Names to Remember

August is always one of my favorite issues of the year. It’s the month we get to profile convenience store “Chains to Watch” for the next 12 months. This year we’ve focused in on two outstanding chains, Stripes, a division of Susser Holdings in Corpus Christi, Texas, and EZ Energy, a rapidly growing operator based

Variety Spicing Up Salty Snacks

In the midst of the recession, more consumers are opting for at-home entertainment, which is good news for the salty snacks category. This trend may account for a jump in sales of chips and popcorn, the quintessential counterparts for an at-home movie.  Last year, salty snack sales totaled $4,962 with a profit of $1,867, a

Red Bull Energy Shots

Beginning this June, Red Bull will expand its energy options in the U.S. with Red Bull Energy Shot and Red Bull Sugar-free Shot. Red Bull’s entry into the shot category will grow its consumer base by introducing a premium shot from a trusted brand. Red Bull Energy Shot will engage new consumers, create new consumption

TOP® Superoll™ Tobacco

With tobacco prices on the rise, TOP Tobacco is providing smokers relief with the introduction of TOP Superoll Tobacco, specially blended and crafted to provide more cigarettes for the price than other pouch or canned tobaccos. Top Superoll tobacco will initially be available in three styles: Full Flavor, Menthol and Light. Breaking from TOP’s conventional

New Clove Cigars

Kretek International Inc., exclusive importer of Djarum brand tobacco products, has introduced new Djarum Filtered Clove Cigars, available in four styles–Classic Black, Vanilla Black, Cherry Black and Special Box. Three of the styles will carry the popular Black brand name with its distinctive red triangle and black package. Djarum Filtered Clove Cigars are packaged in

Johnsonville Sausage Minis, Big Flavor In Fewer Bites

These days, having “mini” on the menu means BIG business. To help operators leverage the increasing “less is more” demands of customers in the most flavorful way, Johnsonville Sausage LLC has introduced new Sausage Minis in two marketplace-driven varieties. Mini Stadium Style Brats offer the uniquely seasoned brats customers crave. Mini Italian Sausages feature a

5-Hour Energy Introduces Grape Flavor

Sitting atop the growing liquid energy shot category by a substantial margin, 5-Hour Energy seeks to continue its category dominance with the introduction of its newest flavor, Grape, in late September. Founded in 2004, 5-Hour Energy is a 2-ounce energy shot that provides hours of energy with no crash or jitters through a blend of

Energy Beef Stick

Power Hungry Foods (PHF) introduces Lightning Rods Energy Beef Stick, the only energy-enhanced product that uses meat protein as the delivery system. This new alternative to energy drinks and bars uses the synergy of Guarana, charged full of natural caffeine; and ginseng to assist the body in restoring itself to health and for its beneficial

All-in-One BBQ and Disposable Instant Grill

P&M Products has introduced the EZ Grill, an earth-friendly, portable grill that is 100% recyclable and comes complete with foil pan, grill grate, stand and charcoal. The instant charcoal is 100% natural with no additives, chemicals or fillers. The grill lights with one match and cooks for up to 1½ hours. Plus it’s mess-free. EZ

Low-calorie Vitamin Water

In response to consumers’ thirst for more great-tasting, low-calorie hydration, Glacéau vitaminwater10 will introduce four brand-new varieties on Aug. 17. Currently available in New York City and southern California, the low-calorie game-changer will flood stores nationwide next month. The four new varieties are go-go (mixed berry), mega-c (grape raspberry), revitalize (green tea) and recoup (peach-mandarin).

New Cinnabon Crisps

Cinnabon Crisps, the latest creation from Nostalgic Specialty Foods (NSF), will be unveiled to select retailers in 2009, including at trade shows, such as the Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing NACS Show. The Cinnabon name offers high brand recognition and is synonymous with delicious snacking. These crisps are crafted with Cinnabon’s fragrant, flavorful Makara

Protecting the Perimeter

Look no further than recent headlines to learn about payment security breaches and PIN pad tampering incidents involving merchants of all sizes. Sophisticated criminal organizations are targeting retailers and obtaining compromised account data with more regularity. Whether it’s fair or not, the fault of these attacks is increasingly being placed squarely on the shoulders of

The High Stakes of Compliance

Convenience store operators must stop thinking of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance as a nuisance to be handled when they have time. It is a serious, costly, complex fact of life—one that can potentially put an operator out of business and one that must be faced head on. It was in September 2006 that the

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