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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans here has begun carrying "value-priced" Top Care branded private label products in its HBC section, including skin care, children's cough and cold, first aid, oral care, and foot care items, said Wegmans director of consumer affairs Mary Ellen Burris in her online column at http://www.wegmans.com.
The products are provided by Skokie, Ill.-based private label products distributor Topco Associates, LLC, a cooperative of which Wegmans is a member-owner. Burris explained that the grocer chose not to go with Wegmans-branded products because "[i]n the store brand/private label world, there are minimum packaging commitments required in order to get costs down so the product can be offered at significant savings to the customer. For some products, Wegmans can’t meet those minimum packaging requirements without stockpiling years of package inventory before selling them all."
Since Topco sells Top Care items to many of its member-owners around the country, the packaging commitments are "easily met," explains Burris, who adds that the distributor tests its products in its own or independent laboratories and adheres to the same standards as the national brands.
According to Burris, Top Care items cost an average of 30 percent less than comparable national brands.