Chicken Tops Food Pecking Order

The National Chicken Council (NCC) estimated that Americans devoured 1.3 billion wings during Super Bowl weekend this past February. That number represents a 3% spike over last year’s event. Perhaps a more interesting statistic is that 75% those wings consumed were purchased from foodservice outlets rather than supermarkets—meaning prepared chicken offerings are the popular pick

Vote Your Industry This Election

This year’s political election is one race that c-store members can influence for the betterment of the industry. By Jim Callahan It’s election year and certainly this time around it’s critically important that each and every one of us get invested and involved in the industry that provides our livelihood—if you’re not actively involved already.

How Cigarette Sales are Trending

According to widely-accepted economic theory, if fewer people start smoking and more adult smokers seek to quit each year, which has been the trend, then demand for cigarettes should decrease and sales revenue should follow suit. But according to recent figures, that scenario isn’t what’s happening right now. “Cigarettes have done better for the same

Tracking the Trends in 2016

CSD explores industry innovations, sales trends and outlooks for 38 key c-store categories. A CSD Staff Report Restrained economic times and stiff competition across the supply chain make it critical for convenience store operators to have a solid understanding of their customers, particularly high-frequency, high-value shoppers. Armed with clear insights, operators can manage the necessary

Rotten Robbie Ready to Grow

The northern California convenience retailer prepares to tackle the next phase of its future. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Arguably, California sports its own version of what may be perceived as the gold standard: the California Gold Rush, the state’s rich citrus industry, the Golden State Bridge, Beverly Hills and maybe even the Golden Warriors’

Tax Extenders Benefiting C-Stores

Once again, lawmakers waited until late in the year to pass another tax “extenders” bill. By Mark Battersby, Contributing Editor The new “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes” (PATH) Act of 2015 retroactively extended quite a few tax-saving provisions, many quite narrow in scope such as those for film and theater producers, NASCAR racetrack owners, racehorse

Why C-Stores Must Invest in Foodservice Equipment

Though a well-conceived menu is key to a launching a foodservice program, it takes the right tools to make it successful. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor With only enough space for a warming box, two of the convenience stores at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) were very limited as to the number and types

Bacon Leads Casey’s Foodservice Efforts

A focus on quality helps Casey’s foodservice program stand out. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor With more than 30 years of c-store foodservice experience under his belt, Darryl Bacon, vice president of foodservice for Casey’s General Stores, has been leading the company to foodservice success since he stepped into the role of foodservice director back

How QuikTrip is Shaping its Culinary Future

Nick Powell, corporate chef for QuikTrip Corp., has helped guide the convenience store retailer to the top of the foodservice pyramid. By David Bennett, Senior Editor While working in research and development for Tulsa, Okla.-based Bama Frozen Dough Co. seven years ago, Nick Powell enjoyed being part of a hometown company with a big business

How Kwik Trip Stays Focused on Fresh

Paul Servais leads the retailer’s efforts to drive foodservice sales. By John Lofstock, Editor While foodservice represents an extraordinary opportunity for convenience store retailers to grow sales, boost profits and swipe customers away from competitors, it is just another in-store category and needs to be treated as such. This means that while the category remains

Why Restrooms Matter

C-stores can make a good impression on patrons by maintaining clean and well-equipped facilities. By Traci Dawn Carneal, Contributing Editor Will the state of your restrooms put you out of business? Probably not, but why give consumers a reason not to buy? With competition for sales dollars on the rise and foodservice a common offering,

How To Provide On-the-Go Options

Customers want fresh food fast, that’s easy to eat on the go and features ingredients that excite. Quality sandwiches deliver fresh ideas that satisfy. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor As the demand for on-the-go foods with new and exciting ingredients continues, sandwiches are providing an efficient way for c-stores to provide new and customizable options in

How Flory’s Is Carving Its Own Niche

With a full-service deli business, idiosyncratic stores and strong community ties, this second-generation convenience chain is the best pit stop in the eastern Hudson Valley. By David Bennett, Senior Editor During the heyday of travel on Route 66, gas stations had their own unique identities. Akin to motels adorned with massive wagon wheels or furnished

How the CSD/Humetrics HR Survey Can Help You

In order to support the convenience store industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities for the new year, Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics are collaborating to provide insight into the industry most challenging problem, finding, hiring, retaining and motivating employees. For the eighth consecutive year, Convenience Store Decisions, in partnership with human resources expert Mel Kleiman is launching

How to Survive the Flavored Tobacco Controversy

Despite banking on cigar sales, more and more convenience stores face the fallout of local ordinances restricting consumer use. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor Last fall, Cleveland officials introduced proposed regulations to ban all flavored tobacco products throughout the city except at tobacco shops. Officials also wanted to raise the minimum purchasing age to

How to Curb Employee Theft

Encouraging best practices among employees requires effective training, monitoring and accountability. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Superior cash management and loss prevention strategies begin with best practices in labor management, including employee training, monitoring and accountability. A recent report from Retail Knowledge, a retail fraud and loss prevention firm, indicated that over the past three

How to Entice with E-Cigarettes in 2016

Despite lagging industry-wide sales in 2015, some e-cigarette brands are primed to post impressive numbers this year. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor Year-end figures confirmed what many convenience store operators have guessed for some time: the allure of non-combustible tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaporizers, has been burning lower than a few years ago.

How Pride Can Undo the Best and Brightest

Just when a company thinks it’s on top, that’s when it should take inventory of the basics. By Fran Duskiewicz Peter Tamburro, with whom I worked at Nice N Easy for almost 20 years, and I still get together now and then at Nice N Easy’s former executive meeting lounge, Graziano’s, in Canastota, N.Y. We

How to Sweeten Up Chocolate Sales

2016 chocolate trends include portability, portion-control, resealable packaging and shareability. By Brad Perkins, Contributing Editor As consumer tastes for snacks continue to evolve, one item remains supremely popular: Chocolate. It comes in many forms, styles and flavors, and it’s vitally important to convenience stores. Puro Research Group, publisher of the Packaged Facts report “Chocolate Candy

How Bakery can Boost Breakfast

Whether it’s a bagel, muffin or fritter, Americans are sweet on pairing their morning coffee with a fresh pastry. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Breakfast customers are increasingly looking to convenience store bakery cases for a doughnut or pastry to help them kick off their day. C-stores that feature bakery cases and keep them well

How to Brew a Better Coffee Program

More convenience stores are expanding their coffee programs to deliver quality and value to customers. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Convenience store operators are growing increasingly creative with their coffee programs— emphasizing quality and variety, while engaging and educating consumers on the latest category offerings. According to a recent Packaged Facts report, innovations are providing

How Meat Snacks Are Evolving

Because consumers have a variety of options, flavors and textures to choose from, this hearty category promises to be even more profitable in 2016. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor New flavors, healthier options and combination packs have created a marketing force that promises to drive meat snacks sales even higher in 2016. With more emphasis

What’s Ahead For Cigarette Sales?

If increased cigarette shipments are any indication, category sales could be robust in 2016. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor This past October, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau reported that cigarette shipments for the first half of 2015 had increased from the same period the previous year—the first year-over-year increase in cigarette shipments

Energy Drinks Moving Forward

Energy drinks continue to show vigor as the segment fills the gap created by fizzling carbonated soft drink sales. The question is: can energy sales continue to climb? By D. Gail Fleenor, Contributing Editor Energy drinks continue to grab more space in convenience store coolers. According to c-store data from IRI, a Chicago-based market research

Data: On the Level

When it comes to effectively tracking sales data and inventory, technology is changing at breakneck speed. If your company isn’t keeping up, then it’s probably behind the competition. By Traci Dawn Carneal, Contributing Editor In the fast-paced world of data collection and analysis, experts seem to agree on at least one thing—tracking sales by item,

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