Consumers Rush for Energy

John Scully got started on Red Bull before Red Bull got started on him. Now 41 and working as a mortgage broker in Cleveland, Scully remembers that first sip, taken in a bar in Thailand where he’d backpacked when he was a 20-something college graduate long on adventure and short on money. "You sort of

Hot Dispensed Beverages: Consumers on the Prowl for Premium

The days of battery acid brewing in a pot on a hot plate are long over, and c-store coffee programs will be hard-pressed to win drinkers these days without recognizing that consumers are on the prowl for premium coffees at palatable prices. A shortage of minutes and money among consumers nationwide is driving demand for

Cold & Frozen dispensed beverages: Mixing it Up in Cold Dispensed

Average per-store sales of cold dispensed beverages experienced modest gains that shouldn’t give retailers pause when they manage this category, as leading c-store chains are showing that big profits can spurt from some tiny fountain heads. Ricker’s c-stores, for instance, a 30-store chain headquartered in Anderson, Ind., has shaped much of its identity on its

Isotonics and Energy Drinks: Isotonics Maintain, Energy Drinks Soar

Isotonics and sports drinks maintain strong sales and will probably continue to do so, given consumers’ growing demands for healthful food and drink that meets the body’s needs following physical activity. Energy-drink purchases, on the other hand, are growing exponentially across the country—leading retailers to keep seeking the best strategies for leveraging the category’s popularity.

Alternative Energy (Shots and bars): Buying Energy by the Shot

Make room for the new kid on the block: Energy shots, those concentrated versions of energy drinks that are beginning to mirror the high sales figures of their parent product. Granted, some customers buy energy shots to add to their energy drink in a kind of shot-and-chaser strategy. But for an increasing number of buyers,

Carbonated Soft Drinks: Strong, But Losing Ground

Most carbonated soft drink companies found 2007 a good year, but not because of CSD sales in the U.S. Increases in carbonated beverage sales outside North America plus profits from their non-carbonated acquisitions are keeping Coke and Pepsi strong, despite the introduction of new products such as Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi Max, industry analysts

Bottled Water: New Water Pours Forth

Conventional wisdom says the bottled water market is flooded, but that may not be the case at the high end, according to Beverage Marketing, which reports that high-end brands like Iceland Spring and Iceland Glacial, Voss and Isbre appear eager to parlay an exotic source and upscale packaging into an above-premium business, much as Fiji

Juices and teas: Fruit Drinks Flat, Teas Growing

Information Resources Inc. (IRI) reported that the total count for the sparkling juice category is $78 million and rising. Even so, it’s a bit difficult to tell how much traction the average c-store retailer can get from them given the huge number of beverage choices available in this category today. Other than specialty sparkling beverages

Starbucks Adds Energy Options

Starbucks customers have another option for caffeine infusion now that the Seattle coffee chain has unveiled its “+Energy” products in U.S. stores, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported. The new caffeine ingredients can be added to any existing Starbucks handmade beverage by saying “plus energy” at the end of an order, the newspaper reported. Baristas have

Saluting Supplier Partners

Retailers may be on the front lines every day, but the presence of their supplier partners is palpable. It can be seen and felt in the marketing and merchandising found at the store level and in the intricate planograms category managers use to set their stores. To get a better feel for the supplier companies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clearing a Crowded Cold Vault

Energy drinks and isotonics are following two increasingly divergent paths, just part of the fast-paced beverage category about which convenience store operators are spending more time planning than ever before. The crazy-quilt influx of new brands, products, line extensions, flavors and varieties is jamming cooler doors and sales floors, and calling for some hard choices.

Tax Debate Swarms Bottled Water

It’s back to the barricades once again for the convenience store industry, which—as in the past—is being targeted by environmental special interest groups and revenue-hungry legislators. This time they’re focusing on bottled water containers. Bottled water remains a tremendously popular and trendy product category, which is just what attracted the attention of these two groups

Whipping Up a Retail Destination

Big box operators and supermarkets seem to dominate the Texas retail landscape. But while most of those stores focus on getting bigger, some convenience operators are finding that connecting with the consumers on a personal level is better. Consider Whip In, a dynamic marketer based in Austin, Texas. It doesn’t have the size and real

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

A [Private] Affair

More. That’s what convenience store customers can expect to see of private-label brands–and what convenience store operators need to do in order to make those brands successful. The costs are too low, opportunities to build brand equity and loyalty too high, quality is rising too quickly and the benefits are too numerous for retailers with

Private Label Case Study: Tesco

Jim Hertel, the senior vice president of retail consultant Willard Bishop, spotlights international retailer Tesco PLC’s Fresh & Easy concept, which at presstime had been rolled into eight stores in Phoenix, with 26 more planned. Hertel noted that Tesco’s use of private label brands "turns a lot of conventional wisdom upside down. Many food retailers

Kum & Go Introduces Private-Label Wines

Kum & Go L.C., operator of more than 430 convenience stores in 12 states, introduced Napa Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and Sea Ridge Merlot wines to its long list of private-label offerings. The wines are sold exclusively at Kum & Go stores in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. Kum & Go set out last year to provide

It’s All About New

Frequent new product launches have become de rigueur in the world of retailing, with customers expecting new product introductions on a regular basis. “Convenience customers love new items,” said Bill Tencza, senior category manager at Quick Chek, a chain with more than 100 stores in New Jersey and Southern New York. “And our customers look

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