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



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

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

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

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


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

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


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


TOP PERFORMERS Philip Morris USA R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Lorillard Tobacco Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Commonwealth Brands Inc. Liggett Vector Since the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), tobacco taxes and sales from tax-free sources continue to plague the convenience store industry. Cigarettes continue to be the top in-store category based on sales dollars. On a monthly


TOP PERFORMERS Swisher International Inc. Swedish Match Altadis USA HONORABLE MENTIONS John Middleton (Philip Morris USA) Royal Blunts (New Image Global) PrimeTime Cigars New insights on the cigar category reveal that retailers who manage the tobacco segment more strategically benefit from accelerated growth and a larger share of the market. “Retailers focused on offering a

Smokeless tobacco market plans, snue and spit free product information

TOP PERFORMERS Copenhagen (Philip Morris USA) Skoal (Philip Morris USA) Grizzly (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) HONORABLE MENTIONS Kodiak (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) Timberwolf (Swedish Match) Longhorn (Swedish Match) Few product categories are as dynamic as smokeless tobacco, which helps make managing the set all the more interesting. With so many new products, flavors and line

Point Of Sale

TOP PERFORMERS Gilbarco Veeder-Root Verifone Inc. Professional Data Solutions Inc. (PDI) HONORABLE MENTIONS Dresser Wayne FACTOR Inc. Pinnacle Corp. With convenience stores offering more services and profit centers, operators need a point-of-sale (POS) system that can easily integrate each component without driving up operating costs. Consider the rapid expansion of loyalty programs—successful chains have been

Cash Management

TOP PERFORMERS Tidel Engineering Triton Systems Brink’s Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Armor Safe Technologies Tokheim Operators in any retail channel will find it impossible to survive in today’s environment without a secure, accurate and reliable cash-management system, though convenience retailers in particular are faced with added challenges on this front.  A tough economy increases theft internally


TOP PERFORMERS PaySpot Inc. Coinstar Inc. Verizon HONORABLE MENTIONS InComm AT&T With the economy bogged down in a recession and job losses at the highest levels in decades, spooked consumers are no doubt learning to live on less—less money, less credit and less frivolity.  Prepaid solutions—whether it’s wireless sales, debit card transactions, gift cards and

McLane Focused on Mo.

McLane Co. Inc., the Texas-based supply chain services company, said it is building a 400,000-square-foot distribution center on Republic’s west side that would employ about 400 people, according to the Springfield Business Journal. McLane agreed to build the facility on 132 acres in Republic, Mo. It is buying the property from Drury University for an

Compliance Focused

Walters-Dimmick Petroleum Inc. of Marshall, Mich., said it reached a deal to install Gilbarco FlexPay Encrypting PIN Pads at their 75 Shell-branded locations across southwestern Michigan, northern Indiana, and northern Ohio. “Acting early allowed us to save money. We could properly plan the retrofit program, take advantage of incentives available under the Shell Technology Incentive

McLane Introduces Candy Multi-Vendor End Cap

McLane, the industry top wholesaler, today announced that its Candy Multi-vendor End Cap (Candy MVE) is now available to convenience stores across the country. This program provides retailers a cost-effective merchandising opportunity in the highly profitable candy segment. Impulse buying continues to represent a significant revenue source for convenience stores, with 37% of those sales

7-Eleven’s Bold New Brew

Coffee-drinkers who prefer stronger, darker brews touted as coffeehouse blends have a new option on the 7-Eleven hot beverage bar–BRAZILIAN Bold. The new premium blend features select Arabica beans grown in the mountains of Central and South America. Priced at the same retail per cup as all other 7-Eleven hot beverages, the new, robust coffee

Alcoholic Beverages Under Fire in Md. C-Stores

Some Maryland lawmakers think a smart way to cut back on underage drinking is to restrict sales of malternatives or “alcopops,” soft drink-like alcoholic beverages that appeal to young drinkers. Maryland’s House of Delegates held a hearing Monday on restricting the sale of such beverages to retailers with licenses to sell beer, wine and liquor,

Craft Brews Jumping

The Brewers Association, which tabulates industry growth data for U.S. breweries, announced that today’s small independent craft brewers are gaining alcohol market share due to a shift toward full flavor beer and increased support for local breweries. From 2007 to 2008, estimated sales by craft brewers were up 5.8% by volume and 10.5% in dollars.

Cumberland Partners with a Pro

Cumberland Farms Inc. has more than 7,000 employees and it’s growing. Recognizing it needed a more effective solution for end-to-end strategic human resources, payroll and talent management, the New England c-store chain selected Ultimate Software’s UltiPro to oversee the process. With a network of 650 retail convenience stores and gas stations, and a support system

Bankruptcy’s Ripple Effect

A fuel distributor’s financial problems have temporarily shut down at least two area gas stations and is still causing credit card problems at others. The Prairie Village Shell station and the Overland Park Grab-N-Go convenience store are temporarily closed due to the recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization by Crescent Oil Co. Inc, according to The

GT Reached MSA Settlement

North Carolina-based cigarette manufacturer, General Tobacco said it has reached an agreement with states that signed the tobacco industry’s Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with respect to compliance with its obligations under the MSA. The states entering into that agreement will support a permanent amendment to the terms under which General Tobacco entered into the MSA

Fuel Drops Nationwide

By Brian L. Milne is the Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Double-digit declines were reported in virtually every large metropolitan gasoline wholesale market across the United States during the third full week of February. The question becomes will the steady increase in retail gasoline prices, which have moved higher in every week in 2009 except

Sheetz Does, In Fact, Hire The Best

An 18-year-old who works as an employee at a Pittsburgh-area Sheetz store has earned himself some major accolades and recognition from folks in his community. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Justin Stuebgen, 18, has become the first winner of the “Junior Volunteer Citizen of the Year” award from the Armstrong County Chamber of Commerce. The