Supplier Spotlights: Jack Link's, Paytronix Systems & VideoMining

Hormel Ingredient Solutions

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:


Docklight Brands formed a distribution agreement with Hudson News Distributors under which Hudson will make Docklight's portfolio of hemp-derived CBD-infused products available to retailers across the Northeastern United States.

This includes Marley Mellow Mood CBD-infused Tea, Marley Wellness CBD Shot, Marley CBD-Infused Chocolate, Goodship CBD-Infused Confections and Irisa CBD-infused Sparkling Water. Hudson will make the entire Docklight Brands portfolio available to major retail accounts within the drug, mass, grocery, convenience, airport and independent channels.

"We deliver quality services and products to our network and adding the Docklight Brands portfolio to our offering demonstrates our commitment and strategic vision," said Tom Dowdy, chief revenue officer for Hudson News Distributors. "Our direct store delivery model can provide Docklight's portfolio to shoppers more effectively than other supply chain methods. We ensure that the last five feet of the path-to-purchase, whether shelf, display or cooler, is executed flawlessly."


Hormel Foods teamed up with Burke Industrial to form Hormel Ingredient Solutions, which capitalizes on the companies' shared commitments to providing high-quality ingredients and results-driven solutions.

"We brought our teams together to combine our dedication to serving customers through high-quality ingredients, industry-leading expertise and collaborative partnerships," said Paul Sheehan, director of sales for Hormel Ingredient Solutions.

Hormel Ingredient Solutions specializes in providing high-quality, protein-based ingredients and other results-driven solutions for prepared foods manufacturers. The team offers a combined portfolio of fully cooked meats, stocks, broths, savory fats, puddings, gelatins and peanut butter.

"Now more than ever, consumers are seeking multisensory food experiences," said Sheehan. "With our newly expanded portfolio, we are able to give food manufacturers the competitive edge needed for today's market."

The team also actively engages with customers to help bring their applications to life, Hormel said.


Hunt Brothers Pizza is bringing back its Pepperoni Trio Pizza as a limited time offering this fall. Starting Oct. 21, customers can order the specialty pizza at participating Hunt Brothers locations while supplies last.

The Pepperoni Trio Pizza features three distinct pepperoni styles: small pepperoni, giving a crispy texture to every bite; classic pepperoni, providing the traditional flavor; and giant pepperoni, altogether making it the pizza of pepperoni lovers' dreams, according to the company.

"We are excited to bring back the Pepperoni Trio Pizza as an LTO in 2019," said Dee Cleveland, director of marketing at Hunt Brothers Pizza. "The variety of pepperoni flavors and textures combined with our original crust pizza elevate the pepperoni pizza experience. Consumers love the Pepperoni Trio Pizza because it takes a pizza topping they know and love, and delivers it in a bigger, unique way. We anticipate that the return of this LTO will drive foot traffic in our partner stores and bring in new customers to try what we believe is a true fan-favorite."


Jack Link's Protein Snacks formed a strategic alliance with blockchain startup SKUxchange that will allow it to deliver smart and secure digital offers across multiple industry verticals as SKUxchange rolls out its technology, the company said.

SKUxchange's SKUx produce provides a digital offer ecosystem with a performance-based approach. Its blockchain-based offer engine also provides a targeted and seamless consumer experience and gives retailers a secure and frictionless retail redemption tool.

"SKUxchange understands what brands today are facing in an ever-evolving and complex digital world," said Tom 'TD' Dixon, chief marketing officer at Jack Link's. "As marketers, metrics matter and ROI is critical now more than ever before. I'm excited to be working with SKUxchange and to see the impact this technology can deliver long-term for Jack Link's."


ImageWorks Display launched a new brand logo and website built for the future. The site offers a user-friendly and informative interface that makes it easy for those ready to shop existing tobacco displays and accessory items, the company said.

Additionally, for those ready to develop a new or custom solution, the site showcases recent examples of how ImageWorks has helped various retail brands across multiple trade channels to promote their products and services at retail.


Paytronix Systems Inc. rolled out a series of upgrades to the Paytronix Rewards Platform during PXUX 2019, an interactive conference that provides a forums for brands to provide feedback, share their experiences and deliver input on future product direction.

"This year's PXUX was full of exceptional presentations from clients like Primanti Brothers, Jimmy John's, National Coney Island, Mendocino Farms, and MFA Breaktime," said Andrew Robbins, president, Paytronix Systems Inc. "Our clients are doing remarkable things with the platform — the high-impact results, growth and brand enhancements are amazing."

The upgrades apply to Paytronix Order & Delivery, which offers comprehensive loyalty functionality, including single sign on, open dollar discounts, easy bundling discounts, multiple rewards in a single check, reward balance display, easy registration flow, reward from points flow, and gift card redemption.

Additional upgrades help streamline day-to-day outreach for loyalty managers and include one-to-one promotions, a campaign builder, e-mail builder, multi-use coupons, SMS enrollment at the point-of-sale and native mobile integration to Monkey Media.


PepsiCo Inc. published its 2018 Sustainability Report, which outlines the company's progress against its sustainability goals and announces a new purpose behind its sustainability agenda: to help build a more sustainable food system.

"As a global food and beverage leader whose products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day and that operates an agricultural supply chain touching 60 nations, we undoubtedly have a role to play in addressing the challenges of the modern food system, from climate change and resource scarcity, to packaging waste and income inequality," said Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo's CEO and chairman. "As we strive to use our global scale for good, we are deeply committed to accelerating progress in our sustainability agenda."

The report highlights progress and goals in six priority areas where the company believes it can best make a contribution to building a more sustainable food system: agriculture, water, packaging, products, climate and people.

This year's report is complemented by a Performance Metrics Sheet, which briefly outlines PepsiCo's year-over-year progress against its sustainability goals.

PepsiCo also began celebrating 100 seasons of the National Football League (NFL) through a new, seasonlong campaign. Pepsi, the official soft drink of the NFL for more than 17 seasons, salutes those who unapologetically celebrate the sport of football with the campaign "Always Be Celebrating."

"The NFL has generated some incredible moments over the years, creating a celebratory spirit among its fans and players that is unrivaled. Whether it's an energetic spike, a choreographed end zone dance, or a 'shout out loud' moment in your living room, football consistently brings out some of the most unapologetic celebrations – both on and off the field. The passion of its fans and players alike is what fuels the season and inspired our latest campaign," said Todd Kaplan, vice president, marketing — Pepsi. "Celebrating 100 seasons of the NFL this season is the perfect time for Pepsi to partner with our league, team, and player partners to create and showcase even more of these moments for our fans."

Throughout the season, fans can join the conversation across social and show what it means to #AlwaysBeCelebrating their favorite football moments with Pepsi and visit to check out the latest TV ads, exclusive content and more.


London-based EdgePetrol has expanded to the United States. Following expedited growth and work with major oil companies across the United Kingdom and Ireland, EdgePetrol formed a close alliance with an industry-leading advisory company Petroleum Equity Group, bringing it to gas retailers across the U.S.

"The USA is the obvious next step for EdgePetrol," said founder and CEO Gideon Carroll. "We want to bring U.S. retailers valuable insight by giving them full visibility of their data, just as we have done for the U.K. We built the app by listening to retailers and understanding their needs. Our partnership with PEG gives us the ability to understand US marketing practices and adapt our offering for the American market."

EdgePetrol's innovative web-based application allows gas retailers to make enhanced business decisions in real-time. By securely connecting to point-of-sale transaction data, cost of goods and competitor pricing, the app displays current weighted and blended margins, volumes, and profits, providing fuel retailers with the critical data they need to improve profitability.

"Petroleum Equity Group is very excited to have been chosen by EdgePetrol to help bring their valuable pricing platform to the U.S. market," said Ken Shriber, managing director and CEO. "I strongly believe that our clients will benefit financially from the innovative and user-friendly tools from EdgePetrol. The age-old process of utilizing excel spreadsheets and other internal analytics to set retail prices will be revolutionized by EdgePetrol's intelligent software solutions."


Standard Cognition acquired the assets of startup company DeepMagic, which focuses on unattended, automated retail. DeepMagic was founded by Bernd Schoner and Davi Geiger. Schoner will join Standard in a consulting capacity to help manage the integration of DeepMagic's technology into Standard's platform.

DeepMagic has developed strong computer vision technology that can identify individual items with outstanding accuracy and has deployed commercial systems in the U.S. and Europe. The company also holds key patents dating back to 2016 covering important elements of autonomous checkout technology.

"Both Standard and DeepMagic took a computer-vision only approach to autonomous checkout, making our technologies very compatible," said Jordan Fisher, co-founder and CEO of Standard Cognition. "We both knew from the start that in order to retrofit into existing retail environments, we needed to maintain a very low footprint — a cameras-only system is the best way to do that. DeepMagic had developed very strong computer vision technology that fits very well into our technology portfolio — we're excited to take the technology forward."


VideoMining Corp. announced the release of two new special reports from the CSI MegaStudy program focusing on Hispanic and Millennial shopper behavior in the c-store channel.

The Hispanic Deep Dive and Millennial Deep Dive aim to provide an understanding of the shopping patterns of the two of the most important segments for the c-store industry, as these segments rapidly grow in both market share and spending power, the company said. Because of the evolving nature of retail and the specific preferences and habits of these shoppers, studying these groups is crucial to developing strategies and tactics that will truly impact the bottom line for retailers and product manufacturers.

"As we continue to transition our C-Store MegaStudy program to the new yearlong model, we are excited to further help manufacturers and retailers identify opportunities to better serve today's shoppers," stated Dr. Rajeev Sharma, founder and CEO of VideoMining. "By focusing on these two extremely important and well-established demographics, the Hispanic Deep Dive and Millennial Deep Dive enhance the value of the MegaStudy program for all brands in this space with a heavy focus on the in-store behaviors and preferences that differentiate these segments from other shoppers."

The special reports are both available to explore the storewide impact and unique characteristics of these shopper segments in the c-store channel.

VP RACING FUELS           

VP Racing Fuels Inc. signed a new distribution agreement with California Fuels & Lubricants, servicing Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

"California Fuels & Lubricants is a first-class, professional organization, known throughout Southern California for the best service in the region," said Bruce Hendel, VP's vice president, North American sales - race fuel and consumer products. "We've been looking for a distributor organization that embraces our full line of VP Racing products. CFL will carry not only our popular championship proven race fuels but our fast-growing line of racing and performance lubricants as well as our additives and small engine fuels".

California Fuels & Lubricants will distribute the full line of VP products, including VP race fuels and VP racing lubricants, servicing tracks and drivers throughout Southern California. CFL will also market VP's branded retail programs, featuring the fastest growing retail branding program in the country. These programs include VP branded gas stations, VP FastLube oil change centers, and VP PowerWash carwashes.