Attention Oklahoma C-Stores – Welcome to the World of Wine!

September 26, 2018

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Oklahoma Retailers to Stock Wine and Stronger Beer

State grocery and convenience stores will benefit from modernized alcohol laws starting next week.
September 26, 2018

 

TULSA, Okla. – On October 1, Oklahoma finally will allow wine and full-strength beer to be sold from convenience stores and supermarkets, the Tulsa World reports. Nearly 60 years after Oklahoma was the final state to overturn Prohibition, high-point beer will be available at retailers outside liquor stores.

The new law specifies that those stores will be able to stock wine of up to 15% alcohol by volume and beer of up to 8.99%. Stores will be able to sell the alcohol seven days a week between 6:00 am and 2:00 am.

This change has been a long time coming to Oklahoma. Two years ago, more than 65% of voters approved the question that allowed for stronger beer sales at convenience stores, while also allowing liquor stores to sell cold beer and a small number of nonalcoholic items, such as corkscrews, mixers and ice. Liquor stores also received permission for expanded hours.

“We were losing out because we were in a very restrictive environment, and by modernizing our alcohol laws, you’re seeing a lot of economic growth,” said state Sen. Stephanie Bice, who sponsored the bills with Rep. Glen Mulready (R).

Currently, only two other states—Minnesota and Utah—have laws restricting the sale of beer and wine from convenience stores and supermarkets. Kansas recently approved a similar law to Oklahoma’s, which will go into effect next April, and Colorado will remove the low-beer restriction come January 2019.

 

NACS Article HERE

Tulsa World Article Here

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U.S. convenience stores can request one or more free litter stands until September 15!

August 14, 2018

Help Control Cigarette Litter at Your Store

August 14, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Litter is one of the top reasons consumers oppose having a convenience store or gas station in their communities. According to Keep America Beautiful (KAB), every litter stand reduces the littering rate for cigarette butts by 9%. Many smokers say they would properly dispose of their butts if suitable receptacles were available.

As part of a new joint initiative of KAB and Philip Morris USA, for a limited time U.S. convenience stores can request free litter stands to collect cigarette butts. Litter stands will be delivered to retailers with all materials, hardware and guidance needed for installation. Retailers are asked to maintain litter stands by servicing them regularly.

U.S. convenience stores can request one or more free litter stands until September 15. Interested retailers should email litterstands@kab.org with the following information:

  • Name and contact information (phone and email)
  • Store name and street address of proposed location
  • Details about where the receptacle(s) will be placed

NACS partnered with Keep America Beautiful in 2017 to produce a free retailer resource

Being a Good Neighbor: A Guide to Reducing Litter, Managing Trash and Encouraging Recycling at Convenience Stores.”

assorted color box lot on rack

Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com


Attn: backOffice Liquor Stores – Wine Sales increasing!

August 10, 2018

Wine Sales Projected Growth at 6% Annually

Millennials and Gen Xers have pushed out baby boomers as the

largest consumer group in the wine market.

August 10, 2018

 

​NEW YORK – Wine sales have been growing, with total U.S. wine sales topping $32 billion in 2017, and a healthy sales projection of more than 6% annually through 2022 to hit $43 billion, Marketing Daily reports. Millennials and Gen Xers are driving this upward trend as their share of wine consumption soared by 8%, making them the largest consumer group in the wine market, according to L.E.K. Consulting.

Off-premises consumption of wine has risen, accounting for more than 80% of overall wine drinking—a much higher rate than for distilled spirits and beer, L.E.K. Consulting reports. Sales of fancy wine—the fine and premium wines—grew around 8% annually since 2012 and should reach $25 billion by 2022.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales also are increasing, with shipments to customers from wineries closing in on $3.1 billion last year. The DTC market is anticipated to experience around 11% growth annually to hit $5.2 billion by 2022. Smaller wineries are pushing the DTC trend, which also has created packaging innovations such as canned, single-serve and boxed wine.

L.E.K.’s research shows that wine sales continued to grow even during the 2007–2008 recession, but new immigration policies could affect wine production by contributing to the industry’s labor shortage. Also, the industry continues to consolidate, with about a dozen suppliers in control of approximately 80% of the U.S. wine market by volume last year.


Get Ready for Gen Z

July 23, 2018

Gen Z Influences Food and Drink Trends

Young consumers are shaping the way Americans eat.
July 23, 2018

 

​CHICAGO – Millennials have had their time in the spotlight; now, companies are looking to the next generation to see how they will impact the future of the food and drink industry. Dubbing cohorts of Generation Z who are aged 11 to 22 as the iGeneration, Mintel says this demographic has the potential to reset expectations for health and wellness, increase the reach of international cuisine and heighten creativity in the kitchen.

Mintel suggests that America’s youngest consumers are increasingly growing health-conscious, with one quarter (25%) of teens aged 15-17 saying they worry about staying healthy, with another 49% agreeing that they think drinking soda is unhealthy.

“Generation Z has come of age at a time when health and wellness is a major consideration. Many younger members of Generation Z follow their parents’ healthy ways and it seems health-consciousness only gets stronger as they approach adulthood.

However, health is multi-faceted for this group, suggesting that better-for-you formulations, such as craveable fruits and vegetables, can be expanded to give this generation options that fit with their ever-changing diet priorities,” said Dana Macke, associate director, lifestyles and leisure reports, at Mintel.

 

Today’s younger generations are the most diverse in U.S. history and in addition to their varied racial and ethnic backgrounds, parents are raising their children to have broader palates.

Gen Z seems to be cultivating an appreciation for international cuisine from a young age as 36% of U.S. parents of children under age 18 agree that their kids enjoy eating international foods.
Interest in international cuisine goes well beyond the more commonplace varieties such as Italian, Mexican and Chinese, as Gen Z consumers are driving consumption of more emerging international food and drink. Adult Gen Z consumers are also much more likely than older generations to find culinary inspiration from social media: 62% of young adults aged 18-22 say they cook international cuisines at home from social media, compared to 46% of Millennials (aged 23-40) and 23% of Generation X consumers (aged 41-52) who cook at home.

“Generation Z is America’s most diverse generation yet. With exposure to international foods starting at an early age, whether in restaurants or at home, Generation Z is more likely to be open to the latest international food trend or innovative fusion creation. These adventurous habits are creating opportunities across categories, presenting potential for products such as tikka masala meal kits or Chinese Peking duck-flavored potato chips,” said Jenny Zegler, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink.

Read more about Gen Z attitudes toward food in the July NACS Magazine feature, “Better for You.”


NACS: Menu Labeling Rule Goes In Effect Today

May 7, 2018

Retailers that share a name with at least 19 other stores must begin labeling the caloric content of any prepared foods.
May 7, 2018

​WASHINGTON – As of today, the Food and Drug Administration’s “menu labeling” rule is in effect. Retailers, who share a store name with at least 19 other stores, must begin labeling the caloric content of any prepared foods in their stores. This includes self-serve beverage, such as soda fountains and coffee.

The rule has been delayed for a number of years by both FDA’s only action and/or Congressional direction, but is now in effect. FDA has indicated that they are not intending to sanction any retailers for violations for the first year of the new rule but rather treat that time as an educational period. However, retailers in states and localities that have passed their own identical or nearly identical rules, such as California and New York City, should be aware that those localities are able to enforce their rules beginning today as well. Those jurisdictions are not restricted by the FDA’s plan to treat this year as educational.

In the meantime, NACS GR staff are continuing to work with FDA and congressional allies to continue to get changes to the rule which would make compliance less burdensome on convenience retailers. Legislation that would have amended the rule passed the House earlier this year with a bipartisan majority. The Common-Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act would make compliance make sense in different retail channels. Efforts to move the legislation in the Senate have been stymied by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), who is ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over the legislation in the body.

While that legislation remains pending before the United States Senate, retailers covered by the rule should be complying with the rule as of today. NACS members can visit the NACS Menu Labeling Compliance page where they can access a document that helps outline retailers’ requirements under this rule.  Furthermore, this morning the FDA released its latest round of guidance on the rule which can be found HERE.


8 Trends That Matter for C-Stores – NACSonlie

April 13, 2018

Thanks NACSonline for another great article.  backOffice Software can help to make these things possible for your c-Store

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8 Trends That Matter for C-Stores

SOI speaker Todd Hale highlights what convenience retailers should be tracking and trying in 2018, and why.
April 13, 2018

​By Greg Lindenberg, CSP Magazine

CHICAGO – “You can’t just sit on the sidelines and watch for growth,” Todd Hale, Nielsen consultant and principal at Cincinnati-based Todd Hale Inc., said in presenting the Tracking Trends That Matter session at the 2018 NACS State of the Industry Summit in Chicago this week.

“It’s not just going to happen. You need to invest in growth,” he said.

With more than 39 years of experience in the consumer research industry including 30 years at Nielsen, Hale is a devoted student of consumer shopping behavior, buying and immediate consumption.

Retailers need to be ready to ride the waves of change or get on board for the opportunities they present, he said. Here are some of the top retail trends Hale sees affecting the convenience-store industry in 2018 and beyond:

1. Store Count
“We’re hitting the wall on store expansion,” said Hale.

The drug channel is seeing contraction, and mass merchandisers are seeing a decline in store count related to Kmart store closings. In the supermarket channel, most of the expansion has come from niches, either on the high end—Sprouts, Whole Foods—or low end—Lidl and Aldi.

But 10 of the top 20 chains that have added the most stores in the last 10 years are convenience stores: Couche-Tard, 7-Eleven, Speedway, GPM, Casey’s, Andeavor, Sunoco, Cumberland Farms, Pilot Flying J and QuikTrip. And nine of the top 20 chains that have the most stores are c-stores: 7-Eleven, Couche-Tard, Shell, Speedway, Chevron Texaco, BP, ExxonMobil, Sunoco and Casey’s.

2. Retail Format
But “retail format is no guarantee of success,” Hale said.

Drug stores are suffering from either flat or negative front-of-store sales; they’re driving growth through their prescription drugs.

One opportunity for c-stores is around aging populations, Hale said. “The nice thing about older people is that they shop a lot; they make a lot of trips. What else have we got to do? One channel that has been missing out on opportunities with trips for older people is the drug chains. How many of you have gone from 30 days to 90 days on your prescription refills, either at a store or through mail order? You’re not making trips to drug stores anymore,” he said.

Hale doesn’t see Dollar General’s DGX small urban format as a threat. “While it’s interesting that they’re playing in this space, they’re overall strategy is probably not to add a lot of these just yet. They’re experimenting with that format. I’d be more concerned about the fact that that they’re adding 900 stores” in its traditional format, he said.

Hale said convenience retailers should be more concerned with Target’s small format. It plans to have more than 100 of these hybrid convenience-store-drug-store-mass merchandisers, although most of the locations are more urban or near college campuses, so that threat may be limited too.

“Operating a small format is something that everybody talks about and more and more retail channels are doing, but it’s not easy to do,” said Hale. Ahold and Kroger tried to introduce smaller fresh formats—bfresh and Main & Vine, respectively, and closed them down. Publix plans to open a small-format store focused on organics to compete with Sprouts and Whole Foods. But none of the big supermarkets have really had much success in terms of rolling out a small format to compete with c-stores, he said.

3. The E-Commerce Threat
E-commerce has seen about a $316 billion increase in sales since 2007, Hale said. Total U.S. retail e-commerce sales for fourth-quarter 2017 was $119.08 billion, up 16.9% from the prior year’s $101.88 billion, compared to 14.4% from 2016 to 2017. That’s 9.1% of total retail sales, up from 8.2% from 2016. “Without question, Amazon is delivering the growth,” said Hale.

But he asked, who will fall prey to e-commerce next? Comparing the “tsunami” of store closings against e-commerce growth, it’s clear which kinds of retailers have suffered the most—specialty retailers, consumer electronics, apparel, books and office supplies.

“It would appear that dollar, convenience and gas would be the least likely to be impacted by e-commerce going forward,” Hale said.

4. Store Closings
While c-stores may be the retail channel least affected by e-commerce directly, there are also indirect effects, he said. Store closings in other channels can have a big influence on traffic.

“You need to think about where you are located and what type of store is closing,” he said. “If it’s a big anchor store that you rely on for traffic at particular locations, then you’ve got to think about what are you going to do with those locations that are no longer going to have traffic anymore. The whole notion of managing store closings has to be top priority in your mind in a world like this, because you’re going to see traffic patterns really change, and you’re going to see sales in some of your stores take a dive just because you’re not getting the same people driving by as they were before.”

5. Modifying the Box Experience
Hale talked about some of the “mind-boggling” things retailers are doing to “modify the box experience” to try to compete with e-commerce. There’s a lot going on to try to enhance the in-store experience:

  • Tiffany’s is offering actual Breakfast at Tiffany’s, based on the iconic film.
  • Sak’s opened a wellness spa with fitness classes.
  • American Eagle is offering free laundry facilities.
  • Urban Outfitters is selling pizza.
  • Walmart is hosting holiday parties.
  • Hy-Vee and Kroger are investing in restaurants and food courts.
  • Gelson’s is opening in in alcohol, beer and wine bars.

Hale cited a Wall Street Journal report about consumers “finding love in the frozen-food aisle” as grocery stores become more of a place where people can meet to socialize.

“Think about what’s being invested by these grocery chains to make sure that people have a reason to come to a store, not just to shop, but to socialize,” he said. “How can you take advantage of that in terms of how your formats are evolving? Is there something else you can do either to train your people to be more interactive with shoppers, or do something different in your store to make it so that people do want to come to your store regardless of whether they need gas?”

6. Females Driving Trips
C-stores have always had the lead in terms of more men shop in c-stores than any other channel. But that is changing, said Hale. Women are now almost 50% of the trips to c-stores, still lower than other channels, but is may be an opportunity for c-stores to invest in formats that might attract females.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see 7-Eleven investing in a private-label line of cosmetics,” he said. “It’s a category that’s really important to women. It’s a category that’s really important to drug stores, and so is there an opportunity for you to think about how you might tweak your assortment depending on how close you might be to Rite Aid store that’s going to close down—600 Rite Aid stores are going to close down in the next 18 months, so there’s an opportunity if you’re around those stores to think about how you recapture some of those trips that are going to be lost to them.”

7. Door to Car, Door to Door, Door to Fridge
Amazon may not be a big worry for c-stores as much as competitive foodservice retailers like McDonald’s, Taco Bell or KFC if they are going to be offering online ordering and delivery direct to consumers, according to Hale.

“A real race that you have to be concerned with is this whole new move from door to car to door to door to inside a home or inside a fridge,” he said. “Amazon is testing ways to get right inside your home and deliver products with its Amazon Key. Walmart is testing the fact that you can order online and have somebody get into your home and put products away in your refrigerator.”

Both are opening or expanding grocery pickup sites, and small grocers are also experimenting with online ordering and pickup. And grocery delivery services such as instacart and Shipt are catching on.

And today, while it’s still very much a niche business, there is also now an abundance of meal-kit options such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and plated. Amazon Go sells Amazon Meal Kits. Hale is not so bullish that these are going to be a big deal, at least for c-stores, because about a quarter of the people who buy these meal kits are gourmet cooks—not a big convenience channel demographic.

More concerning to him is home delivery of meals by the likes of Grubhub and UberEats. A “big battle” is coming now with fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, KFC and Taco Bell investing in this $100 billion delivery market. There’s a lot of activity going on in this space, said Hale.

8. Strange Bedfellows
“We’re in a whole new game when it comes to merger and acquisition activity today,” said Hale. This activity is going to change the way retail works. He calls it “strange bedfellows.”

“Who would have thought that Target would have bought Shipt. Who would have thought that Campbell’s Soup would have bought a snack company, Snyder’s-Lance,” he said. “The fact that Albertson’s merges with Rite Aid. You’ve got CVS and Walmart talking with health insurance companies to create new complete business models.”

Hale said c-store retailers need to think about getting into and acquiring new businesses that may not have anything to do with c-stores, or that can complement existing c-store formats.

Greg Lindenberg is Editor, CSP Magazine and CSP Daily News. 

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How can C-Stores help to solve childhood hunger?

March 14, 2018

Thank you NacsOnline for this article.

Partnering to Solve Childhood Hunger

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast shares how convenience stores can have a role in helping to feed hungry kids.
March 14, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Convenience Stores Can Help Solve Childhood Hunger,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard and Carolyn Schnare talk with Share Our Strength about the important role convenience stores can play in ending childhood hunger.

The statistics are heartbreaking:

One in six kids in America—

some 13 million children—

will face hunger this year.

Share Our Strength, an national anti-hunger organization, created its No Kid Hungry campaign to address that issue by working with convenience stores, restaurants and other vendors.

“Because they’re hungry, it’s impeding their learning, it’s getting in the way of them realizing their dreams,” said Clay Dunn, chief communications officer for Share Our Strength. “We as a country have plenty of food and resources to be able to feed every child and we even have programs put in place that are designed to do that, but too often those programs are failing the kids that they’re meant to serve.”

Part of the reason kids aren’t connecting with programs that have food available for them is quite simple—families aren’t aware of the program or they can’t access or get to the food distribution location. “We really look at it as access and awareness,” said Jill Davis, senior vice president of corporate partnerships for Share Our Strength. “We’re convinced that it’s a solvable problem.”

One way convenience stores can help solve the awareness and access problem is through Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. When restaurants and retailers with foodservice sign up to participate in the initiative, Share Our Strength provides assistance to make the program successful for both the retailer’s bottom line and in helping to feed children. “We can create customized programming for that retailer …that solves your business objectives at the same time,” Davis said.

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The weekly podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 39,000 times in more than 95 countries.

Read full article here

 #doBetter
No child should be hungry.
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