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About Allied Purchasing

Allied Purchasing has evolved over the decades to serve the growing needs of the independent dairy, food, soft drink, bottled water, water treatment, brewery and wine industries and helped them remain competitive in a constantly changing and extremely competitive business. With a growing list of suppliers, a strong connection to the changing regulations of each industry and a streamline process of online ordering, Allied Purchasing continues to provide opportunities for their members to save on production costs at a time when every dollar counts.

Learn more below about the rich history of Allied Purchasing as well as our mission to serve our members, suppliers and employees.

Our History

From the depressed business environment of the 1930’s where independent dairy operations were being edged out by the large dairy companies and all of America was under the extreme financial pressure of the Great Depression, the buying group concept was born. In order to compete with the large dairy chains, independent dairy operations needed to band together to negotiate the same pricing as their large competitors.

In 1937, a small group of independent dairies in Iowa formed the first successful buying group of its type in the nation. R.O. Linder organized this Iowa buying group and invited other small dairy operation owners to a meeting at the Fort Des Moines Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa composed of thirty-two total attendees. This group was called the Iowa Dairy Products Cooperative Association with their first organized purchase of strawberries used to manufacture ice cream. Purchases by the group in 1937 totaled $53,690.29 with a savings of $6,470.12 to its members.

The following year, a formal meeting was held with companies in Minnesota and Wisconsin, leading to a name change from Iowa Dairy Products Cooperative Association, Inc. to United Dairy Cooperation Association and a Board of Directors was elected from its membership. Mr. Linder remained full-time manager and reported to the Board of Directors. By 1942, news of the group’s success was spreading and United Dairy Co-op Association established a home office in Mason City, Iowa. Major items purchased expanded to bottle caps, ice cream cartons, paper cups, hose, parchment paper, ice cream cabinets, ice cream flavorings and gelatin for stabilizing ice cream.

A great expansion effort was made in 1970, where the buying program grew beyond dairy to soft drinks with Pepsi Cola bottlers in California, Oregon and Washington and the following year, the group offered its services to the rest of the nation. In 1979, United Dairy changed its name to the current name, Allied Purchasing due to the large number of non-dairy members.

In 1982, a different buying group concept was launched where a select group of large dairy members were organized into a separate buying group and would commit to purchase a set amount of products from whichever supplier their group chose. These buying committee meetings were led by a staff member from Allied Purchasing. This concept became very successful and since this group operated differently from Allied Purchasing, a separate corporation was established called National Purchasing. Since it had no employees, it remained operated by Allied Purchasing Co.

Throughout the years, the success of the soft drink program allowed Allied Purchasing to apply their business model to similar industry groups including bottled water, integrated supermarkets and breweries, each with a little different product needs, but similar savings needs obtained through group purchasing.

Our Mission

The mission of Allied Purchasing is:

  • To assist food industry members in achieving low cost producer status through advantageous purchasing programs and information exchange.
  • To provide qualified suppliers a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • To ensure a positive work environment for its employees.
  • To grow into the future through carefully planned expansion in related industries throughout selected areas of the world.