Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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30 Convenience Store News | NOVEMBER 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM C-store Industry Inspiration Board Get your creative juices flowing, using these innovative concepts as a starting point Amped-Up Branding No longer just a name on the storefront, convenience stores are expanding their brands to be more like brand experiences incorporated into every aspect of the opera- tion. A prime example of this is Kum & Go LC's newest prototype store design. Playing off the West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer's slogan, "Where & Means More," Kum & Go has built a unique convenience store experience around the ampersand symbol. Ampersands are used strategically and whimsically throughout the in-store footprint, as well as in localized artwork that sits outside each new prototype store. There's even a Kum & Go signature doughnut in the shape of an ampersand. Taking this branding one step further, the retailer recently rolled out a new loyalty program and aptly named it, &Rewards. Kum & Go's &Rewards program rewards customers for purchases they make both in- store and at the pump; includes a pizza club; and allows members to take advantage of pop-up offers. Beverages Redefined Are you keeping your cold vault modern and stocked with the latest in beverage category innovation? Packaged beverage trends appear to be making the jump to alcoholic beverage trends at an increasing rate these days. Boxed water has now made way to boxed sangria. At the recent 2016 NACS Show, CSNews editors met with Beso Del Sol Sangria. Imported from Spain, it comes in red and white varieties, each packaged in a 3-milliliter box, and stays fresh for up to six weeks once it's opened, refrigerated or not. Sparking bottled water has made way to alcoholic spar- kling water. From the same maker as Samuel Adams beer, Truly Spiked & Sparkling is an alcoholic sparkling water that contains alcohol made from cane sugar and comes in three flagship flavors. Carbonated soft drinks have made way to hard sodas. One line, Henry's Hard Soda from Miller Coors, seeks to "put a play- ful spin on familiar flavors." Henry's currently comes in three varieties: Hard Ginger Ale, Hard Orange, and Hard Cherry Cola. And most recently, traditional Mexican aguas frescas are popping up in alcoholic versions. Hard Frescos, inspired by the fresh-pressed juices that are a part of Mexico's street food culture, are naturally fermented in small batches using real fruit. And then, there's Zumbida, which maker MillerCoors says com- bines a subtle sweetness and fruit flavor, with a hint of carbon- ation, and a touch of alcohol for a crisp, clean finish. Which packaged beverage will get "alcoholized" next? cover story

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