The Temple, Texas distributor hosts the show annually to bring its retailer and supplier partners together to help educate marketers on current industry trends and make them aware of the new products they could expect to see in the coming months.
This year’s show went a step further. In addition to national and regional vendors showing off a bevy of new and top-selling items, the show featured McLane’s "Profit Mart," a mock convenience store showcasing ideal planograms for dozens of in-store categories including staples like foodservice, tobacco, candy and automotive, but also branching out to include new products like upscale chocolates and special end-cap displays to highlight store specials.
Retailers said the display was eye-opening. "The show is very good for operators like myself that want to know what our suppliers are doing to help us be more successful," said Hashim Syed, president of the 7-Eleven Franchise-Owner Association of Chicagoland (FOAC), which represents about 200 franchisees operating more than 400 stores. "The convenience store displays showed us some great ideas about how to cross-market merchandise and introduce new products to consumers. Visually, it gave me a lot to think about."
Stuart Clark, McLane’s vice president of grocery distribution, praised both the retailers and suppliers in attendance.
"This show is a testimony of how hard this industry works to provide outstanding service and meet the needs of today’s consumers," Clark said. "The market is constantly changing. Retailers need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to tracking emerging trends and new products. It’s our goal to facilitate this learning and help ensure the success of our retailer and vendor partners."
McLane is the largest wholesale distributor in the country operating 37 grocery and foodservice distribution centers in 23 states.