New Energy Flavor

After success with its Lemon Blast, Cherry Rush and Citrus Slam Xenergy Xtreme flavors, Xyience introduced Orange Fuel to its Xenergy Xtreme lineup this year. Like other Xenergy Xtreme and Premium flavors, Orange Fuel is available in 16-ounce cans and is sugar- and calorie-free, with only two grams of carbohydrates per serving. Earlier this year,

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NACS CAFÉ Serves Up a Foodservice Education

It began with a simple, yet powerful premise: Convenience store retailers, with their great locations and high customer traffic are well-positioned to capitalize on the development and execution of meaningful foodservice programs. All they need is a solid foundation of information, support, solutions and best practices to succeed. Enter Greg Parker, president and CEO of

$3 Reloadable Prepaid Cards

nFinanSe Inc. has launch its $3 Reloadable Prepaid Discover Cards at Memphis-Tenn.-based Fred’s Hometown Discount Stores, a regional chain of stores located in the Southeast and Midwest. The cards sell for just $3 and the reload fee and monthly maintenance fee are only $2.95, the ATM withdrawal fee is an industry low 99 cents, and

Cell Phone Chargers

Hottips is the cell phone charging system that has it all. The tips charge almost all cell phones and are available as all-in-one chargers, wall chargers, or car chargers. All multi-tip chargers include the new micro USB tip, and mobile phone brands are easily identified. A bright light indicates the phone is charging. The packaging

Seizing Real Estate Opportunities

Prying Properties Loose   Important for retailers to understand is that commercial real estate today is an industry in transition. Its landscape is littered with landlords, if not desperate, than at least strongly motivated to make deals work.   “Things are tight,” said George Anderson, vice president of market analytics for NAI Global in Princeton,

New “Omlete” Wrap

Land Mark Products, which provides companies with customized food manufacturing solutions introduces the Day’ N Night Bites’ “Omlete” Wrap, a way to enjoy breakfast on-the-go without the mess. Instead of using crumbly scrambled eggs, the traditional egg-based breakfast wrap is more contained and far less likely to fall out of the tortilla. Day N’ Night

Is Your Kitchen Fully Equipped?

Where there’s successful foodservice programs, there’s efficient foodservice equipment, and in the convenience store industry, there’s foodservice everywhere. According to NACS’ State of the Industry numbers for 2010, foodservice provided the largest slice of the in-store gross-margin pie, at 26.35%, and was second in in-store sales only to cigarettes. As consumers contemplate what to eat,

Super Bowl Promotion

Diamond Foods Inc. is offering a promotion across its snack portfolio called Snack Bowl XLV. Consumers will submit applications online and encourage their friends to vote for them utilizing unique tools, such as a Facebook video application. The entrant receiving the most votes will win a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement

U-PAK-IT’s Business Model Proves Successful

U-PAK-IT Corp., the third largest Louisiana-based c-store chain, features a unique business model that helps mom-and-pop stores unite to compete in an industry that often eats single stores for breakfast. The first U-PAK-IT store was opened in Winnsboro, La., in 1986. The company quickly grew when a number of neighborhood stores, faced with rising prices

Warming Up to Soup Sales

This is Foodservice 101: when the weather turns cold, consumers want warmth—often in the form of soups and hot convenience foods. Giving your consumers what they want is Convenience Store Success 101. Putting hot soups and other ready-to-go items on the menu this the fall only makes sense, and isn’t all that hard to do.

Inside Look at Store Activity

Series2k has released S2k Realtime Center, a realtime reporting module to complement its Series2K Back Office Management System. The S2k Realtime Center is a Web-based application that allows a convenience store operator or owner to instantaneously see what is going on in their store. The S2k Realtime Center pulls information from the point-of-sale system every

Family Express Debuts New Corporate Headquarters

Valparaiso, Ind.-based Family Express is celebrating the opening of its new corporate headquarters. The 30,0000-square-foot facility not only features offices and a fitness center, but combines its Valparaiso, Ind., and Lafayette Ind., training centers into one  cyber training center, including a fully-merchandised Family Express store, built to scale with equipment and gas pumps. The new

Developing a Customized Foodservice Menu

Testing New Products   As new products earn their way onto your menu don’t forget about the equipment.   “Let’s say you’ve got a roller grill and you’ve been selling hot dogs forever,” explained Larry Miller, president of Miller Management & Consulting Services Inc. in Sanford, Fla. “Now somebody brings you a handheld Mexican product,

Lighting the Way to Profitability

Lighters can be an afterthought. There are relatively few manufacturers, everyone merchandises them near the front counter, liability issues have cut down on cheap products and differentiation is only skin deep. But even given the limited number of companies supplying products, lighters produce an excellent margin—between 40% and 60%—and sales have been steady for the

Outlook Strong for Salty Snacks

The recession of the past couple of years has not swayed consumers from their salty snack habits. In almost every type of data, salty snacks continue to thrive. According to NACS’ 2010 State of the Industry report, convenience store salty snack sales climbed 3.4%, while margin dollars climbed 4.8%. Since 2007, sales of salty snacks

Elevating Snack Sales

The weak economy has not taken much of a bite out of meat snack sales. Americans are loathe to sacrifice edible indulgences, even in times of financial crisis. All three NACS snacks categories—salty, packaged sweet and alternative—showed increases in average sales per store from 2008 to 2009, and showed gross-margin percentage and average gross-margin-dollar-per-store gains.

Saluting Family Businesses

I just got back from the National Advisory Group’s (NAG) 2010 Ideas Conference in Charleston, S.C., and came away with a much better understanding of the issues facing small businesses and family-owned companies. Whether it’s dealing with the massive overhaul of the U.S. medical system, costly PCI compliance investments that yield no ROI or embracing

Growing Milk and Dairy Sales

Milk’s Bumpy Ride   In Mintel International’s new “Milk in the U.S.” report, senior analyst David Browne predicted a “bumpy ride” for the $11-billion milk market. Few categories, he noted, are as volatile as milk, which is reflected in the wild dollar sales swing during 2004-09.   “Volatility may return to the market in late

Tedeschi’s Showcases Pride and Tradition

At a Glance: Tedeschi Food Stores   Headquarters: Rockland, Mass. Founded: 1923 Store Count: 189 2009 Annual Revenue: More than $600 million Employees: 2,100 Markets of Operation: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Proprietary Brands: TD’s Deli and TD’s Express foodservice; Tedeschi Select groceries, snacks and beverages; and Tedeschi Fuel   While other chains

Train to Retain

Convenience store turnover is staggering—100% is typical, and 200% is common among hourly retail employees. Yet, in a Fortune magazine survey of the most admired companies, “the single best predictor of overall excellence was a company’s ability to attract, motivate and retain talented people.” Training and preparing employees for advancement is one proven method for

VERC Enterprises Aims and Delivers

VERC ENTERPRISES AT A GLANCE   VERC Enterprises was launched 35 years ago by Paul Vercollone and his father Eugene in 1975 with a single gas station/car wash in Marshfield, Mass. Leo Vercollone, the company’s current president and CEO, joined the team after he graduated from Boston College in 1977. Paul continues to oversee the

Keeping USTs and Fuel Dispensers Safe

“Those operators who are only now waking up to the need to tend to UST-related matters need not despair. I recently put together an update for a client I have on all 50 states, and everything I remember reading said that no one’s been cast out, shut down or told they can’t operate because they

Tackling New Challenges

During her 13-year career in the industry, Donna Perkins has come a long way. Her enthusiasm and desire to learn drive her success. As pricebook manager for Calloway Oil Co., Perkins maintains costs and retails for all items in the company’s 23 E-Z Stop Food Mart stores in Tennessee. She also handles vendor issues, cost

Shopping for POS Solutions

Convenience to customers today means one-stop shopping, short lines at the counter and the ability to get in and out of a store fast. New integrated point-of-sale (POS) solutions are speeding up service and offering customers the convenience they demand thanks to faster processing times. What’s more, they’re saving operators money, labor and time. Finding

Keys to Growing Foodservice Profitably

Why are some retailers prospering when others are struggling? What are the keys to growing the business—even during tough economic times? How are successful retailers approaching the business differently than others? These are all questions that could be applicable to any part of the retail business. However, the questions are extremely salient to foodservice programs

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