Grocery bagging is an art, and Trevor DeForest is its Michelangelo. The Maquoketa, Iowa grocery bagger on Monday was crowned the champion at the National Grocery Association’s Best Bagger competition in Las Vegas, the Des Moines Register reports. He has worked for Fairway supermarkets for 21 years, and is currently the assistant manager at the 110 Westgate Drive location in Maquoketa.
Lest you think bagging is mere robotic motion, allow the Register to elucidate the art form’s finer points: “Competitors bagged identical grocery orders of approximately 35 commonly purchased items like canned goods, 2-liters of Pepsi, bread loaves, chips and eggs into three reusable grocery bags. Scoring was based on speed, weight distribution among bags, proper item arrangement, style, and appearance.” (Find the Iowa Grocery Industry Association best bagger competition guidelines here.)
That’s right: style. Any shopper who has wound up with a tomato crushed under a can of soup at the bottom of their bag or experienced the elation of perfectly interlocking boxes of cereal knows that there’s more to grocery bagging than meets the eye.
“I would definitely say it’s more of a competition with yourself,” DeForest tells the Des Moines Register. “Really just being conscious about what you’re going to put in the sacks I’d say is where most of the competition is.”