Topco Associates LLC is the largest American retail food GPO (Group Purchasing Organization) and the third largest private company in Illinois.[1][2]

Topco Associates LLC
FoundedSeptember 28, 1944
Area served
United States
Key people
Randy Skoda President & CEO
ProductsStrategic Sourcing Services


Topco headquarters in Elk Grove, Illinois

On September 28, 1944, to deal with wartime shortages, a small cooperative named Food Cooperatives, Inc. was formed by a group of Wisconsin food retailers to supply its members with private label dairy products and paper goods. 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.[3]

In addition to supplying frozen foods to its members, Top Frost also had a quality program that set its specifications higher than those of the leading national brands.[citation needed] In December 1950, the two cooperatives merged. This was the beginning of Topco Associates, Inc.

On February 1, 2006, Topco announced the acquisition of BrainTree Sourcing from Ahold USA, forming a new company called TopSource LLC (as a wholly owned subsidiary of Topco Associates LLC), which is now known as Topco's Indirect Spend program.[4] The Indirect Spend program currently operates out of Quincy, Massachusetts.

In 2008, Topco partnered with Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut, in a joint venture called NuVal LLC, which has developed a nutritional scoring system to help consumers make healthy food choices.[5]

Topco purchased competitor Western Family Foods in June 2016.[6]


A typical Valu Time generic grocery item label of the 1980s

Topco Associates brands include Food Club and Shurfine for general groceries, Harvest Club for produce, World Classics Trading Company is used for pasta sauce, deli mustard, olive oil, vinegar, deli meats etc., while @ease for frozen meals and Papa Enzo's for frozen pizzas. Cow Belle Creamery is their ice cream brand while Nostimo is used for their Greek yogurt products, and Sweet P's Bake Shop is used for baked cakes and cookies. The company also uses Wide Awake Coffee Co. for coffee. Buckley Farms is used for meats and poultry while Cape Covelle for frozen fish. Tippy Toes is used for infant care, Paws Happy Life for pet care products while using Pure Harmony for premium pet food, Simply Done for paper products, storage and trash bags, and aluminum foil, Over the Top for baking utensils, and CharKing for charcoal and fire logs. TopCare is used for first aid, over-the-counter drugs, and beauty products, while b•lēve is their premium beauty products. Full Circle is used for organic and healthy products including foods and general merchandise. Valu Time (now rebranded as THAT'S SMART) and Clear Value are Topco's brands for generic groceries.



  • Fresh Meat
  • Branded Meat
  • Produce/Floral

Center StoreEdit

  • Dairy/Bakery
  • Frozen
  • Grocery
  • HBC/GM (Health and Beauty Care/General Merchandise)

Indirect SpendEdit

  • Construction (including Facilities Management Solutions)
  • Energy & Sustainability (including Utilities)
  • Fuel
  • HR Benefits
  • Hired Services (including Professional and Financial Services)
  • IT / Telecom
  • Logistics and Distribution
  • Marketing, Advertising and Merchandising
  • Office Products and Services
  • Packaging & Consumables
  • Store Equipment
  • Travel
  • Waste Solutions


The following companies are member-owners of Topco Associates LLC.[7]


  1. ^ Gaines, Amanda (September–October 2010). "Hear Our Voice". Retail Merchandiser. p. 4.
  2. ^ Yue, Lorene (February 22, 2006). "Topco Associates buys BrainTree Sourcing". Crain's Chicago Business.
  3. ^ International Directory of Company Histories. 60. St. James Press. 2004. ISBN 9781558625631. OCLC 433314819.
  4. ^ "Topco Associates LLC Announces the Acquisition of BrainTree Sourcing". Business Wire (Press release). February 21, 2006.
  5. ^ Marshall, Brandon (March 30, 2014). "Nutritional value point system aims to make kids eat healthier". KOTA-TV.
  6. ^ Portland Tribune "Western Family Foods to close Tigard headquarters". Retrieved 06-23-2016
  7. ^

External linksEdit