Kitchen (No Longer) Confidential

pizza and ingredients

What’s the one word that captures the shift in the foodservice industry? Transparency.

Nothing says accountability quite like an open kitchen. And as more convenience stores look to compete with their restaurant counterparts through made-to-order foodservice programs, the question of whether to open some or all of production to consumers’ prying eyes looms large.

How Impulsive Are Beverage Shoppers?

soda flavors

Seventy percent of convenience-store shoppers enter a store with an intent to buy a beverage, but only ­43% of those have a specific brand in mind when they enter the store, according to an Over the Shoulder/Egg Strategy Research study.

The opportunity? “There are a lot of impulsive people making their way through the store,” said Sam Brewster, manager of shopper insights for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano, Texas, during CSP’s Cold Vault Summit as he discussed the results of the study.

Small CPG Companies Experience Big Growth


It might seem counterintuitive, but thinking small and tapping into more modest, niche marketing strategies can yield big results for food and beverage companies.

Of the billions of dollars in recent food industry sales growth, just a fraction flowed from large-size consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, with the true growth orchestrated by midsize and smaller manufacturers, according to research from Nielsen.

“The largest CPGs may have large sales but exhibit slow growth,” said Dennis Moore, Nielsen’s executive vice president of analytics.

Big Oil Invests In Mobile Payment

fuel app

In a string of deals that are part of a growing movement toward linking loyalty programs with mobile payment, Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP have unveiled their own enhanced payment and loyalty apps.

In mid-March, Exxon Mobil Corp. announced it will accept mobile payment at the pump, including Apple Pay, throughout most of its U.S. retail network. TheSpeedpass+ mobile payment app is now available at more than 6,000 Exxon- and Mobil-branded convenience stores across the country.

Beer: Not Just For Bubba Anymore

beer and lipstick

Beer marketers, take note: Fifty-four percent of women say they purchased beer at retail for o­ff-premise consumption in the past 30 days. This might seem like an obvious statement, but it needs to be said: That’s more than half of all women who come into your store. Those are pretty good odds.

“This is a huge opportunity for the beer industry,” says Donna Hood Crecca, associate principal for Chicago-based Technomic.

So what’s a brand gotta to do to get the ladies’ attention?

Food Companies Accelerate Buying and Selling

big fish little fish

Are you making waves in the food industry?

If so, watch out. The capital investment hawks are circling.

Most investors understand that the quickest way to flourish in this industry is to buy rather than build—and buying they are. There were 410 food-industry (all retail channels, food processors and restaurants) deals in 2015, according to The Food Institute, Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Do This; Don’t Do That

do this; don't do that

Regardless of what else may be in their baskets, your customers buy chocolate.

There are some other habits you’re likely to see. Patrons often buy a newspaper when they pick up lottery tickets. They purchase bottled water and carbonated soft drinks together. And when they buy beer, it’s usually between 3 and 11 p.m., so put a six-pack on the counter to remind them.

Steps to Build Brand Equity

benefits of brand equity

Does your brand have strong equity?

According to Emily Mescher, vice president of consumer insights for Nielsen, brands with strong equity do the following to build share:

Kindness First

Every day when my son gets on the school bus, I make him turn around and give me a hug.

“Kindness ­first,” I whisper into his broomstick hair.

If I’m lucky, I get a one-cheek smile. Usually it’s a little nod. This ritual will totally embarrass him soon if it doesn’t already. But though actions do indeed speak louder than words, it is this phrase I hope he remembers when he makes a decision about how to talk to his friends, treat a new student or respond to a teacher.

General Mills, Mars to Identify GMOs

General Mills cereal

On the heels of the Campbell Soup Co.’s announcement mid-January, General Mills and Mars have also announced they will label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their products.

The major manufacturers made the move to comply with a Vermont law that goes into effect July 1. And although the law only applies to Vermont, the two companies said they will label GMOs on product packaging nationwide.



5 Well-Received Packaged Snacks in 2022

Success spanned a range of flavors, formats and sizes 

lip balm

Wellness shots, portable lighters, lip balm, dissolvable tablets and laundry-related products are among new arrivals in the 2 categories

Meat snacks

Exotic, spicy, small batch, premium and per-unit sizes contributed to category growth this year