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Who We Are

About Topco Associates LLC

Topco Associates LLC is a privately held company that provides innovative business solutions for its food industry member-owners and customers. Topco leverages the collective volume, knowledge and commitment of these companies to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace by reducing costs and offering winning business-building capabilities. Topco's membership collectively represents billions in retail sales volume with thousands of stores.

Topco provides procurement, quality assurance, packaging and other services exclusively for its member-owners, which include supermarket retailers, food wholesalers and foodservice companies. Topco has no conflicting profit motive because it distributes all earnings back to its member-owners based on their level of participation.
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Topco's Mission Statement

Topco's mission is to provide solutions for our owners to profitably grow their business and realize a sustainable competitive advantage in the markets they serve. We drive value and demonstrate leadership by delivering aggregation, innovation and knowledge management solutions.
 

Aggregation

Topco is focused on providing solutions that enable our members to profitably grow their businesses. Prominent among these is synergy through aggregation. Aggregation, which we define as the leveraging members' collective product and services needs, common resources and capabilities, provides several specific benefits to Topco members:
  • Pricing: Lower prices through aggregation of volume and knowledge;
  • Efficiency: Additional cost and speed-to-market benefits through the elimination of redundant services;
  • Leadership: The ability to influence the evolution of industry standards; and
  • Networking: The sharing of best practices among non-competing members.
  • Aggregation will enable our members to effectively compete against the country's top retailers.
Topco will deliver these aggregation benefits through continuous improvement of our business processes; by having the right staff; and using the right information technology. An additional aggregation benefit is provided by the ability of our members to connect with each other through engagement in Topco. In summary, Topco's success at aggregation creates value by enabling common resources and capabilities to become pooled solutions designed to meet the diverse needs of its members.

Innovation

We define innovation in three distinct areas: product, packaging and process. In each of these, innovation is not the end goal, but rather an ongoing means to an end. The tangible benefits include:
  • Increasing sales;
  • Maximizing margins;
  • Creating differentiation;
  • Building customer loyalty; and
  • Creating leverage with national brands.
Product innovation at Topco centers on delivering superior solutions to consumers that make their lives better. It could be the best-tasting yogurt that gives a great sensory experience, a complete meal solution that saves households time and money or a cleaner that removes spots better than any other on the market. Each of our consumer-focused products should provide our members with clear points of differentiation.

Knowledge Management

A key Topco asset is the deep understanding of its members' products, categories, suppliers and shoppers. Through the efficient and effective management of this valuable knowledge, Topco can buy smarter, provide the right products at the right time and ensure product consistency for our members' consumers. Topco has key experts that support members at each step of the procurement process. For example, the Meat programs have economists on staff who monitor the meat markets and provide our buying team with the latest supply and pricing trends, so each purchase delivers that extra penny-per-pound reduction in cost. Our Qualiy Assurance department's food scientists use their expertise to ensure suppliers provide consistent, quality food that meets or exceeds the highest quality standards. Topco's Produce department has "feet in the fields," inspecting produce as it ripens on the vine or lands at the port. And our Creative Services department's professionals use their branding and marketing expertise to steward brands, communicate "value at a glance," and connect with shoppers at the point of purchase and each time the product is set on the kitchen counter.

Topco's History

On September 28, 1944 a small cooperative was formed to supply its members with dairy products and paper goods, allowing them to operate in spite of wartime shortages. Called Food Cooperatives, Inc., the products procured by this organization were sold under the Food Club and Elna labels. Some of the members of Food Cooperatives were also members of another cooperative called Top Frost Foods.

In addition to supplying frozen foods to its members, Top Frost also had an impressive quality program that set its specifications higher than those of the leading national brands. By early 1950, it was obvious that the two cooperatives were clearly well matched, which resulted in a merger of the two companies in December of that year. This was the beginning of Topco Associates, Inc., as it is known today. Folklore has it that the name "Topco" came from the "top" of Top Frost and the "co" of Food Cooperatives. Some people claim it's an acronym for "top companies."
 
 
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