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At Nouria Energy Stores in New England, sales of a product line introduced just four years ago are already outpacing center-store branded items.

At Nouria Energy Stores in New England, sales of a product line introduced just four years ago are already outpacing center-store branded items. According to Kristine Modugno, director of category management at the 170-unit convenience store chain, year-over-year sales of the company’s private-label My Nouria line are growing at a double-digit rate, driven by new flavors, enhanced packaging and customer demand for quality items at a value price. While My Nouria offerings cross a variety of categories, snack items like the All-Dressed rippled potato chips, blueberry-covered pretzels and chocolate bars are among the products which customers particularly crave.

In Texas, meanwhile, sales of TXB-branded products reached more than $1 million last year, Benjamin Hoffmeyer, vice president, marketing and merchandising, TXB, reported. And with new private-label items scheduled to launch this year, sales could double in 2022, he said. “Many of our products are growing at a 50% to 60% rate thanks to their value proposition,” he noted. “Their quality is equal or better to that of national brands, while the price per ounce to the consumer is better than national labels.” And for TXB, with about 50 stores in Texas and Oklahoma, penny profits on its own-label products are improved versus that of leading brands.

TXB and Nouria are among a small but growing number of c-stores committed to advancing offerings and overall sales of private-label products. While largely the signature of grocery, drug and big-box stores, exclusive labels are emerging in the c-store channel despite some of the unique hurdles they bring to small footprint and fragmented operations. Convenience retailers already marketing private-label brands, along with vendors and channel advisers, see continued potential for the products, as well as the opportunity for the exclusive labels to help build c-stores’ reputation for fair prices.

Private-label sales in c-stores; however, are dramatically underdeveloped compared to other outlets. According to Jason Zelinski, client director, convenience and growth accounts at NielsenIQ, private-label products make up only 2.4% of total sales in c-stores. But the good news is that sales in the convenience channel are growing at a fast clip—up 19% last year, Zelinski said—easily outpacing trends in other channels. Todd Maute, partner at CBX, which helps retailers develop private-label portfolios and counts Wawa among its clients, explained that the fragmented nature of c-stores is a big reason that the channel lags others when it comes to store brands. “With more than half of all c-stores independently owned, it’s difficult for those stores to meet the minimum volume requirement from manufacturers for private-label products,” he said. The absence of private labels at so many c-stores is unfortunate, Maute continued. “They’ve become expected in high-volume categories and help drive loyalty to stores.”

The pandemic, supply chain pressures and rising inflation have all helped increase demand for private-label merchandise. But they’ve also increased constraints on the manufacturing and distribution of store brands. Most recently, “the manufacturing community has been limiting the amount of private labels they’re producing,” Maute noted. “Some aren’t doing private labels at all.” Indeed, both Modugno and Hoffmeyer reported that their stores experienced shortages from private-label vendors earlier this year, but those constraints have eased in recent months.

LOYALTY DRIVER

One of the biggest benefits of private-label products for c-stores is the customer loyalty they help develop. “When a c-store converts a customer to its private label, it forms an exclusive impression on the customer that the only place to get the item is their store, which can result in repeat trips and larger basket rings,” Zelinski said. Maute agreed, pointing to the reputation Wawa has earned for its exclusive coffee, which has made the retailer a destination for many consumers. Moreover, he sees “significant opportunity for c-stores to own categories like salty snacks if their private labels are sourced properly and quality exceeds expectations. Those types of products provide the opportunity to drive loyalty.”

Private-Label products make up only 2.4% of total sales in c-stores.

Enhanced margins are another asset for retailers. “Private-label brands eliminate layers of cost that national brands build into their price model for marketing and other expenses,” noted Teresa Voelter, private label director at McLane Co., whose Consumer Value Products subsidiary offers numerous nonexclusive CVP-branded private-label products to retailers. So not only do they provide savings for consumers, but “they offer a way for retailers to increase their profits and secure consumer loyalty,” she said. Hoffmeyer added that store brands can aid retailers in inventory control, particularly when out-of-stocks impact national brands, and also “help build your brand awareness and strengthen the connection with your consumers.”

Despite the advantages, private-label programs come with a host of challenges for c-stores. Minimum volume requirements from suppliers can make the offerings untenable for some retailers. “For small retailers, it can be difficult to hit the minimum order when working under a large contract,” said Mike Fogarty, founder and CEO of Choice Markets, an upscale c-store concept with three locations in Denver and another three on the way. “Sourcing and design can be difficult, too,” said the retailer, whose stores offer a full line of Choice-branded prepared foods and snacks. “They may not know how to find a manufacturer.” McLane’s Voelter noted that for c-stores not large enough to create their own brand, the CVP products can fill in. “They give retailers a strong offering that increases profit margins,” she said. Maute recommended that small c-store chains form co-ops for better buying power or work with local manufacturers on private-label products.

Space constraints are another hurdle. “Space in a c-store is the tightest of any channel, so each spot must be justified,” noted Zelinski. Nouria’s Modugno concurred. “With c-stores’ limited SKU environment and the important role that the national brands play, you need to have a solid strategy with your total assortment and the role of private brands in each category,” she said. With no national marketing support to rely on, Hoffmeyer added that c-stores need to ensure they can fund marketing efforts for their own brands.

Nouria and TXB are looking to leverage those opportunities, as the New England chain recently expanded the My Nouria portfolio into packaged baked goods, while the Texas operator could add chips in the next year or two, Hoffmeyer said. TXB-branded packaged beverages, meanwhile, have been profitable for the company, he reported.

“We have better control upstream on cost of goods,” as compared to national brands, “and since TXB products are made in Texas, we save a ton on freight, which is key with heavy beverage cases,” the retailer noted. Mineral water, sports drinks and iced coffee drinks are also on the chain’s radar, he added.

At Choice Markets, prepared foods are produced at a commissary kitchen to the company’s specifications, while private-label nuts come from national suppliers, Fogarty said.

Deli salads and prepared meals are among the Choice brand’s most popular items, the retailer said, as “our customers trust our brand. They know it for its quality and that there’s thought behind the sourcing.” Fogarty added that more Choice-branded products are in the works and could include pastas, dressings, chips and dips.

PERCEPTION SHIFT

The increased availability of quality private-label merchandise can only help to build the reputation of c-stores for offering fair prices. “Private label adds a low-priced option to convenience store shelves,” remarked Zelinski. “This plays a role in shifting consumer perception, as shoppers often believe they’re paying a higher price for convenience.” Special promotions and features on private-label merchandise propel the shift even more, Modugno said. “When guests are in our store, we’re their frame of reference for pricing, so promotions are key,” she remarked.

Research and planning are also core components of a successful private-label program. “Be sure to do your research to offer high quality products in great packaging, with attributes that appeal to your consumer,” Voelter advised. “Private label isn’t just a value product at a cheap price anymore. The goal is to source and offer products that meet or exceed consumers’ expectations, tell a story and even make them proud to purchase.”

C-store operators already active with private labels have no plans to look back. “Private label not only provides our channel a means to give consumers a better value proposition but also a means to further strengthen our brands’ connections with consumers,” said Hoffmeyer. “It also allows our channel to offer differentiated products to our customers and an opportunity to drive new traffic. Private label will be a necessity for c-stores to compete with other channels who have had a head start on the private-label journey.”  

MARKETING MATTERS  

Image: Marketing

Like any other in-store merchandise, private-label products require marketing and merchandising support. Due to their high-margin opportunity, that support is critical.

“It’s a different retail environment than in the past,” said Todd Maute, partner at CBX. “Don’t put them on the bottom shelf.”

At Choice Markets, own-brand items are merchandised just inside the front door on “prominent fixtures,” to maximize exposure, said Mike Fogarty, founder and CEO of Choice Markets. At Nouria Energy stores, “we dedicate primary and endcap space in our stores for the Nouria brand,” Kristine Modugno, director of category management, reported, “and we run monthly promotions, as well as every day twofer deals to drive trial.”

TXB pulls out all the stops when it comes to promoting its own brands. In addition to digital support, such as coupons, loyalty and app tie-ins, the Texas chain leverages floor displays and beverage vault merchandising, Benjamin Hoffmeyer, vice president, marketing and merchandising, TXB, noted. “We also offer everyday multibuys to boost trial of different flavors and to build volume, which helps reduce production costs,” he said. Looking ahead, TXB plans to take support of its private-label brands full circle by partnering them with national brands, Hoffmeyer revealed, such as TXB water with Snickers and Red Bull promotions. 

CATERING TO TRUCKERS

Catering to Truckers

While consumable products are among the most common private-label offerings in c-stores, Love’s Travel Stops makes a targeted effort to provide its own line of products for its large pool of professional drivers.

“We like to say that ‘Love’s Mobile to Go’ zone is like the Apple Store or Best Buy of the highway, and it shows by how popular those items are among all customers,” said Casey Creegan, manager of merchandising at the 600-location travel stop network. Merchandise ranges from items that appeal to casual drivers, such as phone chargers and headphones, to those of interest to truck drivers, like GPS devices and headsets. Additional products offered as part of the “Mobile to Go” set include the Portage line of travel bags and clothing and the Love’s-branded auto fluids line.

Love’s-branded snacks and drinks—such as bottled water, beef jerky and candy—are also popular with guests, noted Creegan, and products like sweet and salty snacks and juices show potential. But she added, “We see a lot of opportunity on the nonconsumable side for items that help get professional drivers and four-wheel customers back on the road quickly and safely.”

Source: NACS Online

McLane integrates Volvo EVs into Southern California operations

McLane company, one of the nation’s largest private fleets, will incorporate three Volvo VNR electric trucks into its operations. The battery-electric Class 8s will deliver goods to grocery stores in the Los Angeles metro area. By FleetOwner Staff

Volvo Trucks North America customer McLane Company is taking delivery of three Volvo VNR Electric trucks to provide zero-tailpipe emission deliveries in Southern California. The Volvo VNR Electric trucks are the first Class 8 electric tractors that will be on the road for McLane and will operate on the highways and city streets of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, transporting products to customers, including convenience and grocery stores. McLane is No. 58 on FleetOwner’s 500 Top Private Fleets.

McLane is a dedicated environmental partner supporting its customers in their sustainability goals and aligning well with Volvo Trucks’ own commitment to quieter cities, cleaner air, and efficient, sustainable transport,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. “The adoption of battery-electric trucks continues to expand in Southern California and our dealer partner TEC Equipment has been invaluable in providing support to customers as they begin their electromobility journey.”

See also: FleetOwner 500: Top Private Fleets of 2022 at https://www.fleetowner.com/research/document/21239648/fleetowner-500-top-private-fleets-of-2022

Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates more than 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells, and delivers more than 50,000 different consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the nation. As part of its Green Advantage initiative, McLane has made operational changes to reduce its environmental impact and increase efficiency.

The three VNR Electric trucks McLane is integrating into its fleet feature Volvo Trucks’ adaptive-loading system, which is designed to improve energy efficiency. The adaptive-loading system switches automatically between 6×2 and 4×2 drive-axle configurations using a forward axle that lifts tires off the ground when a trailer is empty, nearly empty, or carrying a light load.

McLane’s Volvo VNR Electric trucks have an operational range of up to 275 miles and were designed as sustainable transportation for fleet operators looking to decarbonize their distribution, supporting local and regional pickup and delivery, and food and beverage distribution. To support its new battery-electric trucks, McLane has installed a 62.5 kW charging infrastructure that includes two ChargePoint Express 250 Stations.

See also: Volvo Trucks to build charging corridor in California for electric vehicles at https://www.fleetowner.com/emissions-efficiency/article/21246660/volvo-trucks-california-electrified-charging-corridor-project-electric-vehicle-infrastructure

“We are excited to add these new battery-electric tractors to our fleet,” said Tony Frankenberger, CEO, McLane Company. “McLane is committed to improving the communities we serve and to exemplify the innovation and leadership needed to help our customers meet sustainability goals with the adoption of zero-tailpipe emission battery-electric vehicles.”

Volvo Trucks national accounts electromobility team consulted with McLane to determine ideal routes for the Volvo VNR Electric, based on vehicle range, ideal charging opportunities, and duty cycle. TEC Equipment’s Fontana location will be the servicing dealer.

The three trucks are part of the SWITCH-ON project, a grant to Volvo Trucks to deploy battery-electric trucks in Southern California for regional freight distribution and drayage. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Targeted Air Shed Grant Program is providing the funding, supplemented by the South Coast AQMD for charging infrastructure, to improve air quality in the region.

Source: FleetOwner

McLane Co.: ‘Headed in a Good Direction’

Orlando, Fla. — By Steve Holtz — Eight months into his tenure as president of McLane Grocery at the largest grocery distributor to the convenience-store industry—and three years into the pandemic—Chris Smith is pleased with the focus of the company.

“Things are headed in a good direction,” he told CSP Daily News in an exclusive interview at the McLane Co. National Trade Show in Orlando, Fla., noting improvements in staffing, driver retention, customer experience and out-of-stocks. “It’s not back to pre-pandemic levels, but it’s much improved.”

It was precisely these issues that opened Smith to the idea of leaving his position in retailing—He previously was chief supply chain officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance—to bring his experience in grocery wholesale to the convenience channel.

“McLane was one of our partners at Walgreens, … and I saw the supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic firsthand,” he said. “I understood all of the factors that, frankly, were out of the distributor hands. I mean, it was a manpower issue, but manufacturers had those issues, as well. They also had problems getting ingredients, parts, packaging. … It went all the way up the supply chain, and it still does today.”

The concern was echoed on the trade-show floor, where several exhibitors said they’ve used the past couple of years to focus on core products rather than invest in research and development.

“Since the pandemic hit, we’ve really focused on distribution,” said Steve Dutton, national accounts manager for Johnsonville. “Luckily, we have had zero issues through the entire pandemic.”

McLane expected to showcase more than 170 exhibitors and host 1000 attendees during this year’s event, its first in-person trade show since 2019.

“This is positive for the industry. It’s exciting to see vendors back in here and promoting their products,” Smith said on day two of the trade show, “and the sales I’ve seen [here] have been encouraging.”

For its part, McLane unveiled new customer technology and a new foodservice offer, and, for the first time, brought together all of it’s foodservice programs in a single setting to demonstrate the full extent of its offer.

Tech Investment

In technology, McLane highlighted updates to the company’s Virtual Trade Show (VTS) mobile ordering application. Brad Lyons, McLane’s vice president of application development customer technology, said the app features a new look and feel with enhanced functionality.

“We launched the app this year,” he told CSP Daily News. “It’s built around the user experience to give the customer what they need now.”

McLane partnered with one of its strategic supplier partners to create the ability to set up staggered bundles on VTS, which allows users the flexibility to place orders for multiple stores with varied ship dates at one time.

McLane also highlighted its enhanced Delivery Tracker app, which now features multi-carrier SIM cards in devices to strengthen and broaden coverage and a new geolocation capability that, when merged with existing fleet management technology, provides more accurate tracking and delivery data to retailers, the company said.

While previous editions of the app reported when deliveries were made, the new version allows the customer to follow the entire fulfillment process: order received, order being picked, truck on the road, estimated time of arrival, truck on lot and so on.

“Now, customers are getting information directly from the driver,” Lyons said.

“We’re really doubling down on technology,” he added. “We’re growing our [technology] team. And manufacturers are increasingly recognizing the value of technology in accessing data.

Food Frenzy

Meanwhile, McLane Kitchen featured its Central Eats foodservice platform for the first time, as well as its other turnkey food programs.

Central Eats “provides high-quality, prepackaged breakfast, lunch and dinner items available for sale as a refrigerated or heated and ready-to-eat offering,” the company said. Also, Central Eats products can be branded with a retailer’s custom label or retain the Central Eats brand.

Also featured:

  • Choice Chicken, which includes a full fried-chicken program, along with a selection of sides.
  • Javaperks, McLane’s proprietary coffee and tea program, which features coffee, cappuccino, tea, iced coffee, cold brew and hot chocolate. New this year: a bakery program through supplier Prairie City Bakery, Vernon Hills, Ill.
  • Fly Guys Pizza, part of McLane’s private-label Customer Value Products (CVP) line, is available to sell frozen or cooked and served as part of a foodservice program.

The overriding goal, however, was to demonstrate how all the offers could fit together into a single foodservice program.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to sample Javaperks, Central Eats and Choice Chicken all in one setting,” said Cassandra Matos, senior director merchandising. “Customers can order the equipment, the signage and the food, all through McLane. We can help them create a branded foodservice look without the expense of bringing in all the things individual programs require.”

Temple, Texas-based McLane Co. is one of the largest supply-chain services companies in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants.

Source: Convenience Store Petroleum

Technology, Foodservice Front and Center at McLane Trade Show

ORLANDO, Fla. — By Greg Lindenberg — Technology and foodservice took center stage as McLane Co. Inc. kicked off its annual National Trade Show in Orlando, Fla., the convenience, grocery and foodservice supply chain services company’s first in-person NTS since before the pandemic in 2019.

NTS runs from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

“The McLane team is thrilled to be back in person for the first time in three years,” said Chris Smith, president of McLane Grocery. “We’ve been looking forward to bringing together our customers and suppliers to hear firsthand about their businesses and challenges, and to present our latest innovative products and services.”

Each year at NTS, McLane introduces retailers to the latest in new technology and foodservice for more efficient inventory and ordering. Industry manufacturers use NTS as a national launching pad for new product lines and extensions. This year, the event is showcasing more than 170 exhibitors and host 1,000 attendees. The keynote speaker, Nik Modi, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, Toronto, will open the event’s general session; Brad Lyons, McLane’s vice president of application development customer technology, will also make a presentation.

Technology

NTS attendees who visit the McLane booth can learn about updates to the company’s Mobile VTS trade show ordering app, which will feature a new look and feel with enhanced functionality. Customers will see an improved user experience with enhanced ordering capabilities making multi-store ordering easier. Suppliers will find several new features including image variety functionality, engagement features such as the ability to add comments, notes and recipes and improved search throughout the site.

McLane also has partnered with one of its strategic supplier partners to create the ability to set up staggered bundles on VTS, which allows users the flexibility to place orders for multiple stores with varied ship dates at one time.

McLane will also highlight its enhanced Delivery Tracker app, which now features multi-carrier SIM cards in devices to strengthen and broaden coverage and a new geolocation capability that, when merged with existing fleet management technology, provides more accurate tracking and delivery data to retailers.

Foodservice

Attendees will be able to experience McLane’s interactive booth highlighting its foodservice-at-retail solution, McLane Kitchen, which offers turnkey solutions as well as custom options. This year, McLane is focusing on two hot foods programs: Central Eats and Choice Chicken.

Central Eats provides pre-packaged breakfast, lunch and dinner items available for sale as a refrigerated or heated and ready-to-eat offering. Products can be branded with the retailer’s custom label, or a retailer can use the Central Eats brand developed specifically for this program.

Choice Chicken features products from some of the top names in foodservice and retail, along with delicious sides, the company said.

At the McLane booth, attendees will also find Javaperks baristas serving up lattes and other coffee beverages. McLane’s proprietary coffee and tea program, Javaperks features coffee, cappuccino, tea, iced coffee, cold brew and hot chocolate, and it allows retailers to access custom graphics for their coffee bar, countertop units or walls to promote the brand within the store.

“NTS will be two days filled with a technology summit, sessions hosted by industry leaders and a trade show featuring the hottest new products, deals and trends,” said Vito Maurici, McLane’s senior vice president of sales. “It also gives our customers access to fellow customers, suppliers, brokers and McLane teammates for a best-in-class experience designed to help them buy better, sell smarter and profit more.”

Temple, Texas-based McLane is one of the largest supply chain services companies in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates more than 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the United States. Additionally, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its subsidiary, Empire Distributors Inc. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha.

Source: Convenience Store Petroleum

McLane Showcases Technology & Foodservice Upgrades at In-Person Show

ORLANDO, Fla. — McLane Co. Inc. kicked off its annual National Trade Show (NTS) at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

This is McLane first in-person trade show since before the pandemic in 2019.

Each year at NTS, McLane highlights the latest in new technology and foodservice for more efficient inventory and ordering. This year’s event is being held from Wednesday, Aug. 17 to Thursday, Aug. 18.

“The McLane team is thrilled to be back in person for the first time in three years,” said Chris Smith, president of McLane Grocery. “We’ve been looking forward to bringing together our customers and suppliers to hear firsthand about their businesses and challenges, and to present our latest innovative products and services.”

At this year’s event, McLane is showcasing updates to its Mobile VTS trade show ordering app, which will feature a new look and feel with enhanced functionality.

Launched at the NTS Trade Show in 2018, Mobile VTS lets retailers scroll through products and review detailed listings; provides easy-to-order summaries; and adds new items that are part of the best deals offered to the retail community on a weekly basis.

According to McLane, customers will see an improved user experience with enhanced ordering capabilities making multistore ordering easier than ever. Suppliers will find several new features including image variety functionality, engagement features such as the ability to add comments, notes and recipes, and improved search throughout the site.

In addition, McLane partnered with one of its strategic supplier partners to create the ability to set up staggered bundles on VTS, which allows users the flexibility to place orders for multiple stores with varied ship dates at one time.

McLane is also demonstrating its enhanced Delivery Tracker app. Upgrades include multicarrier SIM cards in devices to strengthen and broaden coverage and a new geolocation capability that, when merged with existing fleet management technology, provides more accurate tracking and delivery data to retailers.

Foodservice Solutions

In addition, McLane is highlighting its foodservice-at-retail solution, McLane Kitchen. Generating optimum sales and profits for retailers, McLane Kitchen offers turnkey solutions as well as custom options.

This year, the company is focusing on two hot foods programs: Central Eats and Choice Chicken. According to McLane,

  • Central Eats provides high-quality, pre-packaged breakfast, lunch, and dinner items available for sale as a refrigerated or heated and ready-to-eat offering. Additionally, Central Eats products can be branded with the retailer’s custom label, or they can utilize the Central Eats brand developed specifically for this program. 
  • Choice Chicken features quality products from some of the top names in foodservice and retail, along with sides.

The McLane Booth will also feature JAVAPERKS baristas, serving up lattes and coffee beverages. JAVAPERKS, McLane’s proprietary coffee and tea program, features coffee, cappuccino, tea, iced coffee, cold brew, and hot chocolate, and allows retailers to access custom graphics for their coffee bar, countertop units, or walls to promote the brand within the store.

“NTS will be two days filled with a technology summit, sessions hosted by industry leaders, and a trade show featuring the hottest new products, deals, and trends,” said Vito Maurici, senior vice president of sales. “It also gives our customers access to fellow customers, suppliers, brokers and McLane teammates for a best-in-class experience designed to help them buy better, sell smarter, and profit more.”

Maurici was the 2021 supplier inductee into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame. 

Temple, Texas-based McLane. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores, and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates more than 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells, and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the U.S.

Additionally, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its subsidiary, Empire Distributors Inc. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Source: Convenience Store News

McLane Highlights Latest Tech, Newest C-Store Eats in Orlando

More than 500 customers and suppliers attending, over 3,000 products on display as National Trade Show marks return to in-person event

 McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions, kicks off its annual National Trade Show (NTS) today. This year’s trade show is the first McLane has held in-person since before the pandemic in 2019.

“The McLane team is thrilled to be back in person for the first time in three years,” said Chris Smith, president of McLane Grocery. “We’ve been looking forward to bringing together our customers and suppliers to hear firsthand about their businesses and challenges, and to present our latest innovative products and services.”

Each year at NTS, McLane introduces retailers to the latest in new technology and foodservice for more efficient inventory and ordering. The industry’s leading manufacturers choose NTS as their national launching pad for new product lines and extensions. This year, the event will showcase more than 170 exhibitors and host 1000 attendees. The keynote speaker, Nik Modi, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, will open Wednesday’s general session; Brad Lyons, McLane’s vice president of application development customer technology will also present.

NTS attendees who visit the McLane booth can learn about updates to the company’s Mobile VTS trade show ordering app, which will feature a new look and feel with enhanced functionality. Customers will see an improved user experience with enhanced ordering capabilities making multi-store ordering easier than ever. Suppliers will find several new features including image variety functionality, engagement features such as the ability to add comments, notes and recipes, and improved search throughout the site. Finally, McLane partnered with one of its strategic supplier partners to create the ability to set up staggered bundles on VTS, which allows users the flexibility to place orders for multiple stores with varied ship dates at one time.

McLane will also highlight its enhanced Delivery Tracker app which now features multi-carrier SIM cards in devices to strengthen and broaden coverage and a new geolocation capability that, when merged with existing fleet management technology, provides more accurate tracking and delivery data to retailers.

Attendees will be able to experience McLane’s interactive booth highlighting its foodservice-at-retail solution, McLane Kitchen. Generating optimum sales and profits for retailers, McLane Kitchen offers easy-to-implement turnkey solutions as well as custom options. This year, McLane is focusing on two hot foods programs: Central Eats and Choice Chicken. Central Eats provides high-quality, pre-packaged breakfast, lunch, and dinner items available for sale as a refrigerated or heated and ready-to-eat offering. Central Eats products can be branded with the retailer’s custom label, or they can utilize the vibrant Central Eats brand developed specifically for this program. Choice Chicken features quality products from some of the top names in foodservice and retail, along with delicious sides.

At the McLane booth, attendees will also find JAVAPERKS baristas serving up artful lattes and other tasty coffee beverages. JAVAPERKS, McLane’s proprietary coffee and tea program, features coffee, cappuccino, tea, iced coffee, cold brew, and hot chocolate, and allows retailers to access custom graphics for their coffee bar, countertop units, or walls to promote the brand within the store.

“NTS will be two days filled with a technology summit, sessions hosted by industry leaders, and a trade show featuring the hottest new products, deals, and trends,” said Vito Maurici, senior vice president of sales. “It also gives our customers access to fellow customers, suppliers, brokers and McLane teammates for a best-in-class experience designed to help them buy better, sell smarter, and profit more.”

NTS runs from Wednesday, Aug. 17 to Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida.

About McLane

McLane Company, Inc. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores, and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates over 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells, and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the U.S. Additionally, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its subsidiary, Empire Distributors, Inc. McLane is a wholly- owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK) and employs 22,000 teammates.

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Contact

McLane Company, Inc.
Alicia Downard
Director, Communications and Public Relations
254-389-1637
[email protected]

McLane’s Growth Plans Include Military Veterans

TEMPLE, Texas — McLane Co. Inc. has long understood the value of hiring former members of the military and is actively recruiting those transitioning out of the military into civilian life as part of its growth initiative.

“McLane offers challenges and rewards that keep a military veterans’ problem-solving skills sharp,” said Darrell Briscoe, regional vice president of foodservice at McLane and a former U.S. Army captain.

Briscoe is a 28-year McLane employee who flew Huey and Kiowa class helicopters during Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations. The attraction for Briscoe and many other former members of the military who join McLane is the leadership opportunities and the opportunity to learn various jobs within the same organization, McLane stated.

“The skills I learned in the military have been helpful in every leadership position I’ve held with McLane, from supervisor to manager to executive,” Briscoe said. “I enjoy the camaraderie and responsibility of building and growing teams accountable for serving and supporting our customers.”

McLane attributes robust marketing of its military-friendly programs and word-of-mouth as playing a role in the continued increase in the number of former military members joining the company.

In May 2018, McLane launched Warriors to Wheels, a registered driver apprenticeship program developed especially for people transitioning out of the military. The Warriors to Wheels program is GI Bill-approved and is a Registered Driver Apprenticeship with the U.S. Department of Labor. It is designed to attract and provide military veterans an “earn while you learn” training model that utilizes their military training experience to move into a career in transportation. 

McLane offers careers that don’t require drivers to be away from their families for extended periods of time. Delivery drivers run one-to-two-day routes, with more than 80 distribution centers nationwide.

The program is open to anyone, not just former military. However, former military members who are eligible for GI Bill benefits in the Warriors to Wheels program can receive their GI Bill housing allowance while earning a wage at the same time.

“More than 10 percent of our teammates self-identify as former military,” said Jennifer Rojas Clouse, equal employment opportunity compliance and inclusion manager. “We have been in business for more than 128 years and offer our teammates the opportunity to enjoy long, stable careers. McLane is growing and has management, warehouse, and driver positions available nationwide.”

McLane also partners with the Department of Army/Ft. Hood, which offers transitioning service members a nine-week training experience to learn the fundamentals of warehouse operations.

Temple-based McLane Co. Inc. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores, and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates more than 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells, and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the United States. Additionally, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its subsidiary, Empire Distributors Inc.

McLane is a whollyowned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Source: Convenience Store News

McLane Celebrates 10% Veteran Workforce

TEMPLE, Texas — By Steve Holtz — As distributor McLane Co. looks to grow the company, it is leaning into its Warriors to Wheels hiring initiative to fill openings in the company as they become available.

Warriors to Wheels is a registered-driver apprenticeship program developed especially for people transitioning out of the military. The development program is open to anyone, not just former military; however, former military members who are eligible for GI Bill benefits can receive their GI Bill housing allowance while earning a wage at the same time.

The new focus on the initiative comes as McLane hits a milestone in the 3-year-old program: “More than 10% of our teammates self-identify as former military,” said Jennifer Rojas Clouse, EEO compliance and inclusion manager for McLane.

The company, which has hosted two National Hiring Day events in the past year, attributes robust marketing of its military-friendly programs and word-of-mouth as playing a role in the continued increase in the number of former military members joining the company, including employees such as Darrell Briscoe (pictured above), a former U.S. Army captain and current regional vice president of foodservice at McLane.

“The skills I learned in the military have been helpful in every leadership position I’ve held with McLane, from supervisor to manager to executive,” Briscoe said. “I enjoy the camaraderie and responsibility of building and growing teams accountable for serving and supporting our customers.”

With several distribution centers located near some of America’s largest military bases, McLane also partners with the Department of Army/Fort Hood, which offers transitioning service members a nine-week training experience to learn the fundamentals of warehouse operations. Further, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program helps employers recruit and develop a skilled workforce. Registered apprenticeships are industry-driven and flexible training solutions that help to reduce turnover and costs and increase employee retention, McLane said.

“McLane offers challenges and rewards that keep a military veteran’s problem-solving skills sharp,” said Briscoe, a 28-year McLane employee who flew Huey and Kiowa class helicopters during Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations.

More information about McLane’s Warriors to Wheels program is available at McLanew2w.com.

McLane Co. Inc., Temple, Texas, is one of the largest supply-chain services leaders in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates more than 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. McLane is a wholly-owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha, Neb.

Source: Convenience Store Petroleum

McLane Celebrates 10 Percent Former Military Workforce with Plans for Growth

Darrell Briscoe

McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company, has long understood the value of hiring former members of the military. Their service training makes them uniquely positioned to make smooth entry into the company, from truck drivers to executives. With offices and distribution centers located near some of America’s largest military bases, McLane is well-positioned to recruit those transitioning out of the military into civilian life.

“McLane offers challenges and rewards that keep a military veteran’s problem-solving skills sharp,” said Darrell Briscoe, Regional VP of Foodservice at McLane, and a former U.S. Army Captain. Briscoe is a 28-year McLane employee who flew Huey and Kiowa class helicopters during Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations. The attraction for Briscoe and many other former members of the military who join McLane is the leadership opportunities and the opportunity to learn various jobs within the same organization.

“The skills I learned in the military have been helpful in every leadership position I’ve held with McLane, from supervisor to manager to executive,” continued Briscoe. “I enjoy the camaraderie and responsibility of building and growing teams accountable for serving and supporting our customers.”

The company attributes robust marketing of its military-friendly programs and word-of-mouth as playing a role in the continued increase in the number of former military members joining the company.

Three years ago, McLane launched Warriors to Wheels, a registered driver apprenticeship program developed especially for people transitioning out of the military. The program is open to anyone, not just former military. However, former military members who are eligible for GI Bill benefits in the Warrior to Wheels program can receive their GI Bill housing allowance while earning a wage at the same time.

“More than 10 percent of our teammates self-identify as former military,” said Jennifer Rojas Clouse, EEO compliance and inclusion manager. “We have been in business for more than 128 years and offer our teammates the opportunity to enjoy long, stable careers. McLane is growing and has management, warehouse, and driver positions available nationwide.”

McLane also partners with the Department of Army/Ft. Hood, which offers transitioning service members a nine-week training experience to learn the fundamentals of warehouse operations. The Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Programs help employers recruit and develop a highly-skilled workforce. Registered apprenticeships are industry-driven and flexible training solutions that help to reduce turnover and costs and increase employee retention.

To learn more about McLane’s Warriors to Wheels program and locate approved training locations, visit McLanew2w.com.

About McLane

McLane Company, Inc. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the United States, providing grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores, and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, McLane operates over 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells, and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the U.S. Additionally, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its subsidiary, Empire Distributors, Inc. McLane is a wholly-owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK).

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Contact

McLane Company, Inc.
James Barnes
Director, Communications and Public Relations
254-654-7959
[email protected]

Koios Partners With McLane Co. on Fit Soda Distribution

VANCOUVER, B.C., and TEMPLE, Texas — By Chuck Ulie — Koios Beverage Corp. is partnering with McLane Co. to grow its distribution network for its Fit Soda line in convenience stores and gas stations nationwide.

Koios has been eager to get Fit Soda cans into c-stores for many years, said Chris Miller, CEO and founder. The company is gaining momentum in that goal; last year Koios rolled out its functional drinks in more than 200 c-stores, including Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven and Colorado Shell stores.

The McLane deal a tremendous growth opportunity for Koios, Miller said. “It is a massive opportunity to reach millions of people and further grow the brand outside of our natural retailers,” he said.

“Through McLane, we will be able to place our functional ready-to-drink beverages in locations where consumers are looking for convenient drink options and reach a much wider audience,” Miller added.

Fit Soda is available in Orange Cream (original and natural), Root Beer Vanilla Float (original and natural) and Black Cherry Cola.

This deal follows Koios’ recent announcement that its functional beverages will be carried in more than 600 CVS locations across the country.

“Healthy on-the-go drinks are no longer only relegated to natural and specialty retailers,” Miller said. “Koios is proud to be pushing this trend further as it continues to expand its footprint.”

Temple, Texas-based McLane, which in February hosted it second National Hiring Day, provides grocery and foodservice solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants. Through McLane Grocery and McLane Foodservice, it operates more than 80 distribution centers and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 locations across the United States. Additionally, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its subsidiary, Empire Distributors Inc. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha.

Koios Beverage Corp., based in Vancouver, B.C., is an emerging functional beverage company with a distribution network of more than 4,400 retail locations. It uses a proprietary blend of nootropics and natural organic compounds to enhance human productivity without using harmful chemicals or stimulants, it said.

Source: Convenience Store Petroleum