Rollout Roundup: FARE 2013

New products from the FARE Food Pavilion

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- The sixth annual Foodservice at Retail Exchange (FARE) saw operators from the convenience, college & university, health care, recreation and grocery/drug channels come together to share ideas on how to capture the on-the-go foodservice consumer. Two days of keynote speakers, breakout sessions and roundtables kicked off with the Food Pavilion, where operators met with nearly 80 suppliers to experience the latest foods, beverages, equipment, services and supplies geared toward the foodservice-at-retail buyer.

Convenience Store Products was there to capture some of the newest products to enter the industry.

AHT Cooling Systems USA has a new open-air cooler that’s just 24 inches deep for small-format stores. The AC-XL SLIM features LED lighting, large glass sides for nice product visibility and a self-contained 115v refrigeration system.

Reflecting the technological flexibility of digital menu boards, Visual Graphic Systems Inc.’s Simplicity Mobile Digital Menu Board Editing Tool allows operators to create and edit menu boards from their mobile app. The app contains 10 professionally designed templates and has complete editing functionality. It’s available for Apple or Android.

On the food side, Don Miguel/Hormel Foods recently rolled out two new products for convenience retailers. Don Miguel Squares are a handheld breakfast option with four-hour hold times. The Hormel REV Wraps meanwhile are single-serve, snack-size wraps with more than 15 grams of protein; REV Wraps are available in eight different varieties including Peppered Turkey and Meat Lover’s Pizza.

Day ’N Night Bites has expanded its offering with heat-and-eat calzones. Three varieties are available—5-Meat, Philly and Pepperoni—all nearly half a pound in weight. The calzones, specifically formulated for the c-store channel, have a projected retail price of less than $3.

Pierce Chicken (which also showcased a number of products in the Inaugural FARE Culinary Competition) has added to its poultry portfolio with Dip Stix, breaded and cooked chicken breast pieces portioned for grab-and-go eating. Varieties include Chik’n Cheese (seasoned breast meat infused with Cheddar cheese and coated with a cheese-flavored, crumb-style breading), Sweet Heat (with a sweet and spicy coating) and Breakfast Crunch (with a hint of maple).

Over at the Tyson booth, the company highlighted its Deli Market brand and the line’s new side dishes. Deli Market products are distributed frozen and merchandised in the cooler for maximum refrigerated shelf life. The line comes in simple, clear packaging and is ready to eat after three to four minutes in the microwave.

Onion Crunch was at the conference showing off its onion topping for hot dogs, pizzas, salads, sandwiches and more. A number of c-store retailers have already found success offering Onion Crunch in their condiment stations. Flavors include Original, BBQ, Bacon and Chipotle.

Reflecting the emphasis on snacking across the foodservice and retail landscapes PepsiCo Foodservice had a number of packaged snacks from its portfolio at the show, including Sabra Hummus Packs for the health-conscious consumer and Gatorade Nutrition Bars for active lifestyles.

The My Way Café from SureShot Dispensing Systems combines all beverage customization elements into one sleek design. Consumers can add dairy, sweeteners, whipped toppings and flavorings all from one system—keeping counterspace streamlined.

More on the beverage front, Concordia Beverage Systems’ Xpress System makes more than 1,000 different espresso-drink combinations at the press of a button in under 25 seconds, according to the company. It features a user-friendly touchpad and automated cleaning program.

For more coverage of FARE 2013, watch for the August issue of CSP magazine. Next year’s FARE will be held June 16-18 at the Gaylord Texan. Stay tuned to for more information on the 2014 event.