Supplier Spotlights: Eco-Products, Electric Era Technologies & Fresh Blends

Lux Ice USA, National Retail Solutions and the Royston Group, among others, also announce new 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: Cantaloupe Inc., D&H United Fueling Solutions & Gilbarco Veeder-Root]

Here are the latest supplier spotlights:

CIRC logo


Novolex brand Eco-Products launched Controls Intended to Remove Contamination (CIRC), a new program to help foodservice operators keep noncompostable items out of their organics streams. 

The program will verify that restaurants and other operators are taking steps to prevent noncompostable materials from being sent to composting facilities. While food scraps, yard trimmings and certified compostable packaging can be composted, anything else creates serious problems for composters.  

CIRC can verify those efforts so composters can be more confident about accepting material from them. The program also features scorecards that foodservice operators can use to show composters and haulers that the necessary controls are in place to generate contaminant-free organics streams. The scorecard is divided into four sections — procurement, operations, communications and hauler engagement — that contain criteria and conditions that are either required or encouraged.  

Scorecards and other supporting materials will be available to anyone interested in using them, not just customers and partners of Eco-Products, and the company will not be charging a fee to participate. 

Electric Era Technologies logo

Electric Era Technologies

Chevron Technology Ventures made an investment in Electric Era Technologies to accelerate the deployment of Electric Era's premium electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to gas stations and convenience stores throughout the United States.

[Read more: Buc-ee's to be Home to Mercedes-Benz EV Charging Hubs]

Developed by former SpaceX engineers, Electric Era's PowerNode charging station technology and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven software platform are designed to enable real-time, autonomous and reliable control of electrical grid power consumption. PowerNode's built-in battery automatically discharges to support increased charging on-demand, lowering the draw on the electrical grid and enabling more charging sessions per day for a lower cost. 

The first deployments of PowerNode stations are set to go online in the Portland metro area in the coming weeks at a Plaid Pantry store and a Space Age Fuels outlet. An additional installation at the Seven Feathers Travel Plaza in southwest Oregon, and more than 10 other installations across seven states are planned to begin before the end of 2023.

The investment from Chevron Technology Ventures' Future Energy Fund is part of Electric Era's series A financing led by HSBC Asset Management with participation from SQM Lithium Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures and Proeza Ventures. Electric Era has received $20.5 million in funding to date.

Fresh Blends logo

Fresh Blends

Self-serving beverage platform Fresh Blends entered into several new partnerships intended to support both retailers and their customers.

The company first partnered with PEAC Solutions to offer a flexible financing option for Fresh Blends purchases, which will allow retail customers access to same-day credit decisions, a contract start date after the equipment has been delivered, online payment processing and a digital application and closing documents. The PEAC financing is available for as low as $450 per month.

The company will also be launching new partnerships with fintech companies, including Nayax and Cantaloupe, to implement a self-pay option for existing Fresh Blenders and provide a more seamless customer experience. The new programs are due to launch in early 2024.


Bartender using Lux Ice balls for cocktails

Lux Ice USA

Lux Ice USA became the first and so far only dedicated craft ice company to receive food safe accreditation from the International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA). 

"We are proud to become the first ice company that exclusively produces craft ice to achieve IPIA accreditation," said Shawn Kilcoyne, founder and chairman at Lux. "As we expand our premium craft ice business across retail customers and into restaurants and other foodservice channels, quality and food safety will remain our top priority."

The company passed an extensive IPIA audit conducted by the National Sanitation Foundation, an authority in public health standards and services that helps protect the world's food, water, consumer products and environment. 

"We are excited that Lux Ice has achieved IPIA accreditation," said Maria Maggio, executive director at IPIA. "We have seen how committed they are to leading the craft ice industry in quality and food safety, and look forward to having them as a member company at IPIA."

National Retail Solutions

National Retail Solutions (NRS) introduced the NRS Ultimate E-Commerce Package and free delivery service for retailers, which is available now for both current and new NRS E-commerce program participants.

[Read more: Swisher Renews Data Pact With National Retail Solutions]

According to the company, the comprehensive solution is designed to be an all-inclusive program at an affordable price, providing:

  • The BR Club Shopping App, which allows retailers to offer their online customers the convenience of delivery through the integration of popular delivery service partners, including DoorDash, Uber, Point Pickup and Relay;
  • A customized retail website that is mobile-friendly and can be connected to the retailer's point-of-sale system;
  • Find My Biz, a store locator feature;
  • Manage My Reviews, which helps retailers maintain a positive online presence by effectively managing online reviews and responding to customer inquiries; and
  • Robust, online loyalty programs.

"In a digital world, our merchants operate physical stores," said Ari Korman, senior vice president of e-commerce at NRS. "NRS bridges the gap between physical and digital stores, creating a 'phy-gital' environment that maximizes retailers' chances of success."

Nexus Energy Services

Fueling systems provider Nexus Energy Services LLC (NES) acquired the assets of Whitemarsh Corp., a Middlesex, N.J.-based distributor of fuel dispensing and point of sale equipment for retail and commercial fueling in New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

NES will continue to go to market using the Whitemarsh brand in its marketing territory and plans to onboard all Whitemarsh employees, including Mike Gliksman, who will become sales and branch manager. Mark Towey, current Whitemarsh president, will continue working with the company in an active consulting capacity.

"The acquisition of Whitemarsh fits nicely with our vision to reimagine the way in which the petroleum industry is supported through continually evolving our product offerings, service capabilities and team member skills," said Bennett Upston, director of sales for NES. "We are delighted to have Mark Towey and his team join the NES family, and we look forward to further penetrating Whitemarsh's presence in its marketing area."

Royston Group 2023 logo

Royston Group

Royston Group, a provider of retail interior and brand identity solutions, launched its new branding at the 2023 NACS Show in Atlanta this past October.

Drawing inspiration from Chicago Bulls basketball legend Michael Jordan, the colors reflect the company's mission to elevate convenience, grocery and retail store environments for its customers.

Fashioned in the shape of a cornerstone, the new Royston logo is, according to the company, meant to echo the brand's enduring commitment to quality, reliability, respect and ethical business practices.

Accompanying the rebranding is the introduction of a new tagline: "Royston Group – Your Vision, Delivered," which is intended to underscore the company's dedication to its customers, products, on-time delivery and attention to detail. 

"We believe this new branding better represents who we are today and where we're headed tomorrow. It embodies our dedication to growth, innovation, and above all, our valued relationships with our customers," said Frank Callis, Royston president and CEO.

Siffron logo


Retail display and loss prevention systems provider Siffron acquired the merchandising display products division of Process Retail Group. The products from the division include various merchandise pusher systems utilized throughout grocery and other retail stores.

"We are very excited about this addition to one of our strategic product lines," said Fabrizio Valentini, Siffron CEO. "Siffron is already the leader in product-facing solutions in retail, and this acquisition will allow us to provide new and continued value for our current and future retail partners."

The newly acquired products cater to various areas in the retail environment and complement Siffron's current offerings, according to the company. They include packaged goods in coolers and freezers, stacked items, center store merchandise and customized products for brands.

Splash Beverage Group logo

Splash Beverage Group Inc.

Splash Beverage Group Inc., a portfolio company of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverage brands, entered into a new agreement with the Horizon Retailers Association (HRA), a convenience store retail association based in Atlanta that represents more than 2,500 retailers and 20 major vendors in the Southeast United States.     

Splash Beverage previously reached a distribution agreement with United Distributors of Georgia, with the HRA retail execution a direct result of that partnership. Among other plans, the HRA added Splash Beverage's TapouT Energy Drink to their fall planogram, making it available to all HRA participating stores throughout October.

Truly Hard Seltzer

Truly Hard Seltzer, a product of the Boston Beer Co., plans to cover the utility bills for festive holiday light enthusiasts through the Truly Keep It Light Holiday Edition Contest, an extension of their "Keep It Light" campaign. One grand prize winner will be rewarded with an energy-efficient holiday lighting display upgrade in 2024.

Through Dec. 11, fans can apply to have their holiday utility bills covered by Truly by visiting the contest website and sharing how they "Keep It Light" over the holidays, along with a photo of their best holiday display. One hundred fans will score $350, paid through Venmo, to cover the cost of their holiday utility bills, décor or lights to help cut future costs.  

The grand prize display for 2024 will use the latest and most state-of-the-art LED and solar technology and feature a custom build installed by a team of certified holiday lighting experts. The display will be unveiled with a lighting ceremony for the entire neighborhood, paired with a Truly toast and musical performance. 

Entries will be judged based upon originality, holiday cheer and creativity. The contest is open to all U.S. residents 21 years or older. 


Veeder-Root and energy industry manufacturer NOV launched a new financing collaboration intended to make forecourt equipment more accessible. 

Site owners and operators can now purchase their complete forecourt site equipment leveraging Patriot Capital rates with the Veeder-Root and NOV financing bundle program. The bundle is designed to support customers with single wall tanks or site owners and operators who need to upgrade their existing equipment.

The bundle provides 100 percent financing opportunities up to $350,000, offers fixed payments, and could potentially save end-customers more than $59,402 in interest costs. The program offers two financing options: 4.9 percent for 60 months or 5.49 percent for 72 months.

The financing can cover the purchase of the following, among other products:

  • Fiber Glass Systems' Containment Solutions Tank (NOV)
  • Fiber Glass Systems' Piping (NOV)
  • TLS-450PLUS and TLS4 Series Automatic Tank Gauges (Veeder-Root)
  • Red Jacket Submersible Turbine Pumps (Veeder-Root)
Verifone logo


Verifone has integrated its Commander Site Controller software with age-verification system TruAge to enable convenience and fuel retailers that use Verifone's Commander point-of-sale (POS) software to utilize TruAge's services to verify an adult customer's age for purchases of age-restricted products. 

[Read more: TruAge Collaborates on Streamlined Business Portal]

"We are committed to supporting the convenience retailing industry in responsibly selling age-restricted items," said James Hervey, director of product management, petroleum at Verifone. "As the leading provider of POS solutions to convenience retailers, we share TruAge's vision of providing future-proof solutions that enhance the age-verification process across retail."

Developed by NACS and Conexxus, TruAge uses one-time-use digital tokens to share only the most important elements to confirm the purchaser is of legal age while also protecting the user's privacy. The program is available for free to retailers, consumers and point-of-sale providers to ensure accessibility and promote the program's wide adoption.

Verifone supported the development of TruAge and played an active role in creating the Enhanced Age Verification Standards Working Group at Conexxus.

TruAge is currently supported by more than 140 retail companies representing more than 30,000 c-store locations in the United States. 

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