CENTER STORE

McLane takes the guesswork out of ‘fresh’

BY Rob Eder

BOSTON — Fresh is one of the biggest buzzwords in drug store retailing today. But getting into the business can be particularly challenging for small-box retailers like drug stores.

Enter McLane, an industry-leading supply chain services company that has taken away the guesswork for drug store retailers, complete with customized coolers and a full array of fresh product offerings, including sandwiches, salads, fruit juices, fresh-cut fruit and yogurt.

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Convenience, gas retailer Sheetz successfully changes consumer perception

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Permanently changing consumer perception of what can and cannot be found in any particular channel can be done, and convenience and gas retailer Sheetz is proof of it.

Where once only dollar-bag chips and hours-old rotisserie “dogs” served as hot lunch options at convenience stores, Sheetz established its touchscreen ordering systems that allow consumers to choose from a wide variety of customized lunch items.

Not only did Sheetz successfully establish its stores as go-to food destinations, the company also redefined who shops at those gas stations. “You want to talk about a really innovative format that makes it fun and exciting for even women to shop the convenience store, this is [the] one,” Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper insights for Nielsen, told attendees of a Sunday morning event jointly hosted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. (Click here for exclusive full coverage of the event.)

The opportunity for the drug channel is there, he added. While the largest categories sold at the pharmacy include many over-the-counter medicines, the fastest-growing categories — with at least $60 million in annual sales — are all food and beverage items, Hale said.

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Bolthouse Farms’ carrot products get certified by American Heart Association

BY Allison Cerra

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Bolthouse Farms has announced that the American Heart Association has certified its 100% carrot juice, baby carrots and cello carrots.

The products now will tout a heart checkmark on each label, the company said, which indicates the products meet the nutritional standards the American Heart Association sets for foods and beverages.

"The American Heart Association’s certification formally declares what nutritionists have long known: carrots and carrot juice are an excellent part of a heart-healthy diet," Bolthouse Farms CEO Jeff Dunn said. "The heart-check mark on our packaging can be a beacon for consumers looking to live healthy, active lives."

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