Supplier Spotlights: BDSA, Cantaloupe Inc. & The Coca-Cola Co.

Other companies announcing initiatives and partnerships include Mars Wrigley, Paytronix, Standard AI and more.
Amanda Koprowski
Associate Editor
Amanda Koprowski profile picture

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:


Cannabis data company BDSA launched its Menu Analytics solution. The new product will enable cannabis industry leaders to make data-driven pricing, sales, marketing and merchandising decisions. 

Menu Analytics offers hyper-local insights and weekly updates with actionable data to better understand the market and evolving retail dynamics. This will allow cannabis retailers and investors to gain critical insights into the menu-listed pricing and availability of brands and products at a local and store-specific level.

Retailers can use the generated data to unlock key distribution opportunities, uncover store-specific pricing and assortment, identify restock issues with trend analysis and enable brand evaluation based on markup, velocity, availability and price.

"In a quickly developing industry like cannabis, tools that provide data-based insights are critical for building a successful brand strategy," said Liz Stahura, co-founder and chief operating officer of BDSA. "Our new Menu Analytics solution provides visibility to answer crucial business questions. The ability to drill down into county, city and store-specific insights enables better-informed decisions that lead to more effective promotions, revenue growth and enhanced market share."

The new offering builds upon BDSA's existing suite of data and analytics solutions. When paired with BDSA's Retail Sales Tracking solution, Menu Analytics can offer a comprehensive view across the supply chain of brand strength, pricing and assortment, as well as metrics to help shape strategy for pricing and inventory allocation.

Buffalo Rock and Cantaloupe Partnership Stocking Shelves

Cantaloupe Inc.

Family-owned bottler company Buffalo Rock Co. adopted the Seed platform from digital payment and software services company Cantaloupe Inc. 

Buffalo Rock operates 14 franchise locations across Alabama, Georgia and Florida, running 9,000 vending machines, more than 450 micro markets and 1,400 office coffee service (OCS) delivery points. The company had already been a customer of Cantaloupe's ePort card readers in many of its vending locations, which will now be integrated in Seed software after a successful pilot run in the spring of 2022.

"Life before Seed was very manual and inefficient," said Kyle Murphy, corporate business development director for Buffalo Rock's on-premise department. "We were filling machines and micro markets either by forecast, which was not always accurate, or by manually counting what was in the machine and then going back to the truck and manually picking on-site. In working with Cantaloupe, we're better able to identify what the machines need before we load the trucks, which means we can reduce the number of bring-backs and amount of time spent at each location." 

Cantaloupe also has the ability to quickly transition large enterprise operations onto the Seed platform with Seed Sync, an API solution to connect 3rd party devices and machines into Seed. Seed Sync highlights inefficiencies in operators' processes and helps direct where they should invest time and resources for improvement. 

"We are excited to partner with Buffalo Rock and support them in their efforts to optimize their supply chain operations," said Jeff Dumbrell, chief revenue officer at Cantaloupe. "The adoption of our Seed platform is a testament to the value and effectiveness of our solutions."

As it continues its integration with the Seed platform, Buffalo Rock anticipated incorporating its micro market and OCS business into the system as well, which would enable its team to manage accounts through a single dashboard. 

Cocal-Cola Move Can Designed by Rosalia

The Coca-Cola Co.

Coca‑Cola Move launched this month in the U.S., Canada and more than 20 additional markets around the world. The Coca-Cola Creations collaboration with Grammy-award winning artist Rosalía is intended to emphasize the transformational power of music. 

From her beginnings as a classically trained flamenco artist in Spain, to her rise as a global pop star, Rosalía has transcended borders and genres in music, fashion and more.

"Transformation as a means of self-expression is powerful and resonant for today’s generation, and music is the universal language for transformation," said Oana Vlad, senior director, global strategy, The Coca‑Cola Co. "Partnering with the inspirational and genre-defying Rosalía to bring to life our latest drop under Coca‑Cola Creations has been a blast and has broken new ground for Coca‑Cola Creations. Coca‑Cola Move transforms the experience of drinking Coca‑Cola."

Coca‑Cola Move features a packaging design that embraces the contrasts of the artist's persona, from vibrant pink to minimalistic black. The iconic Coca‑Cola Spencerian script morphs into sketches Rosalía drew while sampling Move during a creative workshop.

Rosalía recently dropped a new single, "LLYLM," inspired by Move and embodying the concept of transformation through a genre-crossing journey. Released globally by Columbia Records, the song is a first for the artist in that it features multiple languages, including a full section in English.

The Move cans and bottles include a scannable QR code that serves as a portal to the Coca‑Cola Creations Hub with a host of cinematic experiences: behind-the-scenes content of Rosalía recording her new single, a personality quiz that creates custom 3D, metaverse-inspired avatars and playlists based on fan responses and a music video celebrating all versions of the artist.

Fans also can bid on autographed items Rosalía credits with inspiring her transformation, including a helmet, tour outfit and poster. Proceeds will benefit the Antonio Gala Foundation, an organization that provides residency scholarships to young creators in Rosalía’s home country of Spain. 

The launch follows the successful 2022 rollout of five fantasy-flavored Coca‑Cola Creations drops.

Island Brand Sponsors NASCAR Driver Kaz Grala

Island Brands USA

Beer and cocktail manufacturer Island Brands USA signed on as primary sponsor of star driver Kaz Grala and the Sam Hunt Racing team's No. 26 Toyota GR Supra throughout the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

The brand stated that Grala has a similar origin story to the company, in that they're both young disruptors in their industries but have already won major awards. Island Brands recently ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. Grala became the youngest NASCAR winner in the history of Daytona International Speedway when he was just 18. 

"We couldn't be more stoked about teaming up with Kaz at this pivotal moment in his career as he joins the crew at Sam Hunt Racing," said Scott Hansen, CEO, co-founder and chairman of the board of Island Brands. "As a fast-growing lifestyle brand that caters to active and socially conscious consumers, Island Brands knows that NASCAR is a perfect place to expand our company's reach and recognition throughout the world, and Kaz is the perfect partner for us."

Island Brands will have primary branding in 16 races, including separate Island Coastal Lager and CRUSH paint schemes on the team's Toyota. The partnership also includes branded firesuits, and helmet designs. 

As the sponsorship could possibly reach up to 80 million NASCAR fans, the company recruited Hilary Johnson, an expert in the brand sponsorship space with experience at Molson Coors and Penske Racing, as director of Sports Marketing to oversee this and other initiatives.

Lula Convenience and GilBarco Partnership

Lula Convenience

Lula Convenience partnered with technology and equipment provider Gilbarco Veeder-Root to integrate its own platform with Gilbarco's Passport Retail Platform. The partnership will help streamline its inventory management and delivery fulfillment for convenience stores.

According to Lula, approximately 165 million transactions are made daily in c-stores across the U.S. In order to keep track of those transactions, as well as maintain a proper flow of commerce each day, c-stores must keep an accurate inventory of items that are sold through  their point-of-sale (POS) systems. 

The integration between Passport and the Lula Store Platform will enable retailers to update items in their POS system and sync those updates across all delivery channels automatically, a process that store managers would have previously had to complete manually. Over 44 thousand convenience stores in the United States utilize a Passport and will be able to take advantage of this integration.

The integrated system will launch in early 2023 and will automatically enable two-way synchronization of information across all transactions, whether in-store or through delivery. Items will then update to reflect accurate information on the store's delivery channel of choice, including DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub,, ASAP Delivery and more.

Twix Splitboard Mock-up

Mars Wrigley

In honor of the winter season and the brand's new cookie dough-enhanced bars, Twix partnered with Olympian snowboarder Maddie Mastro to create a limited edition splitboard. It also invited fans to help with the project.

Splitboarding is the newest winter sports trend, allowing snowboarders to "split" their board in two — essentially turning their board into left and right skis — and use them to hike uphill in order to reach deeper powder in the backcountry. Previously, snowboarders would have to carry snowshoes with them to reach the same areas.

The collaborative splitboard, dubbed the Twix 'Doughboard,' will celebrate new Twix Cookie Dough hitting shelves nationwide. It will be handcrafted by snowboarders in Colorado and feature two unique designs. One half has been designed by Mastro and features a retro take on the classic Twix logo. Twix left the other half of the splitboard blank and allowed fans to submit their own designs for a chance to be featured on the Doughboard.

"Just like Twix fans no longer need to choose between the left or right Twix, our Twix Doughboard gives winter sports enthusiasts the option to choose different areas of the mountains," said Samantha Urban, brand manager at Mars. 

The winning designer will be invited to meet Mastro at a ski resort in the United States later this winter. There they will be the first to receive and test out the brand-new splitboard. Twix also plans to give away more than 100 Twix Doughboards on and at ski shops across the country.

Twix Cookie Dough pairs the classic Twix cookie bars with a cookie dough flavored layer, chocolate cookie bits and a coating of milk chocolate. It is now available nationwide in single serving sizes, share sizes and pouches of minis.

P97 Logo

P97 Networks

Mobility services provider P97 Networks entered into a partnership with Visa to deploy its token technology. The collaboration will help reduce friction with in-car payments, enable electric vehicle charging payments across public networks and further accelerate mobile payment innovation and acceptance. 

The two companies will work together in the coming months to introduce a series of connected commerce experiences, such as fleet charging solutions. The first step in this cooperation will be the launch of P97 Network's enhanced network token services to securely connect millions of digital wallets and connected cars to create secure and unique mobile payment experiences.

"We've seen our connected commerce and mobile solutions become more embedded within our customers' digital marketing and loyalty programs to drive growth and operational efficiency," said Donald Frieden, CEO of P97 Networks. "In order to accelerate the adoption of mobile commerce, it's critical for us to continue enhancing the payment experience for consumers and drivers, and our joint effort with Visa is a significant step towards that vision."

P97 Networks' Connected Commerce and Mobile Payments platform offers a host of services for automobile manufacturers across key cloud computing capabilities, including payment and services aggregation, fueling, parking, tolling, dealership services and digital marketing services.

P97 Networks provides these capabilities through APIs so auto OEMs, super apps and voice-enabled payment platforms can transact at more than 60,000 convenience retail and fuels marketing sites. Its platform further provides auto OEMs with rich, dash-displayed data sets and information about retail sites, so consumers can find fuel stops and stores based on geo-location services or view real-time gas prices, hours of operation, amenities offered and customer reviews.

Paytronix New logo


Paytronix Systems has become simply Paytronix upon the company's introduction of a brand new look and logo. With this change, Paytronix signaled its continued dedication to the retail and restaurant industry, especially as customer loyalty continues to evolve, requiring brands to think differently about how they keep guests happy and engaged.

The company has led the industry in firsts, including using artificial intelligence, contactless payments and curbside pickup. Now, it's better positioned to help its clients align all the components of the digital customer engagement ecosystem to power the industry into the future.

"We introduced digital loyalty to the restaurant industry more than 20 years ago. Then, in 2019, we entered online ordering, as it was still a small part of the market," said Paytronix CEO Andrew Robbins. "Now, technologies such as loyalty and online ordering are key pieces of the technology stack for any brand. The question is: How do you best use the data these tools provide to keep guests engaged and returning?"

Early in the pandemic, restaurants and convenience stores rushed to install the technology they needed for survival. In addition to online ordering, tools such as messaging, CRM, marketplace management and mobile apps were lifelines that kept them afloat.

Today, as the worst of the pandemic recedes, brands need to work to get more out of their investments. More focus has been placed on personal interactions with guests, at scale, by providing the right incentives at the right time through the right channels to drive engagement and revenue.

"Loyalty programs need to… ensure that we are meeting our core guest expectations, so that they want to continue engagement with us via our surprise and delight model," said Darin Dugan, chief marketing officer of Jimmy John's. "That means gamification programs such as badges that give us, at the brand level, the opportunity to encourage deeper engagement." 

With more than 1,800 branded clients, the Paytronix platform has handled more than 40 billion transactions. A new campaign gets launched on the platform every minute.

SK Food Group New Production Facility Location Aerial View

SK Food Group

Custom food manufacturer SK Food Group plans to build a new 525,000-square-foot production facility in Cleveland, Tenn. The city was selected after an extensive multi-state search across more than 60 sites that was assisted by Global Strategy Consultants, a real estate services firm. 

The facility — which will be completed in three phases and include state-of-the-art automation technology for sandwich assembly and food handling — is expected to be finished in 2025. The project includes a special partnership with the PIE Center, an educational and industrial training center, to provide specialized employee training. 

"We are very excited to be adding the Cleveland facility to our growing family of facilities, which span across the U.S.," said Dustin Dixon, president of SK Food Group. "This project will generate 840 new jobs in the Cleveland region by 2030 and will leverage Cleveland's best-in-class technology training program, along with our proprietary training and educational programs, to provide ongoing skills development to community members and allow our company to grow together with the community."

Construction will commence later this year and upon completion will support local communities through the creation of new job opportunities. Furthermore, the new facility will incorporate environmentally forward-thinking designs. including applicable LEED certifications.

Standard AI

Retail artificial intelligence (AI) engineer Standard AI signed a definitive agreement to acquire self-checkout solutions provider Skip. Standard AI will become the only company to connect self-checkout (SCO) with AI-powered autonomous checkout, creating one integrated experience..

Standard AI will also integrate Skip's cloud-based POS with back office ecosystems to streamline operations and give greater control over price, discounts, promotions and more.

The on-going difficulty in both hiring and retaining talent in retail, limiting growth and store performance, has fueled a renewed energy in the industry for SCO as a strategy to resolve certain labor challenges. 

"Autonomous retail has seen exponential growth, and in the next five years we'll see thousands of AI-powered stores across the world," said Jordan Fisher, CEO of Standard AI. "Through this acquisition, we will create a unique offering that combines the self-checkout experience with autonomous retail for the first time ever to give retailers immediate relief from their labor challenges and a way to accelerate their path to an autonomous future." 

The new combined system will empower retailers to offer innovative checkout experiences, while offering shoppers a way to access autonomous retail experiences through the SCO kiosks that they're already familiar with. 

"Skip has differentiated itself in a crowded field of self-checkout solutions. In addition to being modular and easy to install, it delivers all the functionality required by retailers at a fraction of the cost of its competitors," said Chase Thomason, founder and CEO of Skip. "By integrating with Standard AI, we are now taking our kiosks to the next level and working on solutions that will go beyond them as we create the future of autonomous checkout."

Upon closing, Standard AI will continue to sell Skip standalone or together with its Vision OS offering.

Tyson Foods Inc.

For the seventh consecutive year, Tyson Foods Inc. ranked Number 1 on Fortune magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies in the Food Production category.

The annual survey, conducted by Fortune and Korn Ferry, asks top executives, directors and financial analysts to identify the companies that have the strongest reputations within their industries and across all industries.

"Our team members are the heart of our business and their hard work and dedication to win with excellence every day is what put us in the position to be recognized as a leading food company," said Donnie King, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "We're honored to again be acknowledged and we're committed to continuing to provide high-quality protein at good value to our growing world."

The company invested more than $20 million this year to offer longer parental leave, additional mental health support and other wellness benefits, including eligibility for healthcare benefits on the first day of employment for all full-time U.S. team members. The new policies and investments come in addition to recent compensation benefits, including more than $50 million in thank you bonuses and $100 million in wage increases for U.S. hourly workers. 

The company also provides opportunities for education and life-skill development through the Tyson Immigration Partnership and the Upward Academy program, the latter of which provides free education for all U.S. team members at more than 200 programs from 35 universities and learning providers.

Korn Ferry has collaborated with Fortune annually since 1997 to identify, select and rank the World's Most Admired Companies. To compile the rankings, corporate reputation and performance are measured against nine key attributes: innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products and services and global competitiveness. 

This year's list can be found on the Fortune website. For more information on how the rankings are determined, view the full methodology at Korn Ferry

#GetCrackin TikTok video Stills

The Wonderful Co.

As part of its dedication to building a Wonderful Pistachios presence on TikTok, The Wonderful Co. partnered with some of the social media platform's top talent to showcase and celebrate the unique ways people enjoy cracking open and eating pistachios. 

Wonderful Pistachios ran a branded hashtag challenge through Feb. 20, encouraging TikTok users to use the custom #GetCrackin hashtag and post a fun video of how they creatively crack open the brand's nuts. Participants had a chance to win a first place prize of $10,000 and a one year supply of Wonderful Pistachios, along with awards for second, third and fourth place.  

Platform partners also posted specialty videos on behalf of the company. Content creators included:

  • Ex-Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, who filmed herself cracking a pistachio in one hand while in a handstand. 
  • Dancer Alex Wong, who devised an interpretive dance routine representing "How Dancers Get Crackin'."
  • TikTok queen of cleaning Vanesa Amaro, who used speed ramping to film her day, along with her pistachio snack breaks.
  • Rube Goldberg-inspired engineer Joseph's Machines, who developed a one-of-a-kind pistachio cracking machine. 
  • Anime fan Pierre Stepz, who created a video in the theme of his popular on-going series of "Real Life vs Anime." 
  • Bodybuilder Thoren Bradley, who used his ax-wielding skills to split open a pistachio in one swing.
  • Brothers Daniel and David Hulett, who put their trick shot skills to the test in cracking open a pistachio.
  • Figure skater Elladj Balde, who performed an outdoor routine before splitting a pistachio on his skate blade.