Archives for March 2008

Skinny Dippers

The newest addition to The Skinny Cow brand urges dieters everywhere to release their inhibitions and "dip" into new Skinny Dippers. Weighing in at just 80 calories per pop, the perfectly-portioned chocolate-dipped ice cream snacks are available in rich vanilla, creamy caramel and refreshing mint flavors. Skinny Dippers contain no trans fats and only 3

Spicing Up the Roller Grill

Thanks to a surge of new products focused on ethnic diversity, the roller grill—the original anchor for most convenience store hot food programs—is hotter than ever before. "Customers automatically associate c-stores and roller grills. It’s been a source of great sales for us," said Scott Huggins, a marketing specialist for San Antonio-based Tesoro Petroleum Corp.

Cape Cod Gourmet Chips

Inspired by America’s love for rich gourmet taste, Cape Cod Potato Chips has embarked on two new flavor-packed potato chips: Honey Dijon and Buttermilk Ranch. In creating these savory combinations, Cape Cod plays off its original chips’ distinctive flavor and crunch, but spices things up with a blend of genuine, homemade ingredients to entice consumers

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

Dealing with Drive-Offs

With the onset of spring, retailers can count on a segment of their "consumers" filling up and driving off without paying. Increased gas prices haven’t helped the situation, but it is improving. Typically, convenience stores can experience a few gasoline thefts a week. But when prices increase, some stores see several gas thefts a day.