Casey's Makes Store Brands a Core Part of Its Strategy for Success

Casey's private-label beverages

ANKENY, Iowa — Casey's General Stores Inc. presented a revamped strategic plan to its investors a year ago, and one aspect of its goal to enhance the customer experience included looking for additional private-label opportunities.

One year into its shifted focus, the convenience store operator is going to market with a bold private-label strategy, according to Store Brands, a sister publication of Convenience Store News.

"We have had private brand products in a handful of categories that you would expect to find in a convenience store like bottled water, candy and automotive, but quite frankly we didn't put any energy behind them," said Tom Brennan, Casey's chief merchandising officer. "We didn't have any dedicated resources to develop and grow the brand, and it showed in our dated packaging and underdeveloped assortment."

To help tap into opportunities, Casey's hired Eric Long as director of private brands in March.

According to Long, the retailer's previous assortment of private-label products included bagged candy, bottled water and automotive products but the new center-store focus includes packaged snack cakes, snack foods, and packaged beverages, carbonated drinks, juices, teas and lemonade.

He added the products are national brand equivalent or better, and a way for guests to save money.

"Our guests have been used to high-quality Casey's products coming from our strong food service operation, including our made-from-scratch pizza and other fresh food offerings. We are building on that equity to bring that brand deeper into center store," Long said. 

Ankeny-based Casey's currently operates more than 2,200 c-stores in 16 states.

Convenience Store News and Store Brands are properties of EnsembleIQ.