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Kozy Shack makes its way to retail with Coffeehouse Blends, SmartGels

BY Rob Eder

BOSTON—DSN editor Rob Eder, suffering through week four on the Caveman Diet, almost threw in the towel when confronted with Kozy Shack’s newest temptations. Available now for the food service industry — but coming soon to a MAJOR retailer near, well, everybody — is Kozy Shack’s new Coffeehouse Blends pudding. The gluten-free treat comes in three flavors: caffe latte, cappuccino and caramel macchiato.


And currently making its way to retail is Kozy Shack’s new SmartGels, which uses a natural vegetarian-based (carrageenan) ingredient to create a Kosher, gluten-free alternative to gelatin-based desserts. Available in convenient 3.5-oz grab-n-go cubs, SmartGel flavors include orange and sugar-free orange, strawberry and sugar-free strawberry, tropical and sugar-free tropical and cherry.

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McLane takes the guesswork out of ‘fresh’

BY Rob Eder

BOSTON — Fresh is one of the biggest buzzwords in drug store retailing today. But getting into the business can be particularly challenging for small-box retailers like drug stores.

Enter McLane, an industry-leading supply chain services company that has taken away the guesswork for drug store retailers, complete with customized coolers and a full array of fresh product offerings, including sandwiches, salads, fruit juices, fresh-cut fruit and yogurt.

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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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