LAS VEGAS—At the NACS Show Monday, Kwik Trip Inc. and The Spinx Company will be honored with the first-ever FMN Fuels Innovator of the Year Awards by Fuels Market News Magazine. During the “2022 Fuel Retailers of the Year” education session at 8 a.m. in Pavilion 9, representatives from the companies will discuss their fuel and EV programs and philosophy and how they attain efficiency and success.
Keith Reid, Fuels Market News Magazine editor-in-chief, said the convenience retailers were selected for the award based on overall fuel excellence, technology and operational efficiency.
La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip, won in the larger-size category, which considered c-stores with 100 or more locations. Greenville, South Carolina-based Spinx won in the smaller category of c-stores with fewer than 100 locations.
Combined with sister brand Kwik Star, Kwik Trip operates more than 800 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. It offers seven grades of gasoline (including E85 and ethanol free), six grades of diesel and DEF, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane and electric vehicle charging.
Spinx operates more than 80 stores throughout South Carolina and employs over 1,400 associates through its stores, food operations and related businesses. Spinx offers five grades of gasoline (including E85 and ethanol free), two grades of diesel, kerosene, compressed natural gas and electric charging.
Why the new award category?
“FMN magazine already reviews the top retail fueling performers through the OPIS/FMN Fuel Leaders special issue which, using OPIS-developed algorithms, rank a range of retailers with a core focus on fueling efficiency,” Reid said. “While this is excellent information, we wanted to take another look at these companies relative to innovation within the fuel products and EV charging opportunities they provide to their customers and/or their use of technology. The goal is to not only reward retailers for exploring transportation energy beyond the norm but also to provide other retailers with the rationale for pushing boundaries and some best practices.”
The selection process began with the OPIS/FMN 2021 Fuel Leaders special issue of Fuels Market News, which showcased the top 50 retail fueling operations in terms of efficiency. FMN staff then individually reviewed each company based on all fueling offers and EV charging, and conducted a voting pool comprised of industry consultants, writers, product distributors and biofuel representatives. The winners were clear.
“The retail fueling industry is facing numerous challenges, both with the industry as it is today and the push for net zero transportation tomorrow,” said Reid. “Retailers will need to be innovative, efficient and aggressive to meet these challenges. We consider highlighting innovation to be a critical, core function of FMN. And it is with great pleasure that we have launched the inaugural FMN Fuels Innovator of the Year award program, where we can reward innovative excellence and learn from these companies’ experiences.”
Monday’s award presentation and education session will include a Q&A. Jeff Reichling, Kwik Trip’s general manager of fuel operations, and Jim Weber, Spinx’s executive vice president of merchandise and marketing, will participate in a discussion about their fueling/EV philosophies, alternative fuels, program structure and management and best practices.