Archives for March 2008

Finding the Right Foodservice Program

With gas margins in the gutter and operating costs nearly doubling over the past five years, the 35% margin foodservice offers has been a savior of sorts for Mike Harrell, president of Jernigan Oil Co. Inc., a fourth-generation marketer in Ahoskie, N.C. that operates 25 Duck Thru convenience stores. It doesn’t help that North Carolina,

Digital Signage

Planar Systems Inc.has introduced the new Planar iS40 integrated digital sign and the second-generation Planar DS15 integrated kiosk. Designed to enable organizations of virtually any size to easily incorporate digital signage into customer communications, these all-in-one solutions support Planar’s strategy to provide value-added hardware and software for the fast-growing digital signage market. As a fully

Stella D’oro 100 Calorie Breakfast Treats

The Stella D’oro Co. announced the introduction of a new line of 100 Calorie items featuring its famous Breakfast Treats. The 100 Calorie items will be offered in two flavors: original and chocolate. The product was designed using the company’s signature "S" cookie shape. Each pouch has approximately 18 mini Breakfast Treats. Each box contains

Special K Bliss

Special K Bliss bars, the newest Special K snack option, is designed to offer women a unique snacking experience. New Special K Bliss bars come in two exciting flavor combinations: chocolatey dipped raspberry and chocolatey dipped orange. With their combination of sweet fruit-flavored pieces, crispy cereal and a chocolatey bottom layer, Special K Bliss bars

Another Satisfied Customer

On a recent tour of convenience stores in the Northeast, I came across an outstanding Mobil store in northern Maine. What caught my attention at this particular store was the clerk who immediately greeted me and told me about the store’s foodservice special that day, a homemade Boston chowder. That I was greeted was not

Orange Energy

Living Essentials, whose 5-Hour Energy berry and lemon-lime flavored energy shots have been the top two selling nutritional supplements in convenience stores for 18 straight months, has answered popular demand and added orange to its hugely successful lineup. The 5-Hour Energy drink is a two-ounce energy shot-sized beverage that provides hours of energy, alertness and

Whipping Up a Retail Destination

Big box operators and supermarkets seem to dominate the Texas retail landscape. But while most of those stores focus on getting bigger, some convenience operators are finding that connecting with the consumers on a personal level is better. Consider Whip In, a dynamic marketer based in Austin, Texas. It doesn’t have the size and real

Powerful Potatoes

Diversify your menu and offer customers the variety they seek with Lamb Weston Spud Petals and Spud Halves. These unique shapes and sizes have a creamy baked potato flavor inside and a crispy, zesty kick outside. Curved and perfect for dipping with a variety of signature sauces and toppings, Spud Petals are the ideal fun

Breakfast Stacks

Lettieri’s, a division of Hot Stuff Foods, announced the launch of the company’s new Breakfast Stackers, a grab-n-go breakfast item enrobed in a flaky golden brown pastry dough and "stacked" with customers’ favorite breakfast foods. The Breakfast Stackers are pastry shop quality and are being offered in two combinations: Ham, Egg and Cheese and Sausage,

Road Ranger Takes on CITGO

Road Ranger, the Rockford, Ill.-based operator of approximately 75 convenience stores and travel centers in five Midwestern states, filed claims against Venezuelan-owned CITGO Petroleum Corp. for breach of contract and violations of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act caused by CITGO’s "unnecessary failure to supply gasoline to Road Ranger gas stations, for damaging the CITGO brand

Individual Desserts

Rich Products Corp.’s innovative new line of decadent single-serve desserts enables 12 individual treats to be baked-off with "one touch," saving operators time and money like never before. The One Touch line is available in four delectable flavors: Lava Cake, Brownie, and Apple and Cherry Crisp. Rich’s One Touch single served baking technology takes 96%

Tasty Treats

Tasty Baking Co. is delivering smart options to consumers with the introduction of its brand new low-fat product line. The launch of Low-Fat Raspberry-Filled Koffee Kake Cupcakes and Low-Fat Chocolate Iced Vanilla Cupcakes represents Tastykake’s continued commitment to product expansion, notably in the area of wellness. Additional low-fat cake, cookie and snack bar varieties are

Aristo Wellness Bars

Aristo Wellness Bars are the first commercially available nutrition bars that contain encapsulated, tasteless fish oils, so consumers can get the benefits of a diet fortified with Omega-3s without the fishy taste. Each Aristo bar is an excellent source of the purest ocean Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Aristo Wellness Bars are only 140

Village Pantry Adds Nine Stores

Village Pantry Inc. has acquired nine convenience stores in central Ohio from Petro Acquisitions, Inc. The stores, formerly operated by AmeriStop Market, will be rebranded under the Village Pantry banner. Each store averages 2,700 square feet and, like most traditional convenience stores, offers quick snack items, lottery tickets, money orders, prepaid cellular and gift cards

4-H Blue Bell Ice Cream

In honor of the Texas 4-H organization’s 100th birthday, Blue Bell Creameries is introducing Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream. Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream is a delicious cake batter ice cream with pieces of yellow cake, a chocolate icing swirl and four-leaf clover sprinkles. 4-H is a national organization which prides itself on teaching young people across

LATICRETE Anti-Fracture Mortar

LATICRETE, a provider of innovative systems for the installation of ceramic tile and stone, has developed LATICRETE 125 Anti-Fracture Mortar, a lightweight, superior crack prevention mortar that passes the ANSI A118.12 specification for crack isolation in thin-set ceramic tile and dimensional stone installations. LATICRETE 125 Anti-Fracture Mortar takes the place of liquid or sheet anti-fracture

The Ice Machine Cometh

Hoshizaki America Inc. is offering two new ice machines for retail marketers. First is the KM-101BAH, which produces up to 115 pounds of ice within 24 hours and includes a built-in storage bin capable of holding 56 pounds of ice. Second, is the KM-151BAH unit which can produce up to 146 pounds of ice with

Grab & Go Hummus

Tribe Mediterranean Foods, a leading trendsetter in the rapidly growing Mediterranean food category and creators of America’s favorite hummus, is targeting convenience stores and grab-and-go consumers with Tribe All Natural Snackers. The two-ounce Hummus Snackers are conveniently packaged in four-packs to be merchandised in a convenience store or supermarket’s grocery section. Tribe is launching the

Clearing a Crowded Cold Vault

Energy drinks and isotonics are following two increasingly divergent paths, just part of the fast-paced beverage category about which convenience store operators are spending more time planning than ever before. The crazy-quilt influx of new brands, products, line extensions, flavors and varieties is jamming cooler doors and sales floors, and calling for some hard choices.

Do You Provide World-Class Service?

Today’s business environment is becoming increasingly complex and competitive due to globalization, new technology, increasing product proliferation, brand erosion, market segmentation, consumer skepticism and time poverty, rendering traditional business plans obsolete. For just about every product or service, there is an overwhelming number of choices to choose from, leaving consumers dazed and confused. So how

Tax Debate Swarms Bottled Water

It’s back to the barricades once again for the convenience store industry, which—as in the past—is being targeted by environmental special interest groups and revenue-hungry legislators. This time they’re focusing on bottled water containers. Bottled water remains a tremendously popular and trendy product category, which is just what attracted the attention of these two groups

What’s Cooking?

Speed, ease, safety and energy savings—those are the challenges that convenience store operators face each day as they serve fresh foods, both hot and cold, to on-the-go eaters with deadline-driven lives. Fortunately, innovations in foodservice equipment are helping them meet the needs of this demanding customer base and do it better than ever before. Jerry

Customer Response Surveys Could Reap Big Benefits

As the convenience store and petroleum industry changes and evolves, retailers must continually battle blurred channels, changing technologies and decreased differentiation, one thing is constant: the experience you offer your customers can set you apart from your competition and keep your customers coming back. A great customer experience begins with knowing how your customers view

Foodservice Workers: How to Hire the Best

As convenience stores evolved from quick stops to full-blown foodservice centers that compete with the likes of Starbucks and McDonald’s, the need for top-notch employees has become as important as ever. Despite the increased demand required of employees, experts believe leading convenience store operators are in a good position to attract outstanding employees, they just

Alternative Fuel Distributors Pushes Aggressive Retail Plan

Alternative Fuel Distributors, of Wilmington, Del., said that it plans to construct and operate 1,000 convenience stores on the East Coast that will strictly provide E-85 and other alternative automotive fuels. The company plans to have the stores up and running within the next three years, with the first 100 stores opening by the first

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