Supplier Spotlights: Anheuser-Busch, GasBuddy & Krispy Krunchy Chicken
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:
The Bud Light brand's two most popular lines, Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Orange, will join classic Bud Light in having comprehensive on-pack ingredients labels. Additionally, Bud Light Orange will be available year-round.
"People are demanding more and more transparency in the products they consume. That's why Bud Light became the first major U.S. beer to adopt an on-pack ingredients label earlier this year," said Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light. "Our next step is adopting the same type of label on our popular line extensions Bud Light Lime and the #1 beer innovation of 2018, Bud Light Orange, which will now be available year-round. We're committed to providing consumers with what they want, and that will continue to be our focus."
Ascentium Capital LLC announced first quarter funded volume of $314.3 million, representing a 13.5-percent increase over the same period last year and managed assets at $2.1 billion.
Among the industries driving Ascentium's growth were healthcare, hospitality, technology, commercial vehicles, franchise and petroleum.
"Much of our healthy growth is due to the demand for our lending capabilities, technology platform and the expertise of our employees. We continue to drive innovation while achieving strong and stable financial results," said Ascentium CEO Tom Depping.
Corona Premier beer signed a multi-year partnership with the United States Golf Association (USGA) that will enhance the on-site fan experience at the U.S. Open, starting with the 119th U.S. Open Championship to be held June 10-16 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Peach, Calif.
Corona Premier will serve as the presenting partner of the Trophy Club, an indoor/outdoor hospitality area featuring big-screen TVs, premium food and beverages and a large patio. It is located between the second and third fairways, a short distance from the 17th and 18th holes. Corona Premier will also provide giveaways in the Trophy Club, to create an exciting and memorable experience for U.S. Open fans.
"Corona Premier is proud to support the preeminent championship in golf, bringing our sophisticated low-carb, low-cal lager to golfers and fans," said Ann Legan, vice president of marketing for Corona. "The U.S. Open is a natural fit with the Premier drinker's lifestyle and preferences — providing a moment to relax and enjoy the refreshing taste of Corona while they follow the action."
Essentia Water launched the brand's first national, multi-platform advertising campaign, "It MIght As Well Be You." The campaign features NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.
"I'm excited to be a part of this campaign with Essentia because it encourages people to go after what they care about," Mahomes said. "I know the impact of hydration on physical performance so staying well hydrated is critical and one of the reasons I keep Essentia Water close by on and off the field."
The campaign's message is personal, empowering and demonstrates what Essentia and its core consumers' value: the power of resilience. It features Essentia's first-ever national TV spots.
Financial services technology provider FIS and Worldpay Inc., a leader in e-commerce and payments, signed a definitive merger agreement that will greatly expand FIS' capabilities by enhancing its acquiring and payment offerings and significantly increase Worldpay's distribution footprint.
Following the acquisition, FIS shareholders will own approximately 53 percent and Worldpay shareholders will own approximately 47 percent of the combined company. The combination of stock and cash values Worldpay at an enterprise value of approximately $43 billion, including the assumption of Worldpay debt. Gary Norcross will remain as FIS chairman of the board, president and CEO. Charles Drucker, Worldpay's current executive chairman and CEO, will serve as the executive vice chairman of the board.
The combined company will retain the name FIS and be headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.
On April 2, GasBuddy helped Americans recover from a day of pranks by highlighting its ability to offer extra money in the form of fuel savings, or GasBack, on "April Fuels Day."
GasBuddy's first-of-its-kind fuel savings program Pay with GasBuddy is free to enroll in and provides a discount on virtually every gallon of gas drivers will ever pump, according to the company.
"April Fools' Day is stressful. Being tricked is not pleasant. It's almost like that feeling when you buy gas only to turn the corner to see it for a lower price. The worst!" said Allison Mac, director of marketing and communications at GasBuddy. "GasBuddy is about delighting people with serious savings, so what better way than to provide guaranteed deals to millions of Americans, after a day of being pranked."
Hughes Network Systems
Hughes Network Systems LLC was named a Top Performer in the SD-WAN category of the Winter 2019 Customer Success Report published by FeaturedCustomers, a leading customer reference platform for B2B services. Top Performer status was based on authenticated customer case studies, testimonials and reviews of the company's HughesON Managed SD-WAN solution.
"This recognition is particularly meaningful to Hughes, as it is based exclusively on the positive feedback of our enterprise customers," said Jeff Bradbury, senior marketing director at Hughes. "Hughes is committed to being a true business partner to our clients, going the extra mile to provide innovative technology solutions and extraordinary customer service."
Testimonials from Hughes customers Jack in the Box, M&T Bank and Total Wine contributed to the company's Top Performer ranking, which also considers customer success content, social media presence, web traffic and search trends.
Krispy Krunchy Chicken
In light of the company's 30th anniversary in 2019, Krispy Krunchy Chicken unveiled a new, modern logo designed to retain the feel of the original while symbolizing the optimism and eagerness with which it begins the next 30 years.
"Our new logo represents the next evolution of our company as we pivot to a more consumer-focused marketing brand," said Neal Onebane, founder of Krispy Krunchy Chicken. "This logo redesign will serve as the launch pad for a variety of new programs designed to take advantage of the number of stores we have and the geographic size of our brand footprint."
With the new logo comes a new brand descriptor, as the company shifts from "Cajun Recipe" to "Freshly Made • Perfectly Cajun." In the coming months, Krispy Krunchy Chicken will also debut new in-store signage and promotional graphics.
"The future of our company is very bright," Onebane said.
Reflexis Systems Inc., provider of real-time store operations and workforce management solutions, opened a new network operations center (NOC) in Pune, Ind. The new center will enhance the company's 24/7 technical support for its cloud-based retail solutions and scale capabilities in line with the company's rapid growth.
The new team in Pune will join the existing support team in Kennesaw, Ga., as first responders to outages, scheduled maintenance or other issues for customers anywhere in the world.
"We're thrilled to be launching our new NOC in Pune less than a year after opening our Reflexis Cloud Center of Excellence," said Aditya Singhal, global vice president — infrastructure and cloud services for Reflexis. "The NOC strengthens our ability to monitor all our SaaS environments world-wide, while scaling our world class customer support for our dynamic retail solutions."
Subway teamed up with Tastemade to offer an expansion of their global food innovation alliance. The world's largest restaurant chain and the modern media brand, made up of creators and food explorers united by their love and passion for great tasting food, are collaborating to create menu items designed to complement Subway's current offerings while inspiring new tastes that guests can't find anywhere else, the companies said.
The Subway Green Goddess Tuna Melt is the first Subway "Inspired By Tastemade" innovative item to reach select U.S. restaurants through April 24. It features flaked tuna blended with mayo and topped with shredded mozzarella, spinach, fresh tomatoes, onions and a green goddess dressing.
"Our collaboration with Subway is unlike anything we've done before, and is a testament to what's possible when two creative, like-minded brands come together," says Larry Fitzgibbon, co-founder and CEO of Tastemade. "Our unique partnership taps into data and insights to create craveable and locally relevant menu items for Subway restaurants across the globe. We're excited to continue growing our partnership with Subway to pave the road for more creativity and innovation in the food industry."
Tanknology Inc. formed a new division that will address the growing demand for cleaning diesel tanks and filtering diesel fuel in the U.S. The Fuel and Tank Quality Services Division will utilize the TankClean Remote Video UST Cleaning System, FuelPure Fuel Filtration System and DieselCheck Inspection Program.
"Tanknology is uniquely positioned to provide solutions to owner/operators dependent on high quality diesel," said Tanknology CEO Allen Porter. "We have over 20 years of fuel polishing experience with nationwide coverage provided by trained technicians."
Tanknology's John Harris will lead the new division.
"As a separate division the singular focus is provide best in class service on both a preventative and reactive basis," Porter added. "We are pleased that John Harris will head the division, as he understands the challenges, has a customer-centric focus and the former vice president for the Southeast region, he has the operational experience to make the division a success."
The Kroger Co. and private equity firm Peak Rock Capital finalized a definite agreement through which an affiliate of Peak Rock will acquire Kroger's Turkey Hill business. Turkey Hill will continue to operate out of its Conestoga, Penn., facility.
The company produces a full line of popular iced teas, fruit drinks, milk, frozen dairy treats and a variety of ice cream products at its manufacturing and distribution facility.
"We believe this is the right step to ensure the Turkey Hill business can meet its full potential and continue to grow its successful ice cream and beverage brands," said Erin Sharp, group vice president for Kroger Manufacturing. "Throughout this process, we were extremely impressed with Peak Rock's professionalism and vision for the future of the Turkey Hill business. We look forward to working with them to ensure a smooth and successful transition for all parties."
"Turkey Hill represents an exciting opportunity to invest in a premier brand with an established reputation for quality, flavor variety, and authenticity, within the large and growing ice cream and refrigerated drinks space," said Robert Pistilli, managing director of Peak Rock. "We are impressed with the accomplishments of the business under the stewardship of Kroger, and look forward to completing a seamless transition of the business to a standalone entity and partnering with Turkey Hill's management team to drive significant growth through continued product innovation."