Cold and Frozen Beverages Offer Promise

Inside the Numbers: J&H Family Express Stores 60+% Profit margin on fountain drinks. $5,000 Amount spent on cold and frozen dispensing equipment per store. 10 Stores Scheduled to have cold/frozen equipment upgraded in 2010. 2 Years Anticipated ROI for the beverage units. 10% Projected percentage of store sales from cold and frozen dispensed beverages with

Realizing Prepaid’s Potential

The major prepaid areas c-store retailers are going to want to watch over the next year are general purpose reloadable cards (GPR), both open and closed loop gift cards, and cards for digital media, game and ring tones. The economy especially has spurred the growth of GPR products. “You’re going to see more folks buying

Core Brands Drive Candy

The confectionery retail market grew across all trade channels in 2009, but supermarkets, dollar stores and warehouse clubs outpaced the overall retail market in 2009, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). NCA also noted c-stores brought in $4.6 billion in dollar sales in 2009, up 3%. Seasonal confectionary sales were up 1.2% in 2009

Brands, Promotions Benefit CSDs

Concern For CSDs 16 million fewer Americans are drinking sugary soft drinks today compared to six years ago (68% of adults versus 76%). 7.8 million switched to diet soft drinks. 24 million have moved to bottled water. 17 million are opting for energy drinks. 11 million have tried sports drinks. 16 percent of Americans are

Putting the Back-Office to Work

Inside the Numbers: Zarco 66 8 Number of stores. $35 million Total annual systemwide revenue. $20,000 Cost of its new POS/back office system on the front end. $70,000 Cost of its new POS/back office system on the back end. 25% Percentage of store sales from foodservice at the chain’s first store with the new system

Customer Surge in Snacking

The dried meat snacks category overall (including jerky) celebrated a healthy 2009 ringing up more $872.48 million in total dollar sales, up about 1% compared to 2008. Unit sales, however, slipped 3% to 424.43 million for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 27, 2009, according to Information Resources (IRI) . Breaking down the category by segment,

Juices and Teas Bounce Back

Innovation, health and pricing are some of the factors that will help or hinder c-store operators looking to make money with juices and teas in 2010. While juices and teas have struggled over the past few years, 2009 was sort of a renaissance year for the category as both segments experienced sales gains. Overall, for

Raising the Bar on Energy Sales

The first sports and energy bars in the U.S. were marketed primarily to serious athletes, through alternative channels such as health food stores. These bars did not have wide appeal or distribution as recently as 1990, but over the past two decades these products have since gained mass appeal and distribution after greatly improving flavor

Buzzing Over Beer Sales

State of beer: Despite a strong outlook for 2010, U.S. beer shipments dropped by 2.2% in 2009. Thousands of        Barrels Shipped $2,008 2,009 Change Anheuser-Busch $107,025 104,800 ($2,225.00) MillerCoors $64,500 63,300 ($1,200.00) Crown Imports $11,583 11,000 ($583.00) Heineken USA $8,960 8,575 ($385.00) Pabst $5,900 5,700 ($125.00) Selling beer, wine and other adult

Marketing Cigars in Tough Times

Despite the SCHIP tobacco taxes that hit on April 1, 2009, cigar sales continue to persevere. The federal taxes on large cigars rose from 20.719% of the wholesale price with a tax cap of 4.875 cents per cigar to 52.75% of the wholesale price with a tax cap of 40.26 cents per cigar. The tax

Renewed Optimism for Smokeless tobacco and tobacco chewing products

The simple truth is that no one is certain what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will come up with next now that it has been given de facto control of the tobacco industry. But between bureaucratic control freaks, national, state and local taxes, and even the whispered fear of retailer liability concerns ahead, many

Rolling Right Along

Turning a Profit The times have changed. Just as c-store foodservice evolved to meet the needs of fresh, fast and friendly service, so have the items that star on the roller grill. “Gone are the days of the shriveled hot dog, whose origins and expiration date are unknown,” said Tim Powell, the c-store foodservice program

Empowering Foodservice Customers

The latest technologies being used to manage c-store foodservice programs—from touchscreens and POS ordering terminals to digital signage—are allowing marketers to enhance communications and streamline operations. Touchscreens communicate the menu in a very efficient way. This is especially important as chains look to build incremental sales and make more subtle changes like expanding the number

The Coffee Cup Hotel

C-stores are known for providing a myriad of services, but could your stores house customers for the night if the weather turned bad? Coffee Cup Fuel Stops, which operates eight 24-hour locations in the Dakotas and Wyoming, is no stranger to hosting overnight guests at its Summit, S.D. location, where winter storms have been known

The Complete Foodservice Package

As demand for grab-and-go soars, convenience store foodservice managers are looking more than ever for packaging to not only maintain product quality and consistency, but be environmentally friendly and serve as a marketing vehicle. That’s a lot of responsibility to heap on stuff customers casually toss away. “I don’t know that takeout packaging is changing

The 2010 Foodservice Report

Convenience store operators still not convinced foodservice is the future take heed. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is predicting record-high sales of $580 billion in 2010. Furthermore, of the 70 different retail segments NRA tracks, the group identified convenience stores as the food industry’s “bright spot” when it comes to meeting consumer demand for fresh

Keeping It Fresh

Now that customers are used to finding fresh food at their local c- stores the pressure is on the roller grill to maintain its share of foodservice sales. Thanks to the innovation of retailers and suppliers alike, the roller grill continues to turn out strong sales. Chains are bundling meals with fountain drinks and chips

Breaking into Branding

Branded Check List Retailers planning to add a branded foodservice program should consider the start up cost as well what long-term factors will influence profitability such as additional labor and rising food costs. “You have to decide what’s best for you,” said Sandy Arrasmith of J&H Family Stores. “Take a look at the brand you

Expanding the Foodservice Menu

Most convenience store operators don’t offer a whole lot of seafood on their menus, which is usually fine, because convenience store customers aren’t looking for seafood. Logistical issues, product-paucity, quality and food safety concerns are among the fears retailers have about investing in the seafood segment. But given seafood’s health benefits and generally growing popularity

Hiring Mistakes We’ve All Made

1. Not Knowing What You’re Looking For. You can’t hit the target when you don’t know what it looks like. Define what you’re looking for by writing a job analysis that spells out the mental and physical capacities, attitudes, personality and skills you need. 2. Not Thinking Outside the Box.  One overlooked source of candidates

Six R’s and One C Spell Retention

The 2009 EDGE Report published by Robert Half International and CareerBuilder, offers a great overview of the job market today and what it looks like in the near future. The survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2009 and the results are based on the responses of 500 hiring managers and 500 workers age

Honoring the Industry’s Top Suppliers

Nearly 100 convenience store chains representing some 23,000 convenience stores nationwide came together to identify the key suppliers in two dozen in-store categories as part of Convenience Store Decisions’ 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards. This study was designed and conducted by Hagen Marketing Research Inc. in cooperation with CSD.  The primary purpose of the study was

Community Cries Foul Over Canned Canine

Customers are standing behind their favorite convenience store employee, Cody, a chocolate Labrador recently banned from his post at a BP convenience store in Clearwater, Fla., by the state’s Department of Agriculture. Cody had long accompanied store-owner Karim Mansour to the store a couple times a week, except during a short period of time when

Going Green to Reduce Costs

Wanting to help save the world is admirable, but unless a real cost-savings can be realized convenience store operators seem to agree this economy is not the best time to be experimenting with “green” investments. The key to sustainability issues, then, is finding that balance, and that’s where several c-store chains are differentiating themselves. Scott

Tracking the 2010 Fuel Market

Heading into 2010 there seems to be one constant in the energy markets—be it international, domestic, or local—and that is supplies should not be the issue in the New Year. This means that while demand will ebb and flow as it is want to do over the course of the calendar, barring an unforeseen change,

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