Energy Shots are Targeting a Wider Demand

The popularity of energy shots is in a precarious position. For consumers who wanted an energy boost without having to down a lot of liquid, energy shots proved an enormously popular alternative for a few years. For some retailers, the category still is popular. “In 2015, it was a good category,” said Gary Tabor, marketing

RYO Endures Market Pressure

The fortunes of roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco will likely continue to wax and wane in 2016. Last year was more wane, due mainly to a resurgence in combustible cigarette sales. Vivien Azer, managing director with the Cowen Group, a diversified financial services firm, explained why RYO’s share dipped in the tobacco category. “Cigarette industry trends were

How to Optimize Hispanic Foodservice Sales

Hispanic foods have become a menu item of choice in more convenience stores, appealing to the tastes of Hispanic shoppers and other patrons wanting to try new items. Using freshly-prepared foods to attract Hispanic shoppers to c-stores has become a proposition with value. “All our Orlando stores have fried empanadas,” said Alex Davidovich, executive vice

Smokeless Tobacco Stays Steady

With a void left by smokers who are foregoing cigarettes and e-cigarette users who aren’t convinced of their long-term stability, more U.S. tobacco consumers are embracing other tobacco products (OTP). As it has for the last few years, smokeless tobacco is driving sales in the OTP category as tobacco manufacturers find new ways to keep

Popular Proteins Define Snacks

Dried meat products have been around for hundreds of years, but arguably this snack offering has never been more popular, especially in the convenience store channel. C-stores account for nearly 60% of the $2.8 billion in meat snack sales across all multi-outlet venues in 2015, according to IRI. C-store meat snack sales outpaced the industry

Cigar Growth Threatened by Regulations

As part of the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017, a new program called Preschool for All has been proposed with funding coming from an increase in both the federal tax on cigarettes and a tax increase on other tobacco products (OTP), including cigars. Currently the federal tax on cigarettes is $1.01 per pack, the

Vape Products Holding Their Own

The biggest story for the vaping industry in 2015 was no news: whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would deem vaporizers and associated products such as flavored e-juices the same as tobacco products. Of course such a determination would make vape products susceptible to some federal regulations—not to mention state laws and taxes—that

E-Cigarettes Strive in 2015

Though there were positive developments in the e-cigarette segment, the biggest development in 2015 was the further strengthening of Vuse by R.J. Reynolds Vapor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds American. Data compiled by Wells Fargo Securities LLC indicated the Vuse brand firmly holds onto the No. 1 spot with 38.5% of the dollar shares as

Flavors, Textures and Cheese Lead Snack Trends in 2016

Snacking remains a popular and growing pastime with Americans—about 80% admit to enjoying at least one a day, 29% snack twice a day and 22% grab something to curb their appetites three or more times a day, according to research by CivicScience. According to industry data, multi-snackers, who snack two or more times per day,

Healthy Snacking Spans Three Dayparts

More and more Americans are eating smaller portions of food more frequently throughout the day, and there is universal agreement in the food industry that this mega-trend is here to stay. This tendency is especially evident during the morning daypart, where on-the-go meal sales are surging. What’s also increasing is sales of breakfast and snack

ATMs Meet Industry Cash Needs

Visitors to the NAC2016 Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla., hosted by the National ATM Council Inc. in October, will learn the latest advances in the ATM industry, from machines that work with mobile devices, to those which enable customers to make cardless cash withdrawals, purchase lotto tickets, exchange foreign currency and participate in coupon

How To Succeed With Bakery At C-Stores

Led by Millennials, time-pressed consumers continue to turn away from sit-down breakfast options in favor of more portable snacks they can eat while on the go. Instead of grocers and baked good shops, customers more and more are drawn to convenience stores that boast diverse bakery offerings, including single-serve and snacking options. Whether it’s premium

Snacking Trends Boost Roller Grill

Hot dog and sausage sales in the U.S. are expected to grow an annualized 1.9% to $18.1 billion by 2019, according to a report by IBISWorld, a market research company. While the traditional varieties will continue to be favorites, the researchers projected that manufacturers will create items made with leaner poultry meat, organic meat, and

Weighing Profits and Pizza Preferences

After chocolate, pizza ranks as the top comfort food for American consumers, a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll found. During the tightest of the recent economic times, consumers tended to go for the frozen or refrigerated options found in supermarkets, according to Mintel market research. “But as the economy continues to improve, albeit

Sandwiches Satisfy New Tastes

Over the past year, Giant GetGo convenience stores have seen both made-to-order and grab-and-go sandwich sales climb. That has included hot and cold subs, breakfast sandwiches, wraps and flatbreads. Jannah Jablonowski, a spokesperson for Giant GetGo, which operates 200 locations throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, said a trend that’s growing

Seeds, Nuts Agree with Snackers

Americans are snacking more now than ever before, with 94% snacking daily and more than half of them snacking two or three times each day, according to the Mintel Group, a Chicago-based research company. But those snack lovers also are concerned about their health, so many are choosing better-for-you snack items, such as seeds and

How Novel Coffee Offerings Spur Growth

Coffee sales were projected to rise 5% in 2015, according to Packaged Facts research firm. But the researchers forecasted that this growth is expected to remain flat through 2018. Tea, on the other hand, is expected to experience steady growth through 2018. “As consumer demand for tea options increases, more foodservice operators will use tea

How to Track Customer Trends

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief When discussing some future opportunities recently with human resources consultant Mel Kleiman, a good friend and confidant, he cautioned that opportunities to expand your business are constant. It’s knowing when to pounce that really matters. “Never let a good idea get in the way of a great idea,” he said. It’s

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 Gate 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

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