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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

Our members are well-served on the legislative battlefield william j. hallan

MRA President and Chief Executive Officer

Something absolutely remarkable happened recently. The Michigan House voted unanimously in favor of our marketplace and Wayfair codification bills. The vote was 110–0. And this wasn’t a vote on feel-good legislation such as naming a highway after a local icon. This was a vote on real policy. We’ve talked a great deal about sales tax collection by out-ofstate retailers in our various publications, so I won’t get into a lengthy discussion now. In short, here’s what these bills do: In Wayfair v. South Dakota, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld South Dakota’s law requiring out-of-state sellers to collect sales tax unless they met certain exemptions. And while the Michigan Department of Treasury adopted the South Dakota standards in an Administrative Bulletin, it’s necessary to put those standards into law to prevent them from being challenged. The bills also ensure that sales tax is collected on third-party sales that occur on online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy. With politics being so divisive, can you remember the last time a group of legislators did anything unanimously? Gridlock has become the norm. Even on issues where there is mass consensus (the roads need to be fixed!), the ability to compromise gets lost. Yet here, both Republicans and Democrats came together, demonstrating that good policy can still unite those who often disagree.

business. It’s the core mission of Michigan Retailers Association, yet it’s something that often gets taken for granted. Without our advocacy, retailers would still have to comply with item pricing, each locality might have different plastic bag restrictions and wage and benefit mandates could vary from city to city. It’s often the bad policy or new regulations that we kill that preserves the favorable status quo. It’s hard to get excited about the status quo, but MRA wields both a sword and a shield. If you need a visual cue, just imagine Amy Drumm wearing knight armor. Our work on this sales tax issue is not done. The bills move over to the Senate now, and you can rest assured that we’ll be there working tirelessly on your behalf. The value of an Association cannot always be measured by a dollar savings on a particular service. Indeed, preventing onerous regulations is difficult to quantify. But your membership gives us the strength of a collective voice — helping us put even more muscle behind that sword and shield. We thank you for your membership and for supporting the Association as we work everyday to support you.

But let’s not kid ourselves, while we’d all like to believe that good policy is a unifier, moving legislation is a lot of hard work. It’s in these moments that Michigan Retailers Association is thankful to have Amy Drumm, our Vice President of Government Affairs. Many of you know Amy, and if you were at our recent Food Retailers Summit at Crystal Mountain, you heard her excellent presentation. Amy is at the Capitol everyday working to ensure that grocers and retailers have a friendly climate in which to do Michigan Grocers Division Advisory Board William J. Hallan, President Jim Gohsman DJ Oleson Michigan Retailers Association SpartanNash Oleson’s Food Stores Rich Beishuizen John Leppink Don Symonds Country Fresh Leppink’s Food Centers Lipari Foods Craig Diepenhorst Ken McClure Thom Welch H.T. Hackney Kroger Company of Michigan Hollywood Markets Dave Duthler Bryan Neiman AMRA Energy Neiman’s Family Market Jim Forsberg Arctic Glacier Premium Ice Michigan Grocers is a division of the Michigan Retailers Association

William J. Hallan Publisher Lisa J. Reibsome Editor & Ad Sales

(517) 449-2256 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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hile uncertainty over tariffs could put a damper on the holiday season, the National Retail Federation expects retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 and 4.2 percent over 2018, with consumers spending about $1,048 per household on gifts, cards, flowers, decorations, food and beverages. The data, which excludes automobiles, gasoline and restaurants, shows that holiday retail sales have climbed an average of 3.7 percent over the past five years despite last year’s disappointing holiday sales, which only increased 2.1 percent over the prior year amid a government shutdown, stock market volatility and other economic struggles, NRF reports. Grocers can expect increased holiday sales “Current economic data and the recent momentum of the economy show that we can expect a much stronger holiday season than last year,” says NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Job growth and higher wages mean there’s more money in families’ pockets, so we see both the willingness and ability to spend this holiday season.” NRF reports that shoppers between the ages of 35 and 44 plan to spend the most — approximately $1,160

per household. Consumers will spend in three main categories during the holidays — gifts for family, friends and co-workers, at an average $659; holiday items such as candy, beverages, food, decorations, greeting cards and flowers at $227; and nongift purchases made for themselves or others that take advantage of the deals and promotions of the season at $162. The accounting and research firm Deloitte predicts an even higher holiday growth rate of 4.5 to 5 percent over last year. Deloitte’s annual holiday economic forecast predicts that shoppers will spend nearly $1,500 per household. The bulk ($596) will go to experiences and celebrations — including entertaining at home (which 75 percent of respondents say they plan to do), socializing away from home, travel and restaurants. Food, bev lead self-gifting Deloitte reports that the top items people report buying for themselves during the holidays are food and beverages. And when giving food and beverages, top shelf liquors are becoming a more popular gift. This year, food and beverages rank after gift cards, clothing, toys/games and books. In addition, this year the number of survey respondents who say they plan to shop for gifts at the supermarket/grocery store increased by 10 percent.

Will tariffs impact holiday sales? On Oct. 18, the Trump administration imposed $7.5 billion worth of tariffs on many specialty foods imports from the EU to regain some losses stemming from a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies. The U.S. levied 25 percent duties on a range of European products, including: s French, German and Spanish wine s Single-malt whiskies from Scotland and Ireland s Fruit, including fresh fruit, dried fruit and fruit juice s Pork, including prepared or preserved pork s Dairy products like butter, yogurt and cheese (Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano) s Olives and olive oil Retailers are not yet sure how this will impact high-end holiday food sales. 4 NOV/DEC 2019


Providing additional insights into the season, the NPD Group’s “2019 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey” finds that consumers are split in their attitudes about holiday shopping. Most say they are looking forward to this holiday season, seeing the holidays as a welcome break from everything happening in the world. In fact, half say that going out shopping puts them in the holiday spirit. However, at the same time, almost half said that this year they plan to gather with family or friends as a way to celebrate rather than exchange gifts.

for someone else in the past 12 months. Other relatively widely purchased food gifts include coffee/tea/hot chocolate gifts, sweet baked foods, nut/salty snacks and popcorn tins/gifts.

“There is more of a divide in consumer sentiment heading into this holiday season than we have seen in years,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, the NPD Group. “There are fewer consumers planning on doing what they did last year, which means retail needs to be prepared to think differently as well.”

Grocery shoppers want convenient holiday shopping Another study conducted last November offers deeper insights into grocery shopping trends during the holidays. “The State of Grocery Retail” by Phononic found that:

NPD’s findings could bode well for grocers who are poised to meet both the needs of those looking to shop for gifts and those looking to gather with friends and family to celebrate. How consumers shop for holiday groceries Market research firm Packaged Facts estimates 54 percent of those who purchased food gifts for others in the last year have done so for the winter holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Likewise, 29 percent of those who have purchased food gifts for themselves have done so during this period. The findings were published in the report “Food Gifting in the U.S.: Consumer and Corporate.” “The winter holidays have become a food gifting mainstay,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “Even food gifting sales for other popular occasions including birthdays, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day can’t match the flurry of activity during the winter holidays.” What are people buying? Overall, boxed chocolates/candies remain the most prevalently chosen food gift that people purchase for others, with some 27 percent of food givers purchasing boxed chocolates/candies

Package Facts finds that convenience is the motivating factor that food gift purchasers cite as a reason for choosing to give these types of presents. Givers also often consider food gifts as ideal for people who “don’t really need anything” but who nevertheless would enjoy a high-quality and attractive present.

n Convenience is most critical to shoppers during the busy holiday months, with 55 percent of consumers feeling that grocery retailers could make their lives easier during the holiday season by grouping holiday items in one area of the store. n The youngest demographic polled (ages 18-24), were especially drawn to convenience, with a quarter of respondents in this age group wanting to see popular items at checkout (26 percent) and pre-made holiday meal offerings (24 percent). Loyalty is harder to come by during the holidays The good news for retailers is that consumers — across age groups — are most often loyal to one grocery store for the majority of their shopping, with just under a third (29 percent) identifying themselves as loyal shoppers. However, this trend shifts when looking at Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Thirty-four percent of 18-24-year-old respondents identify themselves as Bargain Hunters — demonstrating that food retailers must foster loyalty among this demographic. The study also found that the holiday season can impact loyalty, with 34 percent of consumers noting that during the holidays they make several trips to a variety of different stores for food shopping. continued on page 6 MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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continued from page 5

The report also revealed several additional key findings related to the holiday shopping season:

one in four wanting to see fresh produce such as vegetables at checkout.

n One in four consumers (25 percent) would like to see more fresh produce offered at checkout this holiday season — even more than they want to see alcohol, which came in third at 17 percent.

n When it comes to favorite holiday meals that consumers want to see more of from grocers, more than half (51 percent) listed mashed potatoes as a must-have side dish on their holiday table followed by stuffing at 45 percent.

n The regional grocery store is still a staple for consumers during the holidays, with 43 percent of respondents noting they do most of their holiday food shopping at these stores.

n The majority of shoppers (57 percent) agree that crowds and long lines are the most frustrating part of shopping during the holidays.

n When it comes to holiday meal essentials, consumers want convenience, with one in six noting they want premade holiday meal offerings to make their lives easier, and

n Finally, turkey trends haven’t changed, with the majority (57 percent) still buying their Thanksgiving turkey in a traditional grocery store.

Leverage the power of nostalgic marketing For many people, the holidays are the season for nostalgic eating as families and friends get together to celebrate and reconnect. Grocers can help shoppers keep their traditions alive and increase sales by leveraging the power of nostalgia. Research shows that people are more likely to spend money when they feel nostalgic. According to studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, feelings of nostalgia can increase our resilience and our positivity about the future. Another study by the Journal of Consumer Research confirmed that when you feel nostalgia, you make bigger purchasing decisions, spending more money while shopping. In the study the authors conducted experiments that looked at how much people were willing to spend and donate when feeling nostalgic. They found that cultivating past memories and bygone eras promotes a sense of “social connectedness” where old-fashioned community values and relationships with other people became more important than money.

This puts grocers in the perfect position to help shoppers strengthen families by creating and celebrating holiday traditions around food. No matter what holidays your shoppers celebrate, this is the season to make your store the one-stop shop for all the holiday tradition ‘must-haves.’ A few tips: n Design marketing/merchandising campaigns with your target audience in mind. What decade do your shoppers idealize? n Use music in your store to enhance the sense of nostalgia. Norman Rockwell said, “I paint life as I would like it to be.” His “Freedom From Want” painting is one of the most famous representations of an idealized time. This iconic image became a stamp in 1994, according to USPS, to celebrate not only Rockwell himself, but also the people of America.

“We found that when people have higher levels of social connectedness and feel that their wants and needs can be achieved through the help of others, their ability to prioritize and keep control over their money becomes less pressing,” the study concluded. 6 NOV/DEC 2019


People can feel nostalgic about their past, but they can also feel nostalgia for eras they never experienced. Referred to as historical nostalgia, younger people can be sentimental about a prior time, with the allure often for an idealized time of peace and prosperity. During the busy holiday months, shoppers often grow weary of the hectic pace, so a time when life seemed to move more slowly can be appealing.

n Highlight old family recipes in your fresh prepared selections or print some to encourage shoppers to revisit holiday classics. Stock ingredients nearby.

n Effective nostalgia marketing balances the old with the new. Invite your shoppers to share their food traditions on your social media sites. Consider creating a special hashtag to build engagement and help your shoppers share their excitement for the foods of the season. —By Lisa J. Reibsome, Editor

Fieldstone Market Unveils New Name to Reflect New Identity By Lisa J. Reibsome, Editor

This December will mark two years since Dave and

the store,” he says. “That’s why we decided it needed a new name, a new brand that reflects the new look and our focus on quality, fresh, wholesome products,” he explains.

In that time, the couple, originally from Grand Rapids, have completely transformed the market into a unique destination for tourists and local residents.

The small store is half grocery and half deli/coffee shop with tables, lounge chairs and cafe area. “We wanted to create a welcoming, family-friendly place,” says Dave. He and his wife have six children. “We have a great kids menu in our deli that is perfect for picky eaters.”

Jen Sears bought Fieldstone Market — a 6,000 square-foot store about 15 minutes west of downtown Traverse City.

And now they have changed the name as well. Fieldstone Market is Fresh Coast Market, as of November 4. “We had a vision to transform a typical convenience party store into a one-of-a-kind specialty food market here in northern Michigan,” Dave says. “Our goal was to shrink the Whole Foods model to fit a small, rural community. We are looking to be the ‘Up North’ Zingerman’s or Westborn Market.” Research indicated that there is demand for fresh, high-quality, healthy products in the area. “The store’s product mix wasn’t geared toward the area’s demographics,” he says. “So we got rid of the Ding Dongs and Ho Hos and stopped selling cigarettes to make room for local, organic, natural and other better-for-you products. Just because people are busy, doesn’t mean they have to eat junk food.”

Fresh Coast Market’s slogan is “Everyone has a story, and everyone’s story matters!” Dave explains, “Our goal was to create an environment where people sit down over great food and drinks to share their stories. It would have been easy to create a slogan about food, but at the end of the day, it is always about people and relationships.” The store’s new name better tells its story.

“So far, we’ve invested over $300,000 to remake the business,” Dave says. Significant changes include remodeling, new decor including a fresh color scheme, a new product mix and increased servces. “We’ve really changed the entire character of

continued on page 8


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Fieldstone Market Unveils New Name to Reflect New Identity continued from page 7

The Sears’ passion for people extends beyond their customers to their employees. “We want our employees to know we value them,” Dave says. “We pay more than typical c-store wages along with paid vacation days and holidays. And we are currently looking into options to provide healthcare.”

The changes have been well-received. Sales are up 15 percent since they bought the store and up six percent from last year.

Starting with 12 employees, they now employ 30, growing to 40 over the summer. “We hope the way we run the store reflects our compassion for others,” Dave says.

“We’re a gathering spot for the community. We want to make it easy for people to come together and to get fresh delicious food,” he says. We’re a full-service grocery store selling high quality products including hundreds of organic and gluten free items. We hope the community will see our new name as a better way to represent who we are and what we stand for.”

Fresh local flowers and apples are on display when you enter the store. “This year we’ve tripled the amount of local produce we offer, and we’re moving more of it to the front of the store,” Dave says. “We’re really proud to be partnering with a lot of local vendors such as Friske Farm Market. We sell their fresh apples, apple cider and almost two dozen retail items. We also have Friske Farms warm apple cider with mulling spices in our coffee shop.”

“We make over 20 fresh gourmet salads here in the market’s kitchen,” Dave says. “We use the freshest ingredients possible and local whenever we can.” Made-from-scratch items included baked beans made with homemade molasses and a savory fall salad with store-roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and pecans, plus cranberries and local maple syrup. Like many of the items, it’s gluten-free and vegan. “We also sell fantastic gourmet meals to go,” Dave says.

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Fresh Coast sells USDA Choice in-store hand-cut and trimmed Michigan beef, pork and chicken along with Gallagher’s Black Angus meats. Shoppers can get organic and non-GMO chicken breasts, grass fed tenderloin, organic ground beef and much more.

Fresh Coast carries 110 Michigan brands. “Northern Michigan has it all, so we’re excited to offer premium indemand brands from our backyard such as Cherry Republic, M-22, Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars, 35 flavors of Moomers Ice Cream and so many others,” Dave says. In keeping with an emphasis on quality, Dave worked hard to bring in Hallmark cards and products. The store also sell stamps, has a USPS drop box and offers full-service UPS shipping. “We make our decisions on what to carry based on what the locals in the area want and need,” he explains. “We ask, what can we offer here so people don’t have to drive 15 miles into Traverse City?”

Fresh Coast Market has a one-of-a-kind, custom-built soda fountain from Traverse City’s Northwoods Soda from which customers can pour themselves old-school draft sodas. The store sells a wide selection of craft sodas in addition to craft beers and local wines. They have trippled the amount of local wines offered in the last year and a half. A new in-store coffee shop opened in October 2018. “We have some of the finest coffee and espresso in the area,” Dave says. “And we offer eight different kinds of milk including oat milk to customize lattes, cappuccinos and other drinks.” The coffee bar also serves chai tea lattes, hot tea, hot chocolate, hot cider and hot espresso poured over a scoop of Moomers ice cream. “This September, we launched a really exciting line of health lattes,” Dave shares. “They are a great option for customers who are looking for a flavorful beverage full of health benefits because they are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan and loaded with antioxidants and vitamins.” The lattes are made with superfoods such as the purple potato latte made with beetroot, purple sweet potato and butterfly pea powder. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

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2019 Food Retailers Summit Highlights

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thank you to all our attendees, speakers and sponsors for a great Food Retailers Summit held Sept. 25-27 at Crystal Mountain Resort. 1. The Grocers Division Advisory Board met Wednesday afternoon. 2. Lipari Food’s Tony Franchi is having a great time playing bocce. 3. SpartanNash’s John Piotrowicz and Leppink’s Food Centers John Leppink enjoy the Welcome Reception. 4. The second annual Euchre Tournament was a big success. Craig Diepenhorst, with tournament sponsor H.T. Hackney, presents the trophy to first-place winner Ken Lasher with Griffin Pest Solutions. 5. MRA VP of Government Affairs Amy Drumm discussed legislation impacting the grocery industry. 6. Speaker and digital innovations expert Thom Blischok is flanked by Lipari Foods Ron Larson and Kroger-Michigan’s Rachel Hurst. 7. Speaker and human resources expert Jodi Schafer helped attendees navigate tricky human resources issues. 8. The Lunch & Learn speakers, attorney Douglas Mains and MDARD Legislative Liaison Nathan Kark, discussed CBD and industrial hemp. 9. The educational sessions were a great opportunity for grocers such as Thom Welch with Hollywood Markets to get all their questions addressed. 10. Great Lakes Coca-Cola’s Pat Stillson and Amy Cowan at dinner. 11. Grabbing lunch before the CBD session are Bob Bauer, BMC; Bill McDonough, McDonough’s Market; Brent Larson, Star Truck Rentals; and Tom Baumann, Ric’s Food Centers. 12. The 2019 Cornhole Champions: Second place winners Dave and Theresa Bismack with Arctic Glacier, sponsor BMC’s Bob Bauer, first place winners Ron and Katie Thomas with Bush Brothers. 13. The 2019 Bocce Champs: Repeating their 2017 win are Nick Buete with Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch and Bryan Neiman with Neiman’s Family Market flanking Tim McKellar with sponsor Aunt Millie’s Bakeries. 14. Thank you to the Summit sponsors for their generous support.

We need your input! Please see page 17 to complete a short survey. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

NOV/DEC 2019 11

The 2019 Al Kessel Outstanding Achievement Award winners were honored during the opening night of the annual Food Retailers Summit on Sept. 25 at Crystal Mountain Resort. Launched in 2013, the award memorializes former Michigan Grocers Association Director Albert “Al” Kessel, Jr., who founded the Flint-based Kessel Food Market chain. To reflect his generous spirit, one Outstanding Retailer and one Outstanding Business Partner receive the award each year.

2019 Al Kessel Outstanding Retailer Award Winner 2019 Outstanding Retailer: Busch’s Fresh Food Market With 16 family-owned, independent locations throughout southeast Michigan, Busch’s Fresh Food Market offers fresh produce, meat, seafood and bakery items along with over 4,000 Michigan products — making them a true neighborhood grocer. Combining the best of today’s freshness and style, Busch’s is also known for providing personal service based on traditional values.

MRA President & CEO Bill Hallan presents the Outstanding Retailer Award to Busch’s Fresh Food Market. Accepting for the company are Director of Category Management Brad Busch and Senior VP of Operations Nick Lenzi.

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Those values took root in 1975 with the purchase of two stores in Clinton and Saline by family patriarch Joe Busch and business partner Charlie Mattis. When Joe retired in 1986, sons Doug, John and Tim took over, acquiring and building more stores. Today, the three are co-owners. John is also Busch’s Chairman and Doug is Community Development Director. Ushering in a third generation, two of John’s children also work in the business. Busch’s President and CEO is Gary Pfeil. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Busch’s employs approximately 1,560 associates. Joining Michigan Grocers in 1978, Busch’s is a dedicated member and industry supporter. John served on the Michigan Grocers Service Corporation Board for over 15 years, and Busch’s culinary team works tirelessly to support MRA’s annual Legislative Reception. In addition, Busch’s has a deep-rooted tradition of giving back to the communities it serves by supporting charitable organizations and schools with programs such as Cash for Education, which has given over $1.6 million to schools during the past five years. Busch’s also assists local food banks with rescue programs and food drives throughout the year. This summer, Busch’s completed a very successful All aBout Children (ABC) food drive raising over $262,000 to help families feed their children.

“Both Busch’s Fresh Food Market and H.T. Hackney make significant contributions to Michigan’s grocery industry,” says MRA President & CEO William J. Hallan. “They have earned the respect and admiration of colleagues and customers throughout the state and beyond. These awards are well-deserved recognition.

2019 Al Kessel Outstanding Business Partner Award Winner 2019 Outstanding Business Partner: H.T. Hackney Founded in 1891, H.T. Hackney Company is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the United States, serving over 25,000 retail locations from a 22 state-distribution network. Grand Rapids, Michigan, is home to one of the largest distribution centers in the Hackney organization. Headquartered in Tennessee, the company expanded into Michigan in 2003. Today in Michigan, Hackney serves roughly 2,000 customers and employs about 250 people. Nationwide, the company employs about 4,000 people.

MRA President & CEO Bill Hallan presents the Outstanding Business Partner Award to H.T. Hackney. Accepting for the company are Sales Supervisor Brian Porter and Regional Sales Manager Craig Diepenhorst.

Bill Samson has been H.T. Hackney Chairman and CEO since 1983. In Michigan, Regional Vice President Bill Hillman serves as General Manager of the Grand Rapids Division. The company joined Michigan Grocers in 2007, and Hillman previously served on the Michigan Grocers Association Board of Directors. Currently, H.T. Hackney Regional Sales Manager Craig Diepenhorst serves on the Michigan Grocers Division Advisory Board. Hackney’s Grand Rapids Division gives back to Michigan in many ways including hosting a charity golf outing to benefit Van Andel Institute — a research and science education organization; annually providing Thanksgiving dinner with Degage Ministries to help homeless and disadvantaged individuals; and hosting an adopt-a-family Christmas charity as well as a local school career day.


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Michigan Grocers proudly salutes its trading partners and encourages all retailers to thank them for their valuable support. Whatever your needs, call these companies first!



Aunt Millie’s Bakeries Mike Feutz............................................. (260) 402-4199 Better Made Snack Foods Mike Esseltine Vice President of Sales (989) 684-6271 www.bettermade.com messeltine@bettermadesnackfoods.com

Magnum Coffee Robert Johnson.................................... (616) 638-6120

AMRA Energy LLC Dave Duthler......................................... (616) 446-2371

Michigan Apple Committee Diane Smith..........................................(800) 456-2753

Business Machines Company Robert Bauer.........................................(517) 485-1732

Michigan Pork Producers Association Mary Kelpinski...................................... (517) 853-3782 Michigan Potato Industry Commission Kelly Turner....(517) 253-7370...info@mipotato.com

Cookie Cupboard Gourmet Dough Ellen Pignatiello................................ (216) 524-0974 ellen@cookiecupboard.com

IGT Global Solutions Rick Sherrer.......................................... (517) 272-3301 Miller Poultry Fred Lechlitner...........................(260) 829-6550 x 525

Country Fresh Craig MacMillan...................................(800) 748-0480

Envirochemical Inc. Brian Fox........................................... (440) 287-2200 BFox@envirochemical.com

Paramount Roasters Kara Miencier.................................... (517) 853-2439 kmiencier@paramountcoffee.com

Kent Butchers’ Supply Co. Ben DeMots..........................................(616) 534-4050 Lites Plus Todd Kananen.......................................(800) 535-5610 Star Truck Rentals Inc. Brent Larson...................................... (616) 243-7033 brentl@starlease.com

Crosset Company Bob Lummis..........................................(800) 347-4902 Elite Snacks Joe Popiel..............................................(616) 452-6903 Food Geek Foods LLC Laura Romito........................................(248) 330-7956

Superior Foods Co Jeff Stob................................................(616) 698-7700

Great Lakes Coca-Cola Amy Cowan...........................................(734) 612-2993

United Dairy Industry of Michigan Kathi Eckler.......................................... (517) 349-8923

Thermo King Michigan Jim Hostler............................................ (616) 878-4900

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch Nick Beute....(616) 642-9421.... nbeute@herbrucks.com

Williams Cheese Co. Pat Meehleder........................... (800) 968-4492 x 15 pmeehleder@williamscheese.com

TOMRA - Michigan Steve Parker....................................... (616) 302-1484 steve.parker@tomra.com

Koegel Meats John Koegel..........................................(810) 238-3685

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Services/Insurance The Campbell Group, a division of acrisure Mark Castillo..................................... (269) 599-4560 mcastillo@thecampbellgrp.com Ricky Markiewicz..............................(734)Â 395-2630 rmarkiewicz@thecampbellgrp.com

Integrity Printing Joe Mooney.......................................... (989) 386-9740

Retailers Insurance Company Tom Tuggle.........................................(800) 366-3699

Larkin Insurance Group Steve Merten........................................(231) 947-8800 Michigan Brewers Guild Scott Graham....................................(517) 515-1444

Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC Michael Brown....................................(517) 321-4616 mbrown@cebhlaw.com

Michigan Grocers Fund Dawn Feldpausch................ (800) 868-6640 x 2754 dawn_feldpausch@rpsins.com

Schupan Recycling Tom Emmerich...................................(517) 333-8845


Griffin Pest Solutions Ken Lasher........................................(269) 353-0934

MRA Payment Processing Darcy Gates........................................(800) 366-3699 MRA Group Insurance Programs Ally Nemitz.........................................(800) 366-3699

Shelby Publishing Company Geoff Welch.......................................... (312) 802-5877 UBCR Nick Kronsbein.....................................(248) 529-2605

Supplies/Equipment/Transportation Alliance Beverage Distributing Shawn Gary.......................................... (616) 241-5022

Foster Blue Water Oil Dan Wynn............................................. (810) 650-9081

Altria Client Services Nicole Kendell....................................... (614) 225-1923

Great Lakes Foods Gene Mylener........................................(800) 800-7492

Arctic Glacier Premium Ice Jim Forsberg (800) 327-2920

H.T. Hackney Craig Diepenhorst.............................. (616) 261-6600 craig.diepenhorst@hthackney.com

Associated Whole Grocers Inc. Keith Knight (615) 290-6093 kknight@awginc.com

Lipari Foods Joe Calo..............................................(586) 447-3500 joe_calo@liparifoods.com

SpartanNash Jim Gohsman.....................................(616) 878-8088 Jim.Gohsman@spartannash.com

UNFI Jeff Miller..........................................(734) 545-2704

Industry Partners GMR of Grand Rapids Rae Ann Elliott...................................... (614) 225-1923 MSU Food Industry Management Larry Zink............................................. (614) 225-1923

Crown Poly Greg Walker.......................................... (330) 328-2574

Plastipak Packaging William Young.......................................(734) 459-8000

WMU Food & CPG Marketing Program Frank Gambino..................................... (269) 387-6119


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Kroger opens $24 million Warren store

The new 73,000-square-foot store from MRA Member Kroger-Michigan opened in Warren on Oct. 23. The store represents a $24 million investment in the local community, bringing customers a bright shopping environment with a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables; natural foods and gluten-free products; a large selection of fresh meat, seafood, deli and bakery items; an in-store Starbucks and Kroger Pickup — the online ordering/parking lot pickup service.

photos by the kroger co.

A first for Kroger-Michigan, shoppers will find the meat, seafood, deli and bakery departments in an island-style layout in the center of the store, allowing shoppers to find many of their most needed items in one central location. Built at a former K-mart location, it replaces an older Kroger that was about a mile away. Employing 250 people, the new store also offers an in-store pharmacy and an onsite fuel center.

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We Want Your Input Please complete this short survey if you did not attend the 2019 Food Retailers Summit. Fill it out online at bit.ly/31XL1e3. Or copy/tear out and complete this page. Then scan and email to njones@retailers.com, fax to 517.372.1303 or mail it to MRA, 603 S. Washington Ave, Lansing, MI 48933. As we evaluate the Summit format, your input will help us determine how to provide the best tools and events for you, our members. Your responses will be used only to develop better content and events. Thank you! Which of the following explains why you and your team were not able to join us at the 2019 Food Retailers Summit (FRS19) at Crystal Mountain? Please check all that apply.

o Price to attend was too high ($199 registration fee included free registration for spouses, plus cost of hotel accommodations – all food and beverages were included)

o Event was at an inconvenient time of year/dates (Sept. 25-27) o Couldn’t find staff to cover operations o Already have relationships with the suppliers and business partners attending

o Event was too far away (Northern Michigan) o We don’t attend events o Information presented was not relevant o Event was too much of a time commitment (Wed-Thurs) o Event was on inconvenient days (Wed-Thurs)

If the food retailers event was held in this area, my team and I would be more likely to attend (please check all that apply):

o Mid-Michigan o West Mich./Grand Rapids area

o Southeast Mich./Metro Detroit o Northern Michigan


The main reason I would attend an event like the food retailers summit is: o Networking with peers o Networking with suppliers/business partners o Informational topics covered o Speakers Other:


What time of year would be the best for you and your team to attend an event like FRS19?

o Spring

o Summer

o Fall

What types of presentations/information would be most helpful and interesting to your business?

o Winter

Other: Any overall feedback to share with us regarding events? For future events, I would prefer (please check all that apply):

o Comprehensive events like FRS19 with both education & networking o Half or full-day networking/social events o Half or full-day educational seminars o A legislative-focused “Day at the Capitol” type event o Educational webinars (remote attendance)

My business is a:

o Retailer o Supplier/business partner


Other: (Optional) Name:

Star Truck buys South Bend trucking company MRA Member Star Truck Rentals, headquartered in Grand Rapids, acquired the operations of Schilli NationaLease in South Bend. A full-service truck leasing, rental and maintenance company, Schilli provides long- and short-term leases, shortterm rental and maintenance programs for tractors, trucks

and trailers. The acquisition involves 10 employees, certain leased rolling stock and a 20,000-square-foot, 7-acre shop facility. Star Truck President Tom Bylenga says the purchase will shore up Star’s presence in northern Indiana where it already operates in Goshen. MICHIGAN FOOD NEWS

NOV/DEC 2019 17

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 for many players. 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. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 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 4.2 percent to a total of $731 billion, up from $701 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: n Naughty or Nice: $1 ticket with 500 top prizes of $500 and more than $8 million in total prizes. n Candy Cane Tripler: $2 ticket with top prizes of $30,000 and more than $11 million in total prizes. n 20X Merry Multiplier: $5 ticket with top prizes of $300,000 and more than $16 million in total prizes. n Holiday Sparkle: $10 ticket with top prizes of $500,000 and $24 million in total prizes.

House committee approves bills to reform state’s expungement process

Senate committee approves bill to allow retailers to use biotechnology to verify age

A six-bill package to change how certain convictions can be expunged from a person’s record was approved by the Michigan House Judiciary Committee and will now go before the full House for a vote. In general, the bills — known as “clean slate” legislation — would allow more people to set-aside qualifying crimes from their records and allow some people in specific circumstances to see it happen automatically after 10 years. House Bills 4980-4985 makes several changes:

Senate Bill 543, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), would allow retailers to use thumbprints or other biomarkers to verify a customer’s age before making a purchase. The bill would allow the use of a secure identity verification device — which is device that instantly verifies identity and age by an electronic scan of a biometric — if all of the following conditions are met:

n Those with up to three felonies may apply to have their convictions set aside if none are for an assaultive crime. n People with misdemeanor marijuana convictions could petition to have the convictions set aside if the behavior that led to the conviction is permissible under current law. n Crimes similar in nature that were committed in the same act may be treated as a single felony under specific circumstances. n Some traffic offenses could be expunged. However, offenses such as DUI/OWI and other traffic crimes causing serious injury or death would not qualify. n An application to set aside: (1) more than one felony could be filed after seven years; (2) a serious misdemeanor or single felony could be filed after five years; and (3) other misdemeanors with no felonies could be filed after three years. “We support the bills,” says MRA VP of Government Affairs Amy Drumm. “One item to note is that organized retail crime and retail fraud would be automatically expunged after 10 years since the statutory maximum sentence is five years in prison.” 18 NOV/DEC 2019


Launched Oct. 29, the holiday-themed games give retailers additional sale opportunities by extending the holiday sales season. The Lottery also has a robust advertising campaign to support the games. That advertising campaign is designed to raise public awareness of the games and drive traffic to retailers.

n The electronic scan of a biometric is referenced against a legally acceptable picture ID, such as a driver’s license. n The authenticity of the picture ID was previously verified by an electronic authentication process. n The identity of the individual was previously verified through a commercially available knowledge-based electronic authentication process. n The authenticated picture ID was securely linked to biometrics contemporaneously collected from the individual. The bill specifically grants an affirmative defense that a retailer has done their due diligence to verify age if they choose to use the technology. The bill now goes before the full Senate. Additional legislation: n HB 5019: Introduced to ban vape bans by removing any authority state health regulators may have to “promulgate or enforce a rule/emergency rule that bans the sale, manufacturing or use of a vapor product, including a flavored vapor product.” n SB 174: Moved by House Ag Committee after already passing the Senate to implement a cage-free standard in Michigan for egg-laying hens in 2025. In doing so, the bill would delay by five years the cage-size standards currently set to take effect in 2020.

Holiday cheer is here! Fun to give and great to get, it’s easy to see why customers make Michigan Lottery holiday instants their go-to gift. Everyone likes the chance to win up to $500,000, with more than $61.5 million in total cash prizes. There’s plenty for you, too, with more than $6.8 million in retailer commissions. So, stock up on the holiday gift that offers big winnings, big sales and is everyone’s go-to: holiday instant tickets.

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Profile for Michigan Retailers Association

November-December 2019 Michigan Food News  

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

November-December 2019 Michigan Food News  

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