Hometown Heroes Essential Dairy Grocery Workers

Hometown Heroes: Essential Dairy Grocery Workers

Today we celebrate #Essential dairy grocery workers who are keeping our country’s nearly 40,000 grocery stores up and running so we can continue buying milk and dairy products for our families during the COVID-19 crisis. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the different jobs our grocery workers do, how things have changed for them since the outbreak, and why they’re our hometown heroes.

#Essential Grocery Workers on the Front Lines

While the spotlight is on healthcare workers for their vitally important role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to forget that every employee you see at your local grocery store has also put themselves in harm's way to do their jobs and support the needs of their communities. Despite concerns for their own health and the health of their family members at home, grocery workers continue to do their part.

Essential Dairy Grocery Workers 1

Whether you shop at a natural foods store, club store, supercenter, or traditional supermarket, #Essential grocery workers are there to ensure everything runs seamlessly, from receiving products to stocking shelves to cashiering and bagging your items. This is happening day in and day out at the 39,507 grocery stores across the country—and that’s not even counting the nearly 155,000 convenience stores that sell food!1
U.S. Grocery Stores by Type and Number2


 Grocery Store Type Number of Stores
 Conventional Supermarkets                           26,149                            
 Supercenters  4,412
 Limited Assortment Grocery Stores 3,680
 Natural/Gourmet Stores 3,507
 Conventional Club Stores 1,370
 Warehouse Grocery 389


Dairy Duties of #Essential Grocery Workers 

The popularity of milk and dairy products makes dairy an important category for any grocery store. It takes a number of grocery workers to keep up with all the dairy duties. For example, when a truck arrives with perishable dairy items, workers in the receiving department must unload the truck and quickly move the items into coolers or freezers in the back of the store. 

Other dairy duties include restocking cases in the refrigerated dairy aisle—for products such as milk, creamer, yogurt, and cheese—and in the frozen dairy aisle—for ice cream and frozen dairy desserts. Imported hard cheeses often have their own location, which could be in the produce department, near the wine department, or in front of the deli. 

The deli itself has an assortment of cheeses managed by the deli department staff. The selection can be especially large in natural and gourmet foods stores. The deli staff is responsible for slicing, wrapping, and weighing these cheeses for customers, in addition to maintaining the inventory and being knowledgeable about the products.

Essential Dairy Grocery Workers 2

COVID-19 Poses New Challenges

New procedures put in place in response to COVID-19 have made it safer for our #Essential grocery workers but have also introduced new challenges. Wearing masks, social distancing, navigating the store via marked routes, and interacting with customers behind plexiglass have made their day-to-day duties more complicated, on top of unpredictable shopping patterns and product shortages.

Many grocery workers have also been tasked with additional duties, such as repackaging bulk items and sanitizing carts and surfaces. In some stores, grocery workers may even grocery shop for customers, bring groceries outside for pickup, or deliver groceries to customers’ homes.  

Thank You, Local Heroes!

#Essential grocery workers are on the front lines faithfully working to ensure families and communities have the food they need. Glanbia Nutritionals would like to thank these local heroes, as well as our own team members who are coming to work each day to make the dairy ingredients our customers need.

Contact Glanbia to learn more about our extensive portfolio of dairy ingredients for your products.


1-2. FoodIndusty.com. (2019). How many grocery stores are there in the United States? Data from Nielsen TDLinx; Progressive Grocer Market Research. Retrieved from https://www.foodindustry.com/articles/how-many-grocery-stores-are-there-in-the-united-states/

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