New Flavors, Demand Drives OTP

Despite the SCHIP bill and mounting state taxes, smokeless tobacco products have experienced a strong year packed with innovation, new flavors and increased consumer demand. According to the NACS 2009 State of the Industry report, smokeless tobacco sales surged 6.1% to $2.96 billion last year. The average c-store totaled $1,703 per month in smokeless sales

New Compact Ice Machines

Hoshizaki America Inc., Peachtree City, Ga., has introduced two new Cuber Ice Machines, the KM-260B_H and the KM-201B_H. The KM-260B_H produces up to 263 pounds of ice per 24 hours and offers 100 pounds of built-in storage. The KM-201B_H produces up to 201 pounds of ice per 24 hours and has 80 pounds of built-in

Prepaid Sales Surging

Whether it’s phone cards, credit cards or prepaid gaming cards being promoted by 7-Eleven, prepaid sales are hot, and retailers would be wise to get in on the action. For example, c-store operators with a high number of ethnic customers could capitalize on the growing reloadable cell phone card market. The top destinations for overseas

Equipment Key to Driving Food Sales

Convenience store operators in search of faster cooking times and longer holding times are finding foodservice equipment that can help. But which pieces, at what price points, with what sort of ROIs and in what sort of configuration remain questions that must be weighed and answered. For an industry whose core competency isn’t food, and

A Shot of Red Bull

Beginning this June, Red Bull will expand its energy options in the U.S. with Red Bull Energy Shot and Red Bull Sugar Free Shot. Red Bull’s entry into the shot category will grow its consumer base by introducing a premium shot from a trusted brand. The Red Bull Energy Shot will engage new consumers, create

New Products, Fuel Dispensed Beverages

The cold frozen dispensed category is undergoing some major changes these days, with many c-stores adding milkshakes and even energy slushees to their offerings. The additions continue to make the cold and frozen dispensed category one of the hottest in the convenience store industry. “We’ve had great success with using energy drinks like Monster, Rock

It’s Not Just a Southern Thing!

  Lettieri’s is building on its already sensational breakfast program by adding two Southern Style biscuit sandwiches for busy customers on-the-go. The two new menu choices will include the Country Fried Steak & Cheese Biscuit and the Chicken & Cheese Biscuit.   The Country Fried Steak & Cheese Biscuit offers a light and tender southern-style biscuit,

Role of Technology Expanding

Whether it’s PCI compliance, overcoming high credit card fees or getting more out of a current point-of-sale (POS) system, investing in technology has never been more important for c-stores. With PCI compliance deadlines looming, many operators are still not up to speed on what they need to do, or how to do it. The Payment

The Many Hats of a Marketing Manager

As the sales and marketing manager for Jaco Oil Co., which runs 53 Fastrip stores in California and Arizona, Fred Faulkner’s job is a busy one. Faulkner holds the responsibility of buying for all categories, selecting in-store equipment from deli cases to fountain machines, shaping the deals for purchases, creating the point-of-sale for promotions and

Chocolate and Coffee Unite

Soothing chocolate and sassy coffee unite for a lively combo in Mocha-walla, the new Odwalla food bar that brings together the best of the beans. Mocha-walla perks up its delightfully decadent chocolate with rich java flavors. The newest addition to the Odwalla Bar family is packed with whole grains, real fruit, natural fiber and six

Competition Heats Up for Coffee

Did You Know? Data released by the National Coffee Association shows the market penetration for coffee has surpassed that of soft drinks, reversing a 20-year pattern. Fifty-seven percent of American adults drink coffee daily versus 51% for soft drinks. Coffee drinking among 18-24 year-olds also jumped 6%, the fourth year in a row for such

New Beverage Offers Relaxation, Stress Relief

The maker MALAVA RELAX, the anti-energy drink, now offers in NOVOCAINE, which provides five times the relaxation, five times the stress relief and five times the clarity of mind as the original. When you drink NOVOCAINE, with five times the kavalactones, it puts you in a happy, tranquil state. NOVOCAINE and RELAX are the only

Tracking the Trends

An otherwise tough year for convenience stores was balanced out by strong retail fuel margins from the unprecedented drop in wholesale fuels prices during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to National Association of Convenience Stores’ (NACS) 2009 State of the Industry report. However, credit card fees continue to take a toll on industry profitability.

Dipping Into New Profits

In a market plagued by high taxes, declining gross margin profits on cigarettes and the likely possibility of FDA restrictions on tobacco, retailers more than ever need to manage the tobacco category more closely. It’s no secret that the smokeless category has been growing, with big year-on-year gains in new product sales, flavors and line

The Essence of Dasani

Coca-Cola is getting into the unsweetened, flavored water category with the launch of Dasani Essence. Dasani Essence has a light, natural fruit flavor that is unsweetened and without preservatives or calories. It is available in three varieties: Lime Essence, Strawberry Kiwi Essence, and Black Cherry Essence. Each is packaged in stylish, recyclable 18.5-ounce single bottles

New Products Power the Roller Grill

Tough times call for creative measures. The stagnant economy and hefty cigarette taxes have more c-store chains expanding their foodservice segments and adding more roller grill items to provide a greater array of hot food options at a value price to sustain loyal customers. “Customers automatically associate c-stores and roller grills. It’s been a source

Put Some Bark in Cooler Sales

Retailers looking to build cold vault sales can do so with a purpose. Margo’s Bark Root Beer grew out of Oscar Youd’s elementary school science fair project. Named after the family dog, Margo–a rescued black lab-pit bull mix, the micro-brewed soda stands up to the rigorous tasting standards of a 7-year-old root beer aficionado. Margo

C-Store Food Sales Get Healthier

Convenience retailers are increasing their share of healthy, fresh food sales, according to industry observers, who noted convenience outlets and big boxes are also gaining share at the expense of grocery stores. Though fresh and prepared foods offer high margin rings, c-store retailers should be certain they are truly ready to do food preparation before

Taking Convenience to a New Level

The milkman is making his rounds in Mountain Top, Penn. Good2Go is enhancing its convenience offering by providing residents the option of having fresh, all-natural and organic products delivered directly to their front doors. When partners Awais Ahmad, V.J. George and Thomas Job opened the store in September 2008, they had no idea how popular

Sugar Free Stripes

Farley’s & Sathers has a new longer lasting flavor than original Fruit Stripe. The nostalgic Fruit Stripe gum was first introduced in the early 60’s and is the only gum with painted on stripes. Sugar Free Fruit Stripe gum wrappers still contain tattoos of Yipes, the Fruit Stripe zebra, playing basketball, soccer, tennis, inline skating,

Pizza Palates Changing

Fast Facts About Pizza • Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or about 350 slices per second. • Pizza is a $30 billion per year industry. There are approximately 69,000 pizzerias in the U.S. Approximately three billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year. (Source: Blumenfeld and Associates) • Pizzerias represent

The Coffee Battle Brews

Convenience store operators need to focus on meeting consumer demand for a quality cup of coffee as McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks and Caribou all announced plans to step up their brew programs to reel in consumers during a tough economy. About 54% of the adult population in the U.S. classify themselves as coffee consumers, according

Economists Predict Recession’s End

  More than 90% of economists predict the recession will end this year, although the recovery is likely to be rough, the Associated Press reported.   The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) recently surveyed leading forecasters about the state of the economy. The results of the survey, released Wednesday, showed their views are in

Pepsi Co. To Cut Jobs

  Frito-Lay Inc.’s Plano headquarters let go about 130 employees this week as its parent company, Pepsi Co., initiates a “productivity program,” the Dallas Morning News reported.   PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y., said Tuesday it plans to eliminate about 3,300 positions across the globe, 300 of which will be employees of Frito-Lay, the nation’s largest

Consumers Concerned Over Gas Prices

  A majority of consumers are planning road trips this summer and gas is the top expense they are budgeting for, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Petrofix. Some 92% of respondents noted finding the lowest-priced gas during their trip will be important.   Petrofix, an online service that controls gas

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