Single Store Owner

OCT 2016

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34 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / OCTOBER 2016 Non-Edible Grocery: Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Lightweight Cat Litter Cat litter is heavy and takes up lots of shelf space. The small size of Tidy Cats 4-in-1 Strength Lightweight Cat Litter from Nestlé Purina Petcare addresses the space con- straints of con- venience store operators, and is convenient for the consumer to handle. The plastic jug weighs only 6 pounds, but is equivalent to 14 pounds of the leading competitor litter. It controls ammonia, urine and fecal or- ders, and provides powerful clumping. This product got five stars from our panelists for its lightweight portable container, clumping power, and "no dust" action. Overall Innovation: Skippy P.B. Bites Hormel Foods, maker of the Skippy brand, has taken peanut butter beyond the jar with Skippy P.B. Bites, a satisfying, portable, pop-in-your mouth, round ball snack with a crunchy center and soft, non-sticky peanut butter coating. Containing 5 grams of protein per serving, Skippy P.B. ippy serving, Skippy P.B. P.B. Bites give a boost of a Bites give a boost of boost of energy in a unique a energy in a unique unique style and shape. hape. style and shape. They come pack- pack- aged in a convenient, onvenient, aged in a convenient, portable plastic con- astic portable plastic con- con- tainer so you can keep one in your car, office desk or school backpack. Our group of testers liked the size of the snack ball, as well as the texture, flavor and $2.89 price point. They kept saying how "fun" they thought Skippy P.B. Bites are. Plus, they liked that this is a high-protein alternative to the cheese stick or yogurt snack. Of the two varieties, pretzel and double pea- nut butter, our testers liked the double peanut butter best. Packaged Sweet Snacks: Mrs. Freshley's Peanut Butter Cupcakes Mrs. Freshley's Peanut Butter Cupcakes lever- age the perfect pairing of peanut butter and chocolate, making for a sinful snack that is also budget-friendly. The intense flavor duo is packed into a per- fectly portioned treat, enticing those custom- ers looking for a small indulgence. Mrs. Freshley's Peanut Butter Cup- cakes are moist and flavorful, with a fluffy center. Nostalgic cupcakes are a great sweet treat for sharing, according to our testers. Salty Snacks: Honey Roasted Chipotle Flavored Peanuts The Carolina Nut Co.'s slogan is: "These aren't your normal nuts!" And our panelists agreed, with one remarking: "They are better!" Our testers spent a lot of time trying all the varieties and settled on the Honey Roasted Chipotle Flavored Peanuts as their favor their favor- ite. The sweet and spicy flavor was curated just curated just right, and the nuts are the perfect size. Plus, the packaging is conve- nient, portable, and boasts a long shelf life. They come in a resealable bag with an attractive price point of $2.49 for 4.5 ounces. These nuts scored high points for price, qual- ity and flavor. For both everyday shoppers and the ever-growing millen- nial demographic, this is a healthy and nutritious protein-powerhouse snack that delivers high levels of vitamins and minerals. Wine: Barefoot Refresh Spritzer Cans No corkscrew required, canned wine is now compet- ing for room in c-store beer coolers. Barefoot Refresh Spritzer Cans are able to go many places where glass wine bot- tles are not welcome. With a sleek, fit-in- your-hand, single-serve design, they are fun and pack easily into ice chests. This wine spritzer from E.&J. Gallo Winery satisfies the alcoholic beverage drinker who wants options: over ice, mixed in a cocktail, or straight from the chilled can. Our testers were very familiar with the Barefoot brand, so name recognition was a big plus out of the gate. They tried both the Summer Red and Crisp White varieties and liked them equally. The words "refreshing" and "fizzy" were used more than once. One tester said, "This is perfect for us at the beach." Seen as a value at $2.49, Barefoot Refresh Spritzer Cans provide a nice bridge from a beer consumer to a wine consumer, and give drinkers the freedom to enjoy wine at almost any time and place. SSO Susan Durtschi, an experienced buyer and product development specialist for both brick-and-mortar and online retailers, is president of Past Times Mar- keting, a consumer research firm. For the seventh consecutive year, Convenience Store News partnered with Past Times Marketing for the Best New Products Awards. Past Times works via focus groups and through online surveys with consumers across the country to judge new products. For more information, go to www.pasttimesmarketing.com.

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