Chicken

TOP PERFORMERS Tyson Foods Inc. Chester’s International The Broaster Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Krispy Krunchy Chicken Squawkers (Brakebush Brothers) For such a little creature, chicken certainly knows how to command a formidable presence on foodservice menus.  To fully grasp this indefatigable bird’s share of American stomachs, look no further than this: Each U.S. consumer gobbled up

Fully Prepared Hot & Cold Sandwiches

TOP PERFORMERS Deli Express (E. A. Sween Co.) Landshire Inc. Pierre Foods HONORABLE MENTIONS Jimmy Dean (Sara Lee Foodservice) Lettieri’s (Hot Stuff Foods) Proprietary foodservice programs get a lot of love and admiration for their relentless innovation and ingenuity, and even branded fast-food concepts tend to get their share of attention from convenience operators who

Pizza

TOP PERFORMERS Hunt Brothers Pizza Freschetta (Schwan’s) Hot Stuff Foods HONORABLE MENTIONS Piccadilly Circus Pizza Red Baron (Schwan’s) With menus that are customizable to a broad array of tastes and budgets, pizza programs have long been a go-to solution for convenience retailers who want foodservice solutions that deliver immediately profitable models, not to mention proven

Meat Snacks / Jerky

TOP PERFORMERS Jack Links Beef Jerky Slim Jim (ConAgra Foods Inc.) Pemmican (ConAgra Foods Inc.) HONORABLE MENTIONS Gardetto’s (General Mills) Keebler (Kellogg Co.) Accounting for $836 million in sales at convenience stores last year, meat snacks seem to be a category tailor-made for convenience consumers. Jerky is a quintessential impulse item that appeals greatly to

Packaged Healthy Snacks

TOP PERFORMERS Chex Mix (General Mills) Planters Trail Mix/Sunflower Seeds (Kraft Foods Inc.) Kellogg’s Special K Nutra Grain Bar HONORABLE MENTIONS Gardetto’s (General Mills) Keebler (Kellogg Co.) While some retailers are still debating whether they should add healthy snacks to their product mix, others are creating entire programs based on healthier concepts. Entire brands, in

Car Wash & Equipment

TOP PERFORMERS Mark VII Equipment Inc. Ryko Manufacturing PDQ Manufacturing Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Ecolab Inc. Autec Inc. If your car wash is poorly maintained or functioning improperly, it’ll be dead in the water in no time.   “First of all, make sure that the car wash itself is functioning and in good shape,” said Mark

Bakery

TOP PERFORMERS Sara Lee Foodservice Bon Appetite Prairie City Bakery HONORABLE MENTIONS Rich Products Mrs. Freshley’s Convenience retailers across the board are rolling out innovative approaches to boost their foodservice sales, and many are looking to the trusted breakfast daypart as a proving grounds for new ideas to lure new customers. This means plenty of

Branded Fast Food

TOP PERFORMERS Subway Subs & Salads McDonald’s Corp. Dunkin’ Brands HONORABLE MENTIONS Blimpie Dairy Queen Nothing draws a customer like credibility, and name brands come with credibility built in. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in foodservice.  Just ask John Cary, director of operations at the 38-unit Uppy’s chain in Virginia. “If we have

Prepared Foods

TOP PERFORMERS Sara Lee Foodservice Oscar Meyer (Kraft Foods Inc.) Ruiz Foods Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Don Miguel Mexican Foods Inc. Stouffer’s (Nestle) Old-time retailers tell it this way: Some years ago, convenience customers were more willing to give up a little something on quality—in the way of food, at least—if it meant they’d get something

Dispensed Beverages: Hot

TOP PERFORMERS S&D Coffee Boyd Coffee Folgers (J.M. Smucker Co.) HONORABLE MENTIONS Sara Lee Foodservice Ronnoco Coffee Co. If you haven’t figured it out by now, most customers aren’t going to be happy with a one-pot coffee program bookended by a cup of sugar and a bowl of curdled creamer.  They could get that at

Innovation Drives Frozen Sales

  TOP PERFORMERS Coca-Cola Co. PepsiCo ICEE (J&J Snack Foods) HONORABLE MENTIONS F’Real! Foods Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) Slush Puppie (J&J Snack Foods) It’s little surprise that The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo were ranked as top performers in the dispensed cold beverages category, but innovators like J&J Snack Foods and F’Real! are certainly

Beer

TOP PERFORMERS Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. MillerCoors Heineken USA HONORABLE MENTIONS Mike’s Hard Lemonade Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.) Corona (Crown Imports) The economy may be slowing, customers may be spending less, but beer sales remain solid at convenience stores. A recent report by AC Nielsen shows beer sales are least affected by the current poor

Specialty Water

TOP PERFORMERS Glaceau VitaminWater (Coca-Cola Co.) Gatorade, Propel (PepsiCo) SoBe Life Water (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Metromint With demand for enhanced waters showing no signs of abating, it is clear that consumers continue to seek the benefits of vitamins and other specialty ingredients in their beverages. According to a Nielsen study released in November, the unsweetened

Bottled Water

TOP PERFORMERS Aquafina (PepsiCo) Dasani (Coca-Cola Co.) Nestle Waters (All Brands) HONORABLE MENTIONS Fiji Evian (GBE) Bottled water continues to grow at an unprecedented pace and the category’s popularity is attracting the attention of more than just retailers. The focus on bottled water by revenue-hungry legislatures and environmental special-interest groups will remain an ongoing story

Two-Ounce Energy Shots

TOP PERFORMERS Living Essential 5-Hour Energy NVE Stacker Upshot (Drinks That Work) HONORABLE MENTIONS BDI Mini Thin Rush NRG Make room for the new kid on the block: Energy shots, those concentrated versions of energy drinks that are beginning to mirror the high sales figures of their parent product.  Energy shots have as big a

Isotonics and Energy Drinks

TOP PERFORMERS Red Bull Monster (Hansen Beverage Co.) Gatorade (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Powerade (Coca-Cola Co.) Full Throttle (Coca-Cola Co.) Gulf Oil General Manager Terri Murray sums this category up about as sweetly as you can. “When energy drinks first came out, I don’t think any of us were sure what was going to happen,” Murray

Juices And Teas

TOP PERFORMERS Lipton (PepsiCo) Tropicana (PepsiCo) Minute Maid (Coca-Cola Co.) HONORABLE MENTIONS AriZona Beverage Co. SoBe (PepsiCo) While innovation is a valued component to every category, the juices and teas segment of packaged beverages seems to be particularly prone to new twists and creative concepts. Largely in response to consumers looking for more functionality and

Soft Drinks

TOP PERFORMERS Pepsi Coca-Cola Mountain Dew (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) Sprite (Coca-Cola Co.) Carbonated soft drink sales may be slowing a bit, but they still dominate convenience store coolers. Chalk it up to brand-loyal buyers or market saturation, but one thing is certain: This is a packaged beverage segment retailers

The Impact of Tobacco Federal Excise Taxes

The increase of federal and state cigarette excise taxes will have a far-reaching, negative impact on the convenience store industry. With the exception of petroleum products, no other category is more vital to the industry’s success than tobacco products. Given that cigarettes represent 30-45% of c-store inside sales, the deterioration of this category will have

What’s Your Solution?

SKU SLEUTH … Rick Cosmer, vice president of retail sales and operations at Mansfield Oil Co. in Georgia, has found cutting-edge back-office systems can offer huge payoffs in terms of data analysis and sales tracking. Cosmer said the most powerful piece of his system allows him to drill down J.D. to individual products to determine

Choosing the Right ATM

With the number of ATMs in service across America rising and their average transaction dipping for a decade, convenience store operators face a variety of choices in how they choose to deploy them. Viewed as revenue generators or simply services for customers, cash machines present c-store executives with a variety of options and challenges, beginning

Driving HBC Sales

Convenience store operators preparing to expand their health and beauty care (HBC) category in time for the summer months may be facing some challenges. With the moribund economy depressing impulse sales across retail, this may be a bad summer for new products, while tried-and-true brands of medicines, sunscreen, sunglasses and other warm-weather favorites remain strong.

Bursting With Energy

Sultry Sales One new energy-shot sales trend WSCO’s general retail manager Darrell Looney sees is that some shots are being touted as aphrodisiacs. “The last NACS show was the first time I really noticed the presence of products that specifically spoke to potency and endurance,” Looney said, adding that it’s probably too soon to tell

Energy Drinks Holding Strong

Energy Crash Ahead? Driven by studies that demonstrate the adverse impacts high levels of caffeine have, a “truth-in-labeling” movement is gaining strength that may strongly impact energy drink retailers from Maine to California and could raise liability issues for the fastest-growing products in the cold vault.Because energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements rather than

Service Reigns Supreme

There is no greater ally for convenience store owners than their supplier partners. When retailers boost sales and satisfy their customers, everyone in the supply chain benefits. When Convenience Store Decisions launched its Reader’s Choice Awards four years ago, our premise was simple: To find out just who retailers identified as their top supplier partners.

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