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Michigan-based grocer Spartan Stores Inc. this week is hosting the latest edition of what it’s billing as North America’s premier fresh merchandising show.
A Fresh Experience 2012, held July 26 at DeVos Place in Spartan’s hometown of Grand Rapids, is sold out, with 280 brokers and vendors (up from 156 since the 2009 inaugural event) managing 160,000 square feet of food displays.
“The market is exploding with new products and strategies catering to consumers’ needs for convenience, value, nutrition, and health; and this show is the premier place to sample the products and place advance, first to market orders,” said Alan Hartline, Spartan Stores EVP of merchandising and marketing. “A Fresh Experience 2012 combines the ultimate in attractive, state-of-the art food displays, fresh deli, meat, seafood, bakery, floral and produce products, taste testing and on-site ordering capabilities via 80 computer stations with the added benefit of meeting vendors and getting firsthand knowledge of new product launches.”
When this year’s show concludes, West Michigan will benefit via donations to Access of West Michigan, Kid’s Food Basket and Spectrum Health Continuing Care. In the last three years, Spartan Stores and vendors have donated more than 150,000 pounds of fresh products to the region’s food banks.
Spartan Stores Inc. distributes more than 40,000 private and national brand products to approximately 375 independent grocery locations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, and to 97 corporate-owned stores in Michigan, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, VG’s Food and Pharmacy, and Valu Land.