Convenience Store News

NOV 2014

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60 Convenience Store News | NOVEMBER 2014 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM program offering with high product quality and presen- tation," said one retailer on the CSNews How To Crew. Consumers appear to agree. In a recent survey con- ducted by Technomic, a foodservice industry research firm, QuickChek was voted No. 1 among the top c-store chains for overall beverage quality. Best hot BeverAGes InnovAtor, sIlver MedAl Wawa Inc., Wawa, Pa. Last year, Wawa was the gold medal winner for Foodservice Innovator of the Year and before that, it was the silver medalist in the hot beverages category. Then and now, CSNews' How To Crew judges rave about the 650-plus-store chain's hot beverages program. Since 2000, Wawa has served more than a billion cups of coffee and commands a significant market share of the brewed coffee market, ranking No. 1 in Philadelphia and No. 7 nationally. In his recently published book, "The Wawa Way," former CEO Howard Stoeckel points out that the retailer's product development team includes coffee specialists who conduct sensory testing and develop specifications for all the various blends and roasts sold. Offerings include regular, decaf and varietals: French vanilla, hazelnut, Columbian and dark roast. CSNews' How To Crew judges cited Wawa's barista- served beverages that "rival Starbucks" and noted the retailer's addition of new flavors and drink offerings. Coffee continues to be key to Wawa's drive to bet- ter position its stores to be a solution for customers' needs during their busy daily lives. Best cold & Frozen BeverAGes InnovAtor, Gold MedAl 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas Judges gave 7-Eleven, the silver medalist in this cate- gory two years ago, credit for a number of innovations around cold and frozen beverages, earning it the gold medal this year. 7-Eleven, the nation's largest c-store chain, is particu- larly recognized for creating innovative and unexpected Slurpee flavor offerings, such as: • Its first regional Slurpee flavor, the Vernors Slurpee, offered at 200 stores in Michigan. Vernors, the oldest surviving ginger ale brand, was created in 1866 in a downtown Detroit pharmacy and remains a statewide favorite. The Vernors Slurpee, which debuted in May, was a hit with 7-Eleven customers in the area. • An exclusive Sprite 6 Mix Slurpee inspired by NBA foods, Kwik Trip has been more aggressive than ever with limited-time offers this year. New bakery items have debuted every two to three months, and the same timetable is being applied to its sandwiches and hot case. This strategy enables the retailer to incorporate new items into its menu with low risk. Best hot BeverAGes InnovAtor, Gold MedAl QuickChek Corp., Whitehouse Station, N.J. Offering a wide variety of high-quality coffee beverag- es, QuickChek is a "best-in-class" operator in the con- venience hot beverage category. The chain of 140 con- venience stores in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley of New York won this same award in 2012 and last year, it was the silver medal winner in the Foodservice Innovator of the Year category. The retailer uses a timer program that always ensures consistent fresh coffee, and there's a dedicated, friendly coffee host/hostess (or barista) in each store who pro- vides excellent customer interaction and service. QuickChek's hot beverage program layout enables optimal customer flow, as the "Q Coffee" area feels like a coffee shop within the convenience store. A vari- ety of fresh condiments, driven by customer preference and requests, is available and if a customer asks for a unique condiment, they'll do their best to provide it. The retailer's innovation continued this year as it launched a new espresso program and other specialty beverages aimed at trading customers up to a higher price/register ring, while also providing high-quality products and customer value. "QuickChek does an excellent, very consistent job in

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