Associated Food Stores, based in Utah, announced it has purchased the seven Dan's Foods Stores in Utah. This follows the purchase of two other small chains with a total of 12 Utah stores.
Associated, a grocery wholesaler, entered the retail end of the business last year when it acquired the 12 other stores. At Associated's annual co-op meeting, the chairman called for strength and solidarity among the independent growers in the west, saying they must survive the onslaught of mega-mergers by the big national food retail chains.
Associated, which supplies some 600 independently owned supermarkets in eight western states, has not ruled out other acquisitions.
Associated's stated goal is to service the independent stores without being predatory.