National Grocers Association Student Work

A team of eight UMN students in Mike Boland’s Retail Supermarket Case Analysis class, ApEc 3511, is looking at ways that independent retail grocery stores could use GusNIP incentives to boost sales. Casey McNichols, a student in the class, says: "the GusNIP program has been an interesting project for this year's NGA competition. Previous competitions were more centered around marketing or human relations issues. I like this topic because it ties in with some of the interests I have in public policy and applied economics. We have learned a lot about the SNAP, WIC, and other programs in the Farm Bill. I’ve enjoyed working with a team of CFANS students, from a variety of different majors, to collectively solve a problem."

This February, the team will finalize the research they have conducted over the past semester and compete at the National Grocer’s Association show in San Diego with teams from other universities. Allowing students to address real-world issues faced by food companies assists students in career preparation and allows them to use critical thinking skills to address actual current issues in the industry.

Experiential learning classes such as these are not opportunities that are available at every college or University, and draw attraction not just to our current students, but visiting and transfer students as well. “This is an opportunity I wouldn’t get at my home University,” said Natalie Thomsen, a current visiting student and NGA participant. We are grateful to those who contributed through Give to the Max Day this year to help students travel to the competition in San Diego.