Archives for February 2008

Cody’s Acquires Express Lane Stores

Cody’s Convenience Stores acquired six bankrupt Express Lane stores, making it the second-largest owner of convenience stores in southwest Missouri. With the purchase, Cody’s surpassed fellow Springfield-based chain Rapid Roberts’ 23 area stores. The chain’s portfolio now comprises 25 stores, second to West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go’s 33 stores in southwest Missouri. Cody’s,

A [Private] Affair

More. That’s what convenience store customers can expect to see of private-label brands–and what convenience store operators need to do in order to make those brands successful. The costs are too low, opportunities to build brand equity and loyalty too high, quality is rising too quickly and the benefits are too numerous for retailers with

Leadership Tactics to Make 2008 a Pivotal Business

s you look back over 2007, you’re feeling a vague sense of discontent. Business is sluggish. Several key employees have left. And with new competitors springing up every day, you need to be at the top of your industry. Things are not terrible, but they could be a lot better. You need to turn things

7-Eleven Embraces Nutritional Snacks

At a time of year when people are focused on health and fitness, 7-Eleven Inc. is adding three more sensible snacks for the “on-the-go” crowd–Weight Watchers snack cakes and muffins, LARABAR all-natural raw food bars and, in March, its own proprietary MEGA protein bars. Approximately half of all Americans entered 2008 resolved to do something:

Aisle Rage:It Starts on the Frontlines

magine yourself as the store manager of a major convenience store or supermarket chain. As you are busily building a new display, you notice two customers down an aisle that are in really close proximity to each other. The customers exchange sneers and you can feel the tension between them. One of the customers bumps

Bypassing the Interchange

Alot has changed on the credit card fee front since last year’s NACS/Convenience Store Decisions Webcast, but retailers are still faced with the daunting challenge of finding creative ways to bypass the high interchange fees that plague the c-store industry. The industry’s efforts to battle these fees is getting attention, fostering the hope that real

Flowers Foods Introduces 100-Calorie Snack Items

Flowers Foods Specialty Group introduces two 100-calorie snack items: Mini Creme-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes and Mini Blueberry Muffins, that deliver great taste and meet new nutritional guidelines. Each 100-calorie pack contains three mini cupcakes or muffins in a trim package that fits great in candy slots. The mini chocolate cupcakes are topped with chocolate icing and

Ribs with BBQ Sauce

Broaster Recipe is jumping into the fully-cooked product segment with the launch of Pork Loin Back Ribs with BBQ Sauce. Individually quick frozen and conveniently packed in two five-pound pouches per case, these ribs offer a restaurant quality product that’s sure to please. Foodservice operators simply heat ‘n serve from a microwave, convection, or conventional

Building a Solid Foundation

The most extraordinary structure is only as strong as it’s weakest link. The same principle applies in business. The higher up the leadership chain that weakness exists the more likely the organization is to crumble. That’s why the companies that are succeeding in the market these days are controlled by innovators that aren’t afraid to

Convenience Store Retailers Stepping Up Tobacco Lobbying Efforts

States are effectively cutting their own throats by continually hiking excise taxes on tobacco products–chasing away revenue, encouraging criminal behavior and unfairly penalizing smokers and retailers–and it’s up to the c-store industry to help them understand that. In fact many operators and state associations already are fighting the good fight by lobbying legislators, educating consumers,

Building New Relationships

Anyone who’s been in the industry as long as Dennis Lane is more than supremely qualified to help other retailers cope successfully with the changing c-store landscape. Lane—who was elected last November to head the 2,000-member National Coalition of 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association after serving for the past several years as vice chair of merchandising

Pivotal Year for Beer

What’s brewing in the beer category? A combination of higher prices, smaller crops, tighter dollars and expanded ethnic offerings may well make 2008 a memorable one for convenience store operators. A variety of forces are pushing and pulling the beer category in several directions. For instance, the higher prices of items like cigarettes and gasoline

Michelada, Anyone?

Chelada, Anheuser-Busch’s new Clamato and beer beverage, isn’t really new at all. A variation of a beverage called Michelada, it belongs to a genre of drinks known in Spanish as cerveza preparada, which means prepared beer—a drink category that’s been around since at least the 1940’s in Mexico. One version of Chelada’s origins is that

Ice Cream Float in a Bottle

More than 110 years after the ice cream float was first consumed, A&W and Sunkist Floats are being introduced to recreate all the rich creamy frothiness of a real ice cream float in a bottle. A&W and Sunkist Floats–first-of-their-kind, float-like beverages–deliver a real float experience without all of the fuss. Available in convenient 11.5-ounce, vintage

Widescreen Display

VeriFone Holdings Inc. has introduced MX860, the newest member of the highly successful MX800 series that provides retailers with multimedia capabilities in a secure payment system that now combines widescreen, video-game quality resolution and impact with tactile keys for disability compliance requirements. The MX860 supports the same impressive feature set as existing MX800 series products

Kemps Fresh Milk with MEG-3

Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. (ONC), supplier of MEG-3 brand Omega-3 EPA/DHA food and dietary supplement ingredients, launched two new milk products, Kemps Plus Healthy Lifestyle and Kemps Plus Healthy Kids, containing the MEG-3 EPA/DHA ingredient. Kemps is the first company to launch a fresh milk product in North America containing the MEG-3 Omega-3 healthy food

Whole Grain Lean Pockets

Today’s consumers want to be health conscious, but don’t want to sacrifice great taste or convenience. They want a fast, easy way to eat right. The leader in the frozen sandwich category has found the solution. Now Lean Pockets brand fans can enjoy the goodness of whole grains in every bite with seven delicious varieties

Tea With a Twist

FullyLoadedTea announces the launch of its innovative whole fruit, exotic berry and vegetable blends, the first of its kind in North America to incorporate actual berries harvested from around the globe, unveiling eight bold flavours cited as the newest trend in the tea world. FullyLoadedTea fills the vacancy in the premium tea market, according to

Energy Rush

The Jolt Endurance Shot enters the fast growing "extended energy" category behind a brand that literally means energy! Jolt enjoys 90% (aided) brand awareness. The Jolt Endurance Shot contains a heaping dose of amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins, enzymes plus just the right amount caffeine. True to the Jolt name, the Jolt Endurance Shot contain more

The Power Pretzel

To help make consumers New Year’s resolutions easier to keep, Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels introduces its Empowered Pretzel, the first of the company’s "Empowered Energy Pretzel" line that offers a healthful twist on the traditional pretzel. The six-ounce heart-healthy Empowered Pretzel is ‘empowered’ with two grams of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids. It is dairy

Sugar Free Indulgence

Clemmy’s Ice Cream has introduced the first all natural, sugar free, super premium ice cream. Americans concerned about the health risks of sugar, preservatives and artificial sweeteners can now enjoy five great tasting, rich and creamy flavors: vanilla bean, chocolate, coffee, toasted almond and chocolate mint swirl. "Before Clemmy’s, ice cream lovers seeking a sugar

A Taste of New Orleans

French Market Coffee, New Orleans’ first coffee purveyor, expands beyond its New Orleans home with the launch of two additional retail coffee products: Restaurant Blend Dark Roast and Decaf Coffee & Chicory, which join the original Coffee & Chicory in its signature red can. French Market Coffee’s new retail line features the Restaurant Blend Dark

Latin Flair

Latinos, specifically those of Mexican descent, have been mixing beer with Clamato for decades. Budweiser & Clamato Chelada and Bud Light & Clamato Chelada honor that tradition by combining Anheuser-Busch’s classic American- style lagers with the spicy, invigorating taste of Clamato Tomato Cocktail, made by Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB). The launch of Budweiser &

Hall of Fame Wine

Legendary quarterback Dan Marino has teamed with Charity Wines to raise funds for children with developmental disabilities. For every bottle of Vintage 13 from Marino Estates sold, $1.25 will be donated to The Dan Marino Foundation to help children with chronic disorders. The wines are available in three varieties: Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. "This

Hot New Bread Line and Pizza Toppings

Hot Stuff Foods has improved and expanded customer choices for both its Hot Stuff Foods, Smash Hits Deli and Smash Hit Subs brands. The company has rolled out two new signature breads including: • Sundried Tomato Basil • Three-Cheese flavored with Asiago, Romano and Parmesan cheeses. "We’ve improved our original white and wheat breads by