Raya joined SpartanNash following a 31-year career with Safeway/Albertsons, serving as division president of Albertsons from 2015-2018. In this role, she led the post-merger transition with Safeway and integration of multiple banner teams within her division for the second-largest grocery store chain in the United States.
Raya began her career as a store associate, moving up the ranks to store manager, district manager, vice president of retail operations, group vice president of strategic initiatives and multiple food category senior management positions before serving as the first female divisional president in VON’s 107-year history from 2012-2015.
Raya is an advisory board member for Western Michigan University's food and consumer package goods marketing program as well as a board member for the National Grocers Association. She also serves on the board of the Grand Rapids Symphony.
She holds an honorary doctorate in business from Colorado Mesa University and is a graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business Food Industry Executive Program.
Panel Moderator: Meg Major, Vice President of Content, Winsight Grocery Business
Brandon Barnholdt, President and CEO, KeHE Distributors
Lori Raya, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, SpartanNash
Rekha Rao, General Manager, North America eCommerce, Colgate-Palmolive
Peter Whitsett, Executive Vice President Merchandising and Marketing, Meijer
Psyche Terry, President, CEO and Chief Inspiration Officer, UI Global Brands
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, millennials have more than $200 billion in direct spending power and
upwards of another $400 billion via indirect influence. How retailers leverage private brands’ attributes, to a segment
less motivated by name brands than previous generations, will define the standards and tactics for the future. A panel of
industry experts will discuss the impact of this spending power and influence and explore ways companies are igniting
passion for their brands with these savvy shoppers.
• Value: Millennials seek more value than price alone. Quality, healthier ingredients, and social impact are all key value components for this segment.
• Product Innovation: Convenience solutions, diverse taste profiles, and market trends are important components to today’s private label program.
• Connectivity and transparency: Accessibility for brand and product information and 1:1 feedback to consumer questions via social media and other channels are critical.