Alon Emerges

Alon USA At a Glance: Alon USA is a Dallas-based independent refiner and marketer majority owned by Alon Israel Oil Co. Ltd. It was formed in 2000 when Alon Israel purchased the downstream operations of Atofina Petrochemical. Today, Alon owns and operates the Fina fuel brand and Southwest Convenience Stores LLC (SCS), the largest 7-Eleven

Food Sales: Keeping Current and Competitive

Too many consumers still think Famima is a Japanese specialty foods marketer, admitted Hidenari Sato, executive vice president of the Los Angeles-based convenience store chain. However, while Famima stores are attracting more and more new customers every day to correct this misperception, the fact that Famima has a notoriously great sushi program is a tremendous

Looking at the Future Face of America

Continued ethnic population growth is making ethnic consumers one of the most sought-after demographics in the American retail grocery market. While the following demographic facts and expectations are based on U.S. census bureau data, the variety within each ethnic population means retailers need to tailor the ethnic food products they carry as closely as possible

How Rutter’s Stays on Top

There was a time not long ago in this industry when bigger was always thought to be better. Fortunately, the folks at Rutter’s Farm Stores knew better.  With 52 stores in five Pennsylvania counties, Rutter’s focus has never been on reckless expansion simply for the sake of having a larger store count. Rather, its has

Developing an Effective Foodservice Program

Menu development is an essential though often overlooked element in the success of a c-store’s foodservice program. So, while operators may go about it differently, they must all see to it that they do, indeed, go about it.  From consumers’ desires and local competition to convenience, equipment costs, supplier availability and more, menu development is

Building Brick by Brick

At a quick glance it makes for a dismal picture: Killer interchange fees, nightmarish margins on gas, ever-rising tobacco taxes thanks to the whimsies of politicos. There’s a host of potholes marring the road to profitability, and few convenience chains on the market can afford to bankroll a multimillion dollar facility to optimize their foodservice

For Health and Wellness Devotees, Money Doesn’t Matter

A study by the Natural Marketing Institute found retail sales within the U.S. foodservice and consumer packaged goods’ health and wellness industry hit $102.8 billion in 2007, representing 15% growth since 2006, adding that there doesn’t seem to be any signs of a slowdown in this sector. NMI predicted that double-digit growth of the health

CheckMate

Consumers love to enhance their coffee with the uniquely rich and smooth experience of Coffee-Mate Creamy Chocolate liquid coffee creamer. Give your customers the chance to enjoy rich mocha flavor without having to pay coffee-house prices—all in a convenient tub format. Coffee-Mate, the No. 1 retail coffee creamer, also offers single-serve liquid tubs in Original,

Performance and Conservation

The new oil-conserving, high-efficiency, award-winning, Protector fryer series, both gas and electric, has earned industry recognition for innovation with built-in SMART4UTM technology that delivers oil, energy and labor-saving benefits. Frymaster’s legacy of innovation has advanced fryer performance yet again to meet operator needs to do more with less with a fryer that reduces oil use

Get it While it’s Hot

Just in time for fall, Hot Pockets brand sandwiches introduces Roast Beef and Provolone in a half-pound size. The limited-time-offer program gives retailers exciting new flavors each quarter and this quarter is no exception. Tasty roast beef and melted provolone cheese are covered in a peppery sauce and wrapped in a crispy crust. This limited-time

Filling Up on Food Sales

Five years ago, Open Pantry was poised to move beyond the humdrum in southeast Wisconsin. The 26-store convenience retailer was bracing for big changes inside and out, all part of a mammoth push to polish the chain’s image with new products, programs and brands. A gourmet sandwich line was added. Larger roller grills were installed

Where to Find the Best Workers

Among retailers who tuned in to CSD’s Webcast on hiring foodservice employees, more than 57% said finding part-time workers is one of their biggest hiring challenges. A second Webcast poll showed retailers rely on three primary sources to find the best employees: • Referrals: 50% • Walk-ins: 37.5% • Advertisements: 12.5% Mel Kleiman, of Humetrics

Breakfast, The Daypart That Delivers

In March, Rick Pajak and his team rolled out a new breakfast sandwich program under Wilson Farms’ self-branded Fresh N Ready label. The sandwiches come in four varieties produced by Lettieri’s, a division of Hot Stuff Foods, which was able to tailor the menu according to the chain’s tastes. The previous program required employees to

Prepackaged Options Expanding

Prepackaged food sales are booming nationwide and new choices are springing up to help convenience store retailers grow in-store sales. Successful prepackaged food merchandising is all about display, said Jerry Weiner, vice president of foodservice for Rutter’s Farm Stores in York, Pa. “Grab-and-go sales have tripled since we moved products from four-foot open-air cases to

Cooking up Surefire Profits

As rising food and gas prices and killer credit card interchange fees are making for one hellacious economic hurricane, a c-store’s foodservice program could prove to be the fallout shelter. That was the consensus from c-store retailers and researchers participating in the first installment of CSD’s Foodservice Webcast Series, sponsored by Sam’s Club, on June

The Lean Scene

Some are kind of freaked out, and some kind of like the idea. The hardscrabble soda-and-cigarettes crowd, they’re still on the lower hump of the learning curve. "They’re kind of like, ‘Hey dude, where’s my Doritos and cigarettes,’" said Alvaro Garza, co-owner of The Green Spot Market and Fuels on the outskirts of Dallas. But

Branded Food: Fast Brands Build Business

Branded fast foods are major league players in today’s convenience channel. Indeed, the 45 chains recently surveyed by Convenience Store Decisions rang up some $380 million in branded foodservice sales last year. A pretty impressive figure, and one that is likely to make any c-store owner’s mouth water at the mere thought of adding a

Pizza: Old Tastes Trump New Trends

It seems the future of pizza hinges on just how far retailers are willing to stray from the confines of that traditional pizza box. "If you get too far outside the box, you’ll probably sell less pizza," said Neal Hollingsworth, vice president of marketing at Hot Stuff Pizza. And if you stay cloistered within the

Chicken: Poultry in Motion with Chicken in Top Spot

One of the most versatile and marketable products in retail foodservice has also become the No. 1 convenience item consumers are choosing in their quest for meat and poultry products. A recent study by the National Chicken Council (NCC) shows that U.S. consumers consider chicken to be the most widely available convenience food product, as

DELI, BAKERY AND PREPARED FOODS: Fresh Remains Key For Customers

The tendency for Americans to want more fresh and fresh prepared food is clearly growing, which is why traditional U.S. convenience stores have been joined by overseas chains like Tesco and Famima. "I think the lifestyle is really changing here," said Hidenari Sato, executive vice president of Famima Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s FamilyMart

Fresh & Easy Plans 250 New Products

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has announced plans to unveil 250 new self-branded products in the next three months, including freshly prepared meals, juices and brewed teas, soy and goat yogurt and a multitude of ready-to-grill meats. The West Coast retailer, owned and operated by UK-based supermarket Tesco, has 60 stores in Nevada, Arizona and

McDonald’s Eyes C-store Customers

McDonald’s Corp. is urging its store owners in the Western U.S. to slash large soda prices to $1 this summer in a move the company hopes will attract consumers away from convenience stores, a company memo obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business showed. "Let’s take the c-store drink out of their hands and build our transactions,"

Banking on Big Branding

When it came to choosing between a bank and quick-service restaurant to complement a Tom’s Convenience Store in a travel plaza just outside State College, Pa., Tom’s parent company, Shipley Energy, placed its money where the mouths are. It’s a decision that could pay big dividends for York, Pa.-based Shipley Energy, owner and operator of

Indulging Consumers with Upscale Foodservice

Rocky Trail knows a traditional foodservice offering anchors his sprawling Minnesota travel center. But when he wanted to expand the program, he turned to a nontraditional c-store brand. Above all else, it was the national recognition of Cold Stone Creamery’s name that prompted Trail, president of Trail’s Travel Center of America in Albert Lea, Minn.,

Wawa Dons the Dinner Apron

When The NPD Group released findings last month on a study of consumer trends in the struggling restaurant industry, particularly the industry’s dwindling lunch and dinner traffic, NPD Vice President Harry Balzer boiled the results down to raw basics. "Make no mistake," Balzer said, "Americans don’t want to cook. We’re just trying to figure out

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