CSD, Energy Drink Sales Soften

“With retail gas prices rising, we believe in-store sales were negatively impacted across all categories,” says Wells Fargo spokesperson. Total carbonated soft drink (CSD) excluding energy drinks, dollar sales in the U.S. convenience store channel were down -1.4% (+1.5% for prior 12-weeks) during the four-week period ending March 14, 2015, reported Wells Fargo Securities quoting


RILA Reacts To President’s Resolution Veto

‘Ambush Election’ Bill survives as President Obama vetoes resolution. President Barack Obama vetoed a resolution yesterday put forth by Republicans that would have ended a labor board rule finalized in December that is set to go into effect this month. The National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) rule in question shortens the length of time in

Mintel Examines Chocolate Category

Chocolate innovation has increased, with new product launches growing 18% between 2013-2014. Chocolate confectionery sales grew 24% over a five-year period from 2009-2014 to reach $21 billion in the U.S., the world’s largest chocolate market. However, the pace of growth slowed in 2014, following a pattern that has evolved over the past few measurement periods,

Dairy Remains a Patron Destination

Dairy products like ice cream and milk can prove productive parts of the c-store sales mix in the months to come provided retailers and suppliers are open to aggressive merchandising, flexible pricing and flavor innovation. According to Mary Chapman, senior director of product innovation for Chicago-based research and consulting firm Technomic Inc., 73% of consumers

Chocolate Still Sweet as Sales Stay Steady

Chocolate candy sales totaled $2.66 billion for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 28, 2014, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data. That’s a jump of 3.2% compared to same period the previous year. Unit sales for the same period totaled 1.83 billion, up 0.47% over the same period. Meanwhile, non-chocolate candy brought in dollar sales

Gum, Mints Require Creativity

The months to come will see c-store operators increasingly taking steps to restore or replace flagging sales of gum, either by crafting a more persuasive marketing message for older consumers or replacing some SKUs with popular mints. In the 52 weeks ending Nov. 30 2014, the regular gum segment—with $510.6 million in sales—remained much smaller

HBA Set To Grow This Year

Convenience stores will continue to do steady business with the health and beauty aid (HBA) category in 2015 and beyond as long as they stick to their knitting: good assortment, smaller package sizes, sharper merchandising, dependable employee assistance and seasonal products in stock when needed. Notably broad, the HBA category encompasses a slew of home

Car Washes Trending Upward

An improving economy has helped buoy car wash sales in some regions—a trend expected to continue in 2015. “We are seeing consistent top-line growth over the past 18 months—car wash counts (cars washed) and average ticket (average money spent by the consumer per wash) have both been trending upward,” said Eric Wulf, CEO of the

LED Pushes Lighting Advances Forward

For NOCO Express, last December’s grand opening of its newly rebuilt store in Grand Island, N.Y. marks the evolution of its stores—and on a lesser scale—its commitment to more efficient lighting. The renovation took the formerly 950-square-foot store to 4,000 square feet, and included environmentally-friendly building technologies to reduce energy consumption. These include low-watt LED

Alternative Fuels Expanding Market

The Fuels Institute predicts that E85 sales will increase from 196 million gallons in 2013 to between 400 million and 4.4 billion gallons in 2023. Today, between 2,685 and 3,349 retail fuel stations in the U.S. sell E85 flex fuel, according to the Fuels Institute report, “E85 A Market Performance Analysis and Forecast.” The report

ATMs Help C-Stores Cash In

The National ATM Council Inc. estimates there are upwards of 425,000 ATMs throughout the U.S. The majority are independently owned or operated as opposed to those operated by financial institutions. In fact, as banks have broadened online services, traffic to brick-and-mortar branches has softened, including visits to walk-up or drive-up ATMs. This situation has prompted

Gas Prices Plateau

If a nuclear deal is reached with Iran this week, oil prices could further dip, with pump prices to potentially follow. On Monday, March 30, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline rang in at $2.42 per gallon—only two cents more than one month ago but $1.13 less than the same date last year.

Payment Card Surcharge Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

California law ruled “an unconstitutional restriction on plaintiffs’ freedom of speech.” A new law passed in California that bans payment-card surcharges was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge last week, reported Pymnts.com In 2014 California businesses sued the state, claiming their First Amendment rights were being violated. They claimed a law banning surcharges restricted retailers’

Survey Points to Confidence in Foodservice Packaging Industry

Optimism reigns despite economic and environmental challenges. Industry growth and sales in 2014 has led the foodservice packaging industry to forecast even greater optimism for 2015 than last year, according to an annual survey conducted by the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI). Now in its 16th year, the annual State of the Industry Survey included input

TravelCenters Announces 2015 “Citizen Driver” Award Recipients

“Citizen Driver is a way to recognize the best of the best in the truck driving community,” says CEO of TravelCenters. TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, announced its second annual “Citizen Driver” Award recipients during the Citizen Driver ceremony at the 2015 Mid-America Trucking

CST Brands, CrossAmerica Partners Reorganize Leadership

CST Brands’ Jeremy Bergeron to take the helm as president of CrossAmerica Partners. CST Brands Inc. and CrossAmerica Partners LP announced that Joe Topper, the CEO and president of CrossAmerica, has decided to retire as CEO effective Sept. 30, 2015. In order to ensure a smooth leadership transition, Topper will resign as president of CrossAmerica

Wayne Fueling Systems Offers Gasoline for $1.49 Per Gallon

Wayne celebrates flagship fueling site at 7-Eleven in Round Rock with discounted fuel for first 100 guests on April 2. Wayne Fueling Systems, a global provider of fuel dispensing, payment, automation, and control technologies for retail and commercial fuel stations, whose corporate headquarters are in Austin, Texas, joins convenience retailer 7-Eleven in inviting the Central

Kwik Chek Partners With P97 Networks

Rolls out mobile app for a more secure, convenient customer experience. Kwik Chek, which operates 39 locations across Texas and Oklahoma, is pioneering new connected, personalized experiences for its customers by partnering with P97 Networks. P97 Networks built on Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) services and other Microsoft technologies to create a pair of

General Mills Outlines Key to Winning in Snacks

“To drive traffic and leverage snack occasions throughout the day, c-stores must offer both healthier and more indulgent snacks with messaging around better-for-you snacking in the morning and towards satisfying cravings or treats later in the day,” says General Mills spokesperson. Snacking is a very important occasion for convenience store retailers, but different types of

CDC Ads Take Aim At E-Cigs

“We believe leadership is needed—both at the FDA and in the public health community—to stem the increasingly negative messaging about the e-cig/vapor category,” says Wells Fargo spokesperson. New CDC ads, which are set to begin airing Monday, March 30, depict warnings from former smokers and, for the first time ever, former e-cig users/vapers, which the

House Takes First Step on Data Breach Notification Standard

Retailers Laud Rep. Pompeo amendment on third-party notification. The National Retail Federation (NRF) issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade’s markup of The Data Security and Breach Notification Act: “We commend the Subcommittee for moving forward

Taco Bell Debuts Biscuit Taco

“This year is about making sure we continue to give people the food they crave in a way that’s unique to Taco Bell,” says CEO, Taco Bell Corp. It’s been one year since Taco Bell shook up morning routines and launched its innovative Breakfast menu of Burritos, all-in-one AM Crunchwraps and Cinnabon Delights. Yesterday, Thursday,

The Hershey Co. Reveals Easter Traditions

Exploring Future Fuel Demand

Drivers are becoming younger, but it doesn’t mean they’re driving more. By David Bennett, Senior Editor One of the forwarding looking topics at this year’s M-PACT show in Indianapolis is how new technology is driving U.S. fuel sales. In some cases, however, technology is combining with other factors to slow fuel sales, including younger Americans’

Nielsen, RetailNext Form Strategic Relationship

“We are committed to collaborating with the best in the industry to bring impactful solutions to retailers,” says president of global retail, Nielsen. Nielsen and RetailNext, providers in retail analytics for brick-and-mortar stores, announced a strategic alliance that will bring RetailNext proprietary technology on in-store analytics to Nielsen’s retail client base, including grocery, mass, drug,