Botanical Cigar

Arango Cigar Co. offers its “Windy City” Premium Botanical Cigar, made exclusively for Arango by Drew Estate, in its Nicaraguan factory. In 1998, Drew Estate pioneered the art of vapor-infusing cigars with a wide variety of herbal, floral, spice, and other botanical flavoring essences. Today, their Acid cigars are widely recognized for these intriguing flavor

Marketing in a Digital Age

The world of marketing is fast evolving to keep pace with an influx of new technological options, and no one knows this better than Jared Sturtevant, who recently stepped into the newly created director of marketing role at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes. In his new position, Sturtevant orders, proofs and provides artistic direction on

Environmentally-Friendly Chewing Gum

Revolymer Ltd. has launched Rev7, a confectionery chewing gum with long-lasting flavor. The product is also removable and degradable, making it the first commercially available environmentally-friendly gum. The company has studied the gum’s removability and degradability characteristics in a variety of climates. The gum can be removed from clothes using soap and water, and tests

A Moment of Sweetness

Cumberland Packing Corp. has tasked creative agency Mother New York with reintroducing Sweet’N Low to U.S. consumers by reminding people of the brand’s long history and tradition by playing up its iconic name, packaging and its most memorable color. The campaign, which includes print, outdoor and digital, will run nationally throughout 2010. Mother broke away

Securing Payment Data

The SWAT Team   During its brief tenure, the PCATS Data Security Standards committee has proven extraordinarily active, holding biweekly conference call meetings that are regularly attended by as many as 50 members. As PCATS Executive Director Gray Taylor pointed out, “These aren’t single-site operators. These are people who are in charge of security for

Sealed-Fresh Foil Wrapping

Due to popular demand, Swisher International has introduced Sealed-Fresh foil wrapping on all of the company’s Swisher Sweets Cigarillos. First introduced on Swisher Sweets Wine Cigarillos, the new Sealed-Fresh packaging proved to be a huge success among retailers and customers. Expanding on that success, the new technology is now incorporated as the standard packaging for

Chai Tea Latte Mixes

Simple-to-prepare Oregon Chai Tea Latte Dry Mixes provide an alternative to coffee and are available in three popular flavors: Vanilla, Decadent Spice and Original flavor. The mixes are easy to use—just-add-water or steamed milk prep. For added ease, each package includes a serving scoop and comes in re-closable stand up bags, eliminating the mess of

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The Fight for Interchange Reform Continues

The long and winding road to controlling credit card fees took yet another turn on Oct. 12, 2010, when TCF National Bank, a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corp., filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Durbin Amendment, which was included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, also known

Male Enhancement Pills

Kretek International Inc., U.S. distributor of ExtenZe, a male enhancement brand, has introduced new ExtenZe Plus fast acting pills in a five-pack value unit. The new bright red five-pack pills feature an easy-to-take pearlized coating and are being promoted at the same price as the current four-pack unit during introduction through the end of 2010.

CAT Scales

If you sell diesel fuel, then you need a CAT Scale. CAT Scale Co. is a public truck scale network, with more than 1,275 certified scales located across the U.S. and Canada. There is no start up cost to join. All equipment, maintenance and staff training is provided by CAT Scale Co. The network includes

Chevron Fuels Schools Promotion

During the month of September, Chevron’s Fuel Your School promotion, with the help of California drivers, raised $858,445 for schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. To participate, customers simply had to fill up their gas tanks at participating Chevron stations in Alameda or Contra Costa between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30. Chevron then donated

Happy Birthday Coke Zero

The Coca-Cola Co.’s most successful new sparkling beverage in a generation, Coke Zero, turns five this year. During its time on the market, Coke Zero has posted double-digit sales gains for five straight years and is showing no signs of slowing. Among more than 350 sparkling beverage brands launched since 2001, Coke Zero is one

Train to Retain

Convenience store turnover is staggering—100% is typical, and 200% is common among hourly retail employees. Yet, in a Fortune magazine survey of the most admired companies, “the single best predictor of overall excellence was a company’s ability to attract, motivate and retain talented people.” Training and preparing employees for advancement is one proven method for

VERC Enterprises Aims and Delivers

VERC ENTERPRISES AT A GLANCE   VERC Enterprises was launched 35 years ago by Paul Vercollone and his father Eugene in 1975 with a single gas station/car wash in Marshfield, Mass. Leo Vercollone, the company’s current president and CEO, joined the team after he graduated from Boston College in 1977. Paul continues to oversee the

Keeping USTs and Fuel Dispensers Safe

“Those operators who are only now waking up to the need to tend to UST-related matters need not despair. I recently put together an update for a client I have on all 50 states, and everything I remember reading said that no one’s been cast out, shut down or told they can’t operate because they

Tackling New Challenges

During her 13-year career in the industry, Donna Perkins has come a long way. Her enthusiasm and desire to learn drive her success. As pricebook manager for Calloway Oil Co., Perkins maintains costs and retails for all items in the company’s 23 E-Z Stop Food Mart stores in Tennessee. She also handles vendor issues, cost

Shopping for POS Solutions

Convenience to customers today means one-stop shopping, short lines at the counter and the ability to get in and out of a store fast. New integrated point-of-sale (POS) solutions are speeding up service and offering customers the convenience they demand thanks to faster processing times. What’s more, they’re saving operators money, labor and time. Finding

Keys to Growing Foodservice Profitably

Why are some retailers prospering when others are struggling? What are the keys to growing the business—even during tough economic times? How are successful retailers approaching the business differently than others? These are all questions that could be applicable to any part of the retail business. However, the questions are extremely salient to foodservice programs

Processing PCI Confusion

Many retailers are breathing a sigh of relief in regard to PCI, after this summer’s deadline for software compliance was relaxed after a request by the major oil companies, giving scrambling retailers a little more time to comply. But retailers be warned: chains that face a breach could still get hit with huge fines. “Some

Meeting the Demand for Fresh Foods

Rx for Dinner   Walgreen’s drug chain recently announced that it will test market chilled foods at a dozen of its 7,500 stores this fall to determine if busy consumers are willing to stop at a drug store for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner. While full details of the test have not been made public,

Building a Proprietary Food Program

Ingredients for Success   The answer to the question, “How can c-store operators develop proprietary foodservice programs?” is, according to consultant Dan Bendall, founder and president of FoodStrategy Inc. in Rockville, Md., the same as what he would tell any would-be restaurateur. “You need the following ingredients to be successful, not just serve food.” They

Developing a Customized Foodservice Menu

Testing New Products   As new products earn their way onto your menu don’t forget about the equipment.   “Let’s say you’ve got a roller grill and you’ve been selling hot dogs forever,” explained Larry Miller, president of Miller Management & Consulting Services Inc. in Sanford, Fla. “Now somebody brings you a handheld Mexican product,

Lighting the Way to Profitability

Lighters can be an afterthought. There are relatively few manufacturers, everyone merchandises them near the front counter, liability issues have cut down on cheap products and differentiation is only skin deep. But even given the limited number of companies supplying products, lighters produce an excellent margin—between 40% and 60%—and sales have been steady for the

Outlook Strong for Salty Snacks

The recession of the past couple of years has not swayed consumers from their salty snack habits. In almost every type of data, salty snacks continue to thrive. According to NACS’ 2010 State of the Industry report, convenience store salty snack sales climbed 3.4%, while margin dollars climbed 4.8%. Since 2007, sales of salty snacks

Elevating Snack Sales

The weak economy has not taken much of a bite out of meat snack sales. Americans are loathe to sacrifice edible indulgences, even in times of financial crisis. All three NACS snacks categories—salty, packaged sweet and alternative—showed increases in average sales per store from 2008 to 2009, and showed gross-margin percentage and average gross-margin-dollar-per-store gains.

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