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