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Supplier Spotlights: Alto-Shaam, Golden Grail Beverages & Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.

NCR Corp., Novolex, PFG and Resnick Distributors are among companies announcing initiatives and partnerships.

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.

[Read more: Supplier Spotlights: Circana, Liquid Barcodes & Old Trapper]

Here are the latest supplier spotlights:


Alto-Shaam relaunched its Quick Ship program with an expanded range of the company's most popular cooking, holding and serving equipment.  

Quick Ship provides Alto-Shaam customers with faster, more convenient shipping. Orders received before 1 p.m. CST via Quick Ship will be shipped within 48 business hours.  

The program covers some of the company's most popular cooking, holding and serving models, including its Prodigi Pro combi ovens, the Vector H Series multicook ovens, the Cook & Hold ovens and Halo Heat holding equipment, in addition to a range of accessories.  

"The Quick Ship program provides our customers the equipment they need, when they need it," said Lucy McQuillan, chief commercial officer at Alto-Shaam. "Our Alto-Shaam team has persistently worked towards reintroducing the Quick Ship program to set our partners and customers up for success even in challenging times."

Spider Energy and NASCAR banner

Golden Grail Beverages

Golden Grail Beverages entered into a collaboration with NASCAR driver Ryan Ellis for two high-profile racing events, while its brand Spider Energy will be the primary sponsor for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 4.

During the Xfinity Series, Ellis and Alpha Prime Racing No. 43 Chevy Camaro will be fully wrapped in Spider Energy logos, showcasing red, white and blue colors inspired by Spider Energy Widow Maker Red, White and Bite. 

"Spider Energy's branding is set to dominate Phoenix Race Week, signifying more than a race for victory; it's a race to amplify the Spider Energy brand," said Steve Hoffman, CEO of Golden Grail. "This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to high-octane energy, innovation and the spirit of competition."

iced coffee on a table

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. (KDP) and coffee company La Colombe entered into a strategic partnership that includes a long-term sales and distribution agreement, as well as a long-term licensing, manufacturing and distribution agreement.  

La Colombe's shelf-stable ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee beverages will be distributed via KDP's direct store distribution network, which is expected to drive growth in the brand's availability across various mainstream retail channels. Additionally, under the license agreement, KDP will manufacture, sell and distribute La Colombe-branded K-Cup coffee pods in the United States and Canada.

KDP will also make an equity investment of $300 million in La Colombe in exchange for a 33 percent ownership stake in the company, making KDP the latter company's second largest investor. La Colombe plans to use the proceeds to accelerate growth and pay off debt. 

The transition of La Colombe RTD coffee distribution to KDP will begin later this year, while the launch of the K-Cup pods will occur during 2024. The equity investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.

KDP expects the strategic partnership to be modestly accretive on a full-year basis, beginning in the back half of 2024, the company stated.

Kona Gold Beverage logo

Kona Gold Beverage Inc.

Kona Gold Beverage partnered with Cottonwood Distribution, which services more than 220 convenience stores. Cottonwood will be distributing Kona's Ooh La Lemin Lemonades to 72 Holiday c-stores where Kona has secured cold space in all stores.

Kona Gold previously partnered with Bibb Distributing to distribute Ooh La Lemin Lemonades in supermarkets and c-store chains in the 15 counties Bibb covers in Georgia.

Additionally, Kona Gold recently expanded its beverage distribution to the western regions of the United States, though this will be the first time the company has entered the Utah market. Kona has additional plans for further expansion in the western United States, which will be announced in the near future.

NCR Corp.

Enterprise technology provider NCR has been recognized as the world's largest self-checkout vendor in Global EPOS and Self-Checkout 2023 from RBR Data Services, a position the company has held since 2003.

"This research recognizes NCR as a key SCO marketplace leader for the past 20 years," said David Wilkinson, president of NCR Commerce. "NCR continues to prove we are the technology provider of choice for stores of all sizes, delivering solutions and services that transform shoppers' and associates' experiences."

According to the report, more than 190,000 self-checkout units were delivered to customers globally in 2022, the second-highest year of activity ever. RBR Data Services points to a wider range of retailers investing in self-checkout, including convenience stores, small supermarket chains and drugstores.

[Read more: NCR Reveals New Company Names Ahead of Planned Separation]

In 2022, NCR's share of the market rose to 33 percent, more than twice the share of the next largest supplier, even with the increased activity in the space taken into account, the company stated. NCR led both the grocery and general merchandise retail verticals reported on by RBR Data Services.

NCR also increased its electronic point of sale share to 13 percent, remaining among the top two global providers and leading in the report's grocery category.

Novolex Sustainability Report Cover


Packaging and foodservice products manufacturer Novolex released its fifth annual sustainability report, which provides a comprehensive account of the company's strides toward its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.  

The report notes some of Novolex's success in increasing its recycling capacity, diverting waste from landfills, and using more chain-of-custody certified fiber and bio-based resins in its products. 

The report, written in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative, also noted and expanded on:

  • Novolex's targets to double the volume of post-consumer recycled polyethylene film recycled at its North Vernon, Ind., recycling facility by the end of 2024.
  • An update on the company's waste footprint for the first time as a result of its implementation of a waste-to-landfill measurement program.
  • The expanded use of materials such as bio-based resins.
  • The creation of a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) council composed of Novolex leaders who guide and support DEI strategies and objectives. 

Performance Food Group Inc.

An affiliate of Performance Food Group Inc. (PFG) has acquired Orion Food Systems Holdings LLC and related subsidiaries from its holding company, private equity firm One Rock Capital Partners LLC.  

Founded in 1983, Orion manufactures and distributes pizza, sandwiches, breakfast and snack solutions primarily for foodservice applications in convenience stores and similar out-of-home venues in the United States and abroad.

One Rock's operating partners Frank Orfanello, Kurt Barker, Steve Ingham, Brian Potts, AJ Skobel and Adam Feuer worked closely with Orion's management team to drive the business's strategic direction, create an improved go‐to‐market strategy, increase manufacturing efficiencies and support the integration of a transformative acquisition.

William Blair & Co. served as financial advisor to both Orion and One Rock on the transaction, while Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Premier Manufacturing Inc.

U.S. Tobacco Cooperative and Enorama Pharma Inc. subsidiary Premier Manufacturing Inc. entered into an exclusive distribution agreement for the sale of NIC-S, a tobacco-free white snus, for the U.S. market.

The product is available in a wide range of options, allowing the consumer to tailor their nicotine intake, the company stated.

Premier Manufacturing will be doing a full marketing campaign promoting NIC-S that will include point-of-sale materials, print and digital ad campaigns, display fixtures and various websites. NIC-S will be available via Premier's distribution network throughout the United States in the coming months.

Resnick Distributors

Resnick Distributors opened a new distribution center in Houston, a strategic expansion for the company to enhance its capabilities.

The new distribution facility is located near key transportation hubs in order to help optimize supply chain operations and reduce delivery lead times in the region.

"This marks a significant milestone in the continued growth and success of Resnick Distributors," said Jonathan Resnick, vice president of sales marketing at Resnick. "We are confident that this expansion will not only streamline our operations but also greatly improve both our supplier's and our customer's experience."

f'real tour truck banner

Rich Products Corp.

Throughout the month of September, Rich Products Corp. connected with college students across the Southeast during its f'real College Truck Tour. Stopping by eight campuses in total, the truck provided students with free f'real shakes and smoothies, plus free merchandise including T-shirts, hats, socks, stickers and reusable straws.

The modernized ice cream truck was also able to point students to their closest f'real machine, currently available at more than 24,000 convenience stores and foodservice areas, including at 363 college campus c-stores.

The Truck Tour kicked off Sept. 5 at Mississippi State University, before making its way to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, High Point University, North Carolina State University, University of South Carolina, Auburn University, University of South Florida and University of Florida.

The tour also helped support Rich's "Discover Your f'real" marketing campaign aimed at hungry Gen Zers and millennials. Plans are already underway for a 2024 tour, and foodservice managers at college campuses across the country are invited to participate.

Tehuacan and Upbring banner

Tehuacan USA

Tehuacan USA, provider of natural mineral water, entered into a social impact partnership with Texas-based nonprofit Upbrin, which is aimed at creating better futures for at-risk children in Texas.

Starting in July 2023, Tehuacan USA has featured Upbring's logo on its water bottles sold in convenience store retail locations in Texas, including Buc-ee's, 7-Eleven Inc. and Stripes. With every bottle sold, Tehuacan makes a donation to Upbring, with estimated contributions set to reach $100,000 or more annually.

"At Tehuacan USA, we understand our role in society extends beyond providing a natural and healthy beverage," said Jimmy Garza, CEO of Tehuacan USA. "We see a shared responsibility to our communities, and this partnership with Upbring is our commitment to that responsibility. Together, we can create positive change, one bottle at a time,"

Upbring is dedicated to breaking the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. Through innovative programs and partnerships, Upbring creates measurable change in communities to advance child wellbeing in Texas.

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