Archives for January 2010

Targeting Customers with Prepaid

TOP PERFORMERS PaySpot (dba epay) Coinstar HONORABLE MENTIONS Incomm First Data Prepaid services are changing the way customers do business. Low-income families, unbanked and underbanked customers, students, those with poor credit and customers that spend much of their time on the road are among those taking advantage of prepaid debit cards and bill services that

Smokeless Sales Stay Strong

TOP PERFORMERS Copenhagen (Altria Sales & Distribution/US Smokeless) Grizzley (Conwood/Reynolds America) Skoal (Altria Sales & Distribution/ US Smokel) HONORABLE MENTIONS Longhorn, Red Man and Timber Wolf (Swedish Match) Kodiak (Conwood/Reynolds America) The effect of tobacco taxation and smoking restrictions has made it much more difficult to rely on cigarette sales as the primary category for

Opportunities Exist for Cigars

TOP PERFORMERS Altria Sales & Distribution (John Middleton) Swisher Swedish Match HONORABLE MENTIONS Altadis USA Republic Tobacco The SCHIP tobacco tax rates that hit in April 2009 are costing cigar smokers more, but sales continue to persevere. As of April, the federal taxes on large cigars rose from 20.719% of the wholesale price with a

Protecting Cigarette Sales

TOP PERFORMERS Altria Sales & Distribution (Philip Morris USA) R. J. Reynolds Lorillard HONORABLE MENTIONS Liggett Vector Natural American Spirit/Santa Fe (Reynolds American) Commonwealth Brands Despite the wild nine-month ride that saw a large federal tax increase and the Food & Drug Administration gain control over the category, cigarettes continue to dominate in-store sales, accounting

Baked Goodness

TOP PERFORMERS Oreo (Nabisco/Kraft) Kellogg’s/Keebler Chips Ahoy (Nabisco/Kraft) HONORABLE MENTIONS Bon Appetit Mrs. Freshley’s (Flowers Foods) Prairie City Bakery Sweet snacks purchases are on the rise at convenience stores creating new sales opportunities across all dayparts. Packaged sweets accounted for 2.6% of the $114,010 stores acquired through average monthly sales in 2008, according to the

Healthy Options Push Salty Snacks

TOP PERFORMERS Frito Lay Cheez-It (Kellogg’s) Chex Mix (General Mills) HONORABLE MENTIONS Combos (Mars) Cape Cod (Lance) Pringles (P&G) The down economy has inspired a consumer trend toward eating in and choosing less expensive home-entertainment options, which has been a boost to the salty snacks category. Customers are likely to choose snacks they perceive as

Meaty Sales in the Snack Aisle

TOP PERFORMERS Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Slim Jim (ConAgra) Old Wisconsin Sausage HONORABLE MENTIONS Old Trapper Smoked Products World Kitchens Oberto Sausage Flavored products from hot and spicy to teriyaki and smoked are driving the meat snacks category as customers look for new varieties of their favorite snacks. Stick sales are reportedly up, and as

Going Green to Reduce Costs

Wanting to help save the world is admirable, but unless a real cost-savings can be realized convenience store operators seem to agree this economy is not the best time to be experimenting with “green” investments. The key to sustainability issues, then, is finding that balance, and that’s where several c-store chains are differentiating themselves. Scott