Some Flavor to Savor

Consumers looking for a lightly flavored, unsweetened bottled water will find it in February 2009 when Coca-Cola launches its new Dasani essence – a flavored water with a tinge of all-natural fruit flavor. According to a Nielsen study last month, the unsweetened flavored water market is growing faster than any other segment in the $11


EZ Energy USA To Acquire 42 Gas Stations

EZ Energy USA Inc., the U.S. entity of Israeli-based EZ Energy Ltd., has signed a contract to acquire 42 gas stations in the U.S. and all related inventory – as well as four lots – for a reported $32.6 million, according to McClatchy-Tribune news service. Investec Bank (UK) and a private investor will invest $7

A 7-Eleven Christmas

The 7-Eleven store on the corner may not be a mammoth mass merchandise retailer, but it offers a surprising number of time- and cost-saving gift ideas that can help calm holiday anxiety brought on by a lack of time and money. “You may not be able to do all of your holiday shopping at a

Mac’s C-stores Launch DVD Rental Kiosks

Mac’s Convenience Stores, Ontario’s largest convenience store operator, has partnered with a digital self-serve innovator to introduce DVD rental kiosks at select Mac’s stores in Canada. Signifi Solutions Inc. is a digital self-service company that offers digital entertainment solutions through cutting-edge technology. It manages a DVD placement initiative called Movie Spot DVD, which is a

Greening Up The Holidays

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has launched its second annual holiday card recycling program as a way to encourage customers to use Fresh & Easy stores as a place to recycle used greeting cards. Proceeds from the sale of the recycled cards will go to American Forests, a nonprofit organization that helps plant trees in

Going Once, Twice …

Exxon Mobil Corp. said this week that it’s starting the bidding process to sell the majority of its remaining company-owned gas stations on the East Cost, Dow Jones newswire reported. “Consistent with our 2008 June announcement, we began our initial bid process for the sale of the majority of our company-operated and dealer sites from

Tobacco’s Trials and Tribulations

It’s been a busy week for tobacco on the East Coast, with major developments on tobacco regulations, rulings and ruminations in the states of Maine, New York and Massachusetts. Here’s the skinny in those states: Maine The U.S. Supreme Court his week decided 5-4 to let Maine’s “light cigarette” smokers sue tobacco companies for fraudulent

Functional Frenzy?

International management consulting firm Scientia is predicting rapid growth for medicinal foods and nutraceuticals worldwide in the next few years. In a report available for free at Scientia’s Web site (, researchers estimate that the global functional foods category will hit $195 billion by 2012, a sizable increase from 2006 sales of $128 billion. Key

Arizona Teacher Wins $1M In Mars Contest

Phoenix resident and teacher Michelle Willis was the grand-prize winner of Mars Snackfood’s Halloween Million Contest, the company said this week. M&M’S characters visited Willis and her family at home this week to deliver an oversized check for the $1 million winnings from the online contest. Belle, the family’s Chihuahua mix, also benefited from the

MetroSplash Expands Board

Fuel-based loyalty solutions provider MetroSplash Systems Group Inc. has appointed Patrick Cummiskey to its board of directors. “We are extremely pleased to have Patrick join our board of directors,” said Steve Babick, president and CEO of MetroSplash. “His rich industry expertise in transaction processing and petroleum segments will provide invaluable guidance and direction in assisting

Redbox Heads To 7-Eleven

Redbox is spreading into 7-Eleven stores nationwide as it continues its focus on the c-store market, according to online video industry publication Starting this month and continuing through next year, Redbox will be installing its DVD rental machines into 2,600 7-Eleven locations nationwide, boosting its presence beyond the regional c-store giants like Maverik, Thorntons

Rutter’s Giving At Nearly $1.9M

Charitable donations by Rutter’s Farm Stores over the past six years has amounted to $1.875 million, including $475,000 in 2008, the company announced at an annual holiday banquet. While the banquet was held in honor of Rutter’s employees, the employees actually brought more than 250 toys to the event and donated them to two local

Love’s Gets Larger

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is No. 25 on the 2008 Forbes’ Magazine list of the largest private companies, a significant jump from the company’s No. 42 position last year. Love’s has consistently made the Forbes list since debuting at No. 446 in 2000. “We’re proud to once again be among the companies on

ExxonMobil Investing $1B In Clean Diesel

ExxonMobil Refining and Supply said it’s investing more than $1 billion in three refineries to increase the supply of cleaner-burning diesel by about 6 million gallons per day. The company will construct new units and modify existing facilities at refineries in Baton Rouge, La.; Baytown, Texas; and Antwerp, Belgium. “This underscores the company’s ongoing commitment

Fuel Decline Streak Ends

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Wholesale gasoline prices posted double digit increases in most metropolitan regions across the U.S., jumping 20 cents or more in Chicago and Cleveland, to reverse most of the decline in the wholesale market experienced during the first week of December primarily on expectations for supply cuts.

Ohio-based Englefield Doubles In Size

Englefield Oil Co., of Heath, Ohio, will just about double in size with the pending purchase of 43 BP c-stores in the Columbus, Ohio, area, according to the Newark Advocate. Factoring in the acquired stores – the acquisition is expected to close in January – Englefield’s annual sales will be in excess of $1 billion.

They Need A Mojave Java

Oklahoma City-based Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has broken ground on its newest travel stop location in Barstow, Calif., just off Interstate 15. The store is expected to open in late spring next year. It will employ between 30 and 50 people and will contribute more than $100,000 in annual tax revenues to the

Analyst Upgrades Casey’s

Healthy same-store sales growth prompted Morgan Keegan analyst John Lawrence on Friday to upgrade shares of Casey’s General Stores to "outperform,” the Associated Press reported. The Ankeny, Iowa-based company reported a 1% drop last week in second-quarter earnings and missed analyst expectations, since a 17% jump in revenue was downplayed by higher costs. But the

When Retail Foodservice Shines

Six percent of the roughly 62 billion commercial foodservice meals and snacks consumed in a year are purchased at retail stores — food, drug, discount, department, and price clubs — while convenience stores represent an additional 7%, a new report from The NPD Group showed. Retail foodservice represents a spending level of almost $13 billion,

Casey’s Intros New Store Design

In keeping with a plan outlined in its annual report, Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores is rolling out expanded store designs, the Des Moines Register reported. Casey’s executives told the Des Moines Register that roughly half a dozen stores with the new design are open or nearing completion, and the company hopes to finish a

Indiana Man Wins Free Pizza, Gas For a Year

A customer at the Little Point Auto Truck Stop in Stilesville, Ind., is the grand-prize winner of the inaugural Hunt Brothers Pizza Free Fill-up Sweepstakes, the company said. Bill Holland was a randomly selected from 41,168 entries. He’ll receive gasoline and free Hunt Brothers pizza for one year, courtesy of Hunt Brothers. “The contest was

Exxon And Employees Donate $17M

ExxonMobil’s corporate, employee and retiree contributions to the United Way in the Houston and Baytown areas reached a record $17 million recently, the company said. The announcement was made during a celebration at NCI Ripley House Community Center where checks for $11.3 million and $1.7 million were presented to the United Way of Greater Houston

Heineken, City of White Plains Team for Safer New Year’s Eve

For the fifth consecutive year, Heineken USA has teamed with the City of White Plains and the White Plains Business Improvement District to provide people celebrating New Year’s Eve in downtown White Plains a safe ride home. Building on the success of the 2007 program, which brought an estimated 2,000 revelers safely home, the “New

Re-Energized: 5-Hour Energy to Continue NASCAR Sponsorship

Living Essentials LLC, through its 5-Hour Energy brand, will return for its second season as primary sponsor of Rusty Wallace Racing’s No. 66 team and driver Steve Wallace in 2009. Living Essential’s 5-Hour Energy will serve as primary sponsor of Wallace’s No. 66 Chevrolet in 10 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, beginning with the March

Sheetz Chosen As Top Employer

The Best Places to Work in Pa. group has ranked Sheetz Inc. as No. 20 on the list of Top 50 large companies in 2008. The Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz has now been on the list for seven consecutive years. “It is truly an honor to be named one of the best employers in our home