chocolate

New Products Drive Chocolate Sales

Despite a host of new product introductions and package sizes, chocolate SKUs are holding strong at convenience stores. At Zarco 66, different product configurations and package types and sizes of long-time favorite brands are keeping the category fresh and appealing to a wide range of consumers, said Scott Zaremba, owner of the 10-store Kansas chain.

health and beauty

Capitalizing on Health and Beauty Trends

With healthcare capturing so many headlines these days, the health and beauty category (HBC) has taken on added importance in the c-store set. Fueling much of the growth: smaller package sizes that save shoppers money and stimulate impulse sales. The category—from shampoos and skin creams to cough drops and cold remedies—has always had its rightful

milk splash

Mixed Results for the Dairy Business

With dairy consumption in America trending downward, c-store operators will need to sharpen their merchandising and promotional skills, and provide consumers with alternatives, to keep business brisk. “I can tell you that while the ice cream business is solid, the overall dairy business is declining rapidly,” said Richard Reilly, president of family-run Reilly’s Dairy Inc.

iced tea

Tea Sales Remain Solid While Packaged Juice Falters

While innovation is a valued component to every category, the juices and teas segment of packaged beverages seems to be particularly prone to new twists and creative concepts. Largely in response to consumers looking for more functionality and added value in their libations, drink manufacturers have been rolling out juices and teas infused with vitamins,

energy shots

Energy Shots Growth Slows, But Remains Steady

Selling energy shots is highly advantageous. The small package size means retailers can place them in multiple locations without taking away from other items. Because most people drink them warm, they don’t need to take valuable cooler space. And the standard $2.99 price gives them a nice ring. Retailers report brisk sales to everyone from

Energy

Big Brands Boost Energy Drinks Success

Soft drink sales might be flat, but thanks to energy drinks, the convenience store cold vault is as popular as ever. The energy drinks category saw dollar sales in convenience stores of $6.67 billion for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2013, according to IRI Convenience All Scan data. Dollar sales were up 5.94% from

fountain4

Innovation Drives Cold, Frozen Dispensed Beverages

More than ever, consumers are looking for variety, convenience, speedy service and value when it comes to purchasing cold and frozen dispensed beverages, said Tandy Arrant, business manager for Lubbock, Texas-based United Express convenience stores.   Over the past year, Arrant said, the stores have experienced double-digit sales increases in this category, and he expects

carbonated

Despite Popularity, Carbonated Soft Drinks Facing Challenges

Not very long ago, carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) were the rage of a young Baby Boomer generation. Coke and Pepsi ruled the cold door, and life was good for convenience store retailers. But that day has passed, as the category has been flat—or even in decline—for several years, forcing retailers to reset coolers to capitalize

water

Bottled Water, Sports Drinks Remain Strong

Make no mistake—the move away from carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) to what consumers perceive as healthier beverage options is for real. This includes a shift from diet CSDs as well as full-caloried offerings. And one of the major beneficiaries of this move has been the bottled water category, including flavored and enhanced offerings. According to

Beer2

Craft, Imports Propel Beer

Beer has long been a staple of convenience stores—a destination stop for adult consumers looking to pick up a 6- or 12-pack on the go. But over the years, consumer trends have changed exactly what they’re picking up. The first change came in the 1970s and early ‘80s, when the Baby Boomer generation matured, and

BEER

Roadrunner Pushes Forward with Innovative Retail Programs

A growler beer program and self-serve frozen yogurt bring fun concepts to the chain’s customers in four states. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor /News & Online Innovation is the corner stone of all successful retail offerings and Roadrunner Markets is fully committed to keeping its store programs fun and exciting.Mountain Empire Oil’s Roadrunner Markets, with

foodemployeeLARGE

Winter Weather Pummels Foodservice Sales

“We expect that consumers will enthusiastically return to foodservice in the spring, but January and February have to be considered lost dining occasions for foodservice operators,” says Technomic spokesperson.    Some 40% of foodservice operators nationally indicate that the weather since Jan. 1 has had a negative impact on sales according to a research report

acquisition

The NPD Group Signs Market Information Agreement With Nielsen

Exclusive school and office supplies market information agreement will offer the industry’s most complete information for total market view. The NPD Group Inc., a global information company, has signed a market information services agreement with Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, for school and office supplies retail

International Dairy Deli Bakery Association

IDDBA President Passes Away

“Carol has built an effective, committed team and our operations have grown and improved every year thanks to her inspiring, innovative leadership,” says IDDBA senior vice president. Carol Christison, longtime International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) president died March 4, 2014. Christison replaced retiring International Cheese & Deli Association Executive Director, Willard Reese in December of 1982

PEAPOD VIRTUAL GROCERY STORE

Report Reveals 2014 Grocery Trends

Five years from now, the U.S. grocery landscape is set to look markedly different. Planet Retail has released a report titled “U.S. Grocery Retailing 014: Top trends shaping tomorrow’s landscape,” analyzing five big trends reshaping the grocery landscape “Change is the only constant. An old saying indeed, but one that aptly captures the direction U.S.

citgonew1

CITGO, PS Food Mart Kick Off Fight Hunger Give Hope Campaign

Annual program will raise funds for local food pantries. PS Food Mart Charities has announced the launch of the fifth annual Fight Hunger Give Hope campaign in support of local food banks. From March 3 through March 16, 31 participating PS Food Mart stores in Michigan and Ohio will join together with a goal to

Russell Mancuso named Kretek VP

Kretek International Appoints Vice President of Field Sales

New product lines and expansion into new categories leads to appointment of new vice president of field sales. Kretek International Inc. has appointed Russell Mancuso as vice president of field sales, with responsibility for direction and focus of the Kretek national sales force for all Kretek brands.  Mancuso will report to Kretek National Sales Vice

2_7,2oz_PC_Deli_Orgnl

Better-For-You Pretzel Crisps

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps has introduced two new flavorful additions and a new product line to its better-for-you snack offerings. Expanding the popular Deli Style line of Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps are HONEY MUSTARD & ONION and SEA SALT & CRACKED PEPPER, two versatile options that, like all Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, are perfect for

Parallel2Serial-3-448x334

Hardware Solution

VRX Company Inc. has announced the kit form solution of the VR2004 Text Inserter, configured for parallel printer data to both pass data through and also to convert to serial data. This solution allows you to maintain your connection to, for instance, a parallel printer while also transferring the data to the serial COM port

wheatThins

Whole Grain Snack

Mondelez International Inc. has announced that Wheat Thins Popped is hitting retailers nationwide beginning this March 2014 for a suggested retail price of $3.69. Wheat Thins Popped will boast the same great taste as Original Wheat Thins and will be the first popped whole grain snack with wheat as the first ingredient. With less than

Mang-o-Rita 8oz 12 pack

Bud Light Lime Expands

The popular Bud Light Lime Ritas franchise is doubling. The brand is introducing two new permanent flavors—Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita—as the third and fourth flavor profiles in the Bud Light Lime Ritas family, which also launched a fifth flavor—Bud Light Lime Cran-Brrr-Rita—as a  limited-time season offering  in 2013. The brand anticipates continued success with the launch

employeephoto

The 2014 Category Management Outlook

With the industry facing heightened competition and shrinking margins, CSD offers retail insights, expert analysis and emerging trends from more than 30 key in-store categories. A CSD Staff Report While other retail channels have endured sluggish sales and numerous other customer challenges over the past three years, the convenience store and petroleum industry hasn’t missed

chicken

C-Stores Bullish on Chicken

When Larry Miller started in the c-store business in the 1960s, he cut up chicken for the store’s meat market section. But most stores were skittish when it came to prepared products. Handling raw chicken and properly cooking presented minefields. No longer. “The supply chain is safer and the equipment makes it easier to prepare,”

roller grill

Roller Grill Trends Toward Innovation, Made to Order

In 2014, convenience stores are finding they can up their foodservice profile with specialty sausages, a range of breakfast options and different bun types, such as biscuits. “Roller grill offerings have really evolved and expanded in recent years. While hot dogs remain a staple, c-store operators are offering a broader range of items that meet

sandwiches

Sandwiches Made Their Way

In 2014, sandwiches continue to be in high demand among convenience store consumers. Whole grain breads—as well as flatbreads, wraps and all kinds of artisan breads—and specialty cheeses and meats are among options grabbing customer attention. Rutter’s Farm Stores, with 59 locations in York, Pa., has seen success with a number of sandwich items. “Grilled

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