Topco Adds SVP/Innovation Exec

Glenn Backus, a former HEB Grocery Co. and Supervalu executive, has joined Topco Associates, LLC in a newly created position as its SVP of innovation, in which capacity he will be responsible for overseeing all facets of innovation in product, packaging and branding.

Most recently, Backus directed and monitored all aspects pertaining enhancing the in-store experience for San Antonio-based HEB, including the regional grocer’s related efforts to build stronger bonds with customers. Prior to that, Backus was president of Minneapolis-based Supervalu’s now-defunct Sunflower Markets subsidiary, where he oversaw the retail grocer’s natural and organic banner.

Backus began his career with Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s, where he spent 14 years in positions of increasing responsibility, including regional VP of store operations and VP of merchandising. In the latter role, he led new product strategy, sourcing and merchandising.

“Glenn not only understands product and branding innovation, he has a history of leading it,” said Randy Skoda, EVP with Skokie, Ill.-based Topco. “With the industry adapting to constantly changing consumer behaviors, the concept of innovation has become even more of a business imperative for the organization. Glenn’s experience with generating new and creative business ideas dovetails nicely with Topco’s efforts to further expand its role as a leader in innovation.”

Topco is a $10.7 billion, privately held company that provides aggregation, innovation and knowledge management solutions for leading food industry member-owners and customers.
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