Cool New Products at the NACS Show

When I arrived at the NACS Cool New Products showcase at the 2015 NACS Show in Las Vegas, there was a line.

As it turns out, it was worth the wait. In many cases, these new products are just hitting shelves—some won’t be available until next year. But retailers hungry for a new product, service or technology spent time examining each display within.

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Winners Hit NACS Show Floor

The NACS Show, as a rule, is full of new products. There is incredible convenience-store innovation around every corner, down every aisle.

Among all the innovations are CSP’s own 2015 Retailer Choice Best New Products Contest winners. After months of nominating and voting, the results are in and on display at supplier booths on the show floor.

The Next Wave in Yogurt Innovation

yogurt

Not all c-store operators have given packaged yogurt a fair shake. Given the product’s high-protein and low-carb qualities, and the smash success of Greek varieties, it’s been nothing short of a category game-changer.

And there’s more to come.

The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash., reveals there are new innovations bubbling up in the segment to build on the strength of Greek yogurt’s success.

The Leftover Challenge

leftovers

Everyone loves a nice leftover meal, but those second-day offers might be putting a drag on your daily foodservice success.

The snacks and entrées on your menu often become leftovers for next-day (or same-day) consumption. And that could mean those folks toting the food home will limit their eating-out occasions—at least perhaps for one day.

Make Like a Banana and Split

oktoberfest parade

They actually stood and cheered when the man in the walking banana costume marched by.

He was also throwing candy from a bucket, but I like to think the day-drinking fest-goers and rowdy college kids were applauding the banana man. Under normal circumstances, it would take a lot of guts to dress up like a banana and walk down the middle of a busy thoroughfare. I certainly wouldn’t expect to get a standing ovation.

What Are Your Daily Specialties?

specialty foods

An energy drink, bag of chips, pack of smokes and beef jerky meet hemp heart bites, hibiscus green tea mixer, acai berry chocolate truffles and blackberry sheep milk yogurt.

It might not sound like these items belong together; but specialty/gourmet foods have a bona fide reason for being in c-stores.

Cash In with Beer Caves

beer cave

The U.S. beer industry is awash in billions of dollars.

For brewers and retailers, and beer importers and distributors, it generates nearly $253 billion in economic activity and produces $48.5 billion in tax revenue, according to a study by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

The Chips That Made The Trip

southport go gas

In mid-September, I drove 1,012 miles from Chicago to the North Carolina coast for a 3.8-ounce bag of Utz potato chips. It was an impulse purchase.

Cover Story: You Saw It Here First

NACS Show 2015 Las Vegas

This year, Oct. 11 to 14, more than 23,500 people from around the world will arrive in Las Vegas for the show. They will walk the 400,000 square feet of expo space, perusing the products and services from more than 1,100 vendors.

There will be showgirls. There will be sausages, pizza and coffee. There will be a man dressed like Sasquatch.

And there will be plenty of new products promising to lure in customers, expand market baskets and boost sales in the year to come.

Craft Sodas, Meat Snacks, Burgers and More

two trending product categories: burgers and beverages

Health and variety continue to drive trends in the convenience-store and foodservice space.

Craft sodas, tea and meat snacks are seeing increased success among customers seeking healthier fare. While tea has long been deemed a good-for-you beverage, craft soda’s natural ingredients are contributing to piqued interest. And manufacturers of meat snacks have seen category growth as they highlight the benefits of protein.

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