Supplier Spotlights: Oberto Snacks, PriceAdvantage & Promotion in Motion
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:
NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) launched ServSuccess, a comprehensive career development offering that features three levels of professional certification, online training and assessments. ServSuccess is designed to help restaurant professionals visualize a career roadmap and set industry-wide standards for advancement.
"ServSuccess will empower people and businesses to aim for and achieve even higher levels of career success in the foodservice industry," said Dawn Sweeney, NRA president and CEO. "Restaurant employees will be able to use their years of experience to jumpstart their professional advancement by validating their skills and knowledge. For restaurant operators, it provides the training and workforce solutions to grow business and service to their communities."
- Professional certifications for restaurant professional, restaurant supervisor, and restaurant manager levels
- Online learning suites with content designed to fit into busy restaurant work schedules
- Interactive study guides to promote learning and retention using the latest brain science
In addition to education and certification offerings, ServSuccess will help employees understand the type of roles available in the restaurant industry, assess their readiness for these roles and chart a path toward achieving their desired career goals.
Oberto launched a new look, new products and new brands for the meat snacks category at the 2019 Sweets & Snacks Expo. The company's major new initiative includes reintroducing classic hits from its early days, improving its staple products, creating one-of-a-kind new jerky products and refreshing its packaging to focus on quality, flavor and heritage.
"These changes represent the most significant improvements to quality and flavor in our 101-year history," said Stephen Oberto, chief marketing officer and the great grandson of founder Constantino Oberto. "I've never been more proud to have our family's name on our products."
Oberto Original Beef Jerky will now be enhanced with natural wood smoke and tenderized for improved taste, have 27 percent less sugar and still contain no artificial ingredients, while new Oberto Smoked Sausages will be smoked six times and slow-dried for three to five days to provide unparalleled taste, the company said.
PriceAdvantage, a division of Skyline Products, formed a partnership with Comdata, a FLEETCOR company, through which PriceAdvantage will utilize the Comdata SmartDESQ point-of-sale (POS) system to automatically execute price changes to retail fuel pumps and price signs.
The integration allows fuel marketers to utilize the power of PriceAdvantage to easily analyze critical fuel pricing data, such as competitor prices, replacements costs and current volumes compared to targets, then quickly determine optimized prices for each commodity, the company said. Using PriceAdvantage from any location, retailers can simultaneously execute price changes directly to the POS, pump and price signs across all fuel outlets — even across multiple POS systems at one location — then receive a price change confirmation.
"The Comdata POS system is a strategic addition to our list of validated, pre-built integrations," said Chip Stadjuhar, CEO of Skyline Products. "As with most of our product enhancements, this integration was requested and guided by our customers. It solves a very critical business problem for our retailers who operate multiple POS systems across their business, especially truck stops that must synchronize pricing between commercial and passenger pumps and price signs."
PROMOTION IN MOTION
The Promotion In Motion Cos. Inc. (PIM) broke ground on the expansion of its PIM Brands manufacturing facilities in Franklin Township, N.J. The nearly 80,000-square-foot addition will let the company meet increasing demand by allowing for new production lines. It also includes the new Welch's Fruit Snacks Factory Tour and Visitors Center, which the company estimates will host up to 1 million visitors annually.
PIM is investing more than $30 million into the expanded facilities, which will total just over 250,000 square feet when complete. The company celebrated with a May 30 ceremony attended by local officials and PIM executives.
"We are continuously working to grow our business and to upgrade in scope and scale," said Michael G. Rosenberg, president and CEO. "This new expansion will allow the company to continue growing our domestic and international footprints as we've been successfully driving double digit growth year over year."
REGATTA CRAFT MIXERS
Regatta Craft Mixers formed a multi-year partnership with US Sailing through which it will serve as the official craft mixer and ginger beer of the program. Regatta will also be a national sponsor of the U.S. Match Racing Championship in October.
"US Sailing and Regatta Craft Mixers share a passion for sailing and having fun on the water with family and friends," said Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing. "It is truly special when you have the opportunity to align with another innovative company that shares those same values. We are looking forward to working with Regatta Craft Mixers to engage with our member sailors and organizations."
Sam Zarou, CEO of Regatta Craft Mixers, added sailing has always been a part of the company's fabric.
"We are so pleased to be working with the leadership of the sport to enhance the programs and events for sailors and sailing organizations around the country," Zarou said.
In conjunction with a series of coordinated police raids, government enforcement actions, civil suits and product seizures, Republic Tobacco LP filed civil actions seeking monetary and punitive damages and injunctive relief from those who traffic in counterfeit goods and who have profited from their sale and distribution.
The company also filed actions against foreign nationals selling counterfeit goods at trade shows and noted that it monitors trade shows for the proliferation and marketing of counterfeit products.
"Republic's commitment to fighting counterfeiting is ongoing. We have engaged private investigators around the country who coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S Customs, the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement where available, and we will continue to do so as we strive to remove these potentially dangerous and misleading products from U.S. markets," the company said in a statement.
Convenience retail data platform Skupos announced a $26-million Series B financing round led by Insight Partners with participation from Unilever Ventures, Tao Capital and prior backers Toba Capital, Dynamo Ventures and Loup Ventures. The current round will be used for ongoing product development and strategic expansion, with a focus on leveraging transaction data to innovate new revenue-driving strategies for participants in the convenience retail industry.
"As we continue to grow the Skupos network, we're thrilled to be bringing on the dual expertise of Insight and Unilever Ventures," said Jake Bolling, CEO of Skupos.
In recent months, Skupos has seen its customer base more than double from 3,000 customers to more than 7,000, allowing retailers, brands, and distributors to collaborate and transition from analog to data-driven workflows, the company said.
Tyson Foods released its 2018 sustainability report, which demonstrates progress and increased transparency across key sustainability measures such as farming practices, worker health and safety, hunger relief and more.
Company accomplishments in 2018 included:
- Workplace Safety: More than doubled its 10-percent year-over-year commitment to reduce OSHA recordable workplace injuries and illnesses (a 22-percent decline)
- Team Member Education: Expanded Upward Academy, a language and life skills education program, to 33 plant locations
- Environment: Became the first U.S.-based protein company to receive approval from the Science-Based Target Initiative for its greenhouse gas reduction target of 30 percent by 2030
- Animal Welfare: Expanded implementation of the largest third-party remote video auditing system in the industry
- Hunger Relief: Donated more than 46 million servings of protein to hunger relief efforts across the United States and continued to move ahead of schedule in meeting its commitment to provide $50 million in five years to fight hunger.
"Our progress is a testament to our unwavering commitment to accelerate sustainable food production," said Noel White, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "As one of the largest food companies in the world, Tyson Foods plays an important role in contributing to a stable and sustainable food system for future generations."