Tough Economy Boosts Packaged Food Sales

A look at how packaged-foods manufacturers are faring in this faltering economy: Campbell Soup’s sales rose 13% in the most recent quarter, a phenomenon CEO Douglas Conant said was aided partly by strapped consumers embracing condensed soup as an inexpensive meal alternative, the Web site adage.com reported. Kellogg Co.’s second-quarter sales climbed 11% to $3.3

Hurricane News …

Corporate giants in the convenience world this week are continuing to donate millions of dollars as crews are trying to restore communities to normal in the wake of recent hurricanes. However, the aftermath of Hurricanes Ike and Katrina is also prompting states to continue investigations into alleged price-gouging in a number of Gulf Coast and

MillerCoors Pausing Sparks Red

MillerCoors said it’s pausing the rollout of a new caffeine-infused alcoholic energy drink pending talks with 25 states that don’t want the company to release the beverage. In a statement Friday, MillerCoors said the company won’t go ahead with its scheduled Oct. 1 launch of the drink, Sparks Red. Attorneys general from 25 states asked

Krispy Kreme Looks To Ice Cream

Krispy Kreme is hoping its new soft-serve ice cream will pull it out of a three-year sales slump, the Associated Press reported. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’ latest turnaround plan includes launching a new ice cream as well as opening smaller stores and expanding overseas, though some suspect it still may not be enough to help the

Sheetz Opens High Point, N.C., Store

Sheetz Inc. has opened a new store in High Point, N.C., just outside the Greensboro market, the company said. It’s the 18th Sheetz store in that state. As part of the grand opening festivities, the company made a donation to the Miracle League of High Point, which the organization will use to help develop a

NATSO Foundation Adds 5 To Board

The NATSO Foundation Board of Directors voted to add five members to its roster this week. The directors, whose terms are effective immediately, bring the board to its full complement and represent organizations from the truckstop and travel plaza industry, its suppliers and customers, NATSO said. The NATSO Foundation is the research, education and public

McDonald’s And Moms

McDonald’s is trying to engage the “mom” demographic with a "Moms’ Quality Correspondents" program that takes five "everyday moms" on behind-the-scenes field trips to explore the quality, safety and nutritional value of McDonald’s menu items, according to Mediapost.com. The moms share what they learn with other moms and interested parties through online journals, photos, videos

Retailers, Suppliers Continue Supporting Hurricane Relief

Oil giant BP has donated $8 million for relief efforts following Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, while fuel-dispenser innovator Dresser Wayne has dispatched a special team to the hurricane-ravaged area to help repair fuel-dispensing equipment and retail technologies. Additionally, fleet-card specialist U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems has donated $5,000 to the relief effort. Dresser Wayne said

Atlas Oil Appoints CIO

Atlas Oil Company, of Taylor, Mich., said it has named Maher Najjar as chief information officer (CIO). As a strategic partner with the Atlas Leadership Team, Najjar will use IT to streamline technical, accounting and administrative processes and procedures to meet Atlas Oil’s business objectives, the company said. Najjar began his career at Atlas in

Wilson Farms Unveils Fresh n’ Ready Bakery

Expanding its popular private-label brands, Wilson Farms Inc. said it’s adding a Fresh n’ Ready Bakery program to 60 of its 194 locations throughout New York. The company, operating under the Wilson Farms, Sugarcreek and Wilson Farms Xpress banners, will offer a variety of fresh-baked products that will be delivered to the stores daily, including

A Store To Go With That Newspaper

The nation’s top-selling newspaper is making headlines in convenience stores this week after announcing that it’s opening a convenience store called USA Today Travel Zone at three airports across the country. The first USA Today Travel Zone opened Sept. 17 in the North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, though two more openings will

Applications Flood Fresh & Easy

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets said it’s planning to hire more than 250 store employees this month as a part of a continued expansion, but it’ll have to cull the applicant list down from the 14,000 it received in August. With stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, Fresh & Easy said it offers pay and

Storm Fallout

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Gasoline prices at retail outlets soared late last week and into the weekend in a number of states across the country as the twin effects of hurricanes Gustav and Ike were felt along the supply chain that reached local markets far away from the Gulf Coast,

Hackers Target Little Guys

A retail magazine by NetWorld Alliance reports that research from global payment security consultancy Trustwave is showing some surprising results about the most common methods and targets of recent breach incidents by hackers. Trustwave’s data was presented at the 2008 MICROS Users Conference this week in Maryland. Mark Shelhart, manager of operations engineering for Trustwave,

Technology in Hiring

Pennsylvania-based Sheetz has renewed a contract with Kronos Incorporated that will continue to provide selection and hiring solutions for the retailer’s 350 stores in six states. According to Kronos, Sheetz had been using a paper-based system since it was founded more than 50 years ago, but as the company grew it found the system to

All Organic? College Bubbas Mad, Real Mad

A new all-organic convenience store at Penn State is rankling the feathers of students who say they want traditional offerings as well, according to The Daily Collegian, a student newspaper at the university. The new shop, called Sisu, has angered some students, such as Steve Karolewics and Bennet Huber, who have decided to boycott the

Polygraph Expert Touts Tactics To Combat Theft

Author James W. Bassett, a certified polygraph expert and sometimes contributor to Convenience Store Decisions, has released a new that provides successful techniques used to identify employees who steal. It also explains how to prevent such incidents. “Solving Employee Theft: New Insights, New Tactics,” by Bassett, is a useful guide that’s written in layman’s terms

Oil Giants Donate Millions To Hurricane Relief

Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron and Marathon have donated millions of dollars to assist in disaster relief efforts in Golf Coast communities ravaged by hurricanes. ExxonMobil donated $5 million, Chevron donated $3 million and Marathon gave $1.5 million. Last week, Exxon also donated $1.5 million for disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Gustav. “Hurricane

AG’s Investigate Price Gouging

Attorneys General in a number of southern states are investigating potential price-gouging at gas stations and other businesses where prices were raised in the midst of devastation from recent hurricanes. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office issued subpoenas to seven gas stations, with more expected later this week. The stations in that state allegedly

Wal-Eye Fishes For Fresh & Easy’s Progress

Wal-Mart is keeping a close eye on the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores in the U.S., Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer told Reuters. "We have people in those stores every day, every week," said John Fleming at a Bank of America conference. "We continue to monitor the progress that they make." Tesco has Fresh &

Gilbarco and SSCS Create Mix-and-Match Program

Fuel and retail management systems provider Gilbarco Veeder-Root has teamed with back-office provider Service Station Computer Systems Inc. (SSCS) to introduce an automated multi-item promotions program. The new solution allows mix-and-match promotions to be managed by combining the Passport POS and SSCS back-office software, the companies said. Passport provides timely sales and discount information, while

Fast Casual Faring Well

Fast casual restaurant chains are bucking the trading-down trend as they’re buoyed by healthier offerings and a narrowing price gap compared to quick-service restaurants, reported brandweek.com. Two recent studies show fast-casual sales at chains like Panera Bread shot up more than 13% last year, with experts predicting continued growth, brandweek.com said. A report by Chicago-based

Dunkin’ Donuts Names VP of Consumer Engagement

Dunkin’ Donuts has hired Cynthia Ashworth in its marketing team, where she’ll fill the newly created position of vice president of consumer engagement. In her new role, Ashworth will be responsible for all of Dunkin’ Donuts’ consumer messaging, including advertising, media, interactive marketing and in-store retail. She’ll report to Frances Allen, Dunkin’ Donuts brand marketing

7-Eleven Customer Wins Visit to NBC Show

A sports fan at a 7-Eleven in Joliet, Ill, was randomly selected this week for a trip to New York City and a behind-the-scenes look at NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America,” a popular Sunday night football show. 7-Eleven customer Garrett Williams scored big in 7-Eleven’s Big Match-Up promotion on Wednesday, winning a VIP behind-the-scenes

Gulf Coast C-Stores, Refineries Brace For Ike

Convenience stores in the path of Hurricane Ike are bracing for supply disruptions, with many retailers in Gulf Coast states and the eastern coast limiting gas sales for each customer, various news agencies reported. The U.S. Department of Energy said Hurricane Ike could affect fuel supply as refineries in the Gulf of Mexico shut down

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