ecigarettes

E-Cigarettes Continue to Evolve

Sales of e-cigarettes in the U.S. are set to grow 24.2% per year through 2018, according to a projection from market provider Research and Markets Ltd. Those are promising figures for many convenience retailers who continue to take stock in data from such groups as StatisticBrain.com, which estimates that 2.7% of U.S. adults have tried

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette)

Vaping Products Add Juice for Retailers

Vaping products and production processes continue to develop, spurring a category full of potential for convenience stores. As the category continues to evolve with new technology, retailers can expect a big push from many smaller manufacturers to the closed systems, as the majors take over the traditional e-cigarette category. The open systems continue to experience

ryo

RYO Spells Profit Potential

With some smart retailing, assistance from suppliers and a bit of help from Capitol Hill, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco over the past year has accounted for nearly half of total other tobacco products (OTP) sales, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI). Going forward, RYO should continue to be a productive part of c-store tobacco sets, led

Colorful Cigarette Lighters

Accessories Make Tobacco Category Complete

Cigarette and cigar lighters, as well as rolling papers, electronic cigarette accessories, ash trays, cigar cases, cutters and humidors, pipes and pipe accessories, will continue to provide add-on sales at c-stores throughout 2015. Tobacco accessories accounted for $246 million in sales last year, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data. Sales of cigarette lighters, far

Taco

Customers Like Hispanic Food Options

Hispanic Americans are expected to make up 31% of the U.S. population by 2060, reported the U.S. Census Bureau. And, according to Forbes magazine and other media, they are expected to have $1.5 trillion in buying power this year, a 50% increase from 2010, according to Nielsen research. The NPD Group forecasts that the consumption

chicken

Chicken Sales Fly High

There’s no doubt that chicken is the nation’s No. 1 protein. According to the National Chicken Council, Americans consume 83.6 pounds of it per capita, more than anyone else in the world. In its 2014 Consumer Survey, the Council reported that 89% of consumers said they ate chicken during a two-week period. And they ate

RollerGrill

Roller Grill Keeps Rolling Along

Despite increasing competition from made-to-order items, roller grill is still a c-store foodservice mainstay. And for good reason. In a recent Convenience Store Foodservice report by Mintel International research company, at least half of the respondents said they had and would order hot dogs or corn dogs at convenience stores. “I believe that consumers have

Pizza

Pizza Rises to the Challenge

Growth has been slow but steady over the past five years in the $38.7 billion business that is the pizza category. By 2019, that number is expected to rise to $42.6 billion, according to the IBISWorld research firm. At LaCrosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip, the proprietary Cheese Mountain pizza, introduced about 10 years ago, today accounts

Coffee

Coffee Outlook Is Perking Up

Last year, Americans drank an estimated 6.5 billion gallons of coffee, a modest increase in volume over the year before. An estimated 9.5% of that coffee was purchased from convenience stores, said Gary Hemphill, managing director of research for the New York-based Beverage Marketing Corp. “Modest growth” is the description Hemphill used again to project

Donuts

Bakery Category Produces Fresher Gross Margins

Convenience store profits often rise higher with the right bakery program. However, figuring out the best route to profits takes planning. Some convenience stores are expanding their bakery beyond pre-packaged snack cakes through proprietary programs or just partnering with the local bakery in town. Some chains have invested significant capital in bakery programs. The total

Sandwich

Sandwich Sales Scale Higher

Sandwiches are big business for Scott Zaremba, owner of Zarco USA convenience stores in Lawrence, Kan. In fact, they’re so big that he just opened a second standalone shop for his popular proprietary Sandbar Subs concept. Overall, sandwich sales are growing 8% every month for Zaremba at both the Zarco USA stores and standalone restaurants.

COFFEE

Connecting With Coffee Customers Gets Personal

While some c-stores are adding barista-staffed bars to compete in the coffee arena, most are finding simpler ways to make brew buying a more personalized experience for their customers. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. With about 11,000 chain and 14,000 independent cafes in the U.S., according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), consumers

Chuckles

Chuckles: A Family Affair

With new locations planned for Kentucky and Indiana, third-generation C.E. Taylor Oil is positioning its Chuckles convenience store chain for the future. By David Bennett, Senior Editor When C.E. Taylor Oil Inc. was just getting started, family members who were intent on growing the business realized that while gas was the base of operations, retail

Sandwiches

Perfecting Foodservice

As retailers try to distinguish themselves through better customer offerings, CSD partnered with Study Hall Research to examine what foodservice components bring the highest returns. By John Lofstock, Editor, and Josh Tahan, Study Hall Research When it comes to executing a winning foodservice program, Keith Boston, director of foodservice for Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms Group

customer_loyalty

Building a Customized Loyalty Program

Using an industry-leading loyalty solution, operators across a host of retail channels can drive new business, gather crucial customer data and increase overall ticket sales. By John Lofstock, Editor Loyalty programs are everywhere in the retail industry. Customers encounter them multiple times almost every day—whether shopping at a grocery store, buying a cup of coffee

Valentine candy

Counting On Chocolate

While chocolate may be the gift of choice on Valentine’s Day, the sweet treat remains a year-round staple for convenience stores. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor Sales of chocolate bars, chocolate-coated candy or fruit and chocolate bites continue to grow as convenience store customers indulge in their favorite confectionery. In fact, demand for the

Havana Cigars Texture

Lifting the Veil

What will it take to get Cuban cigars onto c-store shelves? By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Convenience store operators who thought cigars when they learned of President Obama’s plan to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba and dismantle economic sanctions may have to wait a while to bring those quality stogies to shelves. With an embassy

Coffee

Brewing Up Innovation

The rising cost of coffee and growing competition among convenience stores is spurring richer coffee programs across the board. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Due to Last Year’s droughts that hit Brazil, in addtion to a fungus that ravaged coffee bean fields in Central America for a good part of 2014, coffee prices rose about

AmericanGraffiti_StandUP_ICEE_POS

Frozen Beverage Revolution

Known for thrills, chills and even spills, frozen beverages have grown from meager c-store beginnings to celebrity status. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Before frozen dispensed beverages made a mark in venues such as amusement parks, movie theaters and shopping food courts, the unique product was born and raised in the convenience store industry. No

TeamOilTravelInSnow

Preventing Power Outages

Generators can set your c-store apart when customers need food and fuel during disasters or bad weather. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Power outages and natural disasters can occur at any time, resulting in disrupted business, spoiled food and much worse. For many c-store owners, having a game plan to keep operations up and running

design3

Design Efficiency

Good store design is more than just a pretty face. It can mean the difference between efficient and inefficient work flow, and whether customers see your products and perceive your brand in a positive light. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Alon Brands, the nation’s largest licensee of 7-Eleven stores, with 295 locations in west and

Matt

Three Strategies To Automate Operations

How to stay ahead in an ever changing industry. By Matt Lauck, Emerson Climate Technologies Convenience stores have historically been known for selling packaged foods, cigarettes and cold beverages. Today, convenience stores are evolving to become foodservice destinations. This is a result of busy consumers wanting fresh, ready-to-eat meal solutions faster. For convenience store operators,

food

Foodservice: Best and Worst Practices

How you manage your food program, understand your local market and train your staff will go a long way toward determining your success. By Betsi Bixby The most profitable retail chains we did market business valuations for over the past year all had great foodservice results. The least profitable chains (and units) either didn’t have

Tornado2 Angle HR

Smart Foodservice Equipment Ideas

Expanding foodservice offerings often means shopping for new equipment. Retailers share how they are getting the biggest bang for their investment buck. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor One size doesn’t fit all, it turns out. At least it doesn’t when it comes to the new ovens ordered for Austin, Texas-based Kwik Chek Food Stores. When

COGos

Cream of the Crop

Though its legacy derives from the dairy business, CoGo’s commitment to modern convenience retail is reshaping its future. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Since Pittsburgh-based CoGo’s Co. chose to expand its operation in the shadow of West Virginia University (WVU) more than a year ago, the return on investment has been noteworthy. Not only did

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