WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Raley’s last month named Keith Knopf as chief executive officer, amplifying his role as overseer of the grocer’s strategic priorities. Knopf succeeds majority-owner Michael Teel, who is relinquishing his CEO title but remaining as board chairman. Teel will also continue to serve as consumer advocate, Raley’s said in a statement. Knopf retains the title of president.
Teel and Knopf have worked closely over the past three years to advance Teel’s vision of the grocer as the trusted partner of a customer determined to eat right and live better.
Knopf joined Raley’s in 2015 as chief operating officer, and last year he was promoted to president to free Teel from day-to-day management so he could devote more time to encouraging vendors, farmers and government agencies to join Raley’s in helping consumers make more nutritious food choices.
“Keith and I are tightly aligned on the vision and direction of the company. I have confidence in him and the leadership team to lead the strategic direction to accomplish our vision,” Teel said in a statement. “With this change, I will be able to spend more time in the community with organizations that will help transform the food system alongside Raley’s.”
Raley’s operates 129 stores in Northern California and Nevada under five banners: Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source and Market 5-ONE-5. Raley’s also operates grocery curbside pickup and home delivery services.
Knopf was instrumental in developing Raley’s latest concept store, the 5-ONE-5 market that opened in May in downtown Sacramento and that represents the grocer’s boldest move yet to make good on its promise to change the way the world eats, one plate at a time. The organic and natural foods market offers a curated selection intended to encourage wholesome eating.
Knopf has also helped put Raley’s in the forefront of the movement to bring greater transparency to food retailing. The company last year introduced a shelf-tagging system that givers shoppers a powerful tool to quickly assess whether a food or beverage product meets their dietary needs.
“We know that people are interested in learning more about nutrition, and science is becoming more clear about the impact of food on our health and wellness and our vitality,” Knopf said recently. “We believe that every customer is on a journey; some are going faster than others and interests are different, but we think that everybody is going in this direction.”
Raley’s recently hired a registered dietitian to fill the newly created position of nutrition strategist and brand influencer, with responsibility for bringing more healthy food options into stores and raise awareness of food’s role in health, wellness and vitality.
In recent years, Raley’s has halted tobacco sales, removed sugary beverages from impulse fixtures at the checkstand and replaced them with bottled waters, and discontinued production of private label soda with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors, Knopf said.