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The Food/Grocery class of trade can be a complex and expensive market to navigate due to its fragmented and regional nature. At the same time, consumers continue to evolve their shopping behaviors as they seek convenience, value and seamless omnichannel experiences.

Having connectivity and a strategic partner to navigate the intricate landscape can be the difference between roaring success and a quick and painful exit. Given the importance of this channel, MPG has continued to aggressively expand and invest in talent and capabilities in this area. Today, our Food team is helping clients win and grow brands of all sizes through next-level strategic thought leadership, direction and execution on 146 retailer partners across the country.

MPG Food and Grocery team

The team is led by former Wakefern Executive Chris Skyers, whose customer mindset and unyielding focus on the consumer are well-recognized in the industry. As Vice President of Wakefern’s Own Brands, Chris spearheaded the successful overhaul of SHOPRITE private label, creating two new, proprietary brands, & BASKET BOWL and PAPERBIRD, and driving dramatic growth through reinvention of the company’s better-for-you brand, WHOLESOME PANTRY.  


Under Chris’s direction, our high-performing team has been structured and further built out to help ensure clients win in this ever-evolving arena. With deep in-market experience and knowledge of the Grocery channel, it also uniquely includes a dedicated data analytics group focused on unlocking competitive advantage. But the “secret sauce,” says Chris? A team offering diversity of thought for the most effective strategies -- thanks to a careful balance of diverse retailer, CPG and agency perspectives and backgrounds, including: 

  • Ashley Curtis, formerly of Hain Celestial and with 15+ years of CPG experience at Kroger and Harris Teeter, on both the vendor and broker sides of the desk

  • Lindsay Ulatowski, who built her career at Albertsons, most recently as Category Director of Skin Care and Cosmetics

  • Mike Sainsbury, experienced Wakefern Merchant who most recently led the perishable division of Own Brands across four Wakefern banners

  • Monique Reynolds, with a strong background in Sales Management and Shopper Marketing roles supporting the Publix business at Acosta.


And these are just a few of the many MPG colleagues who are playing a pivotal role for our clients in this space. All have been hand-picked to meet specific client and customer needs; all share a passion and hyper-focus on the client’s business. All care deeply about our clients’ success


And it’s paying off. The MPG Food team is driving many significant wins this year -- creating strategic partnerships at retail, supporting clients in pricing and assortment negotiations, developing strategies that drive consumer engagement, and driving omnichannel retail strategies that drive both top- and bottom-line results. As a quick example: A rapidly growing player in VMS recently wanted to translate their retail success story from Mass into Food. Partnering with the client, the MPG Food team developed a robust, go-to-market strategy and execution, identifying a highly targeted list of retail partners and taking into consideration a multitude of factors that included review cycles, costs of entry, pricing, promo structures, omnichannel capability, and category development. Just a few months into plan execution, the MPG team has already scored a number of significant wins, securing 20+ new items placements across five large regional food retailers.


If your business could benefit from the insights of our Food Team’s unmatched experience and retail relationships, email Chris Skyers or 646.256.4221.

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