McTreading on Other Channels

In yet another move that steps on the toes of the convenience store industry, fast-food giant McDonald’s is testing the sale of bottled and canned drinks at about 150 locations. While it may be years before the plan is fully realized, McDonald’s is testing the sale of bottled and canned colas, teas, energy drinks and

IRI Leveraging New Technologies

Market research firm Information Resources Inc., of Chicago, is pushing onward to lead the marketplace in consumer research panel innovation, namely through the continued development of new techniques and technologies such as panel-based Virtual Shopping, Web-based individual usage surveys, price monitoring and more. IRI said it’s shedding new light across the four stages in the

Dew Diligence in a ‘Dewmocracy’

While Barack Obama and John McCain have months to heat up their own race, Mountain Dew is firing up a campaign of its own, the “Dewmocracy” challenge. Consumers are casting their votes in a heated three-way race for the next addition to the Mountain Dew lineup, choosing one of three brands to become a permanent

Kum & Go Awards University For Finance Finesse

Students in a University of Iowa finance class cashed in on an opportunity to show their investment skills, a feat that won the school Kum & Go’s 2008 Krause Challenge investment competition. The Krause Challenge started in 1998 when W.A. Krause, founder and chairman of West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go, provided a one-time

Road Warriors: Gilbarco Veeder-Root Appearing On Travel Channel

Gilbarco Veeder-Root will be featured on The Travel Channel’s Made In America program on June 14 at noon Eastern, a segment that will highlight the company’s products used by consumer worldwide. The company’s product lineup features sophisticated technology developed and produced at the company’s Greensboro, N.C. headquarters. Program host John Ratzenberger will chat with Gilbarco

Food Workers Union Takes Aim At Tesco

The 1.3 million-strong United Food and Commercial Workers union, one of the largest in the country, has launched a campaign in the UK to expose what it calls “The Two Faces of Tesco." At a Westminster press launch chaired by Jon Cruddas MP, the union said it’s stepping up a campaign already begun in the

In the Days of Old…

Under attack from taxes, credit card fees and even some of our branded partners, retailers must continue to fight on. by Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions In the days of old before crude was “liquid gold” and drive-offs were unheard of, we had low taxes and no faxes and just two blends to deal with.

Retooling the Retail Machine

CHICAGO — Research firm IRI has released the first in a series of studies gauging consumer shopping and purchasing behavior, giving manufacturers and retailers new insights on how they can respond in a market where increasing food and energy prices are uprooting the retail landscape. The study, “IRI Times & Trends Special Report: Competing in

Washington-area 7-Eleven Wants Slurpee Stardom

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A 7-Eleven store in Kennewick, Wash., sold more Slurpee drinks in 2007 than any other 7-Eleven in the U.S., and it’s on track to attain worldwide dominance in the Slurpee sales. 7-Eleven expects that the Kennewick Slurpee Factory, as the store has been unofficially named, will become the No. 1 store in

Boo Koo, Coke Team To Launch Energy Drink

ADDISON, Texas — Beverage manufacturer Boo Koo Holdings Inc. said it’s partnering with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, the nation’s second largest Coca-Cola bottler, to launch the new BooKoo Burner+ energy drink. Coke Consolidated will distribute the new drink to more 2,000 of its current convenience store customers throughout Nashville, Tenn.; Mobile, Ala.; Panama City, Fla.

Chester’s Opens in Wine Country

DELANO, Calif. – An area known for its expansive vineyards and great wine, Delano, Calif. has now become the latest expansion site for Chester’s International. The fried chicken company chose Akal Travel Plaza in Delano to install its latest store, which officially opened on May 30 in a grand opening ceremony. “Chester’s, a brand that

New West Petroleum Selling 32 Sites

New West Petroleum LLC, of Sacramento, Calif., is selling 32 sites on the West Coast, including 30 convenience stores and two undeveloped parcels, according to NRC Realty Advisors LLC, the Chicago-based company hired by New West to coordinate the sale. The 30 convenience stores include 22 fee-owned properties, seven leasehold properties and one fee/leasehold combination.

Red Bull Charges Into Cola Category

Red Bull is hoping its new Red Bull Cola, debuting in Las Vegas this month, will cut into a share of the mainstream cola crowd, brandweek.com reported. Red Bull Cola will be 100% natural and command a premium price, its formula consisting of kola nut and coca leaf. The debut comes as Red Bull has

QSR Magazine Releases Fast-food Survey Results

QSR Magazine has released its annual survey of consumer preferences and attitudes on quick-service restaurants, examining, among other things: how often consumers eat fast food, the factors most important in choosing a restaurant, favorite fast-food menu items, whether fast food has gotten healthier and more. "The yearly consumer survey is a great way for restaurant

CFTC Scrutinizing Crude Oil Trading, Energy Futures

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced last week a number of initiatives to increase transparency of the energy futures markets, while the Washington Post reported that the Commission had been investigating crude oil trading, storage and transportation for the past six months with a focus on possible "futures market manipulation." The Commodity Futures

Isotonics and Energy Drinks: Isotonics Maintain, Energy Drinks Soar

Isotonics and sports drinks maintain strong sales and will probably continue to do so, given consumers’ growing demands for healthful food and drink that meets the body’s needs following physical activity. Energy-drink purchases, on the other hand, are growing exponentially across the country—leading retailers to keep seeking the best strategies for leveraging the category’s popularity.

Technology Driving Safety and Cash Management

Safeguarding c-stores and the people and property in and around them is getting easier and more economical thanks largely to incremental advances in a variety of technologies. Among them: safes that do more, software systems that communicate better and electronic eyes that see more. Theft and mayhem of all types, from gas pump drive-offs and

Hot Dispensed Beverages: Consumers on the Prowl for Premium

The days of battery acid brewing in a pot on a hot plate are long over, and c-store coffee programs will be hard-pressed to win drinkers these days without recognizing that consumers are on the prowl for premium coffees at palatable prices. A shortage of minutes and money among consumers nationwide is driving demand for

Alternative Energy (Shots and bars): Buying Energy by the Shot

Make room for the new kid on the block: Energy shots, those concentrated versions of energy drinks that are beginning to mirror the high sales figures of their parent product. Granted, some customers buy energy shots to add to their energy drink in a kind of shot-and-chaser strategy. But for an increasing number of buyers,

Faith-Fueled and Furious

At a jail in Valparaiso, Ind., there’s a rebel musician who’s probably wishing he’d sung just a little bit louder. At a church in San Francisco, there’s a holy man wishing he and his flock had prayed just a little bit harder. And in a backwater town just outside Kansas City, Mo., there’s a new

Cold & Frozen dispensed beverages: Mixing it Up in Cold Dispensed

Average per-store sales of cold dispensed beverages experienced modest gains that shouldn’t give retailers pause when they manage this category, as leading c-store chains are showing that big profits can spurt from some tiny fountain heads. Ricker’s c-stores, for instance, a 30-store chain headquartered in Anderson, Ind., has shaped much of its identity on its

Carbonated Soft Drinks: Strong, But Losing Ground

Most carbonated soft drink companies found 2007 a good year, but not because of CSD sales in the U.S. Increases in carbonated beverage sales outside North America plus profits from their non-carbonated acquisitions are keeping Coke and Pepsi strong, despite the introduction of new products such as Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi Max, industry analysts

The Customer: Wine Appetites and Beer Wallets

The 2008 consumer, complex and roiling in its many needstates, has become a multi-headed hydra whose rituals and habits are being altered by external forces. It is, however, a creature predictable on at least one front: It always appreciates the convenience and value of the neighborhood c-store. Pinched by rising costs of fuel, food and

Cigarettes: Taxation Taking a Toll

Cigarettes by far continue to be the top in-store category based on sales dollars. On a monthly basis, the industry per store average for 2007 was $39,127. However, its gross profit contribution slipped to 3.2% to $6,152 falling behind package beverages ($6,526.) The reason tobacco fell to No. 2 is simply taxation. Since 2002, 43

Bottled Water: New Water Pours Forth

Conventional wisdom says the bottled water market is flooded, but that may not be the case at the high end, according to Beverage Marketing, which reports that high-end brands like Iceland Spring and Iceland Glacial, Voss and Isbre appear eager to parlay an exotic source and upscale packaging into an above-premium business, much as Fiji

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