Tracking the 2010 Fuel Market

Heading into 2010 there seems to be one constant in the energy markets—be it international, domestic, or local—and that is supplies should not be the issue in the New Year. This means that while demand will ebb and flow as it is want to do over the course of the calendar, barring an unforeseen change,

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Meaty Sales in the Snack Aisle

TOP PERFORMERS Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Slim Jim (ConAgra) Old Wisconsin Sausage HONORABLE MENTIONS Old Trapper Smoked Products World Kitchens Oberto Sausage Flavored products from hot and spicy to teriyaki and smoked are driving the meat snacks category as customers look for new varieties of their favorite snacks. Stick sales are reportedly up, and as

Managing Employees in Tough Economic Times

In order to support the convenience store industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities for the new year, Convenience Store Decisions and Kleiman HR collaborated on their second annual human resources survey in order to provide some industry-wide insight into the actions others are taking—or planning to take—in the new year. The 2010 survey results include some

Healthy Options Push Salty Snacks

TOP PERFORMERS Frito Lay Cheez-It (Kellogg’s) Chex Mix (General Mills) HONORABLE MENTIONS Combos (Mars) Cape Cod (Lance) Pringles (P&G) The down economy has inspired a consumer trend toward eating in and choosing less expensive home-entertainment options, which has been a boost to the salty snacks category. Customers are likely to choose snacks they perceive as

Hiring Mistakes We’ve All Made

1. Not Knowing What You’re Looking For. You can’t hit the target when you don’t know what it looks like. Define what you’re looking for by writing a job analysis that spells out the mental and physical capacities, attitudes, personality and skills you need. 2. Not Thinking Outside the Box.  One overlooked source of candidates

Baked Goodness

TOP PERFORMERS Oreo (Nabisco/Kraft) Kellogg’s/Keebler Chips Ahoy (Nabisco/Kraft) HONORABLE MENTIONS Bon Appetit Mrs. Freshley’s (Flowers Foods) Prairie City Bakery Sweet snacks purchases are on the rise at convenience stores creating new sales opportunities across all dayparts. Packaged sweets accounted for 2.6% of the $114,010 stores acquired through average monthly sales in 2008, according to the

Six R’s and One C Spell Retention

The 2009 EDGE Report published by Robert Half International and CareerBuilder, offers a great overview of the job market today and what it looks like in the near future. The survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2009 and the results are based on the responses of 500 hiring managers and 500 workers age

Protecting Cigarette Sales

TOP PERFORMERS Altria Sales & Distribution (Philip Morris USA) R. J. Reynolds Lorillard HONORABLE MENTIONS Liggett Vector Natural American Spirit/Santa Fe (Reynolds American) Commonwealth Brands Despite the wild nine-month ride that saw a large federal tax increase and the Food & Drug Administration gain control over the category, cigarettes continue to dominate in-store sales, accounting

Honoring the Industry’s Top Suppliers

Nearly 100 convenience store chains representing some 23,000 convenience stores nationwide came together to identify the key suppliers in two dozen in-store categories as part of Convenience Store Decisions’ 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards. This study was designed and conducted by Hagen Marketing Research Inc. in cooperation with CSD.  The primary purpose of the study was

Opportunities Exist for Cigars

TOP PERFORMERS Altria Sales & Distribution (John Middleton) Swisher Swedish Match HONORABLE MENTIONS Altadis USA Republic Tobacco The SCHIP tobacco tax rates that hit in April 2009 are costing cigar smokers more, but sales continue to persevere. As of April, the federal taxes on large cigars rose from 20.719% of the wholesale price with a

Pizza Offers Foodservice Flexibility

As foodservice sales make up for lost gasoline and cigarette profits, more retailers are jumping on the pizza bandwagon. It’s a wise move considering Americans love their pizza. According to Parade magazine, 94% of the U.S. population eats pizza; Pizzaware.com noted that Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza each day (350 slices per second);

Smokeless Sales Stay Strong

TOP PERFORMERS Copenhagen (Altria Sales & Distribution/US Smokeless) Grizzley (Conwood/Reynolds America) Skoal (Altria Sales & Distribution/ US Smokel) HONORABLE MENTIONS Longhorn, Red Man and Timber Wolf (Swedish Match) Kodiak (Conwood/Reynolds America) The effect of tobacco taxation and smoking restrictions has made it much more difficult to rely on cigarette sales as the primary category for

Brand Appeal

TOP PERFORMERS Subway McDonald’s HONORABLE MENTIONS Blimpie Burger King Arby’s Quiznos As foodservice becomes an increasingly important c-store offering for driving traffic, retailers face an important question: Partner with a with a known QSR that offers brand recognition and a proven track record, or invest the time and energy to build a program from the

Targeting Customers with Prepaid

TOP PERFORMERS PaySpot (dba epay) Coinstar HONORABLE MENTIONS Incomm First Data Prepaid services are changing the way customers do business. Low-income families, unbanked and underbanked customers, students, those with poor credit and customers that spend much of their time on the road are among those taking advantage of prepaid debit cards and bill services that

Turning a Profit at the Roller Grill

TOP PERFORMERS Oscar Mayer (Kraft) Ball Park (Sara Lee) Hillshire Farms (Sara Lee) HONORABLE MENTIONS Ruiz Food Products Johnsonville Sausage Don Miguel Roller grills, the backbone of many convenience store foodservice programs, continue to provide chains with an inexpensive, labor-friendly foodservice concept that allows store operators to expand their fresh food offering at a time

Community Cries Foul Over Canned Canine

Customers are standing behind their favorite convenience store employee, Cody, a chocolate Labrador recently banned from his post at a BP convenience store in Clearwater, Fla., by the state’s Department of Agriculture. Cody had long accompanied store-owner Karim Mansour to the store a couple times a week, except during a short period of time when

Going Green to Reduce Costs

Wanting to help save the world is admirable, but unless a real cost-savings can be realized convenience store operators seem to agree this economy is not the best time to be experimenting with “green” investments. The key to sustainability issues, then, is finding that balance, and that’s where several c-store chains are differentiating themselves. Scott

Poultry Pushes Food Sales

TOP PERFORMERS Tyson Brakebush Broaster HONORABLE MENTIONS Chester’s Chicken Krispy Krunchy Pilgrims Pride Chicken’s economical price and inherent flexibility gives convenience store retailers a myriad of opportunities for growing their foodservice business without sacrificing quality and value. More importantly, chicken offers retailers a host of branded and unbranded options for creating everything from a fresh

Portion-Control Preserves

Smucker’s offers a full line of distinctive portion-control products, and the opportunity to add comfort and value to any foodservice operation by displaying America’s most trusted brand of jams, jellies and preserves. customers crave comfort food in times of economic recession—food that reminds them of a simpler time and fills a psychological need for emotional

New Year, New Opportunities

For many convenience store chains, 2009 could not end soon enough. A challenging economy, higher operating costs, outrageous credit card fees and an onslaught of new tobacco taxes were just some of the issues retailers had to contend with. In our ongoing effort to provide readers with the tools they need to make informed decisions,

Confidence in Confections

TOP PERFORMERS Wrigley Cadbury Adams Hershey’s HONORABLE MENTIONS Farley & Sathers Just Born Perfetti Van Melle According to the 2009 NACS State of the Industry report (SOI), the confections category in a typical convenience store contributes $44,820 to sales and $21,336 in gross margin dollars, for an average gross margin of 47.6%. Top performers in

Aztex Buzzing Over Beer Sales

When beer sales were made legal last August in formerly dry Clay County, N.C., Aztex Fuel & Food Centers’ Hayesville location was ready to pounce, becoming the first c-store in the market to supply cold suds. Aztex, an experienced c-store marketer, knew from its other stores that alcohol sales can drive foot traffic and increase

BP Branded Gas Exits St. Louis

  Several convenience stores in St. Louis are no longer carrying the BP brand of gasoline.   BP spokesman Daren Beaudo told the Southeast Missourian that the company decided to stop providing their product from its Scott City, Kan. terminal recently.   “Those who own stations that carry our gasoline brand had the choice to

Geo. H. Green Oil Distributes Holiday Cheer

Fairburn, Ga.-based Geo. H. Green Oil Inc. has raised $21,690 for Greater Atlanta’s Empty Stocking Fund, Welcome House of Newnan, Ga., and In His Great Name Ministry of, Fairburn, Ga.    In a year when charities all over the country have fallen far short of previous totals, The Green Oil, Greenway Store Team surpassed last

Iowa Faces Tank Cleanup Deadline

  Iowa regulators and gas station operators are working together despite disagreements to solve remaining issues surrounding a clean up effort for leaky underground tanks before funding ends in 2016, the Sioux City Journal reported.   The federally mandated effort started 20 years ago has been one of Iowa’s most successful environmental programs, according to

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