If you shop one of the regional grocery stores, you will see some subtle changes for the better after the unification of two major grocer distribution cooperatives.
Affiliated Foods is now part of Associated Wholesale Grocers, which is now one of the larger grocer distribution cooperatives in the country.
Panhandle Coop CEO BOB Pile and Fresh Foods owner Ben Dishman say the larger Associated Wholesale Growers is a $10 billion cooperative, providing more buying power to compete with the big box stores, a better variety of food choices, and some cost efficiency for the stores they can hopefully pass on to consumers.
The unification takes effect October 24th, and both men say a big difference customers will see is in the house brand change from Shurfine to Best Choice. The change will be more visible by the first of the year after the Shurfine product clears the shelves in November and December.
Other stores likely impacted by the unification include Sonny’s Super Foods-Bridgeport/Sidney, Grocery Kart-Alliance, DL Foods –Morrill and Kelly’s-Torrington