trends

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

I’ve written this letter many times. But no matter how many I’ve written, this one is the hardest.

Tracking Beverage Trends for the New Year

c-store cold vault

If nonalcohol-beverage category manager Samantha Barry had a crystal ball, she imagines it would tell her that ready-to-drink ­RTD‑ coffee and energy drinks will continue to lead sales growth in the new year.

In her two years of overseeing packaged beverages for Mount Olive, N.C.-based E.J. Pope & Sons (­and six years overall working for the chain of 39 Handy Mart c-stores), Barry finds

Drinking Outside the Box

Wine in a Tetra Pak? Ready-to-drink cocktails and shots in a pouch? Brillant … if you’re a consumer. But for the convenience-store operator, these packaging innovations can be a head-scratcher.

Alternative packaging for alcohol arguably originated decades ago with wine in a box. While consumer perception of boxed wine hasn’t always been favorable, that’s no longer the case.

“Many consumers are now accepting of the ‘box wine’ proposition and appreciate the

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