ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Filling up your car and slaking your thirst are the trio of topics in this week’s Convenience Matters podcast, which released its first short series looking at the broad trends in these c-store categories. “We took a look at what’s going on at the store level and potential future trends and disruptors in fueling, cold dispensed beverages and packaged beverages,” said NACS host Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives.
In “Category Close-up: Fueling,” Schnare talked with Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives; Skip Potter, IT director for R.L. Vallee; and Chris Whitley, vice president of marketing and sales for Gilbarco Veeder-Root. “Pumping gas is one of those things that you have to do—I don’t think anybody puts it at the top of their excursions that they like to make,” Whitley said. “We try to make it fast and seamless, and as un-confusing as it can be from a payment standpoint, and that they’re able to get on and off that site or inside that store as quick as possible.”
In “Category Close-up: Cold Dispensed Beverages,” Schnare spoke with David Reny, senior vice president of sales for Good West Industries; Ryan Riggs, senior vice president for Global Partners; and Lori Stillman, NACS vice president of research. “At Alltown Fresh, our focus is on trying to provide an offering that people can feel good about,” said Riggs. “In the cold dispensed beverage category, we’ve attempted to take out some of the additives where we could that would make people feel better about what they’re drinking. At Alltown Fresh, we have our own soda, and we offer them with tap handles that look more like beer on tap than a typical soda fountain.”
In “Category Close-up: Packaged Beverages,” Schnare discussed the category with Stillman and Michael Jackson, category manager, High’s of Baltimore. High’s uses its rewards program to draw traffic into its stores to buy packaged beverages. “If it’s hot, we’ll do something with our High’s branded water,” Jackson said. “We have the ability to do that quickly” as the weather changes. “We do bundling with foodservice, like two hot dogs, a bag of chips and a packaged beverage—like a meal deal. We’ve done snacking bundles with chips and a 20-ounce Coke…. Each one is slightly different, and some do well and some don’t.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 160,000 times by listeners around the world.