Buchanan wins 3rd Quality Foods Bagging Contest, advances to state
While you’re standing in line at the grocery store, pay attention to how the “baggers” bag your items with delicacy and care because it is not as simple as it may seem.
There is a technique and skill that comes with bagging items so much so that in 1987 the National Best Bagger Contest was created.
On Tuesday, Hartwell native Lawrence Buchanan placed first at the local Quality Foods Bagging Contest, while Brady Henderson, from Greer, South Carolina, came in as runner-up.
The contestants were employees from Quality Foods around Georgia and South Carolina and included Lawrence Buchanan, Brady Henderson, Bryson McClure, Dylan Barrett, Justin Daut, Drake Parson and Jerry Allen.
Buchanan is no stranger to bagging groceries as he has won the local contest twice and also represented Quality Foods twice in Orlando, Florida at the Georgia Food Industry Association (GFIA) Best Bagger Contest.
“You’re competing against yourself, not each other,” said Commerce store manager Laura Ritcey.
Each bagger drew a number, bagged the items and was then judged on different criteria.
“The baggers are judged on speed, how they put items in the bag, weight and mannerism,” said Hartwell store manager Tony Lark. “Whoever wins the contest goes against Kroger and Publix, you know, the big guys.”
There were two different rounds as the contestants bagged items with plastic and reusable bags.
Buchanan and Henderson won cash prizes, while Buchanan will also represent Quality Foods, yet again, at the GFIA contest.
The remaining contestants did not leave empty handed. President and owner of Quality Foods, Verlin Reece, made sure that the remaining contestants received gift cards and that everyone who participated also received a hat and shirt.
The winner of the GIFA contest wins a $2,000 scholarship from the Georgia Food Industry Education Foundation and a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada in February 2019 to compete in the National Best Bagger Competition.