Supplier Spotlights: Coors, Kellogg & Hunt Brothers Pizza

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:

Anchor Packaging

The Institute of Packaging Professionals chose Anchor Packaging's Embraceable as a winner of the 2015 AmeriStar Design Excellence Award. Entries were judged on innovation, product protection, economics, performance, marketing and environmental impact.

Embraceable is an 11-inch-by-8-inch black oval platter with a locator ring in the bottom to hold a standard 8-ounce squat paper food container. It can be used for chili, soups, oatmeal, grits, mac and cheese, and many other items that often accompany a main dish, sandwich or salad.

The clear, anti-fog, vented polypropylene lid contains an integral sealing flange that forms a lid over the paper container at the same time that it forms a leak-resistant seal on the platter, eliminating the need for a paper container. This saves expense, reduces the amount of packaging consumed and improves consumer convenience.

The AmeriStar Package Awards competition is designed to recognize companies that are changing the face of packaging. This is the second award won by the Embraceable package.

Coors Brewing Co.

Coors Light fans in western New York can apply to host a Coors Light Buffalo Football House Party, to be held during the Buffalo Bills season opener on Sept. 13. They have until Aug. 24 to log on to to apply. If they are chosen, they will receive an exclusive party pack that includes Coors Light Buffalo football glassware, a $25 gift card for party essentials, foam fingers and more.

Selected hosts will receive their party packs just in time for the home opener, and a lucky few will get a special surprise: a personal delivery from Buffalo Bills alumnus Brian Moorman.

"We're thrilled to give football fans the opportunity to celebrate their team in true Buffalo style for the home opener," said Keri Colleary, Upstate New York field marketing manager for MillerCoors. "We can't wait to see Brian surprise fans and see how the House Party hosts show their team pride for the game with Coors Light."


A new and innovative business model from Crossmark is designed to drive faster sales growth and greater efficiencies for its clients and customers, the company said.

"Over the past 100 years, our company has built trusted relationships with our clients and customers," stated Crossmark CEO Steve Schuckenbrock. "As we look to the future and Crossmark's next century as an industry leader, we are excited about building on our success with clients and customers by leveraging our new and innovative approach to providing sales and marketing solutions."

According to Crossmark, the new business model includes a combination of differentiated disciplines:

  • Seamless integration of sales and marketing capabilities to more effectively develop and execute national and local plans;
  • Dedicated client teams that embed planning and business intelligence to ensure strategic and comprehensive support;
  • Dedicated retailer and channel teams that drive superior brand growth and shopper experiences online and in-store;
  • Disciplined planning that leverages local insights and knowledge; and
  • Tailored execution capabilities that enable work to be created and delivered in the same day with agility, precision and speed via Axis, the company's new field-force activation system.

Hunt Brothers Pizza

Six lucky consumers were announced as winners of professional-grade Exmark mowers in Hunt Brothers' inaugural "Mow Like a Pro" sweepstakes. Wayne Sparks of Cusseta, Ga., was the grand-prize winner of a 2015 Exmark Lazer Z X-Series Riding Mower, valued at $12,000.

"I couldn't be more excited! Owning my own landscape business means I need quality mowers that I can rely on, so winning one of the top mowers on the market is a blessing," said Sparks. "It's great to finally have a new mower after wanting one for a very long time. Not only do I have the equipment I need to start cutting more grass, I can do it in style!"

The other winners were:

  • First place: Joshua Calkins of Monterey, La., winning an Exmark Pioneer S-Series Riding Mower valued at $7,000.
  • Second place: Regina Hale of Puxico, Mo., winning an Exmark Quest S-Series Front Steer Riding Mower.
  • Third Place: Suzanne Looney of Nettleton, Miss.; Mathel Carter of Clarks, La.; and Michelle Adams of Albany, La., each winning an Exmark Commercial 30 Walk-Behind Mower.

Hunt Brothers, in partnership with Exmark, launched the sweepstakes Feb. 16 to kick off the spring landscaping season. The contest ran through April 30 and generated entries from 47 states.

In addition to the six mowers, Hunt Brothers and Exmark gave away 100 pairs of safety sunglasses and 100 pairs of work gloves.

"On behalf of Hunt Brothers Pizza, we congratulate all of the winners of the 'Mow Like A Pro' sweepstakes and thank all participants for their support," said Keith Solsvig, vice president of marketing for Hunt Brothers Pizza. "This sweepstakes provided us an opportunity to connect with and reward many of our fans that are landscapers and enjoy the outdoors with a quality prize from one of the best brands in the landscaping industry."

Kellogg Co.

To celebrate 40 years of Famous Amos cookies, Kellogg launched a new cross-channel promotion. From May through December, consumers have the chance to win a Famous Amos collector cookie jar that captures the nostalgia of growing up with the cookie brand.

The text-to-win promotion appears on 2-ounce packages of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies for vending, and grab-and-go 3-ounce packages of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies for c-stores and micro markets, as well as specially marked grocery packages.

Kerry Inc.

Kerry purchased Insight Beverages in an acquisition that significantly expands Kerry's beverage product solutions, manufacturing expertise and presence in the convenience store channel.

Insight's portfolio includes more than 1,500 products, including cocoa and coffee specialty offerings, fruit-flavored beverages and functional beverages.

"This partnership will enable Insight Beverages to offer our customers a greater depth and breadth of product offerings, strengthened innovation and expanded capabilities, all focused to better serve our customers today and into the future," stated Andy Burke, CEO and president of Insight Beverages.

Mars Chocolate North America

M&M'S is celebrating the return of M&M'S Crispy and welcoming driver Kyle Busch back behind the wheel of the M&M's Crispy Toyota with a short video homage to the NASCAR-themed movie "Days of Thunder" — with a Crispy twist.

The video short showcases M&M'S Crispy "spin" on the film, which marks its 25th anniversary in 2015, and features No. 18 M&M'S Crispy Toyota pilot Kyle Busch alongside his new crew chief Adam Stevens. The supporting cast includes Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs and Samantha Busch. Filmed on location in Charlotte by NASCAR Productions, the video short shows how a young, hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

The No. 18 M&M'S Crispy Toyota driven by Busch will be decked out in bright green all season long to honor the return of the product after a nearly 10-year hiatus.

Mars Chocolate also challenged social media star Nash Grier to give away 1 million tastes of M&M'S Crispy on July 16. Fans in New York City and around the world followed Grier on Vine, Twitter and Instagram for details on the secret location and real-time updates on his progress.

M&M'S Crispy features a combination of milk chocolate with a crisp, crunchy center and was the No. 1 most-requested flavor to come back from Mars Chocolate.

"At Mars Chocolate North America, we know that the retiring of M&M'S Crispy in 2005 devastated some of our most nostalgic and loyal fans and sparked the launch of a 10-year campaign to bring it back," said Berta de Pablos, vice president, marketing. "Let's face it; the fans of Crispy are really the ones who brought the product back. So what better way to celebrate their love for Crispy, and reach new fans, than by challenging the largest Vine star in history, Nash Grier to give away 1 million tastes of Crispy in just one day."

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