Supplier Spotlights: Mondelēz International, PepsiCo & Volaris Group
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:
Innovative Control Systems
Innovative Control Systems (ICS) is consolidating and relocating its existing production facilities to a new facility in Bethlehem, Pa. The site includes a 52,000-square-foot building that provides a 260-percent increase in floor space.
"Ultimately we were attracted to the site because of its access to high-quality employees, open layout, climate controlled environment, loading capabilities, and excellent highway access, all of which support our goal of automating the manufacturing process to efficiently produce the car wash industry's finest technology for our customers," said Kevin Detrick, founder and president of ICS.
Mondelēz made a minority investment in Hu Master Holdings, parent company of Hu Products and Hu Kitchen, a fast-growing, U.S.-based snacking company that offers minimally processed, high-quality snacks. This marks the second venture investment from Mondelēz as part of SnackFutures, its innovation and venture hub aimed at unlocking snacking growth opportunities around the world.
The investment falls into two of SnackFutures' high-growth strategic priorities: well-being and premium.
"As the global snacking leader, we're on a mission to lead the future of snacking and push the boundaries of what's possible. Investing in Hu offers our company an opportunity to do exactly that," said Tim Cofer, executive vice president and chief growth officer of Mondelēz International. "The Hu brand sits at the convergence of key growing consumer trends. Building on its initial success in chocolate, we believe there's an exciting opportunity to continue expanding the Hu proposition into a broad health-focused snacking platform across categories. And, with an in-house test kitchen and insights lab, they have a unique ability to quickly test and learn."
National Car Wash Solutions
National Carwash Solutions (NCS) launched a new website with e-commerce capabilities for car wash chemistry brand CleanTouch at www.CleanTouch.com.
The site highlights the entire product line's features, new product releases, promotions, safety data sheets and an e-commerce platform for ordering products. Visitors will also be able to learn more about site marketing solutions, the CleanFill inventory system, support services, industry trends, a blog and a video gallery.
Additionally, the site showcases CleanTouch FX, a new display arch and customized marketing program.
On Earth Day 2019 (April 22), PepsiCo unveiled a new hydration platform that serves as a connected ecosystem that responds to the rise in consumption of water and low-and-no-sugar drinks as well as heightened focus on plastic's effect on the environment.
As the Beyond the Bottle strategy evolves, consumers can expect to see more PepsiCo beverage options delivered without single-use plastic bottles, the company said.
The hydration platform is made up of three components: a water dispenser, a companion smartphone app and a personalized QR code for reusable bottles that allows consumers to be effortlessly recognized by the dispenser. It automatically tracks users' water intake and lets them set their own hydration goals. Additionally, it tracks their environmental impact with a unique count of plastic bottles saved with each pour and over time and saves unique preferences.
"This new platform for hydration is an exciting step in the PepsiCo Beyond the Bottle innovation pipeline," said Scott Finlow, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo Foodservice. "We've addressed a number of trends we're seeing resonate with consumers, including the increasing concern for the environment, preference for refillable bottles over single-use plastics, and finally choice and personalization whenever possible. Now, whether they're at home, work, or on-the-go, we've given people a way to make healthier and more sustainable choices throughout their day and achieve their personal hydration goals."
PepsiCo will launch the hydration platform at select workplaces, universities, and hospitality partners where there is the greatest desire access to still and carbonated water and both sustainable and healthier drink options this year. Additional locations will follow in the future.
Stuzo completed Gilbarco mobile payments certification for its Open Commerce platform and MPPA product with Gilbarco's point of sale system. Open Commerce is a cloud-based retail commerce platform, built on modern enterprise architecture with Conexxus, IFSF and other global standards at the core.
"We are thrilled to help Gilbarco extend the capabilities of its industry-leading POS system," said Scott Wasserman, chief technology officer, Stuzo. "With our Open Commerce Platform, we are helping convenience and fuel retailers that use Gilbarco's POS and site systems to maximize their return on investment by extending the physical storefront with a digital storefront, via mobile, connected car, and frictionless pay-at-pump and pay-in-store experiences."
Volaris Group acquired Triple E Technologies, giving it the ability to provide petroleum and convenience store customers with a broader offering of solutions to address the many challenges surrounding secure payment processing, PCI compliance, and EMV card transactions, the company said.
Triple E currently serves hundreds of sites across the Unites States, including many independent multi-site fuel marketers. Its OneTouch solution suite integrates with a wide range of systems used at retail locations and facilitates fuel control and inventory management, as well as major credit card and closed-loop proprietary card transactions. The OneTouch solution is also used to operate unattended, autonomous retail fuel-dispensing locations.
"We are very excited about our future with Red River," said Dan Eloe, head of commercial operations for the Triple E solution suite. "Our new home provides a solid base for innovation and growth, the sharing of best practices, and ultimately provides an opportunity to enhance the products and services that we offer customers."
World Peas Brand
World Peas Brand Peatos, a division of Snack it Forward, announced that it amicably resolved trademark-related disputes between Snack it Forward and Frito-Lay. Peatos will continue to be available to consumers.
"We would like to commend Frito-Lay on its cooperative attitude toward reaching a resolution that works for both parties," stated Nick Desai, CEO of World Peas Brand Peatos. "This battle will be fought where it should be: in the aisle of supermarkets and the hearts and minds of consumers — not in the courts. This is a great time for all companies that challenge the status quo."
Peatos is a crunchy puffed snack made with Non-GMO Project verified ingredients and no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or added MSG. It contains four grams of protein and three grams of fiber per serving. It is typically merchandised in the produce department due to its high plant-based protein content, according to the company.