Hershey Hits Certified Sustainable Cocoa Sourcing Milestone

Hershey will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa to produce four of its iconic chocolate brands in 2016. The Hershey Co. announced that it will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa in 2016 to surpass the amount of cocoa required for the global production of four of its most popular chocolate brands: Hershey will source


7-Eleven Stores Toasts New To-Go ‘Melt’ Sandwiches

Based on popular demand for fresh and hot sandwiches, 7‑Eleven introduces its Melt sandwiches at participating stores for a suggested retail price of $2.99. Making a sandwich is easy, right? Two slices of bread, meat, cheese and sauce … done. Creating the two new 7‑Eleven Melt artisan sandwiches was a little more involved. Like evaluating

Casey’s General Store to Hold May “Dog Tag” Promotion

Proceeds to benefit nonprofit Hope for the Warriors. During the entire month of April, Casey’s General Store is offering a special “Dog Tag” Promotion to raise funds and awareness for Hope For The Warriors and for the growing needs of service members and military families. For only $1, Casey’s customers can do their part to

Gulf Racing Fuels Becomes Official Fuel of Atlantic Championship Series

Sponsorship includes Atlantic-themed consumer and retail promotions. The Atlantic Championship Series has announced that Gulf Racing Fuels will be the official fuel for the 2015 Atlantic Championship Series season. Gulf Racing Fuel MACH 110 octane unleaded race gas will be the specified fuel for all Atlantic race cars during all seven weekends and 14 races

EPA Recognizes Hoshizaki America Inc.

Hoshizaki receives the 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year –Sustained Excellence Award. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Hoshizaki America, Inc. with a 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Hoshizaki’s accomplishments will be recognized

Crystal Light On the Go Packets

Add to your bottled water purchases with top-selling1 CRYSTAL LIGHT On the Go, a natural add-on for active water drinkers. With bottled water servings growing away from home, don’t miss out on the opportunity to offer customers more flavorful hydration with just 5 calories per serving. Offered in a variety of on-trend flavors, your customers

Refreshing Crystal Light Bag-In-Box

Bring new appeal to customers seeking better-for-you beverages with flavorful and refreshing CRYSTAL LIGHT Bag-In-Box. Available in great-tasting, on-trend flavors with only 5 calories per 8-oz. serving, your customers will love the option for delicious refreshment without the calories of sugary soft drinks. Plus, the equipment is easy to use and eco-friendly! Requiring absolutely no

Gasoline Fuels Convenience Retail

Fuel remains the only product that customers will drive miles just to save a penny. Ensure that you’re handling fuel revenue wisely. By Jim Callahan Name another business where it’s imperative that you post the price of your No. 1 selling retail product on a large illuminated sign by the road? It’s not just lit

Counting Down to EMV Liability

In a few months, retailers not prepared to accept EMV credit and debit cards could find themselves liable for purchases made with counterfeit cards. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor As the second quarter of 2015 begins, retailers have approximately 100 business days to prepare for the EMV fraud liability deadline of Oct. 1. Those merchants

Smokeless Growth Continues

Customer loyalty and smart retailing are helping the category prosper. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Despite the 2015 federal budget proposal calling for tax increases on other tobacco products, which could negatively impact the category, c-stores report continued growth in the smokeless tobacco category known for brand loyalty. According to the Chicago-based market research firm

The E-volution of Vapor

As e-cigarettes continue to generate headlines, c-stores are addressing a maturing product category. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor In 2006, retailers were unsure as to how American consumers would react to a non-combustible smoking product. Would it catch on or taper off as an unsuccessful experiment? Nearly a decade later, the category has more

Tackling Workforce Issues

By Mel Kleiman, President, Humetrics and John Lofstock, Editor Staffing is one of the biggest investments in the convenience store industry. Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics collaborated to examine the most pressing human resource issues and where companies are spending their money. To help convenience store retailers better manage their workforce and understand what employees

Minimum Wage and Beyond

C-stores cast a wary eye toward various minimum wage initiatives that could impact workforce costs. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Because most convenience retailers strive to retain the most capable employees, it’s common that hourly wage rates at c-stores often eclipse the respective wage rate mandated by the state or states that they operate in.

Foodservice His Way

Jerry Weiner’s experience and expertise drive the foodservice category at Rutter’s. By John Lofstock, Editor Category management is the lifeblood for success at convenience stores. Effective category management can drive higher margins, identify emerging sales trends, which products are in high demand and, perhaps most importantly, let you know what products are simply not selling.

Commitment to Coffee Excellence

More than two decades ago, Greg Lorance discovered where he wanted to work—Cumberland Farms. Today, he and the company are facing the future together. By David Bennett, Senior Editor It’s been a long time since Greg Lorance worked the third shift at convenience retail chain Cumberland Farms. As an 18-year-old clerk at the time, he

Keeping Candy Relevant

Tim Cote might not be a candy traditionalist, but he knows how to make confections appealing to Plaid Pantry customers. By David Bennett, Senior Editor The traditional approach to selling candy is going the way of Root Beer Barrels and Charleston Chews. Retailers who are satisfied with a few racks of the normal candy offerings

Winning at Word of Mouth

Keeping customers engaged on social media can drive WOM and increase traffic at the store. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Social media is crucial for staying top of mind for customers and driving word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising for your chain, which many customers today trust more than traditional marketing. Cindy Morrison, social media strategist with social

Reinventing Open Pantry

Longtime employees assume control of the daily operations of Open Pantry stores, while CEO Buhler provides financial backing. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor After 17 years as president and CEO of Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin Inc., Robert Buhler at the beginning of the year turned the corporate reins over to his longtime, right-hand

Breakfast Carry Over

Cereal sales are suffering as consumers look for more portable breakfast options like egg sandwiches and Greek yogurt. With the right mix of products and value, convenience stores are well positioned to capture a greater share of the breakfast business. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor In a recent survey, NPD Group researchers found that American

Equipping Your Kitchen

A growing number of manufacturers are making foodservice equipment sized to fit smaller footprints required by convenience stores. Moreover, retailers are using these machines to make the most of their limited foodservice space. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Kyle Lore, corporate chef for North Salt Lake, Utah-based Maverik Convenience Stores, is not an impulsive person,

Weathering Change

Automotive and marketing advances are challenging c-store car washes to keep pace. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor The calendar officially states spring has sprung, and residents in the mountains, across the prairies, all the way to the New England coast welcome the reprieve from winter’s harsh grip. Not only did the bitter cold try

Tea & Juice Sales Keep Flowing

Consumers’ desire for newer, healthier and more convenient drinks is fueling c-stores’ profits. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Dual demand for healthy packaged beverages and variety still drives sales of teas and juices at convenience stores. To take advantage of such momentum, attentive c-store owners and operators are paying heed to the trends, keeping top-selling

Kum & Go, Habitat for Humanity Expand Partnership

Customer fundraising in April will help select site for company-sponsored Habitat home. Kum & Go and Habitat for Humanity announced an expansion of their partnership, launching a national campaign that will feature a corporate donation and in-store fundraising during the month of April. Through their donations, Kum & Go customers will help select a community

U.S. Oil Expands Distribution and Supply Footprint

 Acquires Wisconsin Terminal. U.S. Oil, the petroleum and renewable energy distribution division of U.S. Venture Inc., has acquired a Milwaukee area terminal from Marathon Petroleum Corp., based in Findlay, Ohio. The terminal, located at 9125 North 107th Street will add 530,000 barrels of capacity to the U.S. Oil network and will expand its distribution network

Overtime Expansion Would Harm Retail Careers, Says NRF

NRF survey shows overtime expansion proposal would hollow out middle management. An Obama administration proposal to expand overtime and redefine what it means to be a restaurant or retail manager will likely harm mangers’ career paths and undermine the quality of customer service they are able to provide, according to a new survey conducted for