CSDs Remain Relevant Through Innovation

Everyone says consumers are shunning carbonated soft drinks (CSD) for healthier beverage options. Yet CSD still dominates in the beverage market, controlling at least a 20% slice. Consumers’ desire for healthier beverages is spurring movment in the category. The Big Three soft drink companies—Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group—last year pledged their support


Teas, Juices Equal Refreshing Results

Ready-to-drink (RTD) bottled teas and juices have improved in quality over the last few years, which is one reason why the category has expanded greatly in the U.S. Additionally, greater numbers of organic, low- and no-sugar RTD tea and juice products have broadened consumer choices within the category. And what’s good for the consumer is

Energy Shots Dip, But Set To Rebound

Dollar sales of energy shots topped $773 billion, for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 28, 2014, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data. That was a 4.78% drop from the same period a year ago. Also, unit sales dipped 4.58% to more than 245 million. Gary Hemphill, managing director of research for New York City-based

Energy Drinks Remain Strong

Energy Drinks (non-aseptic) saw total dollar sales of $7.19 billion, up 5.74% for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 28, 2014, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI). Unit sales for the same period totaled 2.97 billion, up 6%. Red Bull led the category with $2.84 billion in dollar sales, up 7.16% over last year. Monster Energy

Cigarettes Category Still In-Store Leader

Lower gasoline prices and trends in tobacco alternatives will both play a role in determining the kind of year 2015 will be for cigarettes—as will well-stocked sections and clear in-store messaging that trumpets value. Nevertheless, cigarettes remain the tobacco category’s top product performer in terms of in-store sales. C-store operators watching the cigarette market in

Cigars Might Surprise in 2015

The cigar category may just prove a pleasant surprise for convenience stores in 2015. Lower gas prices should translate into higher in-store rings and additional impulse sales. And while the lower-price tier remains the staple, many see greater opportunity for more expensive cigars. Cigar singles will continue to fuel the category throughout the year. To

Smokeless Tobacco Looking Good, For Now

Growth in smokeless tobacco this year will depend on the variety of offerings, adequate inventory and focus on roll pricing. Total smokeless tobacco sales experienced a 5% rise over the last 12 months, according to Nielsen. However, enthusiasm among retailers was tempered recently when President Obama released a proposed federal budget that included a 94-cents-per-pack

E-Cigarettes Continue to Evolve

Sales of e-cigarettes in the U.S. are set to grow 24.2% per year through 2018, according to a projection from market provider Research and Markets Ltd. Those are promising figures for many convenience retailers who continue to take stock in data from such groups as StatisticBrain.com, which estimates that 2.7% of U.S. adults have tried

Vaping Products Add Juice for Retailers

Vaping products and production processes continue to develop, spurring a category full of potential for convenience stores. As the category continues to evolve with new technology, retailers can expect a big push from many smaller manufacturers to the closed systems, as the majors take over the traditional e-cigarette category. The open systems continue to experience

RYO Spells Profit Potential

With some smart retailing, assistance from suppliers and a bit of help from Capitol Hill, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco over the past year has accounted for nearly half of total other tobacco products (OTP) sales, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI). Going forward, RYO should continue to be a productive part of c-store tobacco sets, led

Accessories Make Tobacco Category Complete

Cigarette and cigar lighters, as well as rolling papers, electronic cigarette accessories, ash trays, cigar cases, cutters and humidors, pipes and pipe accessories, will continue to provide add-on sales at c-stores throughout 2015. Tobacco accessories accounted for $246 million in sales last year, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data. Sales of cigarette lighters, far

New York State And Counties Consider E-Cig Bans

Age requirement increases for purchasing electronic cigarettes also being considered. E-cigarette users in New York may soon face vaping bans in workplaces and restaurants as their local governments, as well as the state of New York, both consider extending smoking bans to electronic cigarettes, according to lohud.com. For example, Westchester County, N.Y. lawmakers are considering

The Pantry Stockholders Approve Merger With Couche-Tard

Stockholders to receive $36.75 in cash per share. The Pantry Inc. announced that its stockholders approved the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger with a U.S. subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. at its special meeting of stockholders. Based on the tabulation of the stockholder vote, approximately 99% of the total votes cast, which represents

SAS Trade Show Spotlights New Items

Draws more than 200 exhibitors. The final curtain has closed and the award for “Best in Show” goes to S. Abraham & Sons for their 29th Annual Vendor Exhibit and Trade Show—“SAS Celebrates the Stars of Convenience Retailing.” More than 200 manufacturers exhibited their products to convenience store chains and single-store owners during the show,

TravelCenters of America Acquires 26 Convenience Stores

Looks to rebrand newly acquired sites under its Minit Mart brand. TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, and the Minit Mart convenience store brand announced that it has acquired a total of 26 gasoline/convenience store locations located primarily in Minnesota (18) and Kentucky (six) in

Technomic Shares Insights On Consumer Foodservice Landscape

Technomic’s Consumer4Sight Group provides in-depth view on consumer habits and preferences. Technomic’s New Consumer4Sight Group gathered data points from 81,870 consumer foodservice occasions over one full year to reveal a look ahead at the 2015 landscape. One surprising pattern: More than half of eating-out occasions are unplanned or decided on impulse. At 53% of all

Delicious Guacamole

Del Monte Fresh Produce offers Del Monte Fresh Guac, which contains only fresh ingredients, such as veggies, creamy Hass avocados, and a dash of salt (for flavor) to create the delicious guacamole. Del Monte Fresh Guac comes in an assortment of flavors in convenient packaging, and since we are using Ultra High Pressure, it is

Rapid Rinse Station

The Rapid Rinse Station from Blendtec is a small, fast and efficient tool used to rinse and stack containers in sheer seconds. Effortlessly activate the powerful, stainless-steel spray nozzle by pressing the container against the platform to deliver 120-degree spray coverage. Best of all, this station can reduce exposure to harmful sanitizers and save time

Hi-Speed Oven

Alto-Shaam is releasing the Xcelerate Hi-Speed oven, expanding the company into the high-speed oven category. Xcelerate combines powerful microwave and air impingement technologies to cook up to 10 times faster than a conventional oven while maintaining a freshly baked taste, texture and appearance. Similar to Alto-Shaam’s vast line of commercial foodservice equipment, the energy-efficient Xcelerate

Boxed Water

Boxed Water, an eco-friendly and BPA-free alternative to bottled water, adds a new one-liter box and six-pack to its product line. Now available, the MSRP for the new one-liter and six-pack is $1.99 and $6.99, respectively. In addition to the two new products, complementing its original 500-milliliter SKU, Boxed Water distribution is quickly expanding. In

Cinnamon Treats

Mrs. Freshley’s, an award-winning brand of snack cakes and pastries from Flowers Foods, is expanding its partnership with Cinnabon to create two new Mrs. Freshley’s snacks featuring delicious Cinnabon cinnamon. New Mrs. Freshley’s Cinnamon Twirls and Mini Donuts, made with Cinnabon’s signature cinnamon are now available. Mrs. Freshley’s Cinnamon Mini Donuts made with Cinnabon cinnamon

All Day Panini

Satisfy your customers craving for something different with an “All-Day” Panini Sandwich from Tino’s Specialty Foods. Made with the finest and freshest ingredients, these sandwiches feature three mouthwatering classic flavor profiles…American, Cuban and Italian. The American version includes sugar-cured ham, Swiss cheese and a sweet and tangy honey mustard. The Cuban Panini combines seasoned Cuban

VP Racing Fuels Branding Program Gets Rave Reviews

Retailers weigh in with their experiences. These days, the true identity of the “Mad Scientist” at VP Racing Fuels Inc., could be debated. While the persona had its origins in VP founder Steve Burns’ passion and talent for formulating performance fuels to maximize horsepower, the moniker could just as easily apply today to VP’s president,

Consumer Optimism Falls as Gas Prices Rise

Rising gas prices are taking a toll on consumer optimism about the economy, with optimism falling to its lowest level since August 2014. Consumer optimism fell from 54% to 44%, the largest decrease in optimism in more than two years, according to survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). In the

Casey’s Posts Record Third Quarter

Strong inside sales and fuel margins aid growth. Casey’s General Stores Inc. reported diluted earnings per share of $1.01 for the third quarter of fiscal 2015 ended Jan. 31, 2015, compared to $0.33 per share for the same quarter a year ago. Year to date, diluted earnings per share were $3.57 compared to $2.73 a