grocery Topco

Topco Salutes Retail Members For Outstanding Marketing Of Private Brands

\"b-leve\"Elk Grove Village, Illinois based Topco Associates announced today its annual Corporate Brand Marketing Award winners – each of which has shown a true commitment to promoting Topco brands.

\"topco“I want to congratulate these members for their top-notch marketing efforts,” said Glenn Backus, Topco Senior Vice President, Center Store Program Management and Innovation. “They have shown leadership by showcasing corporate brands in a variety of innovative ways. Their effective marketing campaigns highlight the quality and value that each of these brands provide to shoppers.”

Topco’s Corporate Brand Marketing award recipients are:

  • Best-in-Class Value Merchandising Award: Bi-Lo HoldingsWinn-Dixie brought the Clear Value brand to life as its opening-price-point solution through effective wall-of-value merchandising.
  • Best-in-Class Merchandising Award: Brookshire Grocery Co. – Brookshire’s demonstrated its commitment to growing its store brand water program through a great summer promotion that included free 15-packs for associates, a buy-one-get-one-for-a-penny special offer, in-store coupons, cross promotions, direct truckload deliveries to stores and special displays.
  • Best-in-Class Brand Merchandising Award: Hy-Vee, Inc. – Hy-Vee launched the b∙lēve premium beauty care brand in June 2012 with creative and dramatic in-store merchandising. Hy-Vee held a major kick-off with store management teams, developed a special sample launch kit and branded the beauty care department as b∙lēve in its flagship store in Urbandale, Iowa.
  • Best-in-Class Introduction Award: Roundy\’s Supermarkets, Inc. – Roundy’s introduced the natural and/or organic Full Circle brand in its Mariano\’s stores, using attention-grabbing in-store displays, product demonstrations, full-page print ads and Roundy\’s associate education.
  • Best-in-Class Marketing Award: Tops Friendly Markets – Tops, using a mix of introductory ads, store banners and shelf talkers, aggressively promoted its new Valu Time offerings, resulting in an impressive increase in unit and dollar sales.
  • Best-in-Class Category Merchandising Award: United Supermarkets – United has reimagined its baby aisle and consumers have responded, resulting in significant GM and diaper unit sales increases. United has made baby a destination category.
  • Best-in-Class Community Service Award: Bi-Lo Holdings – Through its PAWS \”Feed the Love\” pet food drive, BI-LO to date has donated more than 85 tons of pet food to local food banks while also driving sales and building PAWS brand equity. Feed the Love is one of BI-LO\’s most successful programs.

Members received their awards at Topco’s Center Store Sales & Merchandising Conference, which was held May 20 to 22 at the Renaissance Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill. More than 1,100 attendees, including representatives from 48 members and over 170 supplier companies, participated in the major private label event. Topco and its vendor partners showcased a wealth of Health and Beauty Care, General Merchandise, Grocery, Frozen, Dairy/Bakery and Pharmacy offerings to help drive sales for association members.

During the show, Topco also honored its top supplier partners for their great work in support of Topco and its members. Each of the following companies received a Supplier Award of Excellence:

  • Dairy: Grassland Dairy Products, Inc.
  • Frozen: Echo Lake Foods
  • GM: Pet Factory
  • Health & Beauty Care: Mueller Sports Medicine, Inc.
  • Grocery: Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA
  • Grocery Non-Foods: Reynolds Consumer Products Inc.
  • Pharmacy: PRS Pharmacy Services
  • Quality Assurance: Bay Valley Foods, LLC


grocery Topco

Topco Feeds The Hungry With Full Circle + Project 7

\"FullElk Grove Village, Illinois based Topco and its Full Circle brand are partnering with Project 7 to offer an exciting new co-branded line of food and beverage products. Beginning this month, Topco will roll out 26 great items in its members’ stores across the country, including bagged granola, granola bars, cobbler bars, coffee and tea. These  items will not only come with the promise of quality but will also allow consumers to help feed the hungry in their communities through Project 7’s Feed the Hungry initiative. Project 7 makes everyday products that give back to seven areas for good around the globe.

“Full Circle and Project 7’s co-branded products are a perfect solution for shoppers looking for great-tasting food and beverages,” said Glenn Backus, Topco Senior Vice President, Center Store Program Management and Innovation. “Families will be able to enjoy these quality goods and, at the same time, make an impact in their communities.”

\"FullFull Circle is committed to improving the quality of life of its consumers and is proud to join forces with Project 7 in the fight against hunger. With every purchase of a Full Circle + Project 7 product, a portion of the proceeds is contributed to local organizations dedicated to serving those affected by hunger. For example, the purchase of just one can of Full Circle + Project 7’s delicious organic, whole bean coffee will help provide two meals to people in need. This revolutionary movement is turning the way consumers buy everyday items into an act of giving back. In 2012, Project 7’s Feed the Hungry initiative helped provide more than 641,000 meals in the United States and that number will only grow more impressive working with Full Circle.

“The new Full Circle + Project 7 products are terrific,” said Project 7 CEO and founder Tyler Merrick. “We are thankful for Topco’s leadership and for this special opportunity to partner with the Full Circle brand. The social good that will come from the sale of these great items serves both families and their communities.”

To learn more about Project 7 and Full Circle’s co-branded food and beverage products, please visit


Randy Skoda Named President, CEO of Topco

\"\"The Board of Directors of Topco Associates LLC announced today that it unanimously approved the appointment of Randall J. “Randy” Skoda as the company’s President and CEO. Skoda, 49, has served as Interim President and CEO since December of last year. “Speaking on behalf of the board, we are excited about the leadership and experience Randy brings to his new role,” said Steve Smith, Topco’s Chairman and K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. President and CEO. “Given the economic realities facing consumers and the grocery industry, the strategic importance of Topco to its food-industry member-owners has never been greater. Randy’s extensive knowledge of Topco and the grocery industry will help drive more value for each of Topco’s 51 members as well as take this great organization to the next level.” Skoda has been a key member of Topco’s management team for more than 10 years, holding a number of roles with increasing responsibility. Prior to being named the Interim President and CEO in December, Skoda served as Executive Vice President for more than four years. In that role, he oversaw Topco’s program management, product and brand development, innovation and not-for-resale groups. Skoda has also served as a member on the NuVal LLC Board of Directors since the company’s inception in 2008.


Topco Names Juan De Paoli VP, Center Store

\"\"Private Brand distributor/aggregator Topco announced yesterday that Juan De Paoli has joined the company as Vice President, Center Store Program Management. In this key leadership role, De Paoli will report to Glenn Backus, Senior Vice President, Center Store Program Management and Innovation. \”We are truly excited that Juan is joining our Program Management team,” said Backus. “Juan brings significant expertise, knowledge and passion to the world of product development, marketing and innovation. Our more than 50 retail, wholesale and foodservice members will benefit from his extensive grocery industry experience.\” De Paoli brings more than 20 years of experience in managing and developing both Private Brands and national brands to Topco, including most recently at H.E. Butt Grocery Company in San Antonio, Texas, where he served as Director Own Brands. During his tenure at H-E-B, he was responsible for the company’s private brand Fresh and Grocery product portfolio, including food, household and pet care items, and delivered significant annual sales growth. He also led product development teams that developed and marketed hundreds of new H-E-B branded SKUs per year. De Paoli’s professional experience includes management roles at Procter & Gamble Company and Oscar Mayer Food Corporation. In addition, De Paoli possesses an in-depth knowledge of Hispanic markets both in the United States and Latin America because of his professional experience in Texas, Mexico and Venezuela. He holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration and management and finance from Cornell University.


Steven Lauer: Topco CEO Retires

\"\"Skokie, Illinois-based Topco Associates announced the retirement of Steven K. Lauer as president and CEO. Lauer, who was promoted from chief financial officer to president/CEO in 1999 — retired after 19 years of service with the company.

Under Lauer’s leadership, Topco’s membership has grown to 51 retail, wholesalers and food service member-owners that collectively represent more than $125 billion in sales, Topco said. In the most-recently completed year, Topco’s member-owners purchased more than $11.3 billion in goods and services through Topco’s 10 programs.

“Topco has grown significantly and developed into a leader in the private label industry because of Steve’s leadership,” said Steve Smith, chairman of Topco and president and CEO of Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T Food Stores Inc. “I would like to thank Steve for his many years of service to Topco and Topco’s member-owners.”

Randall J. Skoda, executive vice president of Topco, will serve as the company’s interim president and CEO, Topco said.