McLane Showcases Technology & Foodservice Upgrades at In-Person Show
This year’s event drew more than 170 exhibitors.
ORLANDO, Fla. — McLane Co. Inc. kicked off its annual National Trade Show (NTS) at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.
This is McLane's first in-person trade show since before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.
Each year at NTS, McLane highlights the latest in new technology and foodservice for more efficient inventory and ordering. This year's event is being held from Wednesday, Aug. 17 to Thursday, Aug. 18.
"The McLane team is thrilled to be back in person for the first time in three years," said Chris Smith, president of McLane Grocery. "We've been looking forward to bringing together our customers and suppliers to hear firsthand about their businesses and challenges, and to present our latest innovative products and services."
At this year's event, McLane is showcasing updates to its Mobile VTS trade show ordering app, which will feature a new look and feel with enhanced functionality.
Launched at the NTS Trade Show in 2018, Mobile VTS lets retailers scroll through products and review detailed listings; provides easy-to-order summaries; and adds new items that are part of the best deals offered to the retail community on a weekly basis.
According to McLane, customers will see an improved user experience with enhanced ordering capabilities making multistore ordering easier than ever. Suppliers will find several new features including image variety functionality, engagement features such as the ability to add comments, notes and recipes, and improved search throughout the site.
In addition, McLane partnered with one of its strategic supplier partners to create the ability to set up staggered bundles on VTS, which allows users the flexibility to place orders for multiple stores with varied ship dates at one time.
McLane will also demonstrate its enhanced Delivery Tracker app. Upgrades include multicarrier SIM cards in devices to strengthen and broaden coverage and a new geolocation capability that, when merged with existing fleet management technology, provides more accurate tracking and delivery data to retailers.
NTS will also highlight the company's foodservice-at-retail solution, McLane Kitchen. Generating optimum sales and profits for retailers, McLane Kitchen offers turnkey solutions as well as custom options, according to McLane.
This year, the company is focusing on two hot foods programs: Central Eats and Choice Chicken:
Central Eats provideshigh-quality, pre-packaged breakfast, lunch and dinner items available for sale as a refrigerated or heated and ready-to-eat offering. Products can be branded with a retailer's custom label, or they can utilize the Central Eats brand developed specifically for this program.
Choice Chicken features quality products from some of the top names in foodservice and retail, along with sides.
The McLane Booth will also feature JAVAPERKS baristas, serving up lattes and coffee beverages. JAVAPERKS, McLane's proprietary coffee and tea program, features coffee, cappuccino, tea, iced coffee, cold brew and hot chocolate. The program allows retailers to access custom graphics for their coffee bar, countertop units or walls to promote the brand within the store.
"NTS will be two days filled with a technology summit, sessions hosted by industry leaders, and a trade show featuring the hottest new products, deals, and trends," said Vito Maurici, senior vice president of sales. "It also gives our customers access to fellow customers, suppliers, brokers and McLane teammates for a best-in-class experience designed to help them buy better, sell smarter, and profit more."
Maurici was the 2021 supplier inductee into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame.
Temple, Texas-based McLane is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates more than 80 distribution centers and one of the nation's largest private fleets. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the U.S.
McLane additionally provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its subsidiary, Empire Distributors Inc. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.