Health and Beauty Care/ General Merchandise

TOP PERFORMERS BIC Corp. Lil’ Drug Store Products Inc. Novelty Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Convenience Valet Procter & Gamble The 63 key decision makers in the HBC and general merchandise segment identified BIC Corp., Lil’ Drug Store Products Inc. and Novelty Inc. as the category’s top performers. Honorable Mentions include Convenience Valet and Procter & Gamble.

Ice Cream/ Frozen Novelty

TOP PERFORMERS Wells-Blue Bunny Ben & Jerry’s Unilever (Good Humor, Breyers, Klondike and Popsicle) HONORABLE MENTIONS Nestlé USA Masterfoods Regarded as the ultimate snack indulgence, ice cream and frozen novelties are an important, albeit often overlooked, retail segment. The category’s understated consistency in delivering a mix of premium, super premium and regular brands with just

Nutty About Seeds

C-store customers are discovering what Native Americans learned thousands of years ago: A handful of nuts or sunflower seeds can satisfy hunger and boost energy reserves without risking adding excess body fat—and researchers have found that people who include nuts and seeds in their diets lower their risks for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Though

Fully Prepared Hot/Cold Sandwiches

TOP PERFORMERS Deli Express Pierre Foods Landshire HONORABLE MENTIONS Lettieri’s Made Rite/Goliath While branded and proprietary foodservice programs get a lot of attention at retail, hot and cold prepackaged sandwiches have quietly and profitably filled a valuable niche for retailers. Grab-and-go sandwiches offer consumers a quick, easy meal solution that is affordable and available in

Packaged Snacks

TOP PERFORMERS FritoLay (PepsiCo) Kellogg/Keebler Kraft Foods Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Jack Links Beef Jerky Nabisco/Planters Lance Inc. Frito-Lay, Kellogg’s/Keebler and Kraft head the list of top performers in the packaged snack category, according to 84 category buyers representing 12,600 convenience stores. Honorable mentions in the category were Jack Links Beef Jerky, Nabisco/Planters and Lance. The

Branded Fast Food

TOP PERFORMERS Subway Subs & Salads Hunt Bros. Pizza Dunkin’ Donuts HONORABLE MENTIONS McDonald’s Corp. Hot Stuff Foods Blimpie Foodservice remains among the strongest in-store categories for convenience store owners, and fast-food brands are helping drive the business. According to the 45 key decision makers to participate in the CSD Brand Preference Study, Subway, Hunt

Empowering Customers

Self-Service Gift Cards Paul Burel, director of marketing strategy for U-Scan, Fujitsu’s self-checkout line, said gift cards are a good option for c-store operators “because it’s convenient. It’s the kind of point-of-presence transaction to generate that last-minute gift that someone needs to get.” Going with a self-service gift card program is “really not an add-on,”

Prepared Foods/Fresh Bakery

TOP PERFORMERS Sara Lee Foodservice Bon Appétite Ruiz Foods Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Tyson Foods Prairie City Bakery Don Miguel Mexican Foods Inc. A solid bakery program is crucial for building breakfast daypart sales. In an effort to secure those morning dollars, convenience retailers have added bakery programs, which they hope will in turn boost their

RFID: Not Ready For Prime Time

A radio frequency identification (RFID) tag is like a barcode on steroids. A barcode printed on a cracker box may indicate that the box contains crackers and possibly identify the manufacturer, while an RFID tag carries a serial number that distinguishes that particular box of crackers from all others in the world. Although some companies

Candy, Gum, Mints

TOP PERFORMERS The Hershey Co. Wm. Wrigley Co. Mars Snackfood U.S. HONORABLE MENTIONS Cadbury Adams/Jaret International Nestlé USA Convenience stores continue to be a dominant retail outlet for confections, and the outlook for 2008 is just as strong. That was the message delivered by the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) U.S. Confectionery Market report released in

Dispensed Beverages (Hot)

TOP PERFORMERS Sara Lee Foodservice S&D Coffee Kraft Foods Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Farmer Bros. Boyd Coffee Co. In a recent issue of Time, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he returned to his post as head of the Seattle-based coffee chain in part because he was concerned about "the growing competition from convenience stores." It took

Dispensed Beverages (Cold)

TOP PERFORMERS PepsiCo Coca-Cola Co. ICEE (J&J Snack Foods) HONORABLE MENTIONS Slush Puppie (J&J Snack Foods) Dr Pepper (Cadbury Schweppes) Dispensed cold and frozen carbonated beverages (FCB) accounted for $294 million at the 69 chains responding to CSD’s Brand Preference Study. Respondents operate a total of 10,350 stores and average category sales of $28,406 per

Cigars & Smokeless Tobacco

TOP PERFORMERS USST Inc. Swisher International Inc. Conwood Sales Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Swedish Match John Middleton Inc. Altadis USA Offering smokers new alternatives has been a stepping stone for huge growth in the OTP segment. The category as a whole has been showing big numbers, but MST, in particular, has been leading a bold charge

Cigarettes

TOP PERFORMERS Philip Morris USA R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Lorillard Tobacco Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Commonwealth Brands Inc. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. No single category has been as important to the convenience store industry over the years as cigarettes. The 86 retailers to participate in the CSD Brand Preference Study reported a total of $5

Servicing the Customer

You pick up on a few things after 15 years in a business, but nothing more important than this: Always listen to the customer. “We’re getting more and more inquiries every day about customers that want alternative fuels in their stores,” said Brian Beggs, owner of Walt’s Petroleum Service in Schofield, Wis., the company he

Beer and Adult Beverages

TOP PERFORMERS Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. SAB/Miller Coors Brewing Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Heineken USA There were 73 chains representing 11,000 stores and $1.5 billion in beer sales to participate in the CSD Brand Preference Study. As expected, the beer companies made an impression with retailers, 62% of whom said they had viewed at least three sales

Bottled Water

TOP PERFORMERS Nestlé Waters Aquafina (PepsiCo) Dasani (Coca-Cola Co.) HONORABLE MENTIONS Fiji Water Evian New flavors, new packaging and consumer demand are among the primary reasons retailers remain excited over bottled water. The category continues to post some of the strongest sales numbers in the store, and is expected to keep increasing for the foreseeable

Isotonics and Energy Drinks

TOP PERFORMERS Gatorade (PepsiCo) Powerade (Coca-Cola Co.) Red Bull HONORABLE MENTIONS Monster Kronik Few categories continue to grow as quickly, and as profitably, as energy drinks and isotonics. Eighty-five decision makers representing 12,750 stores reported $486 million was earned by this lucrative beverage category. Isotonics, which have been performing well in c-stores long before energy

Packaged Beverage

TOP PERFORMERS Pepsi Cola (PepsiCo) Coca-Cola Co. Dr Pepper/7-Up (Cadbury Schweppes) HONORABLE MENTIONS Lipton (PepsiCo) Tropicana (PepsiCo) The coolers in convenience stores today are a great deal different than they were a decade ago. While carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), juices and teas used to among the top sellers in the cold vault, they’ve slowly given

Retailers Salute Their Leading Suppliers

Despite the much-ballyhooed growth of chains like Walgreens, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wal-Mart, it is convenience stores that remain an important daily stop for the nation’s busy consumers. As a result, convenience stores represent a powerful sales opportunity for product and service supplier companies, CSD set out to find the industry’s top performers as identified

Bountiful Salad Dressings

Dreaming up the perfect salad starts with the right dressing. New Wish-Bone Bountifuls salad dressings were created to inspire and delight endless salad creations. These rich tasting, healthful vinaigrette dressings are offered in four flavors, Hearty Italian, Tuscan Romano Basil, Simply Santa Fe and Berry Delight, each brimming with the goodness of the garden and

Portable Printing

K-Sun’s new industrial yellow and black 3-in-1 label, bar code and heat shrink tube printer is called the K-Sun LABELShop BEE3. This portable thermal transfer printer can professionally label, heat-shrink tube and bar code thousands of items in the convenience store, cooler or anywhere a durable, adhesive-backed label is needed. The printer is backed with

Cranberry Energy

With hectic, busy lifestyles, many Americans have become masters at multi-tasking, but often need extra energy to keep them on the go. With the launch of its new Cranergy Energy Juice Drink, Ocean Spray is devoted to reenergizing busy Americans with a source of energy they can feel good about. Cranergy is naturally energizing and

Blending Addition

Cecilware Corp. has launched a new series of food blenders. Available in 1, 2, 4 and 6.5 gallon versions, this series comes in either countertop or high-capacity floor model styles. The two floor model versions lock vertically in place while blending, but will also tilt forward for easy drip-free pouring. With blending speeds of up

Stepping into Spring and Springing into Summer

I recently read a great quote attributed to a one time door-to-door sales person and lately more recognizable as founder of the billion-dollar company that bears her name, Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay Ash said, "Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as

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