Supplier Spotlights: Mondelēz, Diageo & Hunt Brothers
NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store retailers cannot be successful without the support of their distributor and supplier partners. Convenience Store News regularly highlights new products, innovative services, creative promotions and other initiatives happening on the supply side of the convenience channel in this special roundup.
Here are the latest supplier spotlights:
The World Packaging Organization awarded Anchor Packaging the 2016 Sustainability Award Certificate of Merit for its Embraceable platter and dome. The company received a high sustainability score for responsible raw material sourcing and reduction, energy optimization, and recovery that includes reusability, recyclability and ease of disposal.
The Embraceable black platter is an 11-inch by 8-inch oval that has a clear, anti-fog, vented lid that forms a leak-resistant seal on the platter. This eliminates the need for a lid on the paper container the platter is capable of holding, saving expense and reducing the amount of packaging consumed, therefore reducing carbon footprint.
Diageo North America
Diageo launched a revised website at www.DRINKiQ.com that features enhanced nutrition, calorie and alcohol content information for all its brands. The info available includes a breakdown of calories, carbohydrates, protein and, for the first time, detailed saturated fat, sugar, caffeine and sodium content. This builds on its March 2015 commitment to voluntarily provide nutrition and alcohol content information per standardized serving across its brands.
The revised website also includes new tools such as the drinks calculator, which helps people calculate and track their alcohol and calorie intake. Additionally, DRINKiQ.com provides responsible drinking tips and advice on how food, age, size and gender affects how the body processes alcohol, alongside the enhanced "What's in Your Drink" tool.
"As people become more and more interested in their diet and lifestyle choices, we need to play our part. We know that consumers want nutritional information about what they drink — just as they do with the foods they eat; they also want a clear and easy way to know how much alcohol they are drinking," said Carolyn Panzer, alcohol in society director, Diageo. "We believe passionately in helping people to understand what's in their drink and to make informed choices about drinking or not drinking."
Dunkin' Donuts will support women's hockey by serving as the "official coffee shop" of the U.S. Women's National Team. Through a new multi-year agreement with USA Hockey, Dunkin' Donuts will sponsor the team as it participates in key events such as the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship and the 2017 Women's Four Nations Cup. The sponsorship includes advertising on www.usahockey.com and the brand's logo featured on team practice jerseys.
"As the brand that keeps America running, Dunkin' Donuts is proud to be a sponsor of USA Hockey and its U.S. Women's National Team. We're excited about the team's participation in signature championship events and activities in the coming years, particularly as they get ready to compete on the world's biggest stage," said Tom Manchester, vice president, field marketing, Dunkin' Brands. "We look forward to working with USA Hockey to further advance our commitment to support female athletes and help drive awareness of the increasingly popular sport of women's hockey."
Dunkin' Donuts has also signed on as the first official corporate sponsor of the new National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) and entered into a personal services agreement with two-time Olympic silver medalist Meghan Duggan, a member of the U.S. Women's National Team since 2006 and a member of the new NWHL team, the Buffalo Beauts.
FreshOne, a custom consolidated logistics provider and fresh food program producer, celebrated its 10th anniversary in January. FreshOne was founded in 2006 with the commitment to provide consistently fresh, delicious, high-quality foods to retailers nationwide. Due to recent record growth, FreshOne this year is commissioning a new fleet of trucks with a brand-new look, in addition to hiring new sales personnel, the company reported.
"We truly value our customers and thank them for their continued confidence and trust in our solutions. These past 10 years have been rewarding as we fulfill our purpose, while adhering to our core values. Our recent entry into the grocery and higher education channels leads us to believe the next 10 years will be even more exciting," stated FreshOne President Don Janacek.
Hunt Brothers Pizza
Hunt Brothers Pizza awarded the grand prize in its fourth annual Hunt to Win sweepstakes. Winner Becky Harrell, of Elizabethtown, Ky., received a Bad Boy Recoil iS Crew UTV, valued at $14,500, plus two VIP tickets to an Easton Corbin concert.
Other prizes awarded included: an all-inclusive hunting trip for two with a Realtree pro-staffer to first-place winner Ron Smith of Amarillo, Texas; and Oculus 7.0 binoculars to five second-place winners.
"This was another exciting year for us, and we are thrilled to pair our pizza with some of the biggest names in the hunting world. We know a lot of our fans are avid hunters and we appreciate being able connect with them through our hunting partners," said Keith Solsvig, vice president of marketing for Hunt Brothers Pizza. "Plus, we added a new face to the sweepstakes this year. Our country music fans were excited for the chance to win VIP tickets to meet Easton Corbin."
King Juice Co./Calypso Lemonades
King Juice's Calypso Lemonades brand was awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest glass of lemonade ever made as part of its National Lemonade Day celebration, held in August 2015 in Las Vegas. It more than doubled the previous record by making 3,246 gallons of its Original Lemonade recipe and filling a giant, custom Calypso Lemonade glass.
Event attendees participated in the record-breaking attempt by assisting Calypso with the lemonade-making process. Afterward, they received free lemonade from the giant glass outfitted with pouring taps, as well as commemorative T-shirts and cups.
"We are extremely proud to be awarded a Guinness World Record and equally proud that we broke the record with our same Original Lemonade recipe that folks have loved and enjoyed for almost 20 years," said Calypso President Jeff Outlaw. "We are thrilled to share this great feat with our consumers who either participated in the event or helped cheer us on from home. Ultimately, it was a great celebration of lemonade in America and a fun way to celebrate our shared love of lemonade with many of our friends and supporters of Calypso."
Borden Dairy's LALA brand launched its first-ever national media campaign in February. The advertising outreach includes national television, digital and social efforts to support LALA's U.S. expansion and the launch of its new yogurt smoothies.
To coincide with the #Yogurting campaign and expansion, LALA will also debut a new website.
"The #Yogurting campaign was created around the idea that consumers are on the move more than ever and they seek healthy, on-the-go choices that help them keep up with their busy lifestyles," said Desiree Johnson, director of marketing at Borden Dairy. "LALA Yogurt Smoothies are that choice, and we've coined the term #Yogurting, which means having a yogurt smoothie on the go. #Yogurting allows consumers to keep up with their active lifestyles without missing a beat."
Mars pledged to remove all artificial colors from its human food products as part of a commitment to meet evolving consumer preferences. The change will take place incrementally across the company's range of chocolate, gum, confection, food and drink businesses over the next five years.
While artificial colors pose no known risks to human health or safety, Mars President and CEO Grant F. Reid noted that consumers are calling on food manufacturers to use more natural ingredients in their products.
"We're in the business of satisfying and delighting the people who love our products," Reid said. "Eliminating all artificial colors from our human food portfolio is a massive undertaking, and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish. Our consumers are the boss and we hear them. If it's the right thing to do for them, it's the right thing to do for Mars."
Matrix Capital Markets Group
The Downstream Energy & Retail Group (DER) of Matrix Capital Markets Group announced that it successfully advised on 18 merger and acquisition transactions that closed during 2015. The clients it advised were public companies, multi-generational privately-held companies and a foundation.
These clients included Warren Equities, Tedeschi Food Shops, Pester Marketing Co., Erickson Oil Products, Biscayne Petroleum and Everglades Petroleum, and Kocolene Marketing. The 17 different buyers in these transactions included Global Partners LP, Petroleum Marketing Group, 7-Eleven Inc., CrossAmerica Partners LP, TravelCenters of America LLC, Sunoco LP, Quality Oil Co. and World Fuel Services Inc.
"We congratulate all of our clients on their successes which, in many cases, represent the work of multiple generations," stated Thomas Kelso, managing director and head of Matrix's Downstream Energy & Retail Group. "We thank them for the confidence and trust they had in our DER Group when they chose to exit the industry and we wish them all well in their next endeavors."
Mondelēz International Inc.
Enjoy Life Foods, a division of Mondelēz International, revealed plans to open a state-of-the-art, allergy-friendly manufacturing facility in Jeffersonville, Ind., later in 2016. Manufacturing will transfer to the plant during the second quarter of 2016. The existing Enjoy Life Foods facility in Schiller Park, Ill., will close sometime in the third quarter.
"The growth opportunity afforded by this new facility is an exciting step forward for our brand," said Scott Mandell, CEO and founder of Enjoy Life Foods. "We've outgrown capacity at our current facility. This new plant will improve overall manufacturing efficiency, while providing the space for us to accelerate growth and bring our delicious, allergy-friendly and gluten-free snacks to even more people."
Nestlé USA's Butterfinger brand celebrated the end of football season by encouraging football players to be themselves, let loose and bring back the boldest moves on the field: the touchdown celebrations. As part of its Bolder Than Bold campaign, Butterfinger offered players up to $50,000 to pay for the fines they might incur for excessively celebrating during the season's final three games.
To launch the initiative, Butterfinger partnered with Billy Eichner of "Billy on the Street," "Difficult People" and "Parks and Recreation" and prospective Hall of Fame football player Terrell Owens. Together, they asked New York commuters and tourists to share their own touchdown celebrations for the opportunity to sink their teeth into a Butterfinger.
"Butterfinger celebrates living boldly both on and off the field," said Kristen Mandel, Butterfinger brand manager. "Bold end-zone celebrations are the perfect opportunity for players to show off their authentic selves, and we are excited to be a part of bringing them back to the game. We don't believe there is such a thing as 'excessively' celebrating in the end zone. For us, the bolder the celebration, the better!"
Oberto Beef Jerky is adding multiple top athletes to its 2016 marketing efforts. New addition to its sports endorsement lineup include NFL player Rob Gronkowski, baseball all-star Hunter Pence, and action sports icon Travis Pastrana. They join NFL all-pro Richard Sherman and sports media personality Stephen A. Smith.
"As athletes at the top of their game, Rob, Hunter and Travis are the perfect embodiments of what we stand for here at Oberto," said Mike Ginal, vice president of marketing, Oberto Brands. "Their performance on the field is indicative of the work they put in off-field, so we couldn't be more excited to add them to the Oberto family and have them join Richard and Stephen A. in helping to deliver our brand message and further educate consumers on the importance of hard work and lean protein."
They will help magnify Oberto's brand mantra of "You Get Out What You Put In," highlighting the importance of being selective in the foods and snacks active-lifestyle consumers "put in" their bodies to help "get out" optimum performance. Each of the athletes will star in new additions to Oberto's "Little Voice in the Stomach" television spots alongside Smith.
In addition to these individual athlete endorser deals, Oberto entered into a separate multi-year deal with Pastrana to become a North American sponsor and the official beef jerky of Nitro Circus, the action sports and entertainment brand he founded. Oberto will have an in-stadium presence during each of the live shows on the North American tour.
VP Racing Fuels
VP Racing Fuels will serve as the official fuel of the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) through the 2018 season. VP's proprietary race fuel blend CRT has been designated as spec fuel for the series.
VP will serve as title sponsor of the Super Late Model division. The CARS Super Late Model Tour fueled by VP Racing Fuels, along with the CARS Late Model Stock Car division, will take the green flag on the 2016 season on April 2. VP will also serve as the official fuel of the Ultimate Super Late Model Series as part of the multi-year agreement, beginning this year.
"We're very pleased to continue our partnership with the CARS Tour," said Chris Wall, VP's chief marketing officer. "The CARS Tour provides a great proving ground for younger racers and we appreciate the opportunity to provide them and their veteran counterparts with a top-quality fuel like CRT. We look forward to working with [CARS Tour owner] Jack [McNelly] and his team to help grow the series for years to come."
In other VP marketing news, the fuel brand announced that its VP Racing Fuels Mad Scientist Monster Jam truck will compete on the 2016 Monster Jam tour. It's piloted by Lee O'Donnell, who has participated in Monster Jam events since 1999.
"With the Mad Scientist Monster Jam truck tearing it up at Monster Jam, it will lift awareness of our brand's icon to a whole new level," explained Alan Cerwick, president of VP Racing Fuels. "There's no better platform to promote the VP brand and our new product lines, and we anticipate the Mad Scientist will connect in a strong way, particularly with the youthful members of the Monster Jam audience."
The Mad Scientist is a key component of VP's marketing platform as it symbolizes VP's propensity for leading-edge technology, "makin' power" and having fun, the company said. In fact, the Mad Scientist icon is now integrated into the packaging of every VP product and into the signage at VP-branded gas stations.