Getting (and Keeping) Customers Inside

Looking for ways to keep your customers coming into your store? You’re not alone. Consumers may understand that convenience retailers need to raise prices, but that doesn’t stop them from buying elsewhere, especially when it comes to buying prepared food. “Food is certainly a good draw, but it’s one of several important factors,” said Sandy

Chicken Facts

Though fried chicken remains the category leader, rotisserie-cooked chicken is rapidly growing in popularity. Results from the annual Consumer Market for Chicken 1,000 Household Survey show that 23% of respondents had purchased rotisserie chicken in four weeks prior to the survey. Results also showed that 25- to 34-year-olds are the least likely to have made

Beer Sales Continue to Surge

Arecent report by a.C. Nielsen shows beer sales are least affected by the current poor economy. The Brewers Association concurred, finding in the first half of this year that craft beer sales rose 11% over 2007. Neither statistic surprised Tim Cote, vice president of marketing for Beaverton, Ore.-based Plaid Pantries Inc. “Beer generally performs well

Driving Traffic with New Products

Increased channel blurring is making it tougher for convenience stores to retain existing customers—and harder yet to develop loyalty in new ones. With drug stores like Walgreens and Rite Aid now selling beer and wine, Dunkin’ Donuts offering a wide array of drinks, and fast feeders continuing to gobble up market share by offering consumers

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

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

Sticky Choices

Having a tough time deciding which gums and mints to carry? You’re not alone. The amazing number and diversity of new entries in this important category have most convenience store retailers second-guessing the wisdom of their choices. From energy boosts to dietary supplements, gum and mints are now available in a wide variety of formats

Did You Know…

» The first patent for chewing gum was issued in 1869 to Ohio dentist William F. Semple. » In the early 1900s, William Wrigley Jr. was one of the first people to promote a brand to consumers through advertising. His spearmint gum quickly became a best seller. » During World War II, U.S. military personnel

Ice Cream Sales Expected to Boom

Summer may be over, but ice cream sales aren’t going to chill out anytime soon. In fact, the entire ice cream and frozen novelty category will continue to boom, with convenience stores in position to capitalize the most, according to new research.  A study from Mintel International Group predicted that frozen novelties will enjoy the

Quick Facts: Ice Cream

Ice cream has come a long way from the mountains of ancient China, where it is believed to have originated using snow as a base. Today, Americans eat a whopping 15 quarts of ice cream per year.   Did you know that air is probably the single most important component used in the ice cream

Salty Snacks Make for Sweet Sales

U.S. Potato Chip Sales in Conveniece Stores Brand Dollar Sales Unit Sales Lays Potato Chips $134,799,200 118,439,400 Ruffles Potato Chips $66,052,770 50,400,370 Pringles Potato Chips $49,686,480 33,452,710 Lays Kettle Cooked Chips $16,943,230 12,468,950 Baked Lays Potato Chips $13,905,450 12,278,340 Wavy Lays Potato Chips $12,319,640 5,579,530 Utz Potato Chips $11,325,480 9,010,104 Cape Cod Potato Chips $11,185,150

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

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

Spicing Up the Roller Grill

Thanks to a surge of new products focused on ethnic diversity, the roller grill—the original anchor for most convenience store hot food programs—is hotter than ever before. "Customers automatically associate c-stores and roller grills. It’s been a source of great sales for us," said Scott Huggins, a marketing specialist for San Antonio-based Tesoro Petroleum Corp.

Coffee’s Hotter Than Ever

Data released by the National Coffee Association shows the market penetration for coffee has surpassed that of soft drinks, reversing a 20-year pattern. Fifty-seven percent of American adults drink coffee daily versus 51% for soft drinks. Coffee drinking among 18-24 year-olds also jumped 6%, the fourth year in a row for such an increase. Given

Making It in the Marketplace

Driving business with new products is hardly a novel idea, but it’s also one that convenience store retailers rarely use to their advantage, said David Bishop, a partner with research and consulting firm Willard Bishop in Barrington, Ill. When retailers actively participate in the process of bringing a new product to the marketplace by helping

Bypassing the Interchange

Alot has changed on the credit card fee front since last year’s NACS/Convenience Store Decisions Webcast, but retailers are still faced with the daunting challenge of finding creative ways to bypass the high interchange fees that plague the c-store industry. The industry’s efforts to battle these fees is getting attention, fostering the hope that real

Michelada, Anyone?

Chelada, Anheuser-Busch’s new Clamato and beer beverage, isn’t really new at all. A variation of a beverage called Michelada, it belongs to a genre of drinks known in Spanish as cerveza preparada, which means prepared beer—a drink category that’s been around since at least the 1940’s in Mexico. One version of Chelada’s origins is that

Building New Relationships

Anyone who’s been in the industry as long as Dennis Lane is more than supremely qualified to help other retailers cope successfully with the changing c-store landscape. Lane—who was elected last November to head the 2,000-member National Coalition of 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association after serving for the past several years as vice chair of merchandising

Technologies to Watch: Google and VoIP

Two of the most impressive technologies on display at last November’s NACS Show promise to enhance the convenience value proposition for customers and storeowners alike. The first of these comes to the marketplace courtesy of a strategic partnership between Gilbarco Veeder-Root and Google. It will allow customers fueling their vehicles at stations using Gilbarco’s Encore

What VoIP Can Do For You

Even if managing phone calls isn’t a top priority, c-store owners should consider the advantages that a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) system can provide. In addition to providing freedom from escalating phone company bills forever, VoIP can make tasks easier and provide services that may be harder to get or more expensive using a

Finding the Right Loyalty Fit

Finding the right loyalty program “fit” involves a lot more than simply signing up with the first supplier partner you find. Successful c-store retailers need an up-to-date loyalty solution that fits their budgets, their POS systems and their stores. “We’re just gas people—we don’t understand this stuff,” said Gene Tish, vice president and chief operating

Satisfying Hunger and Thirst

Anyone who’s ever tried to satisfy an urge to snack with a bag of salty chips knows that you have to have a drink to do it right.  That, of course, is the basis of cross-marketing: linking the desire for one product to a perceived need for another—and offering customers cost-saving deals that combine their

Homer Simpson? Hardly!

No one sells food that is both fresh and convenient in the U.S., sniffed a retailing analyst quoted by the London Economist last year. “The typical American convenience store consumer is Homer Simpson.” Oh, really? Tell that to the hundreds of customers who stood in line waiting for giant British food retailer Tesco’s first Fresh

Slam Dunk

The influx of people moving to western North Carolina from the Northeast and Florida—both areas where Dunkin’ Donuts does a booming business—was one reason Citizens Fuel Co. is excited these days to be adding Dunkin’ franchises to at least three of its 10 Citi Stop c-stores. “We felt it was a huge opportunity to fill

css.php