AWG Private Brands Marks Record Year

The nation's largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets reports strong double-digit sales gains of its private label assortment.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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AWG Private Brands
AWG's assortment of private brands.

AWG Brands, the private brand family owned by Associated  Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG), delivered a 17.9% sales increase from the previous year, the company reported. AWG Brands consists of four unique brands: Always Save, Best Choice, Clearly by Best Choice  and Best Choice Superior Selections. 

From value-focused to better-for-you, each brand holds a specific position in the marketplace and  boasted double-digit sales growth.  

“Through research, award-winning product innovation, brand repositioning, and a focus on supply  chain management, the AWG Brands team continues to build a best-in-class private brands program  that meets the evolving needs of our member retailers and today’s consumers,” said Tye Anthony,  AWG’s senior vice president of Merchandising. “This is reflected in AWG Brands' strong sales growth.” 

In the past few years, AWG renewed its commitment to the AWG Brands strategy as part of its  Convergence project, which is an initiative to provide member retailers with all the tools, products, and  services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. As part of this Convergence  commitment, AWG Brands received updated brand positioning guidelines for each brand and  redesigned packaging. 

In addition, AWG Brands Sourcing and Category Managers engage in ongoing cost mitigation across competitive categories. Despite rising costs, these teams worked to deliver the best possible pricing. This work saved member retailers almost $6 million in 2022. 

AWG also continues to refine pricing strategy and promotions, including digital coupon offerings. Shelf  placement strategy and focus have also played a part in Convergence as the AWG merchandising and category management teams deliver member retailer value through refreshed and optimized  planograms.  

“This record year is a direct result of the hard work put in by our AWG teammates,” said Anthony.  “Their dedication to the Convergence project and AWG Brands is making our member retailers more  successful.” 

AWG’s supplier partners also play a critical role in this success. Through collaboration on cost  mitigation, product innovation, and a commitment to quality, these suppliers are helping improve  AWG Brands' status in the marketplace, resulting in increased brand awareness, loyalty, and sales.  Although 2022 was still marked by supply chain and economic challenges, suppliers worked with the  AWG team to overcome obstacles and find innovative solutions.  

This partnership and progress allow AWG Brands to dedicate additional resources to member retailers  and their communities. This manifests through additional promotional opportunities for member  retailers and community donations. Through the Save-A-Label program, AWG Brands donated to over 1,600 non-profit organizations in AWG’s trade area in 2022.  

“AWG Brands play a pivotal role within AWG’s corporate and category strategies,” said Greg Shotkoski,  AWG Brands executive director. “Our team is focused on continuing a nearly 40-year legacy of  excellence in the private brands' segment through innovation, proper pricing, and clear brand values.”