Store Brands

DEC 2015

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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8 Store Brands / December 2015 / Ready to lend a hand (l to r) Howard Popoola, vice president, quality assurance; Chris Hooks, senior vice president, center store & meat programs; Christine Heffernan, senior director, center store; and Linda Severin, vice president, marketing. I n 1950, a gallon of gasoline cost 18 cents, the first TV remote control — Zenith Radio's Lazy Bones — was marketed, the credit card was invented, and future superstars Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder and Jay Leno were born. And in December of 1950, Topco Associates LLC was born from the merger of Food Cooperatives Inc. and Top Frost. Food Cooperatives was a small cooperative formed in 1944 to supply its members with dairy products and paper goods, allowing its members to operate in spite of wartime shortages. The products were sold under the Food Club and Elna labels. Top Frost Foods supplied frozen foods to its mem- bers and was known for its impressive quality program. Headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Ill., Topco has grown over the decades to 49 members that collectively represent $150 billion in retail sales and more than 15,000 stores. Members include 33 U.S. retailers, 12 U.S. wholesalers, two international retailers and two foodservice companies, the company reports. Through its members, Topco reaches more than 64 million customers with its products. "We are the largest cooperative in the industry by volume and by number of retailer participants," says Chris Hooks, Topco's senior vice president, center store and meat programs. "Our size and volume, coupled with the breadth and depth of our program offerings, are the clear differentiators between Topco and other cooperatives." Topco is dedicated to understanding its members' needs and providing the own-brand solutions that will drive customer loyalty and profitability. By Michal Christine Escobar

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