  57% of shoppers have grocery store apps downloaded, 42 percent actively use one or more.  App usage is highly related to checking weekly specials (78 percent) and online grocery ordering (53 percent) but foodservice orders lag (38 percent). MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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MRA names Thomas Clement as General Counsel Michigan Retailers Association appointed Thomas P. Clement as its General Counsel, effective Sept. 3. Clement most recently served as General Counsel for the Michigan Supreme Court, managing litigation involving the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the State Court Administrative Office. He also served as legislative liaison to the executive and legislative branches, representing the court on policy and legislative issues. Clement joined the Supreme Court in 2016, after leaving the Michigan Attorney General’s Office as a Division Chief, where he supervised 12 attorneys specializing in licensing and regulatory issues. He’s practiced law for 17 years. In private practice, he primarily concentrated on state and federal criminal law and general civil litigation, after starting out as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Eaton County. With a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University, he earned his Juris Doctorate from the Michigan State University College of Law. “Tom will be especially helpful to our members with his knowledge of issues involving the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs,” says MRA President and CEO Bill Hallan, who served as MRA General Counsel before becoming President and CEO on Aug. 27. “My goal is to help MRA build on its reputation for stability, ethical business practices and passionate advocacy for retailers,” Clement said. “It was difficult to leave the Supreme Court, but I’m intrigued by MRA’s ability to help businesses ranging from start-ups to established corporations.” Tom lives in East Lansing with his wife — Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth T. Clement — and their four children.

Gov. declares Sept. ʻFamily Meals Monthʼ At MRA’s request, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring September as “Family Meals Month.” To read the proclamation, please see bit.ly/2lGm7jm. Created by the Food Marketing Institute and now in its fifth year, Family Meals Month is an industry inspired movement to raise consumer awareness of the health and societal benefits of sharing frequent family meals at home. Each September, the food retail industry rallies together to promote the role grocers and food manufacturers play in helping families share more meals at home more often. A partnership with celebrated chef and culinary personality Robert Irvine is expected to add star power to the campaign this year. “MRA thanks the governor for formally designating the month,” says MRA Government Affairs VP Amy Drumm, “and we encourage grocers and suppliers to join the movement.” As the Michigan Food News goes to press, Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lum), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is expected to sponsor a resolution to also support the issue, encouraging Michigan families to share more meals. Grocers and suppliers can take advantage of Family Meals Month to remind the community of the many ways food businesses advocate for families every day with great products and mealtime solutions. Looking for resources? FMI has a variety of downloadable assets provided at no cost. See www.fmi.org/ family-meals/toolkits.

House committee reports e-prescribing bills The House Health Policy Committee reported out an amended version of the MRA-supported e-prescribing legislation, HB 4217. The substitute clarifies the circumstances that allow a prescriber to obtain a waiver, mirrors the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implementation date of Jan. 1, 2021, and allows the state to delay implementation if CMS delays implementation federally. In addition, it requires that pharmacists make a good faith effort to ensure that prescriptions are legitimate and that prescribers document the reason for issuing a paper prescription under exemptions that allow for a judgement call. It also increases the penalties for noncompliance. “This bill, along with two similar Senate bills, strikes a balance between requests from the state for clarity and flexibility/conformity with other deadlines that prescribers are under,” says MRA Government Affairs VP Amy Drumm. The Health Policy Committee referred the bill to the Ways and Means Committee, recommending that the substitute be adopted. MRA expects the committee to take up the bill over the next few weeks.

This is just one of many options for grocers available in FMI’s Retailer Toolkit. There is also a Supplier Toolkit. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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Welcome to the 2019 Food Retailers Summit After months of planning and hard work, Michigan Retailers Association is set to kick off the 2019 Food Retailers Summit. Earning seven new awards and accolades in 2019, Crystal Mountain Resort makes an idea location for the event. We invite you to settle in the moment you arrive. The resort’s entire team is ready to help make your experience relaxing and productive. People make the event great, and your participation makes it even better!

Schedule of Events

Thank You, Sponsors!

Summit Registration ..................................................4-6:30 p.m. ............................. Crystal Center Main Level Pick up a Welcome Bag Annual Meeting & Grocers Division Advisory Board Meeting ........................4-5 p.m. ...... Baffin Island/Crystal Center Upper Level Hotel Check-in...........................................................................5 p.m........................................... Inn at the Mountain

Diamond Sponsors

Wednesday, Sept. 25

Welcome Reception....................................................... 6:30 p.m. .. Northwest Territories Lobby/Crystal Center SpartanNash Dinner & Al Kessel Awards .......................7:30 p.m. .. Northwest Territories Room/Crystal Center H.T. Hackney Euchre Tournament & Hospitality ....... 9:30-11 p.m. ............................ Mountain View/The Lodge

Thursday, Sept. 26 Complimentary Breakfast Buffet .....................................8-9 a.m. ..........................Northwest Territories Lobby General Session ....................................................9 a.m-12 p.m.. ..........................Northwest Territories Room Welcome: Bill Hallan, President & CEO, MRA Government Affairs Update: Amy Drumm, Government Affairs VP, MRA Digital Innovations: Thom Blischok, Chairman & CEO, The Dialogic Group Care & Caution: A Frank Conversation about Human Resources: Jodi Schafer, Principal, HRM Services Buffet Lunch ................................................................12-1 p.m. ..........................Northwest Territories Lobby Sponsored by Associated Wholesale Grocers and Great Lakes Coca-Cola Lunch & Learn: CBD/Industrial Hemp ....................12:15-1 p.m. ..........................Northwest Territories Room Gina Alessandri, Industrial Hemp Program Director, MDARD Douglas Mains, Partner, Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn Aunt Millie’s Cup Bocce Tournament ...........................1:30 p.m. ..................................... Golf Practice Facility BMC Cornhole Tournament ..........................................2:30 p.m. ..................................... Golf Practice Facility Reception ......................................................................6:30 p.m. ..........................Northwest Territories Lobby Lipari Foods Dinner & Entertainment by Cliff Erickson .... 7:30 p.m. .......................... Northwest Territories Room

Friday, Sept. 27 Complimentary Breakfast Buffet ....................................8-9 a.m. ........Lake Harbor/Crystal Center Upper Level Golf Outing.......................................................... Tee Times Vary ...Crystal Mountain’s Mountain Ridge Course

Name Badges: Your name badge is your “ticket” into all functions, and it should be worn at all times. Check in at the registration desk at the Crystal Center to pick up your badge and a Welcome Bag beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The desk will be staffed until 6:30 p.m. You’ll want your badge for the first event — the 6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception in the Northwest Territories Lobby. Dress Advisory: Resort casual or business casual attire is recommended for all Summit functions. For outdoor activities, keep in mind that fall in northern Michigan can mean cool weather, so plan accordingly. Breakfast: Both Thursday and Friday mornings offer a complimentary breakfast buffet from 8 to 9 a.m. Thursday’s breakfast is in the lobby outside the Northwest Territories Room on the main level of the Crystal Center. Friday’s breakfast is on the upper level of the Crystal Center in the area called Lake Harbor, outside the Hudson Bay room. Lunch: There will be a buffet lunch in the lobby outside the Northwest Territories Room at noon on Thursday, before the 12:15 session. All Summit attendees are welcome. Dinner: All event attendees are invited to attend Wednesday night’s SpartanNash Dinner/Al Kessel Awards as well as Lipari Foods Dinner and entertainment on Thursday night. 18 SEPT / OCT 2019


Kroger Lipari Foods Meijer SpartanNash

Platinum Sponsors Arctic Glacier Premium Ice Aunt Millie’s Bakeries H.T. Hackney Co.

Gold Sponsor BMC

Silver Sponsors Associated Wholesale Grocers Great Lakes Coca-Cola Mehmert Store Services Star Truck Rentals

Bronze Sponsors Bush Brothers Michigan Grocers Fund Michigan Retailers Insurance

Event Sponsors SpartanNash Wednesday Night Dinner H.T. Hackney Euchre Tournament & Snacks Associated Wholesale Grocers & Great Lakes Coca-Cola Buffet Lunch Aunt Millie’s Bocce Tournament BMC Cornhole Tournament Lipari Foods

Thursday Dinner & Entertainment

MRA President and CEO Jim Hallan Retires After 34 years with Michigan Retailers Association, President and CEO Jim Hallan retired on Aug. 26. He joined MRA in 1985, became president in 1989 and added the CEO title in 2008. A former assistant county prosecutor, he is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Detroit College of Law. On Aug. 20 each of the Association’s three governing boards presented Jim with a plaque thanking him for his service. Here, MRA Director Joe McCurry reads from one of the plaques. In retirement, Jim will continue to serve on the Retailers Insurance Company Board of Directors and as the Delta Dental Foundation chairman. He looks forward to golfing, spending more time with his eight grandkids along with Beth, his wife of 44 years, and their three grown children. Congratulations, Jim!

Governor announces flavored vaping, alternative nicotine product ban In early Sept., Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made a splash in the press when she announced the state would soon be filing an emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vaping products and flavored alternative nicotine products. Here’s what you need to know:  The emergency rule, which will be filed on the grounds of a public health emergency, had not yet been filed as the Michigan Food News went to press, but it will be effective immediately once it is filed.  MRA believes the rule will likely be filed on Sept. 12.  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that there will be a 30-day delay in enforcement to ensure that all parties, including law enforcement, are prepared.  The rule will prohibit the sale of flavored vapor products (vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens and e-cigarettes) and flavored alternative nicotine products online and at retail locations. This includes menthol-flavored products despite those being permissible in cigarettes and all flavors being allowed for tobacco products. Other flavored tobacco products including cigars, cigarillos, chew, hookah, dip and snuff will still be legal to sell to individuals over age 18.  The rule will also prohibit advertising or marketing the uses terms such as clean, safe, harmless or healthy. Ads for vapor products and alternative nicotine products are prohibited within 25 feet of the point of sale, candy, foodstuff or soft

drinks and cannot be visible by a person standing 25 feet from the building.  Once the emergency rule is filed, the only permissible flavors of vapor or alternative nicotine products will be unflavored or tobacco-flavored products.  Vapor products and alternative nicotine products approved as a drug or device by the FDA for smoking cessation will not be included in the ban. Some flavored alternative nicotine products, also referred to sometimes as nicotine replacement therapy drugs/devices, are approved by the FDA and therefore not covered by the emergency rule. These include mint-flavored Nicorette gum, Nicotine Polacrilex gum and lozenges, and may include others. MRA is seeking a complete list of flavored alternative nicotine products that will still be legal to sell. The administration has released some FAQs on the emergency rule. See bit.ly/2lY6eVJ. The FAQs answer the question of what is and is not included as a vapor or alternative nicotine product. MDHHS tells MRA that a retailer toolkit is in development. The American Vaping Association, vapor product manufacturers and some tobacco/vape specialty retailers are considering legal action. E-cigarettes, vapor products and tobacco products cannot be sold to anyone under age 18 in Michigan. Sales of non-menthol flavored cigarettes were prohibited by the FDA in 2009. The FDA is currently considering a ban on flavored tobacco and vaping products and is reviewing comments submitted last summer by the industry and other interested parties. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

SEPT /OCT 2019 19

20 SEPT / OCT 2019



Produce Safety Rule takes root in Michigan By Tim Slawinski Food and Dairy Division Director Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

September is Food Safety Education Month and a perfect time to reflect on all the strides that have been made in improving our food safety inspection programs in Michigan and nationally. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was enacted in 2011 to create a seamless inspection system from production to the end user. Produce Safety Rule In the past two years, a big effort has been undertaken to implement the FDA Produce Safety Rule (PSR) and inspections and implementation efforts are fully underway. This year marks a hallmark year for produce growers not only in Michigan, but throughout the nation. This is the first year that farms subject to the PSR, 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 112, are receiving inspections. These initial inspections are focused on education and identifying areas on the farm where food safety measures can be implemented or improved. The PSR was adopted into the Michigan Food Law on March 26, 2018. This allows MDARD Food and Dairy Division staff to conduct inspections under state authority. To date, over 20 produce farm inspections have been completed in Michigan on farms covered by the PSR. The PSR addresses growing and harvesting practices that lead to microbial contamination of produce that is typically eaten raw. The PSR focuses on key areas where microbial contamination is most likely to occur, including employee health and hygiene, worker training, biological soil amendments (animal), water, sanitation, and wild and domestic animal interface. Farms subject to the PSR are those with gross annual produce sales over $25,000 who grow, harvest, pack or hold produce that is typically eaten raw. Exemptions to the PSR are available for produce grown for personal use, produce that undergoes further commercial processing with a validated kill step and for facilities that average under $500,000 in total food sales with a majority of sales direct to consumer. Many farmers and farm workers are interested in learning more about what to expect during an inspection. Produce safety educational videos have been created to answer this and other questions. These videos can be found at Michigan. gov/producesafety. Education, outreach and technical assistance have been at the forefront of PSR implementation efforts in Michigan. MDARD has partnered with conservation districts and Michigan State

University Extension, in addition to other entities, to provide education, outreach and technical assistance to produce farms to improve on farm food safety and better understand how the PSR impacts their farm. Resources are available both for facilities that are covered by the PSR and those that are not. These resources include the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training Course, On-Farm Readiness Reviews and the Produce Safety Risk Assessment Tool. PSA Grower Training PSA Grower Training is a one-day course that provides an overview of the primary requirements of the PSR for produce farmers and farm workers. Attendance is mandatory for farms covered under the PSR. Training is free and typically instructed by MSU Extension Educators, Produce Safety Technicians and MDARD staff. For more information or to register online, see https://bit.ly/2ktYFpw. On-Farm Readiness Review An On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a free assessment of a farm’s readiness for inspection under the PSR. An OFRR allows the farmer the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation and farm walk-through with a PSR expert who can assist in evaluating pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest conditions and practices. OFRRs include identification of favorable practices and opportunities for improvements to food safety practices. This valuable PSR readiness tool is conducted during routine farm activities to ensure reviewers can make accurate and thorough assessments of on-farm food safety practices. Produce Safety Risk Assessment There are six Produce Safety Technicians housed in conservation districts throughout Michigan who are available to provide free and confidential technical assistance to growers using the Produce Safety Risk Assessment (PSRA). The PSRA is an on-farm assessment tool designed for farms to evaluate and improve their produce safety practices. A certificate of completion is awarded when a participating grower implements a corrective action plan that addresses potential food safety risks identified on the farm. It is important to note that the PSR does not change a food establishment’s ability to purchase produce or use produce of their own production. Agricultural producers may provide produce of their own production directly to consumers or food establishments. A school, individual, licensed food establishment, or other entity can be an agricultural producer. continued on page 22 MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

SEPT /OCT 2019 21

Weʼre 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.

Produce Safety continued from page 21

Food establishments should consider the following: • The grower is considered an approved source for a food establishment. • The grower may sell directly from their production site or through a farmer’s market. • Growers are not typically licensed. • All producers are responsible to assure their produce is safe and wholesome and must comply with applicable laws. Individuals seeking assistance on safe growing information and cultural practices should contact their county MSU extension office. For more resources see www.michigan.gov/producesafety.

Lottery News

Doubler Days Returns, Expected to Boost Sales By Brian O. Neill Michigan Lottery Commissioner

Michigan Lottery players have a chance to double their fun this month when the popular Doubler Days promotion returns for the Club Keno game. During September, all Club Keno tickets purchased at Lottery retailers are eligible for Doubler Days. A Doubler message will be printed on random tickets and will double all prizes won on that ticket, and there is no additional cost to players. Club Keno Extra prizes also are included in the Doubler Days promotion. The Jack prizes and Club Keno Extra eight of 10, nine of 10, and 10 of 10 prizes are excluded from the promotion. This popular promotion has a strong track record of generating excitement among players and boosting Club Keno purchases. The Doubler Days promotion offers double benefits to retailers with increased sales and increased commissions. Lottery retailers weren’t the only ones to benefit from this successful promotion when it ran earlier this year. All told players won more than $2.3 million in Doubler Days bonus prize money.

UBCR, LLC 4820 Holtz Drive, Wixom, Michigan 48393 www.ubcrllc.com Your Third-Party Pick Up Agent for Used Beverage Containers

Retailers, for more information contact: Nick Kronsbein (248) 529-2605  nkronsbein@ubcrllc.com 22 SEPT / OCT 2019


$20,000,000 Blowout! Offers More than $2 Million in Sales and Redemption Commission: The Lottery’s newest $10 instant game, $20,000,000 Blowout!, offers players a chance to win exclusively $50 and $100 prizes. All told, the game offers more than $21 million in total prizes available. Based on the success of similar games in other jurisdictions, we expect this game to be very popular with players. Since this game offers players a chance to win $50 or $100, all prizes can be redeemed at Lottery retailers. That means more than $2 million in sales and redemption commissions are available for retailers to earn.


Double their winnings. Double your redemption commission. Watch players have double the fun with DOUBLER DAYS in September. That's when random Club Keno tickets print with a doubler message. Lucky players who ďŹ nd that message on their ticket will double their winnings. And when a player doubles their winnings, you'll double your redemption commission. Tell your customers to play Club Keno today!

Applies to Club Keno, Kicker and Extra prizes only. The Jack prizes and Extra 10-spot game top prizes are excluded from this promotion. Club Keno, Kicker and Extra prizes will be doubled up to a maximum of $4 million per draw. The Club Keno mark is a registered trademark with IGT Global Solutions Corporation. Overall odds of winning Club Keno are from 1 in 4 to 1 in 17. Overall odds of winning Extra are from 1 in 3 to 1 in 10. Knowing your limits is always the best bet. Call the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline for conďŹ dential help at 1-800-270-7117.

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Lansing, MI Permit No. 846

603 S. Washington Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933 (800) 366-3699 www.retailers.com


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CONTACT US TODAY AND LEARN HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS! Visit SpartanNash.com or Call Jim Gohsman (616) 878-8088 | Roger Delemeester (989) 245-0337

Profile for Michigan Retailers Association

September-October 2019 Michigan Food News  

The September-October 2019 issue of the Michigan Food News, the official publication of Michigan Grocers, a division of the Michigan Retaile...

September-October 2019 Michigan Food News  

The September-October 2019 issue of the Michigan Food News, the official publication of Michigan Grocers, a division of the Michigan Retaile...

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