Topco Associates honors members, suppliers for marketing campaigns, excellence
Topco Associates LLC, Elk Grove Village, Ill., announced its 2014 distinguished group of member and supplier award winners at its annual Super Show, which was held June 2 and 3 in Schaumburg, Ill. Topco honored six members for their outstanding marketing efforts in support of store brands. In addition, the company honored six suppliers for their excellence in partnership.
Topco’s Best-in-Class Marketing award recipients include:
- Best-in-Class Brand Marketing: SpartanNash Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. — For 10 years, SpartanNash has supported and sold the trusted Top Care brand throughout their stores, Topco noted. This year, the company expanded that support into its new stores in Indiana and Minnesota. Through effective promotions, front-page ad campaigns and impactful in-store POS, SpartanNash has seen overall sales of Top Care products increase by 50 percent.
- Best-in-Class Promotional Program: Southeastern Grocers LLC, Jacksonville, Fla. — Southeastern Grocers promoted its Winn-Dixie and Southern Home brand products with its "Cone Crew" mobile ice cream team, Topco said. The team visited 21 markets in Florida and Georgia, distributing 11,500 samples of the company's store brand ice cream and floats to potential shoppers while raising brand awareness in its newly expanded market.
- Best-in-Class Merchandising: Retailer: Golub/Price Chopper Supermarkets, Schenectady, N.Y. — Price Chopper Supermarkets effectively merchandised its new "Build your own single cup 24-pack" single-serve coffee pod station, Topco noted. Shoppers were encouraged to fill up an easy-carry box with their 24 favorite flavors for $11.99. Not only did the promotion build store brand awareness in the competitive single-pod coffee category, but the campaign also resulted in a 166 percent sales increase in the member's own brand of single-serve coffee pods, as well as a 67 percent increase in overall Price Chopper brand coffee category sales.
- Best-in-Class Merchandising: Wholesaler: Associated Grocers Inc., Baton Rouge, La. — Last year, Associated Grocers introduced the “Snack Shack” chip program to increase consumer awareness of Shurfine’s new resealable bags. Its “Rip, Dip, Zip!” promotion — a turnkey, cross-merchandising, end-aisle campaign for stores — saw overall sales of the member’s Shurfine-brand salty snack program increase 50 percent over 2013, Topco said.
- Best-in-Class Cause Marketing: Brookshire Holdings Inc., Tyler, Texas — With the "Fresh15 Fun Run," Brookshire Grocery Co. associates raised $80,000 to benefit Bethesda Hospital and the American Heart Association. At the event, Brookshire Grocery Co. also increased brand awareness to race attendees through various samplings, giveaways and fun race day games, Topco noted.
- Best-in-Class Cause Marketing: Golub/Price Chopper Supermarkets — Price Chopper Supermarkets has run its highly effective “Tools for Schools” promotion for the past 16 years. “Tools for Schools” uses a point system that allows shoppers to earn supplies and equipment for local schools. The promotion builds customer engagement and bolsters store brand sales by giving customers double points for all store brand purchases, Topco said. With many years of legacy behind this campaign, the member has raised a total of $11 million for local schools.
- Best-in-Class New Item Launch: Giant Eagle Inc., Pittsburgh — On Oct. 14, 2014, with the help of Giant Eagle brand cookies, 2,152 people set a world record for the most cookies dunked at the same time. In addition, the effort created excitement throughout Pittsburgh with press coverage, cookie sampling events and local donation campaigns. With the help of the record-breaking event, sales of Giant Eagle's own brand cookies totaled over $2.2 million, Topco said.
This year's supplier winners were chosen from among approximately 2,500 Topco supplier partners, and include:
- Health & Beauty Care: Rockline Industries, Sheboygan, Wis. — This supplier experienced a 23 percent sales increase last year while maintaining a 97 percent fill rate and a QA score of 99 (out of 100), Topco said. Rockline also introduced a variety of new items and improved the quality of their products.
- General Merchandise: Logical Pet — This UK vendor, with more than 600 pet care SKUs, helped bring three additional Topco members into the PAWS brand family last year, increasing its overall sales by 17 percent and Topco productivity by $200,000, Topco said.
- Quality Assurance: John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc., Elgin, Ill. — Maintaining 482 item specifications, this supplier's sales purchases increased by 24 percent last year, while its order fill rate reached 98.2 percent. The company also introduced a number of new items last year, Topco noted, while remaining focused on reducing its carbon footprint, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent.
- Frozen: Echo Lake Foods Inc., Burlington, Wis. — Offering Topco members frozen breakfast items, this supplier was quick to ramp up its production capacity last year, earning additional business. As well, Echo Lake Foods has excelled in launching new and fun waffle and pancake varieties, Topco said.
- Grocery: Cameron's Coffee, Shakopee, Minn. — This coffee vendor, which joined Topco in 2012, has quickly grown to service 23 Topco members, experiencing a 53 percent sales increase last year while bringing its fill rate to 99.8 percent. Cameron's offers 40-plus flavors of coffee within its portfolio under the Wide Awake Coffee Co. and World Classics Trading Company brands, and continues to add innovative flavors, Topco noted.
- Pharmacy: McKesson Corp., San Francisco — As the largest pharmacy wholesaler in the United States and globally, McKesson supplies prescription drugs to Topco's 27 Aggregated Pharmacy Initiative (API) members, with an annual pharmacy contract purchase volume of $4.4 billion. Last year, McKesson's Topco API purchase volume increased by 32 percent, Topco said, while the wholesaler provided an incremental savings to participating members of $40 million above the original contract savings.
"Our member award winners demonstrated exemplary marketing promotions with their store brands,” said Chris Hooks, Topco senior vice president, center store and meat programs. “They have successfully utilized new and innovative marketing methods to effectively market corporate brands, while our suppliers continue to provide valued partnership, further demonstrating the importance of advancing as One Topco.
“Collaborating with suppliers is what best-in-class retail companies do, and we are pleased that we have strong ties to the supplier community,” Hooks added. “Because of the collective trust and commitment by Topco, members and suppliers, we are all advancing as one."