Stack of potato chips isolated on white background

Salty Snacks Stimulate

Salty snacks are getting suggestive, with sweet and spicy variations abounding. With the Sweets & Snacks Expo scheduled this month in Chicago, the category is generating as much interest as it ever has. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Seeds are taking over the snack aisles at some convenience stores across the country. Cubby’s Convenience Stores,

Pile of colorful chocolate coated candy

Consumers Sweet On Chocolate

Despite last year’s price increases, Americans are still treating themselves to the little luxury that is chocolate. Retailers report how they control this ever-growing category and keep their focus on consumers’ sweet spot. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor It’s hard to think of anything that 85% of Americans would agree on. One consensus, however, is

food

Delivering Freshness

Flavorful and healthy are what American consumers are craving, and expect to get it whether it’s made-to-order or grab-and-go. Some retailers explain how they use fresh and—increasingly—ethnic products to satisfy customers’ expectations. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor In a recent survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), almost two in three Americans (64%)

Parfait

Breakfast Carry Over

Cereal sales are suffering as consumers look for more portable breakfast options like egg sandwiches and Greek yogurt. With the right mix of products and value, convenience stores are well positioned to capture a greater share of the breakfast business. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor In a recent survey, NPD Group researchers found that American

S30_U-SwirlArea

Equipping Your Kitchen

A growing number of manufacturers are making foodservice equipment sized to fit smaller footprints required by convenience stores. Moreover, retailers are using these machines to make the most of their limited foodservice space. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Kyle Lore, corporate chef for North Salt Lake, Utah-based Maverik Convenience Stores, is not an impulsive person,

COFFEE

Connecting With Coffee Customers Gets Personal

While some c-stores are adding barista-staffed bars to compete in the coffee arena, most are finding simpler ways to make brew buying a more personalized experience for their customers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. With about 11,000 chain and 14,000 independent cafes in the U.S., according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), consumers

Co-brand

Co-Branding: It’s What’s for Dinner

Just telling customers your food is fresh isn’t enough. Savvy retailers are building consumer confidence through co-branding and proprietary programs. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Who says you can’t please everyone? When it comes to foodservice, co-branding with established restaurant concepts enables the Kwik Stop stores in and around Dubuque, Iowa to cover every need

design3

Design Efficiency

Good store design is more than just a pretty face. It can mean the difference between efficient and inefficient work flow, and whether customers see your products and perceive your brand in a positive light. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Alon Brands, the nation’s largest licensee of 7-Eleven stores, with 295 locations in west and

Tornado2 Angle HR

Smart Foodservice Equipment Ideas

Expanding foodservice offerings often means shopping for new equipment. Retailers share how they are getting the biggest bang for their investment buck. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor One size doesn’t fit all, it turns out. At least it doesn’t when it comes to the new ovens ordered for Austin, Texas-based Kwik Chek Food Stores. When

Slice of pizza

Profits by the Slice

Pizza is America’s go-to food for single dining, group meals or snacking occasions. Because of the trend, c-store sales are mushrooming. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor It’s no secret that Americans love pizza. Every week, two out of three Americans eat pizza and the average consumer purchases pizza away from home five times a month—more

soup

Customize Lunch and Dinner Trends for Your Customers

Trend reports from research firms can tell you a lot about what foods and flavors are craved by America’s taste buds. But c-stores don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time to keep their lunch and dinner menus fresh and relevant. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor When incorporating the latest craze into your foodservice menus,

Breakfast eggs.

Wake Up to Breakfast Profits

Though quick-service and fast casual restaurants keep ramping up their a.m. game, c-stores can keep up with the best of them as industry retailers share some of their most eye-opening products and strategies. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor In the breakfast arena, there’s no time for convenience store retailers to sit back on their muffins

meatsnacks

Craving Meat Snack Sales

Consumers are finding the protein and satisfaction they want in dried meat snacks. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor An increasing number of American consumers are looking for snacks that do more than taste good. In a recent survey conducted by Nielsen, a consumer research organization, over half of the respondents said it was “very important”

Chix & Bacon Sub

Fueling Fresh Sandwich Sales

Even the smallest upgrades of your sandwich offerings can generate excitement. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor When Americans purchase lunch out, they often don’t want to see the same things on the board every day. As evidence, in a recent survey by Chicago-based Technomic research company, about 60% of the respondents said that menu variety

Man paying with credit card at grocery store

Make Sure You’re Secure

With credit card data hackers becoming increasingly innovative and sophisticated in their methods, it’s more important than ever for retailers to comply with current security standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Target, Supervalu, UPS, PF Chang’s and, most recently, Home Depot and even Dairy Queen—American retailers are being

HatchEggTacos_Horz-beauty_LR

Hola to Ethnic Breakfasts

Handheld, ethnic breakfast offerings, such as tacos, tortillas, empanadas and kolaches, are hot stuff everywhere from quick-service restaurants to convenience stores around the country. Retailers explain how they are spicing up their breakfast sales with these ethnic edibles. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Mexican in the morning is now mainstream, said Aaron Noveshen, founder and

ct-edit-1223-target-jad-jpg-20131221

Make Sure You’re Secure

With credit card data hackers becoming increasingly innovative and sophisticated in their methods, it’s more important than ever for retailers to comply with current security standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Target, Supervalu, UPS, PF Chang’s and, most recently, Home Depot and even Dairy Queen—American retailers are being victimized

pile of fried chicken with watermelon in background

Profiting With Poultry

C-store operators who put out a good quality chicken product might see their foodservice business fly higher. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor At the Arthur, Ill. location of Jack Flash Convenience Stores, chicken accounts for about 60% of foodservice sales, said John Herrmann, district supervisor for the 11-unit, Effingham, Ill.-based chain. The store also offers

Sandwich

Fresh is Best

By emphasizing quality, variety and convenience, retailers have the opportunity to convince consumers to purchase more sandwiches rather than making them at home. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor When the quick-service provider Pret A Manger first introduced prepackaged sandwiches in its stores 10 years ago, the first thing the company had to do was communicate

Three vending coffee cups

Cup O’ Competition

A quality coffee program and an array of condiments can differentiate your brew offering from the rest of the pack. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Last year, 7.8 billion cups of coffee were served by commercial restaurants, the vast majority through fast-food channels, according to NPD Group market research firm. Of those cups, 4.7 billion

The multi contact grill recently introduced by Hatco comes with interchangeable plates, including grooved plates to cook 
panini and flat plates for cooking a variety of other foods.

Finding the Right Foodservice Gear Helps

Choosing the best equipment can be the difference between a robust foodservice program and a bland one. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor A piece of equipment doesn’t have to be brand new to be considered the most valuable player in a foodservice operation. Take the Lincoln impinger ovens that Fremont, Ohio-based FriendShip Food Stores has

Colorful Candies

Courting Candy Customers

The sweet news is that sour sells in the non-chocolate confections category. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Overall sales growth for non-chocolate confections topped $10 billion last year, a 3.6% increase over the year before, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Sales per capita grew from the year prior by 1.9% to $32.44 per

Fresh sandwiches

Designing a Foodservice Plan

Both proprietary and established-brand foodservice have advantages and challenges. Retailers tell Convenience Store Decisions which they chose and why. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor PS Food Marts had its own proprietary deli program about 20 years ago. They had a great concept and products, but marketing an unknown brand was tough, said Ed Heath, vice

food

Winning with a Quality Deli

Giving customers more than they expect is key in building foodservice sales. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Folks in New York don’t take their deli lightly. So when Harry Singh, president and CEO of Bolla Oil Corp., decided to pilot a “gourmet” deli program in one of his company’s Brooklyn Bolla Market convenience stores in

money

Crime Prevention 101

Clear visuals, strict till limits and great customer service are keys to deterring convenience store robberies. Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Robbery occurs less often than some other crimes, but the potential for loss, injury and death is much greater during a single robbery incident, according to the convenience store security guidelines for owners and managers

css.php