Retailer-owned wholesale co-operative Associated Wholesale Grocers has witnessed a rise in sales during 2010, as revenues from its own-label lines broke the US$1bn mark.

At its annnual shareholder meeting last weekend (19-20 March), the Kansas City-based wholesaler told its shareholder-members that net sales rose to US$7.25bn last year, up 3%. AWG said that its brands, including Best Choice and Always Save, reached sales of $1bn in 2010.

A spokesperson for the company said that increased own-brand sales were a reflection of “growing demand for value” from consumers and retailers.

The co-operative rebated members $496m during the year, up $48.7m.

AWG supplies more than 580 members and operating more than 2,712 retail outlets in 23 states through eight distribution centers.