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Prepaid Cards Find Wide Appeal

Open loop, petroleum and in-store gift card sales were at $115 billion in 2012, according to Mercator Advisory Group, an independent organization that provides research and advisory services to the global payments and banking industries. This year, the category is expected to increase to $120 billion, then to $124 billion in 2014. And the growth

security cash management

Cash Management Begins with Best Practices

To prevent lost revenues from internal theft, retailers will be looking to advanced technology for more effective ways to monitor their stores, said Ted Roccagli, retail marketing manager/business coach at Mansfield Oil, which serves more than 300 convenience stores throughout the country. Mansfield is recommending video surveillance equipment that interfaces with POS and connects with

loyalty program

Cultivating a Loyal Audience

Loyalty programs were once value-added perks. Today, consumers not only expect them, but they also demand good deals. Indeed, an attractive loyalty program can sway a consumer away from a competitor with lower gas prices. “Over the last 10 years, particularly the last three, loyalty programs are playing a large role,” said Pat Lewis, president

POS

Expanding Point-of-Sale Potential

Increasingly, a good point-of-sale (POS) system must play well with others. Not only should it integrate well with other software platforms, such as business intelligence software, but it must also be easy to deploy, easy to use and easy to enhance. Many POS platforms are embracing standardization that allows them to integrate with existing software

tobacco assessories lighters

Lighters Lead Tobacco Accessories

As turbulent as the tobacco business has been in recent years, accessories, such as lighters, have remained calm and consistent, if not a bright spot on the front counter for most convenience store chains. “This is one of the most profitable parts of the business,” said Tariq Khan, CEO of Sentar Oil Inc., a four-store

cigarettes2

Cigarettes Continue to Draw Customers

Under fire now for more than a decade, cigarettes remain among the most important in-store categories in convenience stores. Cigarettes, along with other tobacco products (OTP), combined to account for 40.7% of in-store sales, according to the 2013 NACS State of the Industry Report. However, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), cigarette sales in the

ryo tobacco

Optimism for RYO Tobacco

Roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco will continue to put convenience store operators to the test over the next couple of years—enduring the ongoing legislative assault on all tobacco products while continuing to carry it to provide greater variety and service to loyal consumers. “Roll-your-own tobacco is important for those retailers that are creating a ‘destination stop’ for

smokeless tobacco2

Smokeless Tobacco Still Dominates OTP

The smokeless tobacco category continued its upward trajectory in 2013 thanks to ongoing manufacturer promotions and a growing customer interest in alternative tobacco products to supplement their smoking habits. Manufacturers are capitalizing on the strong sales demand by introducing more products in an array of flavors. For the 52 weeks ended Jan. 20, 2014, the

ecigarettes

E-Cigarette Sales Set to Surge in 2014

Even though e-cigarette category dollar sales started 2014 with slight deceleration, growth is expected to remain “robust” going forward, according to Wells Fargo Securities. The convenience store channel saw $45.2 million in sales over the four weeks ended Jan. 18, 2014, plus e-cigs accounted for another $12.4 million in national, cross-outlet markets. “This implies about

cigars

Growing Cigar Sales

Not much has been predictable about the tobacco category over the past 18 months. Huge tax increases have renewed questions about just how much money smokers are willing to invest in their habit, and whether cigarette smokers would merely switch their nicotine fixes to other tobacco products, such as cigars. Amid the upheaval, the cigar

2014 Steve Watkins CEO Orion Food Systems

Orion Food Systems Names Watkins CEO

“I had the privilege to be part of that initiative that laid the foundation for the company, and am very excited about leading an incredibly talented team…” notes new CEO.   Orion Food Systems LLC has announced that Steve Watkins has been promoted to CEO of Orion Food Systems, the international foodservice provider of leading

Greg Parker photo NEW (3)

Parker’s Donates $1 Million to Regional Trauma Center

“I have seen firsthand the high level of care these fine physicians, nurses and health care professionals provide,” says Parker’s CEO. Georgia entrepreneur Greg Parker, president and CEO of The Parker Cos., recently announced a $1 million donation to help begin a major renovation and expansion of Memorial Health’s emergency department and Level 1 trauma

spinx1

Spinx Names New Members To Executive Leadership

Chief information officer and chief financial officer join executive team. The Spinx Co. Inc. has promoted Cheryl Szczesniak, chief information officer, and Steven Visser, chief financial officer, to its executive leadership team. Based in Greenville, S.C., Spinx operates 74 c-stores in South Carolina and North Carolina. Szczesniak joined Spinx in 2005 as its operations controller.

Starbucks Reusable Cups

Starbucks Rolling Out Evening Menu Nationwide

Beer and wine now available at Starbucks. Starbucks plans to expand its alcohol and tea selections nationwide, as it rolls an evening menu out to more stores following years of testing, The Oxford Press reported. Starbucks has said it plans to almost double its market share to $100 billion, and the evening menu is part

gas_pumps

Central Florida Faces Fuel Shortage

Foggy weather causes delays in gas delivery, causing many stations to run dry. Gas stations in central Florida are facing a temporary fuel shortage that has left some convenience store locations without any fuel to dispense. A spokesperson for 7-Eleven told Orlando News 13 that the chain had only 50% of the fuel they needed

Several Granola Bars Isolated on a White Background with Narrow Depth of Field.

Healthy Snacking Providing New Opportunities

The sweet snacks category shows no sign of slowing down, thanks to a combination of product innovation, smaller portion sizes, enduring brand power and retailers’ recognition that it earns every inch of its shelf space. “The category is doing great,” said Wade Hollis, senior manager of category buyers for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.

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Seeds and Nuts Bolster Healthy Snack Sales

Nuts and seeds satisfy too many of Americans’ basic needs—starting with health and convenience—for the brisk sales they are enjoying to slow down any time soon.“People are looking for healthier food,” said John Tomlinson, director of purchasing and merchandising for Duchess Shoppes, in Heath, Ohio, which operates 123 Duchess Shoppes. “That’s why they are heading

meat snacks

Strong Outlook for Meat Snacks

Estimates from Chicago-based Mintel Group, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey and other data, project solid growth for meat snacks all the way through at least 2015, when they should top $1.3 billion While regular-flavored meat and beef jerky products are the most popular based on usage, the research showed, teriyaki

gum and mints

Mints Offer Optimism in Confectionery Segment

While a staple in convenience stores, gum sales continued their decline last year, down 7.2% in dollar sales and almost 8% in unit sales from 2012, according to data from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). Dollar sales of regular gum declined a little over 6%, unit sales more than 10%, while sugarless decreased 7.4% in dollar

LandOLakes

Sea-Salted Caramel Dairy Seasoning

Land O’Lakes Ingredients announced the addition of Sea-Salted Caramel to its line of dairy seasonings, bringing the taste of America’s leading butter brand to the popular consumer flavor. A rich, LAND O LAKES butter powder base mixed with sweet caramel and sea salt gives this dairy seasoning a distinct and wholesome flavor. Food manufacturers will

kettlePop

Organic Kettle Corn Snacks

Popcorn lovers who thought their favorite snack food couldn’t get any better may just find that conclusion turned on its head after trying KettlePop. As snack foods go, popcorn is one of the healthiest, packed with antioxidants. KettlePop scours the globe for the best organic, non-GMO ingredients and works closely with farmers to ensure that

Curtis G4 v1

Grow Coffee Profits

Give your coffee program a caffeine boost with the innovative Curtis G4 Digital Gemini Brewing System. The secret to Gemini’s performance is smart IntelliFresh (IF) technology. Putting brains behind the brew, the Wilbur Curtis Co. developed IF as part of their quest to simplify brewing and serving high volumes of fresh coffee at the perfect

PotatoChipCoatedTenderloin

Potato Chip Coated Chicken Tenderloins

Brakebush Brothers has introduced Tater Chip Tenders potato chip coated chicken tenderloins, the newest item in their line of innovative, breaded chicken products. These whole muscle, chicken tenderloins are coated in a crunchy, cravable layer of real potato chips.  They have real stopping power on the menu and deliver something new, interesting and wickedly satisfying. 

Voodoo Brand E-Pens and E-Liquids Designed to Grow the E-Vapor Section

E-Vapor Liquids & E-Pen Vaporizers

Kretek International Inc. announced the rollout of its new line of Voodoo brand e-vapor liquids and personal e-pens.  The expanded Voodoo lineup was introduced on Jan.29 at the TPC Show in Las Vegas and will be available for the U. S. market in April.  Voodoo brand’s new line allows ‘Vapers’ to customize and mix e-liquid

Krave

New Cereal Bars

Leveraging the huge popularity of Kellogg’s Krave Cereal, Kellogg’s introduces a deliciously different treat: Kellogg’s Krave Treat Bars. Like the cereal, Kellogg’s Krave Treat Bars are made with multi-grains and real chocolate, but take deliciousness to a new level by adding marshmallow crème to the S’mores flavor and chocolate crème to the Brownie flavor. Both

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