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AWG Reports Record Results At Annual Meeting

AWG's Dan Funk

Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) reported record consolidated company sales of $12.4 billion for 2023, an increase of 0.8 percent on a comparable basis over 2022, and distributed $284 million of year-end patronage, following its annual shareholders meeting March 26 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas.

AWG’s cooperative net sales were $11.1 billion, up 3.16 percent. Total distribution of cooperative benefits returned to shareholders, including interest, allowances and patronage, was $602.8 million, up 10.88 percent. 

Barry Queen
Barry Queen

Total members’ investment and equity declined to $655.8 million, reflecting strategic start-up costs. In addition, the trading value for class “A” shares increased to $1,610 per share, a rise of 3.9 percent. 

“We achieved these remarkable results through continuous improvements in our division’s operating results, efficiency and productivity initiatives,” said Dan Funk, president and CEO of AWG. 

“Despite ongoing inflationary pressures on operating expenses, our unwavering focus on year-over-year cooperative sales growth – both with new and existing members – has yielded positive outcomes. Strategic investments under the convergence initiative in merchandising, marketing and promotional funding enhancements have significantly contributed to the remarkable 10.88 percent improvement in total distributions for the year.” 

Noteworthy developments include a comprehensive relaunch of the AWG Brands portfolio, introduction of new label designs, new product offerings and ongoing AWG Brands’ investments aimed at solidifying the cooperative’s position as the largest brand within the markets its members serve. 

Throughout 2023, AWG also launched multiple strategic projects that will continue to redefine future distribution capabilities. The inauguration of a new all-in-one distribution center, now the Mid-South Division in Hernando, Mississippi, marked a significant milestone. 

The first phase of consolidating Valu Merchandisers Company products and departments into the Mid-South Division commenced in 2023. The integration of the VMC products into the cooperative for members’ stores will commence in phases during fiscal 2024. 

Furthermore, the new Upper Midwest Division in St. Cloud, Minnesota, created new capacity within the total distribution network and continues to be a growth opportunity for the cooperative. 

“In 2023, the cooperative underwent a transitional period marked by efforts to stabilize the supply chain, drive member growth initiatives and successfully execute multiple strategic projects,” said Barry Queen, chairman of AWG’s board of directors.

“Looking ahead, I’m excited about the future of AWG under Dan Funk’s leadership, promising a new chapter for us filled with innovation, growth and success.”

About Associated Wholesale Grocers

AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently-owned supermarkets, serving 1,100 member companies and more than 3,500 locations throughout 32 states from nine wholesale divisions. 

In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies that provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods and natural and organic products.

Read more wholesaler and distributor news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
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