Specialty Water

TOP PERFORMERS Glaceau VitaminWater (Coca-Cola Co.) Gatorade, Propel (PepsiCo) SoBe Life Water (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Metromint With demand for enhanced waters showing no signs of abating, it is clear that consumers continue to seek the benefits of vitamins and other specialty ingredients in their beverages. According to a Nielsen study released in November, the unsweetened


Fully Prepared Hot & Cold Sandwiches

TOP PERFORMERS Deli Express (E. A. Sween Co.) Landshire Inc. Pierre Foods HONORABLE MENTIONS Jimmy Dean (Sara Lee Foodservice) Lettieri’s (Hot Stuff Foods) Proprietary foodservice programs get a lot of love and admiration for their relentless innovation and ingenuity, and even branded fast-food concepts tend to get their share of attention from convenience operators who


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


TOP PERFORMERS Swisher International Inc. Swedish Match Altadis USA HONORABLE MENTIONS John Middleton (Philip Morris USA) Royal Blunts (New Image Global) PrimeTime Cigars New insights on the cigar category reveal that retailers who manage the tobacco segment more strategically benefit from accelerated growth and a larger share of the market. “Retailers focused on offering a

Sunoco Downsizing

Sunoco Inc. said it is selling off 165 convenience stores and gas stations in the Eastern U.S.  The properties are located in selected markets in Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Philadelphia-based Sunoco operates a network of approximately 4,700 retail sites—including the APlus

Prepared Foods

TOP PERFORMERS Sara Lee Foodservice Oscar Meyer (Kraft Foods Inc.) Ruiz Foods Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Don Miguel Mexican Foods Inc. Stouffer’s (Nestle) Old-time retailers tell it this way: Some years ago, convenience customers were more willing to give up a little something on quality—in the way of food, at least—if it meant they’d get something

Smokeless tobacco market plans, snue and spit free product information

TOP PERFORMERS Copenhagen (Philip Morris USA) Skoal (Philip Morris USA) Grizzly (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) HONORABLE MENTIONS Kodiak (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) Timberwolf (Swedish Match) Longhorn (Swedish Match) Few product categories are as dynamic as smokeless tobacco, which helps make managing the set all the more interesting. With so many new products, flavors and line

Retaining Talent For The Future

The best thing about the economy being such a dog? Employers get the pick of the litter when it comes to job candidates. Worcester, Mass.-based Honey Farms Mini-Market landed an expert last month when it hired retail veteran Lisa Clement to oversee nine Honey Farm stores in the Worcester and Middlesex county markets. Just weeks

Branded Fast Food

TOP PERFORMERS Subway Subs & Salads McDonald’s Corp. Dunkin’ Brands HONORABLE MENTIONS Blimpie Dairy Queen Nothing draws a customer like credibility, and name brands come with credibility built in. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in foodservice.  Just ask John Cary, director of operations at the 38-unit Uppy’s chain in Virginia. “If we have

Point Of Sale

TOP PERFORMERS Gilbarco Veeder-Root Verifone Inc. Professional Data Solutions Inc. (PDI) HONORABLE MENTIONS Dresser Wayne FACTOR Inc. Pinnacle Corp. With convenience stores offering more services and profit centers, operators need a point-of-sale (POS) system that can easily integrate each component without driving up operating costs. Consider the rapid expansion of loyalty programs—successful chains have been

Soft Drinks

TOP PERFORMERS Pepsi Coca-Cola Mountain Dew (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) Sprite (Coca-Cola Co.) Carbonated soft drink sales may be slowing a bit, but they still dominate convenience store coolers. Chalk it up to brand-loyal buyers or market saturation, but one thing is certain: This is a packaged beverage segment retailers


TOP PERFORMERS Sara Lee Foodservice Bon Appetite Prairie City Bakery HONORABLE MENTIONS Rich Products Mrs. Freshley’s Convenience retailers across the board are rolling out innovative approaches to boost their foodservice sales, and many are looking to the trusted breakfast daypart as a proving grounds for new ideas to lure new customers. This means plenty of

Cash Management

TOP PERFORMERS Tidel Engineering Triton Systems Brink’s Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Armor Safe Technologies Tokheim Operators in any retail channel will find it impossible to survive in today’s environment without a secure, accurate and reliable cash-management system, though convenience retailers in particular are faced with added challenges on this front.  A tough economy increases theft internally

Juices And Teas

TOP PERFORMERS Lipton (PepsiCo) Tropicana (PepsiCo) Minute Maid (Coca-Cola Co.) HONORABLE MENTIONS AriZona Beverage Co. SoBe (PepsiCo) 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

Car Wash & Equipment

TOP PERFORMERS Mark VII Equipment Inc. Ryko Manufacturing PDQ Manufacturing Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Ecolab Inc. Autec Inc. If your car wash is poorly maintained or functioning improperly, it’ll be dead in the water in no time.   “First of all, make sure that the car wash itself is functioning and in good shape,” said Mark


TOP PERFORMERS PaySpot Inc. Coinstar Inc. Verizon HONORABLE MENTIONS InComm AT&T With the economy bogged down in a recession and job losses at the highest levels in decades, spooked consumers are no doubt learning to live on less—less money, less credit and less frivolity.  Prepaid solutions—whether it’s wireless sales, debit card transactions, gift cards and

Isotonics and Energy Drinks

TOP PERFORMERS Red Bull Monster (Hansen Beverage Co.) Gatorade (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Powerade (Coca-Cola Co.) Full Throttle (Coca-Cola Co.) Gulf Oil General Manager Terri Murray sums this category up about as sweetly as you can. “When energy drinks first came out, I don’t think any of us were sure what was going to happen,” Murray

Packaged Healthy Snacks

TOP PERFORMERS Chex Mix (General Mills) Planters Trail Mix/Sunflower Seeds (Kraft Foods Inc.) Kellogg’s Special K Nutra Grain Bar HONORABLE MENTIONS Gardetto’s (General Mills) Keebler (Kellogg Co.) While some retailers are still debating whether they should add healthy snacks to their product mix, others are creating entire programs based on healthier concepts. Entire brands, in

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