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Former House Speaker John Boehner told the NGA audience to expect lower corporate taxes.

5 things we learned at NGA

Tax reform is coming, health and wellness claims are big and more

From digital shopping to growing your center store sales, here are five things we learned at the NGA show.

1. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner was the keynote speaker at NGA. Boehner said tax reform is coming soon — he predicts this year — and that he expects the corporate tax rate will lower to somewhere between 20% and 25%.

2. Conventional food products are losing share to products that fit health and wellness claims (i.e., natural, fair trade). This is even the case in those categories that aren’t necessarily healthy, like ice cream, for example

3. Growing your center store sales online can be tricky, said Michael Day, manager of digital commerce and innovation for Wakefern. “The center store has to be properly reflected online. You can’t have missing images and you can’t have poor information. And you have to have time slot [delivery] availability. Whatever you’re offering in store, you have to offer online.” Day said baby, coffee, portions of pet (litter) and water were growing sales online. Beth Busch, senior category development manager with General Mills, said whoever figures out selling frozen and dairy online will make it big.

4. Keep an eye on meal kit delivery options, warns Day. “Blue Apron is a big competitor [to supermarkets]. Last year they were No. 13 in sales for online retailers and this year they are No. 6. If even it’s just one or two meal occasions a week [consumers are purchasing from Blue Apron] that’s still cutting into our shopping trips.”

5. The NGA and FMS Grocers Financial Survey results were released at the show, and the top three things on the minds of independent grocers were: competition from other retailers (which was higher than previous year), the local and national economy, and healthcare costs and compliance.

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