TOP PERFORMERS Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. MillerCoors Heineken USA HONORABLE MENTIONS Mike’s Hard Lemonade Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.) Corona (Crown Imports) The economy may be slowing, customers may be spending less, but beer sales remain solid at convenience stores. A recent report by AC Nielsen shows beer sales are least affected by the current poor



TOP PERFORMERS Tyson Foods Inc. Chester’s International The Broaster Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Krispy Krunchy Chicken Squawkers (Brakebush Brothers) For such a little creature, chicken certainly knows how to command a formidable presence on foodservice menus.  To fully grasp this indefatigable bird’s share of American stomachs, look no further than this: Each U.S. consumer gobbled up

Cody’s Goes To Kum & Go

Cody’s Convenience Stores at a Glance Headquarters: Springfield, Mo. Store Count: 37 Fuel Brand: Phillips 66 Missouri Markets: Battlefield, Bolivar, Clever, Fair Grove, Hollister, Joplin, Monett, Neosho, Nixa, Republic, Rogersville, Springfield, Waynesville and Webb City. Distinctions: The Cody’s Gift Card, live bait, financial services, full-service delis and various leading foodservice concepts. It took the right

Innovation Drives Frozen Sales

  TOP PERFORMERS Coca-Cola Co. PepsiCo ICEE (J&J Snack Foods) HONORABLE MENTIONS F’Real! Foods Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) Slush Puppie (J&J Snack Foods) It’s little surprise that The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo were ranked as top performers in the dispensed cold beverages category, but innovators like J&J Snack Foods and F’Real! are certainly


TOP PERFORMERS Philip Morris USA R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Lorillard Tobacco Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Commonwealth Brands Inc. Liggett Vector Since the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), tobacco taxes and sales from tax-free sources continue to plague the convenience store industry. Cigarettes continue to be the top in-store category based on sales dollars. On a monthly

Budgets Tightened, Jobs Squeezed

As retailers big and small continue shedding jobs amid economic troubles, some convenience and petroleum brands bleed a little, some bleed a lot.  The industry is taking its share of hits in this economic tsunami, but if there’s any consolation, it’s this: Their wounds aren’t nearly as deep as those suffered in other retail channels.

Dispensed Beverages: Hot

TOP PERFORMERS S&D Coffee Boyd Coffee Folgers (J.M. Smucker Co.) HONORABLE MENTIONS Sara Lee Foodservice Ronnoco Coffee Co. If you haven’t figured it out by now, most customers aren’t going to be happy with a one-pot coffee program bookended by a cup of sugar and a bowl of curdled creamer.  They could get that at

McLane Focused on Mo.

McLane Co. Inc., the Texas-based supply chain services company, said it is building a 400,000-square-foot distribution center on Republic’s west side that would employ about 400 people, according to the Springfield Business Journal. McLane agreed to build the facility on 132 acres in Republic, Mo. It is buying the property from Drury University for an

Compliance Focused

Walters-Dimmick Petroleum Inc. of Marshall, Mich., said it reached a deal to install Gilbarco FlexPay Encrypting PIN Pads at their 75 Shell-branded locations across southwestern Michigan, northern Indiana, and northern Ohio. “Acting early allowed us to save money. We could properly plan the retrofit program, take advantage of incentives available under the Shell Technology Incentive

McLane Introduces Candy Multi-Vendor End Cap

McLane, the industry top wholesaler, today announced that its Candy Multi-vendor End Cap (Candy MVE) is now available to convenience stores across the country. This program provides retailers a cost-effective merchandising opportunity in the highly profitable candy segment. Impulse buying continues to represent a significant revenue source for convenience stores, with 37% of those sales

7-Eleven’s Bold New Brew

Coffee-drinkers who prefer stronger, darker brews touted as coffeehouse blends have a new option on the 7-Eleven hot beverage bar–BRAZILIAN Bold. The new premium blend features select Arabica beans grown in the mountains of Central and South America. Priced at the same retail per cup as all other 7-Eleven hot beverages, the new, robust coffee

Alcoholic Beverages Under Fire in Md. C-Stores

Some Maryland lawmakers think a smart way to cut back on underage drinking is to restrict sales of malternatives or “alcopops,” soft drink-like alcoholic beverages that appeal to young drinkers. Maryland’s House of Delegates held a hearing Monday on restricting the sale of such beverages to retailers with licenses to sell beer, wine and liquor,

Craft Brews Jumping

The Brewers Association, which tabulates industry growth data for U.S. breweries, announced that today’s small independent craft brewers are gaining alcohol market share due to a shift toward full flavor beer and increased support for local breweries. From 2007 to 2008, estimated sales by craft brewers were up 5.8% by volume and 10.5% in dollars.

Cumberland Partners with a Pro

Cumberland Farms Inc. has more than 7,000 employees and it’s growing. Recognizing it needed a more effective solution for end-to-end strategic human resources, payroll and talent management, the New England c-store chain selected Ultimate Software’s UltiPro to oversee the process. With a network of 650 retail convenience stores and gas stations, and a support system

Bankruptcy’s Ripple Effect

A fuel distributor’s financial problems have temporarily shut down at least two area gas stations and is still causing credit card problems at others. The Prairie Village Shell station and the Overland Park Grab-N-Go convenience store are temporarily closed due to the recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization by Crescent Oil Co. Inc, according to The

GT Reached MSA Settlement

North Carolina-based cigarette manufacturer, General Tobacco said it has reached an agreement with states that signed the tobacco industry’s Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with respect to compliance with its obligations under the MSA. The states entering into that agreement will support a permanent amendment to the terms under which General Tobacco entered into the MSA

Fuel Drops Nationwide

By Brian L. Milne is the Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Double-digit declines were reported in virtually every large metropolitan gasoline wholesale market across the United States during the third full week of February. The question becomes will the steady increase in retail gasoline prices, which have moved higher in every week in 2009 except

Sheetz Does, In Fact, Hire The Best

An 18-year-old who works as an employee at a Pittsburgh-area Sheetz store has earned himself some major accolades and recognition from folks in his community. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Justin Stuebgen, 18, has become the first winner of the “Junior Volunteer Citizen of the Year” award from the Armstrong County Chamber of Commerce. The

Bulk Petroleum Files Chap. 11

Bulk Petroleum Corp., which supplies gasoline to more than 200 gas stations throughout the Midwest, has filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Bulk Petroleum is owned by Darshan Dhaliwal. Its estimated assets and liabilities range from $50 million to $100 million, according to its filing in U.S. Bankruptcy

New York Chef Praises Wawa Hoagies

A new chef hired to lead Allen & Delancey, a restaurant in New York’s Lower East Side, heaped praises on the Wawa hoagie during an interview with a popular New York blog this week. The blog, Gothamist, is a site in the Gothamist LLC network of blogs, was founded in early 2003. The bloggers interviewed

PepsiCo Touts New Snack For Women

PepsiCo is aiming a new snack at women who are looking for a low-calorie, healthier alternative to mainstream snacking, according to Reuters. Additionally, Pepsi also announced that it signed a deal with Rockstar Energy, where it will distribute the energy drink through its bottlers, including Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas. Terms for the energy-drink deal

Love’s Team Donates $165K To Nonprofits

Oklahoma City-based Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has launched a new program in conjunction with the company’s 45th anniversary, “Making a Difference From the Heart.” Love’s founder and CEO Tom Love and his daughter, Jenny Love Meyer, announced the new program on Valentine’s Day last week. The program makes $165,000 available to nonprofit organizations

Handee Marts Wins Ethics Award

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals announced the 2008 recipients of its eighth annual Pittsburgh Business Ethics Awards (PBEA), held on Feb. 13 at a Pittsburgh hotel, and convenience store operator Handee Marts Inc. took away top honors in its category. The awards were presented to honor Pittsburgh-area companies that demonstrate

Mark VII Grows In Michigan

Mark VII Equipment Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, a supplier of innovative solutions for the carwash business worldwide, said it has purchased the Michigan assets of PDQ distributor Washing Equipment Technologies. Mark VII said it will service former Washing Equipment Technologies customers via its existing direct-service operation in Michigan, which has

Sara Lee Highlights Growth Initiatives

Sara Lee Corp. presented new growth initiatives during the annual Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference, with company Chairman and CEO Brenda Barnes highlighting the plans. Discussing the company’s progress on its multi-year transformation, Barnes detailed Sara Lee’s expanding global customer portfolio and product innovation and marketing efforts. She also addressed Sara Lee’s