2017 Iowa Best Bagger Contest

Friday, August 11, 2017, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines

On the stage of the Susan Knapp Amphitheater, located on Grand Ave., east of the grandstand and midway just past the Animal Learning Center on the north side of the street.

The Iowa Grocery Industry Association is gearing up for the 30th Annual Iowa Best Bagger Contest to determine who will be named Iowa’s next best bagger.
This Iowa State Fair favorite draws a crowd of 200-300 spectators and will be held Friday, August 11, at the fairgrounds in Des Moines.

Susan Knapp Amphitheater Houses Competition

The competition will begin at 1 p.m. on the stage of the Susan Knapp Amphitheater, located on Grand Ave.,
east of the grandstand and midway just past the Animal Learning Center on the north side of the street.

Contest Highlights

The Iowa Best Bagger competition is formatted to mirror the National Best Bagger Championship. Again this year, Iowa baggers will be judged for individual style and speed, as well as proper bag-building technique and maintaining even distribution of weight between bags. Each contestant will bag identical grocery orders consisting of 30 to 38 commonly purchased items. Contestants will be using all reusable bags. “By following the national guidelines, we believe it helps the Iowa Best Bagger be more competitive at the national contest,” says IGIA President Michelle Hurd.

As done in previous years, this year’s competition will spotlight contestants in a series of preliminary heats followed by a championship round. The four baggers who score the most points in the preliminary heats will then compete against each other in a final championship round to earn cash prizes.

While the judges are tallying the scores, fans can enjoy a real crowd pleaser, the Celebrity Best Bagger Competition. Evaluated strictly on speed and who can have the most fun, the winner of the celebrity contest will earn a traveling trophy to display for one year and $250 for the charity of his or her choice thanks to the generosity of Fareway Stores Inc. When the scores have been tabulated, the top four Iowa baggers will be presented trophies and the following cash prizes: first place receives $500 cash, second place earns $250, while third and fourth place winners receive $150 and $100 respectively.

The Winner Competes at National Competition

The overall Iowa champion also qualifies for the 2018 National Best Bagger Championship and will receive a trip for two to Las Vegas, including hotel accommodations and the chance to win $10,000.

The 2017 National Best Bagger Championship was held at the NGA Show in Las Vegas on Monday, February 13. The 2016 Iowa champion Hy-Vee’s James Armstrong represented Iowa well at the national competition. Armstrong gave a stellar performance but the national title and the $10,000 prize ultimately went to another deserving bagger. 

“IGIA is extremely proud of Iowa’s James Armstrong for his performance at the National Best Bagger Championship,” says IGIA President Michelle Hurd “His performance and his sportsmanship under the pressure of competition were second to none. He represented his company and his state like a champion.”

Don’t Miss the Fun!

Plan to attend this year’s Iowa Best Bagger event – mark your calendars, come out and cheer on your local grocer this summer as he or she competes for the title of “Iowa’s Best Bagger.” Posters providing details about the event are on their way to all retail members of the IGIA. Please share this poster with all interested employees. It contains information regarding eligibility requirements and registration procedures.

For more information about the 2017 Iowa Best Bagger Contest or for additional posters, please contact Peggy Sellner at 800.383.3663 or psellner@iowagrocers.com.

James Armstrong, Hy-Vee, Winner of last year's Iowa 2016 Best Bagger title.

Iowa Best Bagger Contest Entry Form (download)

Iowa Best Bagger Contest Poster (download)

2017 Official Training Manual (download)