Supplier Spotlights: Emerson, Eby-Brown & OPW

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Supplier Spotlights: Emerson, Eby-Brown & OPW

OPW anniversary photo

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:

Constellation Brands

The Modelo Especial brand and mixed martial arts organization UFC have formed a multi-year marketing partnership that establishes Modelo as the official beer and malt beverage sponsor of UFC in the United States.

"Modelo is an amazing brand that shares UFC's unmatched commitment to its fan base," UFC President Dana White said. "I love Modelo and we're already talking about doing a lot of exciting things together."

The multi-million dollar partnership begins in 2018. As part of it, Modelo will be the presenting sponsor for select UFC pay-per-view events and VIP experiences based in the U.S., along with signage and branding inside UFC's Octagon. Modelo will also feature UFC athletes and personalities in advertising.

"Uniting the passionate fans of UFC with Modelo, a brand that stands for the fighting spirit is an ultimate win for our consumers and our company," said Ann Legan, vice president of marketing for Casa Modelo with Constellation Brands Beer Division. "With both UFC and Modelo driving unprecedented growth for our respective industries, this partnership is a game-changer for Modelo and we look forward to creating new experiences for fans."

Along with in-venue programming exposure via multimedia platforms, retail point of sale, live-viewing parties at select UFC events and a national sweepstakes campaign, Modelo will have a presence during live-event broadcasts and on It will also be integrated across multiple UFC-based social and digital platforms.

Eby-Brown Co.

Two drivers from Eby-Brown won placement in the 2017 IFDA National Truck Driving Championship, held Sept. 15-17 at the Disney Yacht Club Resort in Orlando, Fla.

"We are extremely proud of Glenn Anderson taking second place overall in the Straight Truck Competition and for Andrew Spindler taking third place overall in the 5 Axle Competition. Simply qualifying for this national competition is a great achievement for drivers in our industry. The program is rigorous and requires a great deal of knowledge and skill to pass the written exam and field course challenges," said Thomas Wake, co-CEO of Eby-Brown.

"The competition was fierce with more than 130 drivers from all over the country competing, but both Glenn and Andrew did an outstanding job representing our company and the importance that Eby-Brown places on employing knowledgeable and safe drivers on our public roadways," he added.

Anderson is a 24-year veteran from Eby-Brown's Montgomery, Ill., distribution center and Spindler is a three-year rookie from Eby-Brown's Eau Claire, Wis., facility, the company said. Along with eight of their fellow Eby-Brown teammates, who are also winners of Eby-Brown's regional driving competition, they were recognized nationally at the IFDA Driving Championship Banquet.


Following acquisitions in cargo monitoring and building on its experience in food retail and foodservice, Emerson is launching a new cold chain organization focused on supporting all types of temperature-sensitive and asset optimization solutions wherever commercial goods are moved, stored or sold. It will offer customers a total-channel approach to protect foods and other critical cargo every step along the cold chain — from grower and processor, to distributor and retailer, the company said.

"There are big challenges to solve with the amount of food wasted, revenues lost and energy consumed globally, and this is why we are expanding our role in safeguarding the cold chain," said John Rhodes, newly named group president of cold chain for Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions. "Organizing our expertise and resources to focus on the cold chain and deliver unique solutions that help improve food quality, reduce energy use and optimize business effectiveness, will allow us to bring more value to our customers while making a positive impact on the environment."

The new cold chain organization is led by a team of long-time Emerson executives, including Rhodes, who previously managed Emerson's refrigeration business. Within the organization are four market-focused teams to solve challenges and develop industry-specific offerings for food retail, foodservice, transportation and aftermarket distribution customers. These teams are led by Ed McKiernan in his new role as president of the cold chain business.

To accelerate development of new cold chain technologies and services, group president Mark Dunson now leads the company's global electronics & solutions business.

"The digital solutions and IoT approach Emerson brings to the industry are the next wave of tools that our customers can utilize to further enhance their brands, advance their management of food quality and waste, and boost their optimization of critical infrastructure," Dunson said. "Our focus on connected controls and monitoring services, twenty-plus years of data-driven insights and recent investments in the cargo space make us an even stronger partner for customers looking to holistically manage and optimize their buildings, equipment and perishable inventory."

ITW Food Equipment Group Brands

For the 17th consecutive year, ITW Food Equipment Group products were recognized by foodservice operators, consultants and dealers as the industry's category leaders. Foodservice Equipment & Supplies (FE&S) magazine's annual Best in Class Awards honored Hobart, Traulsen and Vulcan for outstanding equipment quality and performance.

"Being recognized 'Best in Class' by our peers in the foodservice and food retail industry who supply, specify and operate our equipment is an honor. It's a distinction that we strive to achieve each year, as we've built our business around the concept of customer-back innovation, compelling us to work with our customers to understand their pain points; then design and deliver equipment that helps solve those pain points," said Lei Schlitz, executive vice president, ITW Food Equipment Group. "It's gratifying to know our inspiration and hard work are achieving the intended results — providing our customers with equipment they can trust to work hard and deliver quality, consistent results day in and day out."

The FE&S Best in Class Awards recognize food equipment and supply manufacturers that have achieved best in class status in the eyes of their supply chain partners. The magazine asks foodservice operators, dealers and consultants to evaluate equipment based on seven characteristics: quality, value, design and aesthetics, inventory and availability, service and support, sales representation and information availability.

2017 ITW Food Equipment Group category winners include:

  • Hobart: Floor mixers, electric slicers and dishwashers
  • Traulsen: Blast chillers
  • Vulcan: Charbroilers, gas and electric ranges, and countertop griddles

"As a proud supporter of foodservice professionals everywhere, ITW Food Equipment Group will continue to manufacture industry-leading equipment that outperforms, every day, all at a lower total cost of ownership than our competitors," Schlitz said.

Mars Chocolate

A year after the 3 Musketeers launched its #ThrowShine campaign, which encourages teenagers to spread moments of lightness and joy and share props with their peers, the brand will continue the movement with the newly established 3 Musketeers Shine Corps.

The nine-month, paid position will be filled with teens who have demonstrated their capacity to #ThrowShine and will be empowered to spread the power of positivity to their peers around the country.

The first Shine Corps Specialists are Britain Bennett of Sandusky, Ohio, and Denis Estimon of Boca Raton, Fla. They will utilize social media platforms to share their personal stories, as well as find other teens that have inspiring, positive stories to share. From speaking engagements at conferences to media interviews, they'll travel the country and work with 3 Musketeers to further promote the power of positivity, according to the brand.

Bennett created a national anti-bullying campaign encouraging kids to Talk to someone, Block hurtful words out of your head and your heart and Help others, titled "TBH." She also created the Erie County-wide day called "Be a S.M.A.R.T. Parent Day" and served as a national anti-bullying spokesperson for a variety of campaigns.

After immigrating to Boca Raton from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Denis combated isolation and loneliness by creating the "We Dine Together" club at his high school. The club created a culture of inclusion where students joined their solo-dining peers at lunch. "We Dine Together" has since received requests from more than 26 schools in seven countries to replicate the club.

"We are thrilled to continue our initiative to spread positivity and #ThrowShine through our newly established Shine Corps and through the hiring of Britain and Denis," said Michelle Deignan, 3 Musketeers brand director. "Their desire to spread positivity has already been nationally recognized and their service as Shine Corps Specialists not only gives their platforms and causes a louder voice, but also enables them, in partnership with 3 Musketeers, to continue inspiring other teens to spread positivity."


OPW, a Dover company and provider of fluid-handling solutions, celebrated and showcased 125 years of innovation at the 2017 PEI Convention at the NACS Show Oct. 18-20.

The company offered multiple top features for visitors who came to the OPW booth for a look at the past, present and future of fluid-handling solutions worldwide:

  • Innovative products: A full line of innovative products was on display, including all-new products such as the Matador Composite Cover.
  • Virtual Reality: OPW is "Defining What's Next" and gave attendees a look at the future of retail fueling through an immersive virtual reality experience.
  • The History Wall: An elaborate display chronicling 125 Years of "Leading the Way" and honoring the partners that have helped OPW achieve this milestone.

"The PEI Convention at the NACS Show is the culmination of a yearlong celebration," said Keith Moye, vice president of global marketing. "Our 125th Anniversary has been a chance to celebrate the strong bonds that have contributed to decades of growth and success for us and our valued partners."

"Our 125th Anniversary is a tribute to our employees and distributors across the globe. This celebration wouldn't be possible without their dedication and partnership," Moye added.

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