2015 CGA Strategic Conference

California’s grocery industry gathered in Palm Springs on Sept. 27-29 for the Association’s annual Strategic Conference.

This year’s theme, “California’s Culture of Food,” focused on the role culture is playing in differentiating grocery companies from their competitors and in helping create greater customer loyalty and employee engagement.

“Our industry sits at the intersection of California culture, food culture, shopping culture and corporate culture. To be successful with today’s customers, companies need to perform well on all these dimensions,” said CGA President Ron Fong. “This year’s educational program was designed to inspire new thinking and new approaches in each of these areas.”

In one of the conference’s most popular highlights author Shawn Achor combined his unique, fast-paced humor with an inspiring presentation on ways to restore a culture of confidence within our companies. Tuesday’s Keynote Luncheon session, lead by serial entrepreneur and venture investor Will Rosenzweig, featured an eye-opening look at the new technologies and new creative thinking that is emerging in the food industry.

This year’s Retailer Spotlight focused on Albertsons Companies and featured Karl Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Corporate Merchandising. Karl shared his insights into the new Albertsons and the changes taking place since the company’s merger with Safeway Inc.

“Having Albertsons as this year’s Retailer Spotlight was a huge plus for suppliers attending this year,” Fong said. “We really appreciate Albertsons sending such a large contingency of executives to not only particpate with Karl in the Retailer Spotlight, but to engage in the retailer/vendor meetings.”

In all, executives and buying teams representing 42 retail companies attended and participated in over 1,000 meetings with vendors. The conference’s combination of thought-provoking content and individual strategic discussions with vendor partners made this year’s conference valuable and productive event for all who attended.

“We thank all the retailers and suppliers that particpated in the meetings this year for making it such a tremendous success,” said Fong.

CGA set new high watermarks for sponsorship involvement, said CGA Chair Joe Falvey, adding that  the Association extremely appreciated their increased level of support.

Falvey also praised The Illuminators for their continued involvement in supporting the conference. “These dedicated men and women play a huge role in the conference’s success,” Falvey said.

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