Publix cashier Brennan Davenport wrapped a bundle of dough for her wrapping skills.
Not only is Davenport, a Publix cashier, gentle with the groceries he packs at the checkout, but he’s also the fastest bagger in Georgia and had the best arrangement and weight distribution of items. in a recent competition.
That means he’ll be going to Las Vegas for the national grocery bagging event.
Davenport, who works at the Publix store in Tucker, Georgia, won the Georgia Food Industry Association’s Best Bagger contest on July 14 at the Omni Orlando Resort in Champions Gate, Fla., according to a Publix press release.
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Brennan received $2,000 from the GFIA Education Foundation and a trophy for winning the contest, Publix said.
He will now represent Georgia in the National Best Bagger Championship at the National Grocers Association convention in Las Vegas, Feb. 26-28.
“I had no idea how successful I had been,” Brennan said. “When they announced me as the winner, I felt pure shock and joy.”
Brennan faced seven other competitors from other Georgia grocery stores, Publix said. Judging was based on speed, weight distribution, style and technique.
“I was incredibly proud of him,” said Publix store manager Matt McGraw. “Brennan has been a great addition to our Publix family since joining the team.”
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To qualify for the state contest, Brennan won Atlanta’s Publix Division Bagging Contest on June 30, Publix said. The win earned him a $300 Publix gift card.
If he wins the national competition, Brennan could receive $10,000 and be the first Publix associate to win the top prize.
Publix did not respond to requests for additional details, but according to a 2018 NPR report, the contest drew contestants from 23 states who had to carefully place “identical grocery orders, putting about 35 items into three bags groceries”.
In 2019, there were 24 baggers competing, said Eric Payne, a spokesman for the NGA. Since contestants must qualify through state competitions to make it to the national event, there have been fewer competitors during the COVID-19 pandemic years.
The 2023 event is expected to be the biggest in recent years.
Alexa Sobsey of Nugget Markets, based in California, won the award for best bagger 2022, the NGA website said.
Last year, independent grocery store executives joined in a second annual checkout showdown, the NGA said.
Publix grocery baggers have already qualified for the big show, but none have finished first.
Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets Inc. has 196 stores in Georgia, which are among nearly 1,300 stores the employee-owned company operates in seven southeastern states.
The grocer reported 2021 retail sales of $48 billion and employs more than 230,000 people.
Overall, the United States has more than 21,000 private or family-owned grocery stores in the United States, the NGA said, generating more than $250 billion in sales and more than a million jobs.
“Bagging is an essential part of a positive customer experience in grocery stores in communities across the country,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA President and CEO. “Although often overlooked, bagging is the last impression left on a customer when they leave a store and return home.