Supplier Spotlights: ADD Systems, PepsiCo & RangeMe
NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.
Here are the latest supplier spotlights:
Advanced Digital Data Inc. (ADD Systems) is teaming up with GoSkip Inc., which provides contactless mobile checkout to retailers. The Skip app allows shoppers to scan and pay for items in-store or order ahead from elsewhere and have their purchases delivered curbside or at the pump.
The app allows store personnel to focus on creating a better customer experience instead of processing the transaction, according to the companies.
ADD and Skip partnered to create a sealess integration between ADD's back office software and Skip's mobile solution.
"We're very excited to be able to work with ADD Systems to offer our unique contactless checkout platform to their c-store clients. With our newly integrated platforms, our shared clients can now deploy a safe contactless checkout option for their customers," said Dave Baker, director of sales and partnerships at Skip.
"Partnering with Skip has enabled us to provide our clients with a great solution for today's requirements for a touchless, frictionless shopping experience," said Chris Kiernan, ADD Systems director of operations – retail / wholesale. "We're happy to extend the ADD eStore pricebook to the Skip mobile app and pull back sales to make the reconciliation process simple and seamless to our clients and to add our powerful analytics."
APPLIED DATA CORP.
Applied Data Corp. (ADC), provider of fresh item management technology for convenience and grocery stores, announced it completed a growth recapitalization transaction with Prairie Capital. The investment will enable ADC to accelerate growth, rapidly deliver on innovations within its product suite, and scale across the grocery and convenience store sectors.
"Prairie Capital understands the challenges and opportunities inherent to scaling companies. With ADC's exceptional history with customers as an innovator in the space and Prairie Capital's resources and guidance, we believe the partnership will take the company to new heights," said Tony Danielak, vice president at prairie Capital. "This recapitalization will help build upon ADC's market leadership position with grocery and convenience stores."
ADC's software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform is designed to optimize food retailers fresh ordering and production; find and reduce food waste; improve inventory freshness and availability; manage food safety; properly label fresh items; and track recipes and cost.
"We are thrilled to be working with the Prairie Capital team to support our vision and strategy of being leaders in providing fresh item management SaaS solutions to the food retail and foodservice industries," said Shamus Hines, CEO of ADC. "The partnership with Prairie Capital will enhance our investment in product development and client success and will allow ADC to focus on expanding our customer base, continued innovation and market leadership."
BIG LEAGUE CHEW
Over the summer, bubble gum brand Big League Chew and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum gave "Hall of Flavors" online game and sweepstakes winner, 14-year-old Nicholas Gouveia, a three day/two-night trip the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., and the chance to win $50,000 to support his hometown youth baseball program.
Gouveia and his father, from Frye Island, Mass., visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame from Thursday, Oct. 29 through Saturday, Oct. 31. They received a VIP archive experience, guided museum tour, and the opportunity to win a $50,000 Grand Prize. After selecting one out of 100 sealed envelopes, Nicholas left Cooperstown with the $5,000 runner-up prize that will be used to support his hometown team, Grafton Little League.
"Thank you to Big League Chew and The Baseball Hall of Fame," Gouveia said. "The past couple of days have been amazing. I really appreciate the personal tour and being able to see baseball artifacts from so many of baseball's greats. I can't believe I was able to hold Babe Ruth's bat in my own hands! And on top of all that, I get to give the Little League I grew up playing in $5,000!"
Gouveia also received a one-year Hall of Fame Benefactor Membership, a $250 gift certificate to the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum Store and a one year's supply of Big League Chew bubble gum and merchandise.
"We're so grateful to have had Nicholas and his father Chris join us at the Museum," said Sean Gahagan, the museum's vice president of retail merchandising and licensing. "With COVID-19 safety protocols put into place, we made sure the experience would be unforgettable by providing direct access to artifcats from some of their favorite teams and players."
CBD brand Caliper is now available at the point-of-sale in more than 600 Circle K locations across Texas, bringing the brand of clinically substantiated dissolvable CBD powders to more than 1,000 retail locations nationwide.
Its flagship product, Caliper CBD, is a flavorless dissolvable powder that can be added to any food or beverage. It is the first consumer CBD product to have been clinically validated in humans for speed of onset and bioavailability, according to the company.
"We are thrilled to be on shelves in Circle K," said Nicole Maione, general manager of Caliper CBD. "The marriage of Caliper CBD with one of the world's largest convenience chains makes perfect sense: Caliper is designed for on-the-go relief at an on-the-go price point."
Two packs of Caliber CBD retail for $5.99. Circle K customers will receive a free Circle K water with the purchase of Caliper CBD for a limited time.
Fintech, a business solutions provider for the beverage alcohol industry, partnered with AccountsFlow, a fully automated e-invoicing system. The companies now provide alcohol retailers with an end-to-end, secure integration that automatically transmits retailer alcohol invoice data directly from Fintech to QuickBooks Online.
Combining technology and innovation, Fintech and AccountsFlow have designed a touch-free data transmission solution that leverages Fintech's automated alcohol invoice payments to compile valuable, real-time invoice data that is delivered directly into QuickBooks Online. Retailers can view accurate invoice details, such as product description and category designation, product codes or SKUs, item quantities, and pricing. Invoices are also automatically assigned to the correct retail location, vendor, and accounting classification as necessary, which streamlines previously tedious coding and reconciliation processes.
"This partnership brings a progressive integration to the industry and allows us to provide our clients a more-holistic beverage alcohol management solution that will improve operational efficiencies and better business for thousands of retailers nationwide," said Tad Phelps, CEO of Fintech. "AccountsFlow's initiatives complement the Fintech product suite well, and we look forward to continuing to build our partnership in a way that supports the mission of all our retail clients."
The collaboration empowers alcohol retailers with a seamless data transmission that automates key operational business practices and gives users complete visibility into their alcohol category, according to the announcement.
"We are so proud to partner with Fintech and bring a truly touch-free invoice capture capability into QuickBooks Online, which will undoubtedly change the way our clients, and the industry as a whole, conduct business," added Dan Hicks, president of U.S. operations, AccountsFlow. "Together, we're facilitating a simpler invoice management system and saving retailers thousands of hours of manual data entry."
INTELLIGENT CLEARING NETWORK
Intelligent Clearing Network (ICN) formed a strategic alliance with Redemption Processing Representatives Inc. (RPR) to streamline coupon processing for the c-store channel. Using ICN's patented technology, the partnership will replace the traditional two-count process with an electronic solution that uses both a positive and negative offer file along with full validation including family codes in the cloud.
"For the first time, brands have real-time validation of paper and digital coupons at checkout," said Richard Thibedeau, chief operating officer for ICN. "Counterfeit, expired, and invalid coupons are instantly detected in real time."
ICN's software will provide real-time detail with secure portal access for measurement and auditing that will benefit both the retailers and manufacturers. The redemption data will be provided directly to RPR to provide full information flow and guaranteed validation of every offer to both the retailers and CPGs participating in the program. RPR will be able to use the data to provide verification of transactions, thereby ensuring the accuracy of the transaction and speed the payments of funds between consumer packaged goods and retailers.
"We look forward to increasing the benefits of couponing while reducing fraud," said RPR President Ron Fischer. "ICN's program will reduce the coupon denials and expedite the payments with RPR providing the processing services."
Frito-Lay will celebrate the holidays with a new campaign featuring an ad spot in which actress Anna Kendrick sings the classic song "My Favorite Things" as well as the brand's new online holiday shop. At www.snacks.com/holidayshop, fans can purchase their favorite snacks and an assortment of snack-themed gifts and apparel, including holiday sweaters, pom beanies, knit scarves, hooded onesies and fuzzy sucks.
Frito-Lay holiday shop items feature Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos, Lay's and Smartfood brands. Each purchase includes a bag of the corresponding snacks.
Additionally, Frito-Lay holiday-themed packaging will be available nationwide, with up to $500,000 in proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots.
"We received such an overwhelming response to last year's 'Favorite Things' campaign from our fans asking how they could purchase a number of items in the spot that in 2020 we knew holiday sweaters were an absolute must, especially at a time when we're all looking for simple and fun ways to add some joy and cheer to our everyday lives while also creating new traditions with family and friends," said Rachel Ferdinando, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Frito-Lay North America.
MasonWays launched a new Green Initiative that offers plastic credits for returned units that the company recycles into raw material to be molded over and over again. Through plastic collection credits, retail plastic waste is removed from the environment proportionately to what is purchased.
The program reduces the cost of products purchased by retailers. MasonWays can also customize a program to meet a company's needs while helping the environment by keeping plastic out of landfills. The company can also help retailers track the volume of recycling information through relationships for sustainability reporting.
MasonWays recyclable plastic fixtures, merchandisers, bases and displays can also be used to merchandise products, creating additional impulse sales, according to the company.
RangeMe partnered with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) to help drive high-quality product selection and value for its consumers. The team-up allows buyers the opportunity to easily and efficiently source types of products that members of the military and their families seek.
"The Exchange provides an essential service for the men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families," said Nicky Jackson, founder and CEO of RangeMe. "By collaborating with them to better source their product needs, we know that these families, through the Exchange, will have access to a multitude of new products that will meet their lifestyle."
RangeMe helps buyers connect with potential vendors in order to expand product availability at the store level. Through RangeMe, the Exchange will have access to more than 200,000 suppliers and the opportunity to streamline product searches for improved sourcing, while still meeting its aim to keep prices competitively low, according to the company.
"Buyers can reach more suppliers faster and RangeMe is excited to be a part of the Exchange mission to improve the quality of life for military service members and their families," Jackson said.
Utz Brands entered a definitive agreement to acquire Truco Enterprises, maker of tortilla chips, salsa and queso sold under the On The Border brand, from Insignia Capital Group for $480 million. The deal is expected to close in December, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals.
Insignia invested in Truco in 2014 to help it expand its distribution footprint and launch new product innovation. Since then, the companies have made significant investments in sales and R&D that tripled adjusted EBITDA over the past six years.
"It has been a true pleasure partnering with the Truco team to generate this exceptional outcome for all of the company's stakeholders," said David Lowe, CEO of Insignia Capital Group. "We believe Utz will be an exceptional steward of the brand as Truco executes on its next phase of growth."
"The Truco team is thrilled to be joining the Utz family of brands, and we are thankful to our partners at Insignia Capital for all of their support," said Truco CEO Shane Chambers. "On The Border is now one of the fastest growing tortilla chip brands and the fastest growing dip brand in the category. Utz will be able to leverage its world class direct store delivery network to help expand our brand into new markets. As a result, more consumers across the U.S will have access to our delicious, high quality tortilla chips and dips. I'm looking forward to working with Dylan and the rest of the Utz senior management team to continue our excellent growth trajectory."
THE WONDERFUL CO.
North American sales of Wonderful Pistachios surpassed the $1 billion, making it the first Wonderful Co. brand to reach the milestone.
"The introduction of Wonderful Pistachios into the billion-dollar brand club is such an extraordinary moment in our company's history and we're proud of our team who made this possible," said Adam Cooper, senior vice president of marketing, The Wonderful Co. "We're incredibly grateful to our Wonderful Pistachios family who have contributed to building this brand over the past 12 years and want to give thanks to the full Wonderful Pistachios family, including our growers; we're more optimistic than ever about what's in store for the future."
The company will continue to support growth of the brand with its "The Next Big Thing" campaign, featuring football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and weightlifter Kendrick Farris, who both follow plant-focused diets.