beverage

Driving Frozen Beverage Sales

Convenience store operators who are cashing in on frozen dispensed sales are combining new and exciting flavors with popular promotions, good equipment maintenance and a strong foodservice offering. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Frozen beverages are widely regarded as a high-growth category, and convenience store operators looking for more of a good thing are complementing

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Chicken Takes Flight at C-Stores

Overall poultry sales continue to experience strong growth as retailers look to boost their menus with healthy items that offer flexibility and value.By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. What’s not to like about chicken? Americans love it for its taste, variety, healthfulness and price, and c-store operators like that it is versatile—think sandwiches, wraps, salads, tenders

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Finding Supply Chain Success

Building a strong relationship with your vendors can ease the negotiation process and take unnecessary costs out of the distribution system. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Cutting costs along the supply chain remains a challenge for convenience stores, but strong negotiation and communication skills can go a long way toward scoring the best possible deal

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Surviving the Next Superstorm

Do you have a contingency plan in place in case disaster strikes one or more of your convenience store locations? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Being prepared for major storms and disasters is vital to any convenience store, especially those in areas most susceptible to hurricanes, as Superstorm Sandy taught us just last year. The

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Delivering the Goods

There’s no one-solution-fits-all when it comes to distribution. Focus and timing can make all the difference in the world. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. After working with a single distributor for 40 years, York, Pa.-based Rutter’s Farm Stores last month signed three-year agreements with Core-Mark and US Foods. Robert Perkins, Rutter’s vice president of marketing,

Visa and Mastercard logos on credit cards.

Maintaining Data Security Standards

While many retailers are breathing a sigh of relief in regard to PCI compliance, Visa and MasterCard are constantly changing the rules, requiring stores to make costly changes and upgrades. By John Lofstock, Editor. When it comes to data security, all retailers need to be prepared for the worst scenario, but that can’t happen if

food

Foodservice Brand Positioning: Focus on Clarity

Companies in growth mode are faced with an ongoing dilemma of keeping their expanding portfolio on plan with regard to their strategic branding direction. This is even more important when it comes to foodservice. By John Matthews, Contributing Editor Who are we?That is a question we hear all the time from companies that are trying

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Martin Eagle Aims to Contain Rising Operating Costs

Using a new monitoring system, the Texas chain is saving time, energy and reducing the spoilage costs that can arise from damaged cold vault compressors. By Erin Rigik, associate editor. Martin Eagle Oil Co. knows first hand the financial and general frustrations convenience store operators can feel after losing a freezer full of products due

Tom Rayburn  (center), Joel Workinger (left), and Todd Rutter.

Rutter’s Honored with Army Reserve Employer Support Award

Flexible scheduling for military personnel helps the chain’s employees serve their country and their customers. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Rutter’s Farm Stores’ Joel Workinger, a dairy transportation supervisor, and Todd Rutter, president of Rutter’s Dairy, were recognized last month with the Army Reserve Employer Support Award. Tom Rayburn, a delivery driver for Rutter’s Dairy

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Elevating Your Foodservice Strategy

Emerging competition from nontraditional operators like food trucks means c-stores must raise their game when it comes to the all-important food category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Foodservice continues to serve as a key point of differentiation for convenience stores. Keeping the menu fresh requires innovation as well as a keen eye for new products

stirfry

Developing a Healthier Foodservice Menu

Organic, sustainable and locally-grown foods are all trends hitting the country, but are convenience store customers ready for these items? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Numerous “healthy” foodservice trends are sweeping cities across the U.S., from sustainable to local to organic to all-natural, and of course fresh, but is the time right for convenience stores

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What Your Cigar Customers Want

Whether it’s flavored products or low-cost brands, OTP customers remain among the most loyal in the store. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. How much is too much is a fundamental question in retailing, and all the more so when it comes to cigars. With so many new products, flavors and line extensions to choose from,

Candy

Strong Market for Candy and Confections

The numbers for gum might be somewhat glum but, overall, the more than $1.8 billion non-chocolate confections category is growing. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Danna Huskey, category manager for Texarkana, Texas-based E-Z Mart Stores uses words and phrases, such as “rocking,” “shockingly great” and even “holy cow!” to describe recent sales of non-chocolate confections.

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Defining Social Media Success

More and more convenience store chains are adopting interactive promotions to attract friends and fans and establish a longer-term relationship. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Today’s customers are more connected into the digital world than ever and to communicate with them effectively, convenience store operators must have a visible presence on social media sites. Savvy

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Warning: Encroachers Encroaching

The competitive landscape is changing again as drug stores, such as Walgreens and Duane Reade, and even furniture stores are beginning to feature foodservice, and dollar stores are selling snacks, cigarettes and beer. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. It seems that everybody wants to be a convenience store these days. Walgreens has 10 and growing

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Del Monte Fresh ‘Find Your Inner Chef’ Contest

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Proprietary

Finding Your Foodservice Niche

From proprietary programs and co-branded QSRs to no-fee, turnkey foodservice solutions, c-stores have a wide variety of program options right at their fingertips. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Having been part of his family’s restaurant for 20 years, David Deddens knows what it takes to build a foodservice brand. That’s one of the reasons the

Sandwich

Sandwich Programs on a Roll

Last year, the sandwich category was worth $27.7 billion, up 6.3% from 2011, according to Technomic. Retailers are optimistic that 2013 will be even stronger. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. With their in-store kitchens already producing made-from-scratch pizza and cake doughnuts, it was a natural progression for Casey’s General Store locations to expand into made-to-order

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Carpenter Leads a Busy NACS Agenda

Chairman Dave Carpenter promotes advocacy as the industry continues to battle swipe fees, fuel standards and increased competition in the year ahead.By John Lofstock, Editor. The convenience store industry continues to evolve, becoming a bigger part of the American consumers’ daily lives. In 2012, the industry achieved record sales of $700.3 billion, according to the

fuelpumpingLARGE

Seven Tricks to Buying Fuel Cheaper

Knowledge, persistence and hard work can yield an impressive cost-savings on your diesel and gasoline buying practices.By Betsi Bixby, Meridian Associates Inc. Two marketers were at a meeting. The speaker was talking about negotiating better fuel prices. One older marketer, head of a company in business for more that 60 years, commented that the speaker

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Energy Products Stimulating Store Sales

Though they come in small bottles, liquid energy shots continue to deliver a big sales punch on convenience store counters. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Despite widely publicized health concerns about some of the ingredients in energy drinks, Bob Falkenberg founder of Alpharetta, Ga.-based BeveragePulse.com research firm, said he expects sales to continue to increase

MeatSnacks

Meat Snacks Get Creative

From extra spicy to turkey or bacon based, today’s meat snacks are offering the variety customers crave. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. As customers continue to crave variety and new taste profiles, meat snacks manufacturers are staying on their toes, and providing c-stores with a range of new options to keep shoppers coming back for

slurpee

Strong Growth for Frozen Dispensed Beverages

Consumer demand is surging as operators continue appealing to new audiences with new flavors and product innovations. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Everyone agrees that frozen beverage sales are strong and the outlook for the category remains extremely positive for the next few years. For 2012, the NACS State of the Industry report found that

QT

The Force is Strong with QuikTrip

New Market Force study anoints QT the top rated c-store chain for cleanliness, friendliness and food quality. By Erin Rigik, associate editor. QuikTrip, with 662 stores in 11 states, was voted the most popular convenience store chain, according to a new study by Market Force Information, beating out 7,600 study participants. Convenience store chains Wawa,

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Embracing Energy Efficient Solutions

Whether it’s installing LED lighting or partnering with a local utility, retailers have a wide assortment of new opportunities to maximize efficiencies for less. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor.Adding energy efficient features to convenience stores has numerous benefits from power bill and maintenance savings to the ability to market to today’s more eco-conscious consumer. If

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