Archives for February 2009

Pantry Profits Rise With Better Gas Margins

Sanford, N.C.-based Pantry Inc. first-quarter results show the company’s net income is up sharply from the same quarter last year, attributable to declines in oil prices and improved gross margins on gas. Total gasoline gross profit for the quarter was $130.1 million, up sharply from $56.2 million a year ago, with retail gross margin of

Couche-Tard Acquires 13 Quebec Sites

An Alimentation Couche-Tard subsidiary has signed an agreement to acquire 13 stores in Quebec from Exploitation Quali-T Inc., part of Group Therrien. The 13 stores are operated by Exploitation Quali-T under the Pétro-T brand. All the sites sell motor fuel under either the Pétro-T or Esso brands, while four sites have quick service restaurants (two

Hybrid Hunger In Casual

Independent restaurant operators are leading an emerging “kid-adult” fusion trend by promoting adult-style offerings to kids in greater numbers, according to a new report by Chicago-based research firm Technomic Inc. The new menus target kids with smaller portions of premium steaks, fresh fish, locally sourced healthy foods and bolder ethnic flavors that are usually the

2 To Play That Game

Starbucks Corp. is hoping to find some sales salvation in its own value meal variety as McDonald’s continues to make inroads with its new coffee offerings, The Associated Press reported. The coffee tug-of-war has heated up in recent months as McDonald’s began offering new, lower-priced specialty coffee drinks and Dunkin’ Donuts has been advertising value-minded

Fuel Surge

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Wholesale gasoline prices moved higher across the U.S. during the final week of January on concerns that supply levels would tighten because of a potential strike by as many as 24,000 union workers at U.S. oil refineries. Even before the Feb. 1 contract deadline, wholesale gasoline

Wawa Store Celebrates 10 Years

A Wawa store in Stafford, Va., doled out free gifts and recognition to loyal customers as it celebrated its 10th anniversary last week, the Stafford County Sun newspaper reported. The store’s Jan. 23 celebration was an all-day event that recognized regular customers for their loyalty and business. It was part of the Year of the

Murphy Express Kicks Off With Discount Gas

A Murphy Express store in Las Cruces, N.M., kicked off its grand opening by offering the "lowest gas prices in the state,” the Las Cruces Sun News reported. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. this past Friday and continuing for 24 hours, Patel said the station sold fuel as low as $1.39 per gallon. Patel couldn’t estimate

ExxonMobil Gives $1.5M To United Way

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced that the company and 650 of its Dallas-area employees and retirees have pledged more than $1.5 million in contributions to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as a part of the 2008 campaign. ExxonMobil has donated more than $8.7 million to the Dallas-area United way since 2002. In addition to providing

Broaster Boasts Promotions

The Broaster Company Inc. has announced the appointment of Jay Cipra to CEO, as well as a number of other management changes at the Beloit, Wis.-based company. For the past four years Cipra has served as president of The Broaster Company Inc., the parent entity of The Broaster Company LLC. In his new role, Cipra

Slim and Ultra-Premium

Understanding the consumer’s desire for an alternative premium slims cigarette, Commonwealth Brands Inc. is introducing two Davidoff Slim cigarette styles to the U.S. market this month. Introduction of Davidoff Slims follows the successful Spring 2008 launch of Davidoff Premium Line cigarettes in the U.S. Positioned as the ultra-premium slims brand in its category, Davidoff Slims

Getting Cheese

Using its unique category focus and a new approach to create powerful business solutions, the Kellogg Convenience Store Team is excited to launch Cheez-It Duoz baked snack crackers to the salty snack set. With two flavors in one bag, Cheez-It Duoz baked snack crackers offer consumers the tasty crunch and bold flavor combinations they crave,

Pumping Up In-Store Sales

A busy salesman on the way to his next appointment pulls into a Spinx convenience store to fill up his tank. It’s almost 1 p.m. and he hasn’t stopped since his day began just before 9 a.m. While pumping fuel, he glances at the color monitor built into the gas pump. He looks closer at

Securing the Convenience Store

Security remains an ongoing concern for convenience store operators, but new technologies and approaches are offering some great help. And great help is a great asset, because there is a lot of work to be done. Bad economic times mean increases in petty theft at retail. In fact, U.S. retailers lost $34.8 billion in stolen

How Foodservice Impacts Profits

Dennis Peters has no complaints about the proprietary fresh chicken program at two of his 24 Friendship Foods stores in Ohio. It’s popular, it’s profitable and it’s been a proven concept for the past 12 years. Well, maybe there’s one complaint. It’s a little too fresh. Not “peck-you-on-the-hand-when-you-grab-it” fresh, but certainly fresh enough to see

Divine Disruption

Here’s an entirely plausible scenario: At around 8 a.m. on a weekday, customers are lined six deep in front of the only open register at your suburban convenience store. The line has screeched to a halt because a deliveryman running late has flanked the clerk at the register and asked her to sign off on

The Tax Train Keeps Rolling

January could not end soon enough. The industry hasn’t seen such a tumultuous month since November 1998 when Congress first turned to tobacco as its financial panacea. Big Brother was at it again last month with the U.S. Senate passing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)—including all of the cigarette and tobacco tax rate

Rack\’Em Up

Calico Brands Inc. continues to offer a convenience store multi-tier rack program offering the greatest consumer value in the industry. Newly introduced, the various rack configurations offer a wide array of retail price points and style selection. Included in the three-tier and four-tier racks is a combination of Calico and Scripto sparkwheel, electronic, mini sparkwheel,

A Foodsevice Oasis

Structural Concepts’ Oasis Series of refrigerated and non-refrigerated open air-screen merchandisers now includes five new refrigerated Oasis CO models with tray-slide capacity, allowing foodservice operations to install a self-provided tray slide to match the height and style of other equipment at the location. Oasis CO self-service merchandisers offer a range of sizes, shelving and display

Versatile Touch Computer

Elo TouchSystems, a Tyco Electronics business, is introducing the 15D1 all-in-one touchcomputer that delivers a versatile, highly functional and elegantly designed touchscreen solution for use in small- to medium-sized retail and hospitality businesses. Developed from the ground up for point-of-sale and point-of-service applications, the 15D1 offers a compact, modern display with a footprint that is

Fire Starter

Firejel firewood starter is a small tub of corn-based, clean-burning alcohol that is placed underneath firewood. Once ignited, the gel burns at a high temperature long enough to light wood. Since the tub itself is basically candle wax, it melts in the fire. The product ignites wood within five minutes without the use of kindling.

Special Snack Ceral Bar

The Kellogg Convenience Store Team, whose goal is to help retailers and wholesalers achieve the greatest possible sales and profits from its strong brands, has introduced another exciting snack bar to the channel: the Special K Chocolatey Drizzle Cereal Bar! Every bite of this delicious, 90-calorie snack bar is full of rich chocolatey drizzle. The

Green With Envy

In celebration of Valentine’s holiday, Mars Snackfood US has released its limited-edition M&M’s brand All-Green Milk Chocolate Candies available through the end of February. To highlight the romantic myths surrounding M&M’s brand All-Green Milk Chocolate Candies, Mars Snackfood US announced that Ms. Green, M&M’s brand’s sassy “spokescandy,” will put her special powers to good use

Big Beer Flavors

For nearly 25 years, the brewers at Samuel Adams have taken great pride in introducing beer lovers to full-flavored, distinct brews. Continuing to push boundaries, the brewer is again answering drinkers’ thirst for bigger, more intense craft brews with the new Samuel Adams Imperial Series. With more robust flavors and nearly twice the alcohol by

Energy Burst

Go Fast Sports and Beverage Co., creator of Go Fast Energy Drinks, has a new addition in the Go Fast family: a 16-ounce can. Launching in the new 16-ounce cans will be three innovative formulas: Z-17, Light and GFTea. All Go Fast Energy Drinks are formulated to deliver the most functional and best tasting energy

Food Packaging With A Twist

PWP Industries is introducing award-winning revolutionary new cake packaging which features a unique locking design that makes cake domes easy-to-open and reseal. This innovative package will alleviate the struggle consumers sometimes have when opening traditional cake domes. This easy-to-open, easy-to-close dome with base reduces damage to iced cakes, cake decorations and helps keep cakes fresh