National Grocers Association Best Bagger Champion Crowned

Candice Lastimado of Metropolitan Markets in Washington State Wins
2016 Best Bagger Championship

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Candice Lastimado of Metropolitan Markets, located in Seattle, WA,
defeated 24 other Best Bagger competitors from across the nation to
claim a grand prize of $10,000 and the title of the National Grocers
Association (NGA) Best Bagger Champion.

Designed to promote supermarket employees and demonstrate a superior
core customer service skill, the nationwide competition has been held by
NGA since 1987. Contestants are judged by speed of bagging, proper
bag-building technique, weight distribution in the bag, as well as
style, attitude and appearance, and are chosen through statewide
competitions over the course of last year.

This year’s competition was sponsored by PepsiCo, Inc. and emceed for
the second consecutive year by Food Network star, Duff Goldman. The
competition was held Monday, February 29 during The
NGA Show
at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

Bethany Berger of Shaw’s Supermarket in Vermont was awarded the second
place prize of $5,000, and the third place prize of $1,000 went to
Lauren Gillson of Lunds & Byerlys of Minnesota. Fourth and fifth place
winners, winning $1,000 each, were Janessa Plummer of Plummer’s Shop ‘n
Save in Maine and Nathan Toth of Martin’s Super Markets in Indiana,

“Year after year, NGA has the pleasure of holding an event that
demonstrates the collective spirit and work ethic of the supermarket
industry. So often baggers or courtesy clerks are the last impression a
customer has of a store, and because of this, superior bagging skills,
along with friendly customer service, are critical elements to a
positive shopping experience for the consumer,” said Peter J. Larkin,
president and CEO of NGA. “I’d like to thank all of our Best Bagger
participants for another exciting competition. Congratulations to
Candice, who competed with great enthusiasm and showcased her commitment
to excellent customer service.”

The National Grocers Association (NGA) is the national trade
association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise
the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent
retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company
operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is
accountable for close to 1% of the nation’s overall economy and is
responsible for generating $131 billion in sales, 944,000 jobs, $30
billion in wages, and $27 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail
and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as
manufacturers and service suppliers.
For more information about
NGA, visit
Go to:
to learn more about the NGA Best Bagger Championship.


National Grocers Association
Laura Strange, 703-516-8808