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Topco Honors Retailers, Suppliers for Best-in-Class Marketing

Topco Associates LLC, based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., presented its 2014 Corporate Brand Best-in-Class Marketing Campaign Awards during its annual Super Show held June 2-3 in Schaumburg, Ill.

The show drew in nearly 800 guests, represented by 47 Topco members and more than 400 supplier companies. Six Topco members were recognized for their outstanding marketing efforts in support of store brands. In addition, Topco honored six suppliers for their excellence in partnerships.

Topco’s Best-in-Class Marketing award recipients included:

- Best-in-Class Brand Marketing: SpartanNash Co. -- For 10 years, SpartanNash Co. has supported and sold the Top Care brand throughout its stores. 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 Co. has seen a 50 percent increase in overall sales of Top Care products.

- Best-in-Class Promotional Program: Southeastern Grocers LLC --Southeastern Grocers promoted its Winn-Dixie and Southern Home brand products with its "Cone Crew" mobile ice cream team. The team visited 21 markets in Florida and Georgia, distributing 11,500 samples of its 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 Supermarketa-- Outstanding merchandising was exemplified last year by Price Chopper Supermarkets, which effectively merchandised its new "Build your own single cup 24-pack" single-serve coffee pod station. 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 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. --  Last year, Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, La., introduced the “Snack Shack” chip program to increase consumer awareness of Shurfine’s new resealable bags. The “Rip, Dip, Zip!” promotion, a turn-key, cross-merchandising, end-aisle campaign for stores, saw overall sales of the member’s Shurfine brand salty snack program increase 50 percent over 2013.

- Best-in-Class Cause Marketing: Brookshire Holdings Inc. -- With its "Fresh15 Fun Run," Brookshire Grocery Co. associates raised $80,000 to benefit Bethesda Hospital and the American Heart Association. 

- Best-in-Class Cause Marketing: Golub/Price Chopper Supermarkets -- Price Chopper Supermarkets has run its “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. With many years of legacy behind this campaign, the retailer has raised a total of $11 million for local schools.

- Best-in-Class New Item Launch: Giant Eagle, Inc. -- 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. 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 have totaled more than $2.2 million.

This year's supplier winners were chosen from among approximately 2,500 Topco supplier partners, and included:

- Health & Beauty Care: Rockline Industries - 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). Rockline also introduced a variety of new items and improved the quality of its products.

- General Merchandise: Logical Pet - This 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.

- Quality Assurance: John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. - Maintaining 482 item specifications, this supplier's sales purchases increased by 24 percent last year, while its order fill rate reached 98.2 percent. Sanfilippo also introduced a number of new items while remaining focused on reducing its carbon footprint.

- Frozen: Echo Lake Foods Inc. - Offering Topco’s members frozen breakfast items, this supplier was quick to ramp up its production capacity last year, earning it additional business. Additionally, Echo Lake Foods has excelled in launching new waffle and pancake varieties.

- Grocery: Cameron's Coffee - 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 more than 40 flavors of coffee within its portfolio under the Wide Awake Coffee Co. and World Classics Trading Company brands, and continues to add innovative flavors.

- Pharmacy: McKesson Corp. - As the largest pharmacy wholesaler in the U.S. 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 while the wholesaler provided an incremental savings to participating members of $40 million above the original contract savings.

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