Last call for baggers!


Last call for baggers!

Friday, July 26 is the last day to sign up to compete in the 2019 Iowa Best Bagger Contest. The bagging competition is an annual favorite at the Iowa State Fair, drawing a crowd of 200-300 spectators.

Contest Highlights

The Iowa Best Bagger competition is structured to mirror the National Best Bagger competition. Again this year, Iowa baggers will be ranked on speed, the ability to arrange items properly and maintain even distribution of weight among bags. Previous Iowa Best Bagger champions (first place only) and NGA national champions are ineligible for future bagging contests. Each contestant will bag identical grocery orders consisting of 30 to 38 commonly purchased items and will be using all reusable bags.

Updated Contest Guidelines

NGA recently completed its annual review of the rules and has announced updated guidelines. Important rule changes to note:

  • Entrants for both the NGA Best Bagger National Championship and the Iowa Best Bagger Contest must spend more than 40% of their time at work in the front-end bagging groceries to be eligible for each contest. 
  • A bagger’s primary duties must be classified as front-end staff and must have a non-managerial title, role and set of responsibilities to be eligible. (There are no age restrictions for either contest.)
  • In following NGA contest rules, retail store locations can send only one contestant per store location to the Iowa Best Bagger Contest. Therefore companies with more than one location may have multiple baggers in the state contest, but only one bagger per each store location. 

Complete guidelines can be found online at

The competition will spotlight contestants in a series of preliminary heats followed by a championship round. As done in previous years, the six 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 the Celebrity Best Bagger Competition. Evaluated strictly on speed and who can have the most fun, the winner of the celebrity contest will earn $250 for the charity of his or her choice thanks to the generosity of Fareway Stores.

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 National Best Bagger Contest in 2020 and will receive a trip for two to San Diego, including hotel accommodations and the chance to win $10,000.

Don’t Miss the Fun!

Plan to attend this year’s event, Friday, August 9. 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.” The crowd is encouraged to wear custom t-shirts and to make banners, signs and lots of noise in support of their favorite bagger.

the 2020 NGA Best Bagger Championship will be held during the NGA Show February 23 - 26, 2020 at the San Diego Convention Center (San Diego, CA). 

For more information about the 2019 Iowa Best Bagger Contest, visit or contact Peggy Sellner at 800.383.3663 or