Economists Predict Recession’s End

  More than 90% of economists predict the recession will end this year, although the recovery is likely to be rough, the Associated Press reported.   The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) recently surveyed leading forecasters about the state of the economy. The results of the survey, released Wednesday, showed their views are in

Pepsi Co. To Cut Jobs

  Frito-Lay Inc.’s Plano headquarters let go about 130 employees this week as its parent company, Pepsi Co., initiates a “productivity program,” the Dallas Morning News reported.   PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y., said Tuesday it plans to eliminate about 3,300 positions across the globe, 300 of which will be employees of Frito-Lay, the nation’s largest

Consumers Concerned Over Gas Prices

  A majority of consumers are planning road trips this summer and gas is the top expense they are budgeting for, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Petrofix. Some 92% of respondents noted finding the lowest-priced gas during their trip will be important.   Petrofix, an online service that controls gas

McCafé Off To Strong Start

  Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Corp. executives said on Wednesday that the company’s rollout of its new McCafé coffee line is off to good start, and it anticipates data on its market share impact to be available in about six months, according to Reuters.   Around 11,000 of McDonald’s roughly 14,000 U.S. locations now have

California Smokers May Face New Tax

This June, lawmakers in California will debate a bill that would increase the state cigarette tax by a whopping $1.50 a pack, the Los Angeles Times reported. Those in favor of the bill say the increase would bring in $1.2 billion to the state each year.   For years, tobacco companies have successfully fought similar

More Loose Tobacco Cigarettes for Less

  Recent tax increases on tobacco products, have prompted Commonwealth Brands, Inc., Bowling Green, Ky., an Imperial Tobacco Group company and the fourth largest tobacco company in the U.S., to introduce a revised portfolio of finely-crafted loose tobacco.    The brands, McClintock, Rave and Premier, have all been modified to offer customers and consumers more

New Campaign To Curb Teen Drinking

  The Pantry Inc., operating as Kangaroo Express and Anheuser-Busch and its local distributors have teamed up on a new campaign to help fight underage drinking sales to minors in the Pantry’s 448 stores in Florida.   The program is called “We I.D.,” and builds on current efforts by The Pantry to restrict underage alcohol

Bottled Water Manufacturers Focus on Sustainability

  Pepsi Co. is reducing the amount of plastic used to make its bottled water bottles in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported.   The new 16.9-oz. Aquafina bottle weighs about 20% less than the previous version and is among the lightest in the U.S. In addition, the company is shrink-wrapping its 24-pack of

New Rules for Bottled Water

  The FDA is introducing stricter testing standards for the $11 billion bottled water industry. Under the new rules, companies will have to eliminate any causes of fecal contamination in water sources before they can bottle the water for sale. Manufacturers also will need to test source water for any forms of coliform, a group

Big Victory for New Jersey Exxon Dealers

The New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store and Automotive Association (NJGCA) and its allies are celebrating a major victory tonight after their First Right of Refusal legislation, which would prevent Big Oil from selling a business location without giving the owner the opportunity to buy it first, passed in the general assembly.   The amended version was

7-Eleven Borrows Japanese Mascot

Domo, the popular chocolate Twinkie-like Japanese character that Target used for a Halloween promo last year, is now teaming up with 7-Eleven, Brandweek reported.   A six-week program, begining Oct. 1, will include a proprietary Domo Slurpee in Red Apple flavor, which will be sold in a still-in-development brown-flocked cup to match the creature’s coat.

Candy Hall of Fame Inducts New Members

Twelve candy business professionals who have made lasting contributions to the candy industry and two confectionery pioneers are being honored with induction into the Candy Hall of Fame. The official induction will take place this October in Tampa, Fla. at the National Confectionary Sales Association’s (NCSA) 110th annual meeting.   The Candy Hall of Fame

Wrigley Advances Sustainability Commitment

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.’s Global Innovation Center (GIC) in Chicago has received LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), marking a significant achievement in the company’s commitment to global sustainability.   LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a third party accreditation system and nationally accepted benchmark for green buildings.

N.J May Allow C-Store Alcohol Sales

New Jersey’s budgeting woes may provide an opportunity for grocery stores and c-stores to sell beer and wine, the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reported.   The proposal has been stalled in the Legislature since last year, but the promise of increased tax revenue plus a proposed tax increase in 2010 on such sales could finally sway votes

Sam’s Club Launches 100 Days of Summer

Sam’s Club, Bentonville, Ark., is supporting independent c-store owners during their busiest time of year with its launch of the “100 Days of Summer” program and a special membership offer, all designed to help c-store owners make a profit. The Sam’s Club $15 membership-a savings of $20-is available for purchase between May 22 and June

Star Scientific and R.J. Reynolds Face Off In Court

The trial in a patent infringement case involving two tobacco companies could result in the biggest patent infringement award in the history of the U.S., or it could open the door for reduced harm tobacco products, the Baltimore Herald de Paris reported.   Star Scientific Inc., Chester, Va. is suing R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Seneca Honored

Des-Moines, Iowa-based Seneca Companies has recently been granted a Safety Award from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council for outstanding achievement in accident prevention during 2008.   Seneca Companies was one of only 159 businesses, industries and government agencies in this two state region to receive an award for promoting active safety programs and reducing OSHA recordable

Hershey’s Unveils New Products, Promotions

The Hershey Co. showcased a slew of new products under several of its popular brands, as well as new promotions that are sure to attract customer interest, at last month’s All Candy Expo in Chicago. Retailers are certain to reap the benefits this year as excited consumers stop in to try new versions of their

Lots of Food, No Gas

The 68th 7-Eleven convenience store in West Virginia officially opened this week, offering one unique distinction: it is the only 7-Eleven in the state that does not offer gas pumps, the Charleston Daily Mail reported.   “It is a small lot,” Jeffrey Kramer, CEO and manager of 85 7-Eleven stores, including some in the bordering

Responsible Drinking Campaign Takes Off

“The King” of NASCAR and the “King of Beers” are joining forces to encourage adult race fans cheering on their favorite NASCAR drivers to drink responsibly.   Richard Petty, the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR, and Anheuser-Busch announced that they are teaming up on a new Budweiser responsibility campaign aimed at reminding

Rutter’s Offers Fuel Relief

This summer, Rutter’s is sending eight lucky customers on long vacations–from gas prices.   Each of them will win free gasoline for one year as part of Rutter’s Farm Stores’ annual “Fuel Up Free!” contest, which returns from May 25 through Aug. 30. What’s more, a ninth customer will win a Harley-Davidson Iron 883 motorcycle,

Cumberland Farms Opens New Headquarters

Cumberland Farms and Gulf Oil this week announced the opening of their new business support campus in Framingham, Mass. This move will enable the corporate parent, its retail convenience stores, real estate operations and Gulf Oil LP subsidiary to take better advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.   “The advantages of an efficient corporate integration

Gasoline Pumped Up Ahead of Holiday Weekend

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN   Retail gasoline prices across the country have surged to 2009 highs in May, as wholesale markets gear up for the busy summer driving season which typically kicks off in earnest during the Memorial Day holiday.   Drivers in metropolitan regions across the United States should

Chicago Welcomes All Candy Expo

More than 2,000 new treats and snacks debuted at the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) 13th annual All Candy Expo in Chicago this week. The expo brought together hundreds of manufacturers, buyers and industry leaders from more than 69 countries.   What’s New On the trend front, tried and true candy favorites are offering new flavor

Rutter’s Tees Off for Children’s Charities

With its seventh annual charity golf outing, the Rutter’s companies, York. Pa., raised $90,000 for children’s charities.   The specific charities that will benefit from this year’s event will be announced in the coming weeks.   The golf outing took place May 4-5 at Regents’ Glen Golf Course near York. It drew 256 participants, including

css.php