Philip Morris Keeps Heat on Counterfeiters

Philip Morris USA filed two lawsuits in federal court yesterday in Los Angeles, Calif., aimed at stopping the importation, distribution, and sale of counterfeit cigarettes and the unauthorized use of PM USA’s trademarks. The suits arise from two seizures by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection at the Port of Los Angeles. Sorensen

Chevron Announces Revamped Credit Cards

Chevron Global Marketing will offer customers newly designed Chevron and Texaco personal credit cards that offer enhanced benefits, the company said. In the coming weeks, active Chevron and Texaco cardholders will be reissued the new personal credit cards, which feature a new design and a number of new features, including: * Road Service: Complimentary road

Tasty Return: Dunkin’ Donuts Offering Free Sweets With Coffee April 15

Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts said it’s planning to make April 15 a “less taxing day” when it offers customers nationwide the chance to receive a free donut with the purchase of any size cup of coffee. The company said it matters not if the customer still owes taxes, or if they’re entitled to a refund –

Alternative Fuel, Compact Cars Were Big Sellers in ’07

The ever-rising price of gas was the likely catalyst for a surge in the number of alternative fuel vehicles and compact cars rolling off U.S. car lots last year, but researchers suspect the scarcity of alt-fuel gas stations on the market could hamper eco-friendly vehicles from reaching their full potential. A new study from automotive

Some Snack Manufacturers Dropping Pre-Priced Packaging

As rising shipping and commodity costs are eroding profit margins for retailers, some are shying away from stocking snack items that list the manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the package, Brandweek reported. In kind, manufacturers are dropping the price tags altogether. Kraft removed the $1.99 suggested retail price from 12 Planters SKUs that are hitting

Average Gas Price Hits High…Again

Gas prices on Thursday hit another record high, jumping two-tenths of a cent to reach a national average of $3.289 per gallon. Regular unleaded was $3.168 a gallon on average at this time last month, and $2.70 a year ago. The price of crude oil has held above $100 a barrel, according to AAA. The

Demand Grows For Meat-Free Meals, Healthier Packaged Goods

NPD researchers say the demand for meat-free meals has spiked among U.S. consumers, and fast-casual chains would be smart to expand their non-meat products, the Web site fastcasual.com reported. While the number of strict vegetarians in the U.S. has hardly fluctuated since 1990, the demand for meat-free meals has grown. An estimated 1.5% of the

Chevron Partners with Tiger Woods

Chevron and the Tiger Woods Foundation said they will join together to enhance and develop programs, activities and events in support of the Foundation. As part of this new relationship, Chevron will assume the title sponsorship of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament, a significant fundraising event for the Tiger Woods Foundation. The event is

House Committee Approves FDA Regulation of Tobacco

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday completed a markup of legislation that would grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products, the Committee reported on its Web site. The Committee approved the bill, H.R. 1108, the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” with bipartisan support by

Conferring On Confections: AWMA, NACS, NCA Plan Confection Study

The American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA), National Confectioners Association (NCA)and National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) plan to map out an in-depth study on ways retailers can increase sales and profit through confection offerings. The three trade associations met last week to discuss the study, which will be researched by industry veteran Kit Dietz, of

Conn. C-Store Forced to Remove Outdoor Computers, Reduce Lighting

A zoning board in a Connecticut town has ordered a gas station owner to stop using computer screens at its gas pumps and to control lighting problems at the store, Voices Newspaper reported. The Monroe Zoning Board of Appeals upheld a zoning enforcement officer’s earlier order that required Monroe Food Mart to stop using animated

Kum & Go Adds Fourth Store in Oklahoma

Des Moines, Iowa c-store operator Kum & Go opened a 3,400-square-foot store in Owasso, Okla. this week, the company said. The store has four E85 dispensers for flex-fuel vehicles, making it the 29th Kum & Go location to offer alternative fuel services. The company has more than 430 stores in 12 states. “We’re ecstatic to

Big Brewers Boost Branding, Business

Miller Brewing Co. is rolling out a new packaging design for its best-selling brand, Miller Lite. The Miller Lite alteration will be a first for Miller since 2003. The new look will be seen on all Miller Lite bottles, cans, packaging, point-of-sale materials, store signage and Miller delivery trucks. "We believe this new iconic visual

Trail-Glazer: Dunkin’ Donuts Storms New Ground

Dunkin’ Donuts is rolling out plans to open dozens of stores in new and existing markets nationwide, including Milwaukee, Phoenix, Baltimore, St. Louis and Washington. Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc. recently signed a new franchisee, InterOcean Coffee Co. LLC, that will head up the openings of 122 Dunkin’ Donuts in the Milwaukee and Phoenix markets.

Wawa Offers Gas Discounts to Cash Customers

Pennsylvania-based Wawa is trying a gas-discount program at nine stores, offering customers a discount if they pay for gas with cash rather than credit or debit cards. The discounts are a way to skirt the interchange fees charged by credit card companies, though Wawa said the savings from the new program are ultimately being passed

McDonald’s Honors S&D Coffee

S&D Coffee Inc. was named McDonald’s 2007 Supplier of the Year. Concord, N.C.-based S&D sells premium roast coffees and iced tea to McDonald’s Corp. and 70,000 customers nationwide, some of which are convenience stores. McDonald’s has 13,700 restaurants in the U.S. and 30,000 worldwide, and presents its supplier of the year award annually to a

Understanding C-Store Shoppers

VideoMining has launched a new syndicated program called C-Store Shopper Insights (CSI-1) in cooperation with multiple C-store chains, including 7-Eleven and Shell Oil and Road Ranger. The goal of the landmark nationwide study is to develop a detailed understanding of the shopping process of all key consumer segments that visit C-stores. This understanding will help

Lettieri’s Adds Divisional Controller

Lettieri’s, an operating division of Hot Stuff Foods, said Dan Buvarp has joined its team as Divisional Controller. In this capacity, Buvarp will take the lead at Lettieri’s to streamline the accounting system’s financial reporting process as well as support the sales, operations and manufacturing teams. Buvarp is a CPA, who prior to accepting the

Indulging Consumers with Upscale Foodservice

Rocky Trail knows a traditional foodservice offering anchors his sprawling Minnesota travel center. But when he wanted to expand the program, he turned to a nontraditional c-store brand. Above all else, it was the national recognition of Cold Stone Creamery’s name that prompted Trail, president of Trail’s Travel Center of America in Albert Lea, Minn.,

Wawa Dons the Dinner Apron

When The NPD Group released findings last month on a study of consumer trends in the struggling restaurant industry, particularly the industry’s dwindling lunch and dinner traffic, NPD Vice President Harry Balzer boiled the results down to raw basics. "Make no mistake," Balzer said, "Americans don’t want to cook. We’re just trying to figure out

By the Numbers

» 1.5 Percentage of the U.S. populations that is vegitarian according to Harry Balzer, vice president of consumer and retail market research group NPD. » 27 Total number of states Hunt Brothers Pizza now operates in after reaching a deal to brand with a Stop ‘n’ Save convenience store in Gypsum, Colo. » 43 Percentage

Couche-Tard Acquires Illinois Stores

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, reached a deal through its Mac’s Convenience Stores subsidiary to acquire 15 units in central Illinois from Speedway SuperAmerica. The deal is expected close by the end of April. Couche-Tard, which has been rumored to be nearing a much larger deal that

Marathon Commits To Alternative Fuels

Marathon Oil Corp. said that 16 terminals located in five Midwestern states will convert to ethanol-blended fuel by May 1. Unblended gas products will no longer be offered at any of the terminals. Seven of the terminals are in Michigan, five are in Ohio and two are in Indiana. The remaining terminals are in Louisville,

CHS to Acquire Zip Trip

CHS Inc. said it reached a deal to acquire 33 Zip Trip convenience stores in the Spokane, Wash. area, owned in part by Jopo Inc. and Jo-By Enterprises LLC. Financial terms were not disclosed. All of the units will be rebranded under the Cenex retail brand this summer. The purchase will make Spokane the largest

Servicing the Customer

You pick up on a few things after 15 years in a business, but nothing more important than this: Always listen to the customer. “We’re getting more and more inquiries every day about customers that want alternative fuels in their stores,” said Brian Beggs, owner of Walt’s Petroleum Service in Schofield, Wis., the company he

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