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Former Ahold exec takes on SVP role at Wakefern

Supermarket industry veteran Erik Keptner has been named senior vice president of marketing for Wakefern Food Corp., one of the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperatives, with member companies that own and operate supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace,  The Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Market

Keptner brings nearly 20 years of experience in the fast-changing, competitive supermarket world to his new role at Wakefern, where he will develop marketing and merchandizing strategies that build upon the company’s rich legacy of successful retail brands.

Keptner, who previously worked as senior vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing for the Giant Food Stores division of Ahold Delhaize, officially moved into his new position on July 9. He will oversee Wakefern’s digital commerce and analytics, advertising, corporate merchandising, private label and own brand, and social media and digital advertising divisions and report directly to Wakefern Executive Vice President Chris Lane.

“Erik came up in the grocery business at a pivotal time for the industry, and throughout his career has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to implementing consumer centric marketing and merchandising strategies,” said Lane. “He’s a proven leader, and we are very excited to welcome him to the Wakefern team.”

“Wakefern has a long history as a respected industry leader. I look forward to joining the team and working with the 50 cooperative member families that make up this esteemed retailer,” said Keptner.

Before taking over in 2014 as senior vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing for the Giant Food Stores division of Ahold, Keptner worked as executive vice president of marketing for Ahold USA. He also served as senior vice president of marketing and consumer insight from 2009 to 2012, and senior vice president of marketing and communication for Giant Food Stores.

A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Keptner received his MBA from Temple University in Philadelphia.

In 2011 was named to the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list. He has served in the past on the board of governors for St. Joseph’s University Institute for Food Marketing and the advisory board for the Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Children’s Hospital.