Maquoketa Fareway employees are state champion grocery baggers

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MAQUOKETA, Iowa (KCRG TV-9) -- At a lightning fast pace, Kevin Simmons and Trevor DeForest sack groceries into a re-usable bag.

Last week, they took part in the Iowa Grocery Industry Association’s grocery sacking competition at the Iowa State Fair. They say that competition is about more than just speed.

"It’s attitude, style, technique and weight distribution," said DeForest, who won that competition.

Judges from the Iowa Grocery Industry Association decided DeForest and Simmons, respectively, are the first and second place sackers in the state.

"We spend three hours there practicing," said Simmons.

Each have been working for Fareway Foods for nearly 20 years. Their experience comes in handy. So does simply knowing their customers.

"If you have a young person, you're going to sack a little heavier for them. And for an older person you're going to sack lighter for them," said DeForest.

"You don't want to put like 8 cans in the bag for an elderly lady. She's not going to be able to carry that and she's going to tell you that. She's not afraid to tell you, ‘I want it done this way.’" Said Simmons.

The champion sackers say the trick to bagging is building a wall around the outside of the bag with boxes, then putting the can goods in the middle.

"Making sure the crushables go on top is the main thing," said DeForest.

And of course, doing it all with a friendly face.

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