WASHINGTON, D.C. ─ The American Bakers Association is pleased to announce a multi-format panel of retail experts highlighting the April 16 business session at ABA’s 2012 Annual Convention. The retailer perspective will be represented by Stew Leonard Jr. of Stew Leonard’s and Shawn Baldwin of Sam’s Club. Supermarket News Editor David Orgel will moderate, and consumer expert Todd Hale will also sit in following his independent remarks preceding the panel.
“We are very excited to have key representatives from the baking industry’s customer base joining us to explore how consumers are making purchasing decisions with regard to baked goods,” said ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie. “It’s clear that consumers are responding to the current economic climate with a variety of strategies. This panel, complemented by our sessions on consumer and marketing analysis, will give convention attendees current, relevant guidance to bring home to their companies.”
Shawn Baldwin joins the panel from Sam’s Club where he serves as senior vice president, fresh and freezer cooler, giving him responsibility for fresh merchandising, fresh operations, demos, and freezer-cooler merchandising for Sam’s Club U.S. and Puerto Rico. Since joining the company in 1990, he has held various roles in operations, merchandising, and club management.
Stew Leonard Jr. is president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned retailer operating multiple facilities across the Northeast with annual sales of $400 million. Known for its unique atmosphere which includes in-store entertainment and costumed characters, Stew Leonard’s holds a record in Guinness Records for greatest sales per unit area of a single food store in the United States.
“What I hope our members will take away from the panel is keen insight into strategies commercial bakers can implement to partner with their retail customers in promoting higher growth of branded, private label and in-store bakery products – encompassing innovation, marketing and merchandising,” continued MacKie.
The 2012 ABA Convention, April 14-18, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, promises to once again be the premier industry event of the year. The theme of “Baking Industry United” celebrates each individual’s integral role in the industry. The convention will bring together hundreds of leaders from America’s baking businesses and their suppliers for networking, idea exchange, and working sessions. Registration is open to both members and prospective members. More information may be found at www.americanbakers.org.