Produce professionals from across the country gathered in Utah for the Annual Topco MAC (Member Action Committee) Produce Meeting, where they not only discussed aggregation strategies and exclusive brands but also had the opportunity to visit the member and corporate stores of Associated Food Stores to witness firsthand their operational excellence.

The effort was led by Leigh Vaughn, director of produce, and Bill Price, vice president of fresh sales and merchandising.

“It was exciting to take produce professionals from across the country to see our fantastic membership and corporate stores,” said Leigh.

The event, which has previously taken place in North Carolina and Texas, brought together over 30 Topco members, including Adam Hession from Big Y Foods, Mike Tipton from Schnuck’s, and John Stoltz from Hy-Vee Foods, to collaborate, strategize, and learn together.

One of the highlights of the event was the ongoing launch of the new AFS exclusive brand called “Basket and Bushel.” The brand offers a range of gourmet potatoes, bagged apples, and pre-cut vegetables. Leigh shared excitement about the upcoming strategies with the other new exclusive floral brand “Bloom & Co.” and the opportunities for increased purchasing power through aggregation.

In addition to the exclusive brand discussions and store visits, the event also included updates on market trends and logistics, showcasing AFS’s commitment to providing valuable insights to its members.

The Annual Topco MAC Produce Meeting serves as a unique platform for produce professionals to not only collaborate and strategize but also to witness the outstanding performance of Associated Food Stores’ member and corporate stores. By combining discussions, presentations, and store visits, the event offers a comprehensive and immersive experience for industry leaders.

Leigh expressed gratitude for the partnership with Topco: “Topco’s produce program has continued to strengthen our position in our market. Their supply chain expertise and aggregation power has helped Associated Foods Stores find the best cost of goods and sustain a fantastic service level to our members for the past few years.”

About Topco: Topco Associates LLC is a leading cooperative purchasing organization that provides aggregation, innovation, and knowledge management solutions to grocery retailers and wholesalers across the United States. With a focus on driving cost savings, optimizing procurement practices, and enhancing operational efficiencies, Topco empowers its members to compete in a dynamic marketplace. For over 75 years, Topco has been committed to supporting its members’ success by leveraging their collective scale and expertise.