CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After pivoting to an online-only event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Convenience Store News' Convenience Foodservice Exchange (CFX) will return to a live event this year and be held Nov. 9-10 at The Westin Charlotte.
The 2021 event will feature presentations and experiences at leading culinary school Johnson & Wales University, walking and bus tours of innovative food and retail concepts in the area, interactive discussions, and expert speakers.
Last year's Convenience Foodservice Exchange, held virtually in November, drew representatives from more than 100 of the nation's leading convenience foodservice retailers. This included giants like 7-Eleven and Circle K, as well as regional powerhouses like Casey's, Wawa, Kwik Trip, Kum & Go, Parker's, BP/ampm, and Yesway/Allsup's.
The theme of this year's program is "Solving the Post-Pandemic Riddle: How Convenience Foodservice Needs to Adapt." Foodservice operations were one of the hardest-hit areas of the store as the nation reeled from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on American consumers' tastes and desires, in how they shop, and in their expectations and comfort level for purchasing food at convenience stores. In short, everything has changed for the nation's convenience foodservice retailers.
The sixth-annual Convenience Foodservice Exchange will explore the ways retailers are reviving their foodservice sales in the new normal. The agenda will tackle such key issues as:
- Embracing the New World: Gray Cat Enterprises' John Matthews will address the safety, transactional, marketing, foodservice, and store design long-term strategic concerns of c-stores in the new normal.
- Why C-store Foodservice Will Have a Record Year: Tim Powell, managing principal at FoodserviceIP, will present the firm's comprehensive intelligence on c-store foodservice and discuss how retailers and suppliers will revise their go-to-market plans over the next two years.
- Curbside 2.0 — Lead or Get Left in the Dust: King-Casey Principal Tom Cook will focus on the state of curbside in the convenience channel, the issues and barriers to entry, and what c-stores must do to be successful with curbside to stay ahead of their convenience store and restaurant competitors.
- Food Safety Protocol for Non-Restaurant Operators, Staff & Vendors: A Johnson & Wales professor will discuss the latest techniques and programs for ensuring food safety.
- The Hottest Foodservice Trends: Plant-Based Foods, Sustainability, Ghost Kitchens, Takeout & Delivery: Participate in an interactive discussion as a Johnson & Wales professor helps identify real food trends that have staying power and are appropriate for the convenience channel.
- The New Convenience Retailer: A panel of retailer executives will show off and discuss their newest food-forward stores and programs aimed at meeting the needs of the evolving consumer.
As in previous years, the 2021 CFX program will also include the presentation of CSNews' annual Foodservice Innovators Awards, and one-on-one business development meetings among attendees.
In addition, this year's Convenience Foodservice Exchange will feature a guided food and retail tour exploring Charlotte's most delicious and innovative restaurants, food shops and markets. Led by Taste Carolina, guides will introduce attendees to the history and architecture of this beautiful city.
Sponsorships are available for this exclusive, exciting event. For more information on sponsorships, CSNews contact Brand Director Paula Lashinsky at [email protected] or (917) 446-4117.