Grocery-Related Companies Hold Majority Of Top 10 ESOPs In U.S.

Grocery-Related Companies Hold Majority Of Top 10 ESOPs In U.S.
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The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) compiles a list of the top 100 companies that are at least 50 percent owned by an ESOP or other qualified plan in which at least half of full-time employees may participate. The Employment Ownership 100 2014 list shows that six of the top 10 employee-owned companies in the U.S. are grocery retailers or distributors. Sixteen of the top 100 are grocery retailers, distributors or offer food-related products and services.

Companies on the list are ranked according to the number of people they employ. The top 100 employee-owned companies employ nearly 710,000 people, including all full- and part-time employees in the U.S. and worldwide.

Data are collected from corporate websites, direct correspondence with companies, or, if these are not available, the most recent public data available.

Listed here by their rankings in the top 100 are the companies, their headquarter locations, types of ownership plans and number of employees. Some are 100 percent employee owned, and that is noted as well.

1. Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla.; ESOP and stock purchase since 1974; 160,000 employees.

2. Hy-Vee Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa; profit sharing since 1959; 69,000 employees.

3. Daymon Worldwide, Stamford, Conn.; ESOP/others since 2001; 35,000 employees.

6. Price Chopper, Schenectady, N.Y.; profit sharing since 1996; 23,000 employees.

9. Houchens Industries, Bowling Green, Ky.; ESOP since 1961; 15,300 employees; 100 percent employee owned.

10. WinCo Foods, Boise, Idaho; ESOP since 1985; 15,000 employees.

19. Schreiber Foods (dairy company), Green Bay, Wis.; ESOP since 1998; 7,000 employees.

21. Brookshire Brothers, Lufkin, Texas; ESOP since 2001; 5,600 employees; 100 percent employee owned.

31. KeHE Distributors, Romeoville, Ill.; ESOP since 2001; 4,000 employees.

34. Harps Food Stores, Springdale, Ark.; ESOP since 1988; 4,000 employees; 100 percent employee owned.

37. Homeland Acquisition Corp., Oklahoma City, Okla.; ESOP since 2011; 3,740 employees; 100 percent employee owned.

45. Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., North Charleston, S.C.; ESOP since 1985; 3,000 employees.

50. Reasor’s, Tahlequah, Okla.; ESOP since 2005; 3,000 employees; 100 percent employee owned.

54. RPCS Inc., Springfield, Mo.; ESOP since 2004; 2,900 employees.

62. Guckenheimer Enterprises, Redwood City, Calif.; ESOP since 1987; 2,500 employees.

98. Riesbeck Food Markets, St. Clairsville, Ohio; ESOP since 1986; 1,200 employees.

NCEO is a private, nonprofit membership and research organization. It welcomes additions and corrections to the list. Contact the organization at research@nceo.org.

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