Archives for September 2009

Flying J Truck Repair Shops Acquired

  Flying J, the struggling travel center corporation that recently merged with PilotTravel Centers LLC of Knoxville, Tenn., as part of its framework for emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is selling its truck repair shops, the Post-Tribune reported.   Bosselman Boss Shops of Grand Island, Neb., has acquired the 15 J Care Service Centers, a

R.J. Reynolds Joins Others in Challenging Provisions of FDA Tobacco Act

  R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company joined Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Inc., National Tobacco Company L.P. and Discount Tobacco City & Lottery Inc. in filing a lawsuit Monday to protect their First Amendment right to communicate with adult tobacco consumers about their products, Reuters reported.   The suit was filed in federal court in Bowling Green, Ky.,

NAG: Back by Popular Demand

When we purchased CONVENIENCE STORE DECISIONS nearly two years ago, we heard a constantly recurring question: “When are you going to revitalize the National Advisory Group (NAG)?” With the acquisition we had a lot on our plate, but we were always looking at NAG. We examined carefully why NAG withered, and what was the proper

Make Coffee More Profitable

Tips for Preparing the Perfect Cup • Always use fresh, filtered water. • Always use fresh, whole bean coffee. Coffee is perishable: use within two weeks of roast date. • Store coffee beans in an air-tight container away from heat, light and moisture. No freezer or refrigerator. • Grind just before brewing—a timer will help

Customer Relations Expert

Ralin Nespeca, the customer contact center manager for Oklahoma City-based Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, learned the value of customer service and an unwavering work ethic at a very young age. Those skills have proved to be a valuable asset on her career path. She joined Love’s in December 2008 as the call center

Sonja Hubbard Paves the Way for Women in Retailing

As CEO of Texarkana, Texas-based E-Z Mart Stores Inc., which operates more than 300 stores in five states, Sonja Hubbard is a true c-store industry veteran. Hubbard was just a child when her father, Jim Yates founded E-Z Mart in 1970 and learned the ropes at an early age. “I grew up with this industry

Marketing the Menu

The bar has been raised on sandwiches—indeed, on all freshly made to-go dishes—as consumers’ expectations continue to rise and new competitors from outside the c-store universe appear on the horizon. Convenience stores are finding themselves more and more in conflict with players from the fast-food and grocery stores seeking the same “fare” share. With that

Competition Brews for Beer Sales

Convenience stores across the country are facing burgeoning competition on beer and wine sales from drug store giant Walgreens, which is branching back into the adult beverages category. Walgreens is adding beer sales due to “a direct response to consumer demand,” said Robert Elfinger, spokesperson for the Deerfield, Ill. drug store chain. It plans to

Driving Cooler Sales

The economy, the environment and the weather. All three are impacting the sale of bottled water this year. From 1997 until 2007, consumers were thirsty for bottles of clear, refreshing water. Between 2003 and 2008, bottled water sales grew 59% to $5.1 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing drinks on the market. Consumers believed

Creating Supply Chain Efficiencies

Getting products to stores more efficiently is now a major focus for all major retailers and distributors. Better distribution means lower costs and higher margins—both items high on c-store owners’ agendas these days—when customers are clutching their wallets more tightly than they have in years. “There are two ways to make money: increase prices or

Fabulous Freddy’s Fuels with Flair

Fabulous Freddy’s is wooing new customers with old tricks. Resurrecting the customer service of decades past, the seven-store chain headquartered in Las Vegas, offers its patrons full-service treatment at the pump, at self-service prices. “Our company’s mission statement is to provide fabulous service to everyone, and one of the ways we do that is to

All-in-One BBQ and Disposable Instant Grill

P&M Products last month introduced the EZ Grill, an earth-friendly, portable grill that is 100% recyclable and comes complete with foil pan, grill grate, stand and charcoal. The instant charcoal is 100% natural with no additives, chemicals or fillers. The grill lights with one match and cooks for up to 1½ hours. Plus it’s mess-free.

5-Hour Energy Introduces Grape Flavor

Sitting atop the growing liquid energy shot category by a substantial margin, 5-Hour Energy seeks to continue its category dominance with the introduction of its newest flavor, Grape, in late September. Founded in 2004, 5-Hour Energy is a 2-ounce energy shot that provides hours of energy with no crash or jitters through a blend of

Low-calorie Vitamin Water

In response to consumers’ thirst for more great-tasting, low-calorie hydration, Glacéau vitaminwater10 will introduce four brand-new varieties on Aug. 17. Currently available in New York City and southern California, the low-calorie game-changer will flood stores nationwide next month. The four new varieties are go-go (mixed berry), mega-c (grape raspberry), revitalize (green tea) and recoup (peach-mandarin).

Bake’R Fry Shrimp Fries

Enhance your menu variety with Tampa Maid’s New Bake’R Fry Shrimp Fries. This unique product begins with tender, diced shrimp, which are formed into a stick and coated with crispy, oven-ready breading for a delicious flavor your customers won’t be able to resist. It is an ideal hand-held food ready for ketchup, ranch dressing or

New Worldwide Brand ‘epay’

PaySpot Inc., a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwid Inc. and a leading prepaid and payments processor in the U.S., is offering a new worldwide brand under the name epay. Previously one of six brand names operating under the Prepaid Division of Euronet, PaySpot has rebranded with its sister prepaid companies to become the united global brand

Big Flavor In Fewer Bites

These days, having “mini” on the menu means BIG business. To help operators leverage the increasing “less is more” demands of customers in the most flavorful way, Johnsonville Sausage LLC has introduced new Sausage Minis in two marketplace-driven varieties. Mini Stadium Style Brats offer the uniquely seasoned brats customers crave. Mini Italian Sausages feature a

Hot Stuffed Sandwiches

Hot Stuff Foods has rolled out Hot Stuffed Sandwiches, a new line of portable hand-held sandwiches for busy on-the-go consumers. Sandwiches are fully loaded with fresh-made ingredients, using hand-pinched, live dough. Each Hot Stuffed Sandwich is fully enrobed for convenient grab-n-go and dashboard dining. Sandwiches are the fastest growing category in foodservice and offer an

New Peeler Saves Money

The new Raw Star Ceramic Peeler is taking the cooking, kitchen and convenience store world by storm. Sales have been increasing as people are discovering all the high-tech, amazing benefits of Raw Star Ceramic Peelers. The peelers never rust, stay razor sharp much longer than any metal or stainless-steel peeler and keep food fresher longer,

Chocolate With a Twist

The Painted Pretzel is a gourmet pretzel company that specializes in chocolate covered pretzels. The company now offers a large variety of chocolate pretzels that are topped with candy and nuts. Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., The Painted Pretzel currently has products being sold at retail outlets throughout the country in many high-end, specialty stores. This

First Energy Drink With Nitrous Oxide

Monster Energy is launching a new, innovative product called Nitrous Monster. Nitrous Monster is the first and only energy drink to feature nitrous oxide gas technology. The revolutionary new drink boasts a rich creamy texture and a smooth drinkable flavor. Nitrous Monster is packaged in the re-sealable 12-ounce Rexam SLEEK Cap Can with closure technology

Sandwich Aioli

If you think it’s hard to come up with new and creative sandwich ideas, think again. New Hellmann’s Real Aiolis are the easiest way to upscale your sandwich menu and keep your customers coming back for more. Aioli is a sauce that has been a foundation of classical cuisine for many years. Because it’s tricky

Enhanced Juice

The newest addition to the Minute Maid Enhanced line of chilled juice drinks, Strawberry Kiwi flavor, combines both Yerba Maté and real fruit juice to provide consumers with a delicious natural energy boost. Available to retailers nationwide beginning in August, Minute Maid Strawberry Kiwi is the brand’s first offering of the popular, great-tasting strawberry and

Premium Brisket Beef Jerky

Prime Snax Inc. of Salt Lake City, a processor of a variety of quality meat snacks and beef jerky, including organic beef jerky, announced the introduction of their newest product line: Desert Star Premium Brisket Beef Jerky. The new jerky boasts an All-American origin, including U.S. grown beef and processing in Prime Snax’ U.S.D.A. approved

New Time Delay Ink Labels

SafeTScribe Technologies has developed a new line of time delay sensitized ink labels that can be programmed to change over specific periods of time, ranging from two hours to 200 days. SafeTScribe’s TimeMarks can be used to accurately manage the freshness of products on retail shelves to ensure inventory rotation and proper handling in the