the new cornerstone on the back bar

Cigarette sales are still one of the biggest draws for convenience stores, but many retailers are gradually shiftingtheir attention to the new king of the back bar: the othertobacco product (OTP) category. It’s no secret that OTP products—moist smokeless tobacco (MST) in particular—have been red hot over the past two years, showingvolume growth as high

the sweet life

The category isbooming with demandfrom health-conscious adult consumersthat are seeking out sugarless gums andmints, while high-ring novelty items aredrawing in kids. This demand is a welcomed addition.The confectionery category is one of themost profitable in c-stores. According to aJuly 2007 Information Resources Inc. (IRI)report, convenience stores have shown a7.8% increase in the confectionery category over

cookie crumbles

Combine passion for chocolatewith the premium reputationof Otis Spunkmeyer andits newest flavors in thethe Sweet Discoverycookie dough line—Chocolate Obsessionand Double ChocolateBrownie. Made withrich and distinctive BarryCallebaut chocolate, bothflavors have a dark chocolatecookie dough base. ChocolateObsession is loaded with 70% cacao chocolatechunks for a rich, dark chocolate experience; whileDouble Chocolate Brownie is infused with milk chocolate

exxonmobil offers sweet candy promotion

Working with Hershey, coffee customers offered free Kit Kat in August. As candy manufacturers roll out holiday products, Fairfax,Va.-based Exxon Mobil Corp. is taking advantage of sweetseason’s start. During August, ExxonMobil ran a special promotion in itsOn the Run convenience stores throughout the U.S.A free Kit Kat barwas given with the purchase of any size

are you leaving money on the table

Federal and state tax credits are available to employers that hire members of specific, usually disadvantaged, groups. Every year, thousands ofemployers fail to claim their fairshare of the billions of dollars ingovernment tax credits and incentive programs set aside for them. If you’venever claimed yours, then the question is: “Why?” Maybe you just didn’t know

seed with envy

Zotes prides itself on finding newways to impress taste buds andhas a full-flavor lineup of sunflowerseeds, including Bleu Cheese, TequilaLime,, Spicy Nacho and many more.The product comes in 5-oz. resealablejars with convenient flip-top lids, with anSRP of $1.79 to $1.99. Grow the categorywithout cannibalizing it with more bagged seeds. POS isavailable for all types of

growth on tap at gulf

As part of a fuel reimaging campaign, the oil company is launching the new Gulf Express convenience store brand. Gulf Oil, the venerable New England fuel brand, is midway through a major branding campaign that will seethe oil company convert 11 Exxon travel plazas along theMassachusetts Turnpike. But what is most significant aboutthe Turnpike deal

csd honors three with ncsag scholarships

College tuition can be abig financial burden, but Convenience Store Decisions is committed to offsetting thatburden for its National Convenience StoreAdvisory Group (NCSAG) members. The NCSAG Scholarship Fund-created for employees or children of employees that are members of the group-recently awarded three separate $1,000 grants to three worthy students. The scholarships are awarded annually and

tootsie roll

Tootsie Roll Industries just sweetened the pot for consumers on sugarrestricteddiets with the unveiling of new Sugar-Free Tootsie RollMidgees! This chewy, chocolatey treat, sweetened with Splenda, offers the same great taste and texture as the original, without any of thesugar. It’s the perfect indulgence for diabetics or anyone limiting theirsugar intake. With the focus on

couchetard named convenience store decisions chain of the year

Under CEO Alain Bouchard, the marketer has built an extensive c-store network in the U.S. and Canada. In a year where several top convenience store companies distinguishedthemselves with new store prototypes,increased sales and strong financialportfolios, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.stood out from the crowd by cementing itsposition as a dominant marketer in the U.S.and Canada. As a

starbucking the system

Convenience concepts are spreading to coffee houses, supermarkets and even drug stores, and retailers have every reason to be concerned. It’s no secret that c-stores have“borrowed” ideas from outside channels.Thanks to Starbucks, c-storeoperators learned that customerswould pay $4 for a cup of coffee as long asit was a high-end brew. So it should comeas no

special attention

Perfetti Van Melle will launch a ground-breaking promotion withDC Comics with a specially created comic that features Supermanand the Airheads

shultz is manning rutters stores

The York, Pa-basedcompany replaced the vice president position with a director of human resources.Schultz will be responsible for overseeing theentire human resources department, including employee benefits, policies and payroll.She will also oversee hiring new employeesfor rutter’s 51 convenience stores in centralPennsylvania. Potential hires can apply forretail positions at any store or through thecompany Web site.

tulsa gas up to 80 a barrel

Hurricane Humberto affects Texas refineries and Midwest supplies. Thanks to Hurricane Humberto’s jot through Texas, oil prices finished above $80 a barrel for the first time, reported Tulsa World. On Wednesday, the Energy Department reported declines in inventories and refinery activity with the price ending at $79.91. On Thursday, the October contract for light, sweet

speedy treats

Put an exciting spin on kids mealcombinations with the M&M’s-brandedNASCAR kids’ meal carrier, inspired bythe fastest-growing spectator sport inAmerica. With the power of the M&M’sbrand plus a tasty menu offerings, thisfun and brightly colored interactivepiece can drive the sale of an entiremeal while increasing traffic andkeeping families racing back for more. For More Information from

growing with the business

As Alan Drake grew up in central Colorado, he found himself working for a local convenience store through high school. At the time, Kwik Stop had just one store operating out of its headquarters in Penrose,Colo. Drake learned the business from the ground up—stocking shelves, sweeping parking lots and putting a smile on customers’ faces.

quiktrip puts out the lights for minors

New store policy prevents anyone under 18 from purchasing lighters or matches. Cigarettes aren’t the only product requiring proof of age at QuikTrip stores these days. In response to a campaign by firefighters in Johnson County, Kan., to prevent children from playing with fire, the chain has changed its policy and now requires customers to

quite corny

Brakebrush Brothers has added yet another fun and yummy product to itsalready successful line of Kids Klassics chicken: Mini Chik’N Corn Dogs. Thenew corn dogs are a novel breast-meat chicken nugget with a dip-ableshape and kid-friendly, fritter-style sweet cornmeal coating. The productis fried in 100% non-hydrogenated soybean oil until it’s a golden brown.Perfect for snacks,

appetite for construction

Dash In Food Stores is poised for growth as it introduces a new store design emphasizing its commitment to a foodservice future. Driving down Crain Highway in southernMaryland, motorists are offered many conveniencealternatives—7-Elevens, Wawas, XtraMarts—but asthey cross into La Plata, a glamorous new store stands out like a beautiful brick beacon. The 3,200 sq. ft.

circle k teams up with habitat for humanity

New recycling program cleans community while funding charity. Circle K and Habitat for Humanity have launched a plan to encourage recycling in the areas they serve, according to the Yuma Sun. “Enviro” green collection houses have been placed at 16 of the convenience stores in Yuma Country for customers to place their empty aluminum cans

sweet seating

Leisure Craft introducesa new line oftables. Designer’schoice of round,square, oval orother shapes areavailable. The recentacquisitions of somehigh-tech cutting andforming machinery allow Leisure Craft to customfabricate tables out of metal with an eye on design. Personalization andspecial designs permits the customer to get more for the buck. A completecollection of leg designs allows table to be

pricing for the future

Town & Country is among the chains investing in price optimization software to manage fuel sales. Gasoline retailers are currently facing an unstablemarket, where prices are in aconstant flux and the slightest miscalculation can cost them dearly. Tostay on top of their game, retailers areinvesting in new price optimization software technologies to help manage fuelpricing

spartan lightens its load

Five Pharm stores and one c-store sold. Grocery store operator and distributor Spartan Stores Inc. revealed that it is closing five Pharm retail stores and one convenience store by the end of September, according to the Houston Chronicle. Spartan Stores said the convenience store, which is located in Michigan, has been acquired by privately held

smarter snacking

smarter snackingPeeled Snacks will debut its newest line, Fruit Picks and Nut Picks, 100%natural, healthy treats in portion-controlled single servings. Using onlypremium organic and natural fruits and nuts, Fruit Picks and Nut Pickshelp people meet their fruit goals as recommended by the Departmentof Health, without added sugar, oils, preservatives or artificial ingredients.Fruit Picks and Nut

service to the fleet

Proprietary cards aimed at the trucking industry help retailers increase volume and in-store sales, while fending off costly processing fees. Retailers are caught inan endless battle at the gaspumps—fending off high payat-the-pump processing fees on credit cards, while trying to keep their customers from floating over to lower-pricedbig-box competitors. To do this, retailersare taking advantage

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