Release: NJ Food Business Leaders Discuss Future of the Industry at NJFC Annual Conference

Debbie Pregiato Receives NJFC’s Prestigious
Max Stone Trade Relations Award

Discussing the latest market trends and innovations, over 250 leaders from New Jersey’s food retail and distribution businesses gathered in Atlantic City to discuss the future of the food industry.

The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) 2016 Trade Relations Conf
erence featured presentations from John Derderian, President of Allegiance Retail Services, on the “State of the Food Industry” and Tim O’Conner, Managing Partner of the Retail Performance Group on “Retail Transformation 2020.”

“We are thrilled to have so many of the state’s leaders in the food industry here with us in Atlantic City to discuss the latest trends, innovations and digital focus of the food business,” said NJFC President and CEO Linda Doherty. “John and Tim provided insightful presentations that bring a new perspective on retail challenges in the NJ marketplace. Both presentations provided an excellent opportunity for members to consider how to deal with ‘market disruptors’ and other future changes that are sure to impact our industry.”

Additionally, Debbie Pregiato, Customer Team Leader for Advantage Solutions, was honored with the New Jersey Food Council’s Max Stone Trade Relations Award. Debbie is the first woman to receive this prestigious recognition.

“Debbie’s role as a leader on our new member development campaign, business partnerships with NJFC members and her continuous dedication to the advancement of the Food Council’s mission made her an obvious choice,” said Doherty. “Debbie has forged long lasting food industry relationships and is a role model as a respected trade relations leader.”

The Max Stone Award is named in honor of the longtime trade relations leader for Best Foods, CPC in recognition of his accomplished career in trade relations in New Jersey.

The Conference began with a highly-anticipated Supermarket Chef Cook-off and concluded with an industry-wide golf outing sponsored by NJFC.

Release: NJ Food Council Holds Inaugural Best Chef Cook-Off Challenge

Food Circus Supermarkets Wins “Best Chef 2016” Award

Food Circus Foodtown Supermarkets last week won the highly-anticipated Best Chef 2016 award at the New Jersey Food Council’s inaugural “Supermarket Chef Cook-off Challenge” during the Trade Relations Conference in Atlantic City. The cook-off provided an opportunity for New Jersey retail food industry chefs to showcase their culinary skills and compete for NJFC’s highly-coveted cooking award.
Culinary teams from four New Jersey supermarkets participated in the competition, in which they created an entrée and dessert in the Viking Kitchen at Harrah’s Resort within a specified amount of time. Each entrée and dessert was scored in three categories – plating, taste, and creativity. Taking top honors at the competition was Miguel Morales and Marisa Ricardo from Food Circus Foodtown Supermarkets of New Jersey. The winning chef’s served the judges Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Mole Sauce and for dessert Plantains and Apple Walnut Crepes.

“This was definitely one of the highlights of this year’s Trade Relations Conference,” said Linda Doherty, NJFC President. “The chefs did an amazing job and their creations were both beautiful and delicious. We expect this filling and exciting competition to become an annual tradition.”

Also competing were Chef Daniel Arturo and Sous Chef Rocco Tesorito of ShopRite of Greater Morristown, Village Food Garden; Chef Denny Siswanto and Sous Chef Preston France of Wegmans Food Market; and Chef Anthony DeBerto, Jr. and Kimberly Sullivan of Kings Food Market. Judging the competition were members of the 2016 Leadership Development Class, and Alfredo Varela, Executive Banquet Chef at Harrah’s.

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in NJ.

Release: Less than One Week until Food Industry Conference Highlights “Retail Transformation 2020”

J Derderian PictureIn less than one week, leaders from throughout New Jersey’s food retail and distribution industry will gather in Atlantic City to discuss the future of the food industry.

The 2016 Trade Relations Conference will be held on May 11, at Harrah’s Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, NJ, and will feature presentations from John Derderian, President of Allegiance Retail Services, on the “State of the Food Industry” and Tim O’Connor, Managing Partner of the Retail Performance Solutions on “Retail Transformation 2020.” The reception and program will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Debbie Pregiato, Customer Team Leader for Advantage Solutions, will be honored with the New Jersey Food Council’s Max Stone Trade Relations Award.  She will be the first woman to receive this prestigious recognition.

“Debbie’s role as a leader on our new member development campaign, business partnerships with NJFC members and her continuous dedication to the advancement of the Food Council’s mission made her an obvious choice,” said NJFC President Linda Doherty.  “Debbie has forged long lasting food industry relationships and is a role model as a respected trade relations leader.”  The Max Stone Award is named in honor of the longtime trade relations leader for Best Foods, CPC in recognition of his accomplished career in trade relations in New Jersey.

The Conference will also feature our inaugural “Chef Cook-off Challenge;” an opportunity for retail food industry chefs to showcase their culinary skills and compete for the award as NJFC Best Chef 2016.  The contest will be held in the Viking Kitchen at Harrah’s which features four cooking stations.  The chefs will be judged by members of the NJFC Leadership Development Class.  The four chefs who have entered the contest represent Food Circus/Food Town, Kings Food Markets, Village ShopRite and Wegmans Food Markets.

In addition to the Max Stone Award, NJFC will be announcing the recipients for the 17 scholarships being awarded totaling $55,000 to promote future leaders and to support the workforce and families of the food industry.  This year’s scholarships are records for both recipients and total amount awarded by the Food Council.

As is tradition, the event will conclude with a ‘curtain closer’ golf event at Galloway National Golf Club on May 12 at 9:00 A.M. in Galloway, NJ.

Contact NJFC at 609-392-8899 to register for the event or go to http://njfoodcouncil.com/register-today/.

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in NJ.

Release: NJ Food Council Adds Michael Deloreto & Jeanette Hoffman to Advocacy Team

Food Industry Trade Association Bolsters Public Affairs Efforts

Today, the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) announced the expansion of their government affairs and communications team, retaining Michael DeLoreto of Gibbons P.C. and Jeanette Hoffman of Marathon Public Affairs to further its mission on behalf of the state’s food industry.  NJFC is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association, representing 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates.

MDeLoreto - Web“This is a critical time for our members. We’re facing a number of legislative issues – ranging from increased labor costs to new environmental regulations – that would dramatically impact New Jersey businesses and their employees,” said NJFC President and CEO Linda Doherty. “We’re excited to bring on these two talented, experienced professionals to supplement our advocacy and communications efforts on behalf of the state’s food industry.”

Michael DeLoreto is an attorney in the Government Affairs Department of Gibbons P.C. Previously, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Douglas M. Fasciale, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. DeLoreto has extensive experience specific to legislation, regulations, and court decisions being made in Trenton and Washington D.C. He’s also served as Chief of Staff to the New Jersey General Assembly Deputy Majority Leader, as well as the NJFC’s Government Affairs Director.

“Mike enjoys strong relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle. He’s worked with us before, so he innately understands the many complex public policy issues impacting the food industry,” said Doherty. “We’re excited to have him re-join our advocacy team in support of our government affairs staff.”

JRDieTksHeanette Hoffman is President of Marathon Public Affairs. Regarded as one of New Jersey’s top public relations consultants and media spokespeople, Hoffman specializes in strategic messaging and public affairs campaigns. Named to NJBIZ’s 2015 “Forty Under 40” list, Jeanette has over fifteen years of experience in issues advocacy, politics, policy and state government. As a media commentator in high demand, Ms. Hoffman can often be seen on several statewide and national television and radio stations discussing politics and public policy.

“Jeanette is uniquely qualified to deliver our message and help advocate on behalf of our industry,” said Doherty. “She is one of New Jersey’s most respected, effective spokespeople. We’re thrilled she will be overseeing our public relations and media outreach.”

Governor Christie: “Let’s Listen to the NJ Food Council” On Minimum Wage Impacts

During a speech to the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Governor Christie focused on four key issues, one of which was the pending proposal to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 an hour.

“Let’s listen to the New Jersey Food Council, what they say is going to happen here,” said Governor Christie. “A New Jersey food retailer with thirty stores and almost 4,000 employees currently pays all employees above the minimum wage. An immediate and full increase would cost this company, now it is thirty stores, 4,000 employees, it is going to cost them $50 million. $50 million. Another food retailer who has 150 stores in New Jersey reports that for every dollar in the hourly wage increase, they will have another $1 million per year in increased costs. The Food Council anticipates a significant increase in food prices in New Jersey. They are one of the smallest margin businesses in the state. The supermarkets you go to do not operate on large margins. So you are talking about an increase in your food costs because of this Democratic proposal of 10 to 15%. 10 to 15% in every item you go to the supermarket to buy for your family because of this great idea.”

NJFC looks forward to working with Governor Christie and our business colleagues to demonstrate the dangerous economic impact of 79% hike in the minimum wage.