Convenience Store News

DEC 2016

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42 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM can highlight the offering, according to Stevens of the Produce for Better Health Foundation. The same can be said for a refrigerated case featuring pre-made sal- ads and pre-sliced fruit and vegetables placed near the front of the store. Creating colorful signage to draw customers' atten- tion to the fruits and vegetables offered is another option, along with celebrating National Nutrition Month in March and Fruits and Veggies — More Matters Month in September. The events can remind and educate customers about the importance of these items, Stevens suggested. "C-stores can also place ads and messages about eat- ing healthy in apps and on their websites, along with clings on the entrance/exit doors and by the gas pumps," she advised. "The ads/messages should focus on either educating or reminding customers to eat their fruit and veggies. Most consumers process ads and promotional messages through the senses of light and sound." When marketing healthier offerings, terms such as fresh, low-fat, whole grains and protein are motivating for c-store customers, said Pruitt of General Mills. The company is seeing many c-stores create better- for-you section endcaps near the front of the store to capture impulse sales, added Kelly Fulford, senior category development manager for General Mills Convenience & Foodservice. "Since most customers spend the majority of their time shopping in line, and this also has the greatest conversion ratio, we recommend grouping better-for- you items together by category (salty, bars, etc.), and leveraging signage to make these items more visible on the shelf," Fulford noted. Additionally, Cornell University is working with NACS to test different marketing ideas in the con- venience channel when it comes to healthy options. So far, they've found using stickers to communicate around water increases sales by double digits. CSN protein and fiber segment of healthier items, and have no artificial flavors or colors. Supplier KIND also continues to innovate with limited-edition bars low in sugar and high in protein and fiber. The company introduced Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice for Halloween, followed by Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spice for the holidays. The brand also launched its first-ever fruit bar in August, made with only fruit and chia or fruit and vegetables. Each flavor has only five ingredients or less. Another CPG company, Kashi, introduced a line of GOLEAN bars, packaged in clear wrappers so con- sumers can see the whole nuts and seeds in the bars, which are also high in fiber and protein. And The Hershey Co. continues to expand its Brookside port- folio, with the most recent addition being Brookside Yogurt Flavored Fruit and Nut Bars. Beverage makers are answering the call as well. Some newer options include Rubicon Exotic Juice's line of no-sugar-added juice drinks, featuring 100-per- cent juice in six flavors, and Gatorade's G Organic line of sports drinks made from just seven ingredients. There is even protein-infused water available from Trimino, offering seven grams of whey protein, no sugar, carbs or caffeine, at just 28 calories per serving. Foodservice manufacturers are likewise stepping up their game to offer healthier options for retailer's made-to-order menus. One example is Brakebush Brothers Inc.'s natural chicken breast and diced natural chicken, made from chicken that's fed an all-vegetarian diet and raised without antibiotics. Convenience dis- tributor Eby-Brown Co. LLC recently rebranded its proprietary Wakefield foodservice line to include a variety of products for consumers wanting healthier options, including fresh parfaits and heart-healthy sandwiches such as an egg white frittata and wraps. "As our research has indicated, we will continue to add healthier choices for our c-store customers to keep ahead of the market trends and, as always, make our offerings with the freshest and finest ingredients as we enhance the options to our food line," Thomas Wake, co-president of Eby-Brown, said in a press release. PRODUCT PRESENTATION While stocking healthy products is the first step, marketing them and presenting them in a way that attracts customers and lets them know you offer such options is key. When it comes to produce, an open floor stand or counter display by the register featuring whole fruit New York convenience store Flory's has had success selling kale chips. The retailer merchandises them above a grab-and-go cooler.

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