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Convenience, gas retailer Sheetz successfully changes consumer perception

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Permanently changing consumer perception of what can and cannot be found in any particular channel can be done, and convenience and gas retailer Sheetz is proof of it.

Where once only dollar-bag chips and hours-old rotisserie “dogs” served as hot lunch options at convenience stores, Sheetz established its touchscreen ordering systems that allow consumers to choose from a wide variety of customized lunch items.

Not only did Sheetz successfully establish its stores as go-to food destinations, the company also redefined who shops at those gas stations. “You want to talk about a really innovative format that makes it fun and exciting for even women to shop the convenience store, this is [the] one,” Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper insights for Nielsen, told attendees of a Sunday morning event jointly hosted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. (Click here for exclusive full coverage of the event.)

The opportunity for the drug channel is there, he added. While the largest categories sold at the pharmacy include many over-the-counter medicines, the fastest-growing categories — with at least $60 million in annual sales — are all food and beverage items, Hale said.

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Bolthouse Farms’ carrot products get certified by American Heart Association

BY Allison Cerra

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Bolthouse Farms has announced that the American Heart Association has certified its 100% carrot juice, baby carrots and cello carrots.

The products now will tout a heart checkmark on each label, the company said, which indicates the products meet the nutritional standards the American Heart Association sets for foods and beverages.

"The American Heart Association’s certification formally declares what nutritionists have long known: carrots and carrot juice are an excellent part of a heart-healthy diet," Bolthouse Farms CEO Jeff Dunn said. "The heart-check mark on our packaging can be a beacon for consumers looking to live healthy, active lives."

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Kellogg’s survey finds many Americans forgo breakfast

BY Allison Cerra

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Americans still believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, although many find it difficult to eat breakfast due to hectic schedules, according to a survey sponsored by Kellogg’s.

The survey, which consisted of more than 14,000 respondents across varying ethnicities, income levels, geographic regions and ages, found that while more than half (54%) of all adult respondents would like to eat breakfast every day, in reality only one-third (34%) actually do.

And despite the fact that nearly all toddlers and preschool-aged children are eating breakfast, consumption of breakfast dips as American children grow older: 77% of young children eat breakfast every day, but the number falls to 50% in the middle-school years and 36% among high school students.

What’s more, nearly all moms surveyed (89%) said they want their kids to eat breakfast every day; however, 40% reported that their child doesn’t eat breakfast daily.

Amid the survey results, Kellogg’s has developed the Kellogg Breakfast Council, which consists of seven third-party nutrition experts dedicated to helping people understand nutrition information and to incorporate nutritious foods and habits into the diet.

"Kellogg’s understands — we’re parents, too, and we are committed to providing moms a variety of cereals that help make mornings simple while offering nutrition, taste and value," said Doug VanDeVelde, Kellogg’s SVP morning foods marketing and innovation. "At Kellogg’s, we know great breakfasts lead to great days, and we are passionate about sharing that message and helping people start each morning off right."

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