Year in Review: Most-Read Stories of 2018
NEWARK, N.J. — In the past year, Convenience Store News readers were drawn to headlines from some of the most notable retailers and brands in the c-store industry, whether that meant new promotions, product innovation or major merger and acquisition deals.
The double appearance of the merger between Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Andeavor, as well as the highlighting of big growth in the Top 100 Convenience Store Chains report, also stood out as an indication that the subject of consolidation and what it means for the future remain a top-of-mind concern.
These are the top 10 most-read headlines of Convenience Store News Online for 2018, based on website hits:
1. Pepsi Gives Nod to the Past in New 2018 Global Campaign
With its "Pepsi Generations" global creative campaign, the beverage brand marked its history in pop culture for 120 years. The campaign celebrated the best moments of Pepsi's past, created new moments for today and set the stage for the future, "allowing Pepsi to be the choice for decades to come," according to the company.
2. Wawa Reinvents Hoagiefest for Summer 2018 Campaign
After a 10-year run of a 1960s-themed campaign, the convenience store retailer went more modern for its summer 2018 Hoagiefest with new graphics, special effects and contemporary music. In addition, Wawa introduced special pricing during Hoagiefest 2018 for all three hoagie sizes in all varieties – $3 for a Junior, $4 for a Shorti and $5 for a Classic.
3. EG Group Reveals Strategy for Acquired Kroger C-stores
With its acquisition of The Kroger Co.'s convenience store business, EG Group announced plans to expand its operation into the United States for the first time. As a first step, the U.K.-based company is establishing a North American headquarters in Cincinnati — home of Kroger — and will continue to run the newly acquired 762 c-stores under their existing banners.
4. Philip Morris International Unveils Next-Gen iQOS
Philip Morris International took the wraps of its next-generation iQOS. The company's latest heat-not-burn products, iQOS 3 and iQOS 3 MULTI, made their official debut at a launch event in Tokyo on Oct. 22. Tokyo is the largest market for heat-not-burn tobacco products.
5. Marathon Petroleum & Andeavor Merger Moves Closer to Reality
The two companies said on July 2 that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 had expired in connection with the proposed transaction. The parties also received the necessary regulatory clearance by the Canadian Commissioner of Competition pursuant to the Competition Act in Canada.
6. Winston Brand Bringing New Entry to Premium Cigarettes Category
ITG Brands launched a new entry to the premium cigarettes category with the August debut of Winston Black, the newest edition of the Winston brand. ITG Brands expects to see positive momentum for Winston Black as consumer awareness rises due to retail signage, direct mail, website information and emails.
7. Done Deal: Marathon & Andeavor Close on $23.3B Merger
One week after getting the greenlight from shareholders, Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) and Andeavor closed on its $23.3-billion merger. "This transformative transaction is a significant milestone in our company's more than 130-year history," said MPC Chairman and CEO Gary R. Heminger. "MPC is now the leading refining, midstream, and marketing company in the U.S., and is well-positioned for long-term growth and shareholder value creation."
8. R.J. Reynolds Vapor Recalls 2.6M Vuse Vibe Power Units
R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. voluntarily issued a nationwide safety recall of 2.6 million Vuse Vibe power units. The move came after consumer complaints about malfunctioning batteries. According to the tobacco company, the battery issue could cause the power unit to overheat, creating a fire risk.
9. 8 Consumer Trends for 2018
Smart retailers keep an ear close to the ground to keep up with the latest trends. Convenience Store News curated multiple forecasts from leading research and consulting firms to bring you our "8 Consumer Trends for 2018."
10. The Top 100 Convenience Store Chains of 2018
In the convenience channel, known for its smaller, neighborhood-focused stores, the big chains keep getting bigger. In the past year, Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. added roughly 1,000 stores across 17 states when it acquired most of the retail assets of Dallas-based Sunoco LP. Meanwhile, Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. kept up its reputation as an aggressive acquirer by adding CST Brands Inc. (roughly 1,300 stores) and Holiday Cos. (500-plus stores) to its ever-growing portfolio.