Avanti January/February 2022

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January/February 2022




7 - E L E V E N


Moving The Brand Forward Collaboration Among All Stakeholders Is Key

Working Together Will Benefit All 7-Eleven Stakeholders It’s All About Teamwork Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers



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E V E N 7 - E L


September/ October




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Page 12




E V E N 7 - E L


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Contents 19

Working Together Will Benefit All 7-Eleven Stakeholders

15 NCASEF Appoints Two Interim Vice Chairs

By Sukhi Sandhu, NCASEF Chairman


29 First Quarter Board Of

It’s All About Teamwork

Directors And Affiliate Member Meeting

By Joe Rossi, NCASEF Executive Vice Chair


36 Central Florida FOA

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers

Elects Officers

54 Midwest FOA Donates To

By John Harp, CSP, ARM—Risk Engineering Consultant, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group

Blind Children Day Care


NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show


Save The Date!

Member News............10

Bits & Pieces..........28

Join Your Local FOA....21

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 7-10, 2022

Legislative Update.......42

Page 18

SEI News...................53

AVANTI is published by the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees for all independent franchisees, store managers and interested parties. National Coalition offices are located at 3645 Mitchell Road, Suite B, Ceres, CA 95307. For membership information, call 855-444-7711 or e-mail nationaloffice@ncasef.com. The views and opinions expressed in the articles and columns published in AVANTI Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, its officers or its Board of Directors.

Vendor Focus.....56 FOA Board Meetings.....60 FOA Events.....................62 AVANTI JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2022


Member News


7-Eleven On Entrepreneur’s 2022 Franchise 500 Ranking

the franchise industry over the last year—and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them, according 7-Eleven is the only c-store chain to to the publication. “While other conmake it into the top 10 on Entrepreneur venience stores closed during the panMagazine’s 2022 Franchise 500 list, comdemic, 7-Eleven was well positioned ing in at No. 9. The two other convenience when COVID-19 hit, having launched a retailers on the list are Circle K at No. 52 delivery app, 7NOW, in 2018,” Entrepreand Farm Stores neur stated. “Not only did the at No. 473. Taking company’s delivery business sky“Sixty-six percent the top three spots rocket 500 percent in 2020, but it are Taco Bell (#1), of convenience doubled in 2021 as ‘convenience’ The UPS Store came to no longer mean open retailers reported (#2), and Popeye’s 24/7 and at every corner, but also that their in-store Louisiana Kitchen available right there at your doorsales were higher in step. Today, 95 percent of 7-Elev(#3).The ranking 2021 than in 2020.” en stores in the U.S. and Canada is based on five key factors: Costs and offer delivery, with more prodFees (franchise ucts and groceries being added fee, total investment, royalty fees); Supall the time, including over-the-counter port (training times, marketing support, medicines, pizza, beer, and wine.” operational support, franchisor infrastructure, financing availability, litigation); Size and Growth (open and operating units, growth rate, closures); Brand Strength (social media, system size, years Despite pandemic-related challenges in business, years franchising): and Fithroughout the year, 66 percent of connancial Strength and Stability (franchivenience retailers reported that their sor’s audited financial statements). in-store sales were higher in 2021 than The 43rd annual Franchise 500 rankin 2020, the most recent NACS Member ing shines a light on the unique chalPulse Survey reveals. Only 16 percent lenges and changes that have shaped

C-Store Retailers & Suppliers Say Sales Improved In 2021

NATIONAL CHAIRMAN 855-444-7711 • sukhi.sandhu@ncasef.com

Joe Rossi EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN 312-501-4337 • joer@ncasef.com

Romy Singh TREASURER 757-506-5926 • romys@ncasef.com

Rehan Hashmi VICE CHAIRMAN 847-845-8477 • rehan711@yahoo.com

Teeto Shirajee INTERIM VICE CHAIRMAN 954-242-8595 • teeto.shirajee@yahoo.com

Nick Bhullar INTERIM VICE CHAIRMAN 626-255-8555 • bhullar711@yahoo.com

Eric H. Karp, Esq. GENERAL COUNSEL 617-423-7250 • ekarp@wkwrlaw.com John Riggio MEETING/TRADE SHOW COORDINATOR 262-394-5518 • johnr@jrplanners.com

Monica Galaviz OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR 855-444-7711 • monicag@ncasef.com

Shawn Howard VENDOR RELATIONS ADMINISTRATOR 855-444-7711 • shawnh@ncasef.com

continued on page 12

John Santiago MANAGING EDITOR 267-994-4144 • avantimag@ncasef.com

The National Coalition Office The strength of an independent trade association lies in its ability to promote, protect and advance the best interests of its members, something no single member or advisory group can achieve. The independent trade association can create a better understanding between its members and those with whom it deals. National Coalition offices are located in Ceres, California. 10


April J. Key GRAPHIC DESIGNER lirpayek@gmail.com

3645 Mitchell Road Suite B Ceres, CA 95307 855-444-7711 nationaloffice@ncasef.com

The Voice of 7-Eleven Franchisees January/February 2022 ©2022 National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees Avanti Magazine is the registered trademark of The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees.



Member News continued from page 10

said that in-store sales decreased in 2021. In 2020, in-store sales reached a record $255.6 billion, according to the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2020 Data. Industry suppliers were equally positive about sales: 63 percent of NACS supplier members said sales to convenience retailers were higher in 2021 relative to 2020; only 9 percent said their sales were lower. Convenience retailers indicated they are optimistic about prospects in 2022, and most (51 percent) expect strong sales in the first quarter. Part of the optimism could be related to new or expanded offerings: 41 percent said they will offer frictionless/ cashier-less checkout, and 30 percent said they will offer app-based ordering/payment in 2022. Suppliers also are very optimistic



about 2022: Three in four (75 percent) believe their sales in the c-store channel will increase in 2022 and 71 percent say they will invest more in the channel this year; only 3 percent will invest less. The top two issues facing both retailers and suppliers are labor challenges and supply-chain reliability. Overall, 56 percent of suppliers are facing labor challenges, and the top three affecting their businesses are lack of production/front-line employees (cited by 62 percent of suppliers); offering competitive wages (51 percent); and driver shortage (31 percent). Retailers said they expect both challenges to linger well into or beyond 2022: 40 percent said supply-chain disruptions will no longer be a significant challenge in the

second half of 2022, while 7 percent said they will never return to pre-pandemic normalcy. They are even less optimistic about the labor challenges: 24 percent said the labor shortage will no longer be a significant challenge in the first half 2023. Nearly 1 in 3 retailers (32 percent) said the labor challenge “always will be a problem.”

7-Eleven Receives Digital Transformation Award 7-Eleven was recently honored with the Best Digital Transformation Award by Modern Retail, a media brand that covers the ins and outs of the reinvention of the retail industry. The 2021 Modern Recontinued on next page

Member News continued from previous page

tail Awards celebrate retailers that were able to pivot their initiatives to adapt to changing consumer behaviors and needs. Winners this year demonstrated success in transitioning from legacy retail to omnichannel, using technology and social media to drive performance, and evolve their personalization strategy. 7-Eleven transformed its app to provide frictionless experiences such as mobile checkout, a digital wallet and a 7NOW Delivery option. The company launched these initiatives to scale its digital footprint and cater to changing customer behaviors and expectations during the pandemic.

National Convenience Store Count Drops Slightly There are 148,026 convenience stores operating in the United States, a 1.5 percent decrease in the number of stores from a year earlier, according to the 2022 NACS/ NielsenIQ Convenience Industry Store Count. The industry decline was led by a 3.1 percent decrease in single-store operators, which still account for 60.4 percent of all convenience stores (89,336 stores). The decline of single-store operators continues a multi-year trend; single-store operators made up a record 63.2 percent of the industry in 2017. Despite the fourth straight yearly decline in stores, the overall

convenience store count is approximately the same as a decade ago (148,126 stores in 2012). With the U.S. population at 332.4 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is one convenience store per every 2,245 people. In regards to state ranking, Texas continues to have the most convenience stores (15,742 stores), or more than 1 in 10 stores in the United States. The remainder of the top 10 is the same from the year prior: California is second at 12,053 stores, followed by Florida (9,400), New York (7,848), Georgia (6,448), North Carolina (5,690), Ohio (5,537), Michigan (4,819), Pennsylvania (4,629) and Illinois (4,623). Texas is the only state in the top 10 that added stores (+47). Meanwhile, New York (-248), continued on page 15



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Member News continued from page 13

Florida (-219) and North Carolina (-200) lost the most stores. Alaska (174) has the fewest stores.

Higher Prices Affecting Shopping Behavior

label brands. The S&P forecasts that inflation will ultimately drive shoppers to more closely consider their budgets, and retailers will have to respond with discounts and other measures.

U.S. Wages Increased At Twenty-Year High

Consumers may already be reeling from higher prices for things like groceries and energy, but inflation has more surprises Employers spent 4 percent more on coming, reported Market Watch. According wages and benefits last year as workers to S&P Global Ratings, packaged food and household products com“As grocery and gas bills continue to panies have yet to pass through all squeeze budgets, it is expected that of their price hikes, so consumers will likely face more sticker shock consumers will likely switch to lessbefore prices stabilize. Additionally, expensive brands in the second half as grocery and gas bills continue to of the year.” squeeze budgets, it is expected that consumers will likely defer some expenditures and switch to less-expensive brands in the second half of the received larger pay raises in a tight labor year.” market, marking an increase not seen since The U.S. inflation rate has reached a 2001, reported the Wall Street Journal. The 40-year high of 7.5 percent. With pricU.S. employment-cost index—a quarteres increasing, some shoppers are already ly measure of wages and benefits paid by tightening their belts with the help private employers—showed that costs continued

to rise at the highest rate in two decades. The fourth-quarter gain, compared with a year ago, was 4 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Labor Department. Wages are rising quickly in disparate parts of the economy, from high-paying finance jobs to lower-paying restaurant and manufacturing positions, and employment costs are rising at uneven rates in different industries depending on the demand for labor. Rising pay and benefits are putting more money in workers’ pockets—average hourly wages rose 4.7 percent in December from a year earlier—but not enough to keep pace with rising prices. Inflation recently hit its fastest pace in nearly four decades amid supply and demand imbalances for both goods and labor related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seven & I Pushed To Focus On 7-Eleven U.S.-based investment firm ValueAct Capital is urging Seven & i Holdings to break up its businesses and focus on its continued on page 17

NCASEF Appoints Two Interim Vice Chairs With two officer positions left vacant at the start of the new year, the NCASEF Board of Directors unanimously appointed Teeto Shirajee (left, President— South Florida FOA) and Nick Bhullar (right, President— Southern California FOA) as interim Vice Chairs during its first quarter meeting in Savannah, Georgia in February. Both will serve until formal elections for the positions are held during the fourth quarter Board meeting in the fall.



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Member News continued from page 15

7-Eleven convenience store chain, steps president of strategy at Profitero. During which it said could more than double the the great inflation of the 1970s, private lacompany’s share price in the coming years, bels grew more prominent as cost-effective reported Reuters. ValueAct, which has substitutes to name brand products. Again been urging the Japanese company’s board in 2008, American households turned to to take bolder action for months, made its store brands when the economy contractproposal public in early February as ined steeply. For price-conscious consumers, vestors have become more frustrated with private label products are getting easier to the company’s lagging share price. Valuefind. In recent years, retail giants have been Act said if Seven & i narrows its focus to increasing their private and exclusive brand offerings in an attempt to gain market share 7-Eleven, it could become a global chamin trending categories. pion in a growing industry, and warned that if its attention remains “scattered” its results will be poor for many shareholders. ValueAct stated it is among a number of investment firms, including Third Point, Amazon is bringing Amazon Go, its caThird Avenue Management and Artisan shierless convenience store, to America’s Partners, which have tried to push for suburbs, reported Business Insider. The changes at Seven & i and have received company will open its first suburban Amunsatisfactory responses. ValueAct also azon Go store in Mill Creek, Washington warned that competition is heating up by the day and “As inflation rises customers are that many competitors—including Amazon and Doorbuying more private label products, Dash—are ramping up plans and retailers are experiencing to sell snacks and groceries in double-digit sales growth among convenience stores.

Amazon Go To Open In Suburbs

their private label lines.”

Inflation Causing Increase In Private Label Sales As inflation rises customers are buying more private label products, and retailers are experiencing double-digit sales growth among their private label lines, reported Modern Retail. Target’s owned brands grew 36 percent in the first quarter of last year, the strongest the company has ever recorded. In March 2021, Kroger reported a record 13.6 percent year-over-year to $26.2 billion sales increase for its store brands. Private labels have historically grown alongside inflation and economic uncertainty, said Keith Anderson, senior vice

over the next few months. Amazon introduced its cashierless Go store in 2016. The store allows shoppers to fill their baskets and then leave without having to go through a checkout aisle. Checkout is automated using an app. Amazon’s decision to open Amazon Go stores outside city centers and away from working hubs comes as consumers spend less time in the office and more time working from home. At present, Amazon has Go stores in busy cities such as New York, Chicago, and Seattle. The new stores will be similar to other Amazon Go locations, offering mostly grab-and-go food items

along with some everyday essentials. The suburban locations will be larger, however, at around 6,000 square feet versus the 1,000 to 2,000 square feet of urban Go stores.

Employers Boosting 2022 Pay Raises Fueled by tight labor markets, U.S. employers are boosting their original salary increase projections for 2022 as the Great Resignation shows no signs of abating, according to a new survey by WTW (Willis Towers Watson). The survey of 1,004 U.S. companies, conducted during October and November 2021, found nearly one in three respondents (32 percent) raised their salary increase projections from earlier in the year. Companies are now budgeting an overall average increase of 3.4 percent in 2022, compared with the average 3.0 percent increase they had budgeted in June 2021. Companies gave employees an average pay increase of 2.8 percent in 2021. Employees in the following five industries are expected to see the largest salary increases in 2022 compared with their actual increases in 2021: • Retail and wholesale trade: 2.8 percent to 3.6 percent • Finance: 2.7 percent to 3.5 percent • Life and health insurance: 2.7 percent to 3.5 percent • Energy: 2.6 percent to 3.4 percent • Industrial manufacturing: 2.6 percent to 3.4 percent According to the survey, employer concerns over their ability to hire and retain talent far outweighed other factors for boosting salary increases. Nearly three in four respondents (74 percent) cited the tight labor market for increasing their budcontinued on page 39





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NCASEF’s 46 th Annual Convention & Trade Show August 7-10, 2022 TRADE SHOW: August 9-10, 2022

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, MD



Working Together Will Benefit All 7-Eleven Stakeholders BY SUKHI SANDHU, NCASEF CHAIRMAN

I am deeply honored to serve as Chairman of the National Coalition. When I campaigned for the position, I announced my focus would be on three dynamics that will affect and involve all stakeholders in our 7-Eleven system: unity, communication and relationships, and financial health. Now, with the help of my fellow officers and Board members, we plan to apply these dynamics equally to franchisees (including the National Coalition and FOAs), our vendor partners, and SEI. I am a firm believer that dialogue, diplomacy, collaboration, and mutual respect get the best results in any situation. As such, the approach of the National Coalition head table during my tenure is always going to be fair and balanced, and we will make sure all opportunities are mutually beneficial for all 7-Eleven partners. We will strive for unity among franchisees, as well as between franchisees and our vendor community and our franchisor. To achieve this, we plan to establish strong and open communication between all parties, which in turn helps strengthen relationships. Simultaneously, we will work to boost the financial health not only of all 7-Eleven stakeholders, but of the National Coalition and FOAs across the country as well. Perhaps the best example of these dynamics in action is our Board of Directors and Affiliate Member meeting in Savannah, Georgia in February. Attendance by franchisees and vendors was the highest it’s been in years, and SEI upper management accepted our invitation to participate. On the morning of the Affiliate Member meeting, presentations were made by SEI Senior Vice Presidents Jack Stout and Doug Rosencrans. In the afternoon we held workshop groups between franchisees and vendors in which they discussed problems and solutions related to product availability, delivery, and service, among other issues. Afterwards, we held a Tabletop Trade Show featuring 20 exhibitors displaying their latest products and deals.

“The approach of the National Coalition head table during my tenure is always going to be fair and balanced, and we will make sure all opportunities are mutually beneficial for all 7-Eleven partners.” During the Board of Directors meeting the following two days we had civil discourse on various subjects, from the gross profit split and gasoline commission to delivery

“I am a firm believer that dialogue, diplomacy, collaboration, and mutual respect get the best results in any situation.” check-in issues and KSR items in stores. We also announced the formation of several committees to overlook and govern certain aspects of the National Coalition— like bylaws, elections, and our annual

convention—and to facilitate resource development and problem solving in areas like accounting, facility maintenance, and store logistics. Interspersed throughout the Board meeting were presentations by vendors who showcased some new and upcoming products and promotions, and social events that allowed all parties to mingle and network. We surveyed attendees after the meeting to get an indication if our new format was successful and what could be improved. I am pleased to report that the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. Vendors appreciated having direct access to Board members, and especially liked seeing SEI upper management at the meeting. Board members enjoyed the interaction with vendors and SEI representatives, saw value in the formation of committees, and liked how the meeting was conducted overall. So, during this one meeting we had a show of unity and effective communication between franchisees (Board members), vendors and SEI, and robust discussions on how we can improve the bottom lines of all stakeholders. Throughout, communication was open and courteous. In a more direct fashion, vendors financially supported the meeting—and the National Coalition—with their generous sponsorship of the event, and franchisees in turn financially supported the vendors by placing orders on the spot. This is what we hope to accomplish on a grander scale—to develop a balanced, constructive, cooperative, and mutually respectful relationship between franchisees, vendors, and SEI. In order for our brand to continued on page 21





Working Together Will Benefit All 7-Eleven Stakeholders continued from page 19

“We surveyed attendees after the meeting to get an indication if our new format was successful and what could be improved. I am pleased to report that the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.”

truly thrive, all stakeholders must work collaboratively to ensure each one benefits equally. Rest assured, my team and I are also committed to addressing the many concerns franchisees are facing today. I am currently in constant communication via phone, Zoom/video and in-person meetings with SEI upper management discussing these issues. One of the more pressing matters at the moment is franchisees’ eroding net incomes due to increased operational expenses. Before I sign off, I must acknowledge the previous administration for their

Join Your Local Franchise Owner’s Association Today! The best way to stay informed of the latest changes and challenges to our 7-Eleven system-and the convenience industry, in general-is to join your local Franchise Owner’s Association. FOAs help franchisees share ideas and concerns, and allow us to approach our franchisor and vendor partners with a unified voice. Becoming an FOA member also makes you a member of the National Coalition, which consists of all 40 FOAs nationwide. To join your local organization, contact the FOA president closest to you, or follow the instructions below to fill out an online membership form. If you cannot find the FOA closest to you, contact nationaloffice@ncasef. com for more information. We welcome your participation!

“None of us is as great as all of us together”

“In order for our brand to truly thrive, all stakeholders must work collaboratively to ensure each one benefits equally.” hard work and commitment to the National Coalition and the franchisee community. Jay Singh, Michael Jorgensen, Jas Dhillon, AJ Handa, and Paul Lobana have devoted many years advocating on behalf of franchisees, and we thank them for their service.

SUKHI SANDHU CAN BE REACHED AT 855-444-7711 or sukhi.sandhu@ncasef.com

How do I join an FOA? 1.

Log in to 7Help using 7Hub (secured) in-store or using this link https:/7elevenna.servicenow.com/from any external device.

2. In the search bar type “FOA.” 3. Select the popup suggestion “FOA/ PAC:FRANCHISE OWNERS ASSOCIATION.” 4. Type “NONE” in the “Current FOA” box if you are joining an FOA for the first time or you are not a member of any other FOA. 5. Type in the full name of the FOA that you wish to join (No abbreviation) in the “Future FOA” box. 6. Type in the amount of monthly dues as instructed per local FOA. 7.

Type “Please enroll (store number) as a member of (name of the local) FOA.”

8. Repeat Step 7. 9. Press the green submit icon. AVANTI JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2022


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One of my favorite things to do when my children were young was to coach baseball. I did it for over 17 years and soon will start up again with my grandson. I used the coaching opportunity not only to teach the young men on my team how to play the sport better, but to also impart life lessons upon them. One of my favorite lessons to teach them is the importance of

“In order for the NCASEF to function effectively, there must be a cohesiveness in purpose and strategy among its officers and Board members.” forming good habits. The other is the value of teamwork. Teamwork is important in many facets of our lives, but particularly in business. After all, we can’t run our stores by ourselves, we need our team of clerks and managers to assist us. Likewise, teamwork and cooperation between franchisees, vendors and SEI is essential to work out some of the kinks in our system, such as those exacerbated by the pandemic— staffing and supply chain/delivery. In order for the NCASEF to function effectively, there must be a cohesiveness in purpose and strategy among its officers and Board members. The officers alone can’t run the organization, it must be a team effort. To this point, one of the priorities of our Chairman, Sukhi Sandhu, during our first NCASEF meeting in February was to create several committees to oversee certain aspects of running the organization

and to tackle specific issues. As of this writing there are 12 committees, including Accounting and Finance, Digital/IT, and Facility Maintenance. Each committee has seven Board members serving on it. I serve on four of the committees—as chairperson of the Bylaws Committee, cochairperson of the Government Affairs/ Community Relations Committee, and as member of the Logistics/Simplification and Membership Committees. When the committees were announced during our meeting, many more Board members volunteered to participate.

“This type of teamwork will allow the NCASEF to operate productively and efficiently.” This type of teamwork will allow the NCASEF to operate productively and efficiently. While some committee members are working on organizing our annual convention and trade show, others will be gathering information and developing a game plan that will be shared with SEI to help fix some of the issues we face in the day-to-day operation of our stores. Other committees will be working with our vendors to resolve issues related to deliveries, supply chain, and such.

“At the end of the day, we are all—franchisees, SEI, and vendors—part of the 7-Eleven team, and teamwork will only serve to improve the brand for all stakeholders.”

“Likewise, teamwork and cooperation between franchisees, vendors and SEI is essential to work out some of the kinks in our system.” We saw this teamwork in action during our recent Board meeting. Franchisees and vendors huddled together to discuss solutions to merchandise and service concerns during the workshop breakout groups of the Affiliate Member meeting. FOA leaders reported the most urgent issues they and their members are currently experiencing, and discussed possible solutions that could be worked on with SEI. The unity displayed at the meeting was truly inspiring. To paraphrase the famous poem, no person is an island unto themselves. At the end of the day, we are all—franchisees, SEI, and vendors—part of the 7-Eleven team, and teamwork will only serve to improve the brand for all stakeholders.

JOE ROSSI CAN BE REACHED AT 312-501-4337 or joer@ncasef.com



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Allison Dean Retail Membership Manager adean@convenience.org 703.518.4250


*This offer applies to current retail member of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees with 4 or fewer convenience stores. Membership will be current through December 31, 2022. Renewal notices to continue your membership at the reduced rate will be sent for 2023 prior to expiration. $40 offer is based on dues calculation of $250, the minimum dues for NACS. The promo code will save you $210 off your dues.


1. What is workers’ compensation insurance? This insurance is protection for employees who are injured or become ill during the course of their job. It can be the result of an incident—like hurting their back lifting a case of water or being injured during an assault or getting sick from cleaning solvents. Workers’ compensation insurance offers five basic benefits: • Medical care for the injured worker. • Temporary disability benefits to help pay for lost wages while the injured employee is recovering. • Permanent disability benefits if an employee can’t return to work. • Supplemental job displacement benefits that pay for skill enhancement or retraining if the injured worker can’t return to the job they had before the injury. • Death benefits paid to a spouse, children, or dependents if the worker dies as a result of a job-related injury or illness.

2. How much does workers’ compensation cost? Your cost is based on several factors: • Payroll • Location • Industry and risk factors • Claims history (an important and unique benefit of the franchisee program) 3. Do I have to buy workers’ compensation insurance?

“Workers’ comp is required in every state except Texas. However, your franchise ownership agreement might require you to purchase the insurance regardless of state requirements.” Workers’ comp is required in every state except Texas. However, your franchise ownership agreement might require you to purchase the insurance regardless of state requirements. More than half of all states require employers to carry coverage if they have one or more employees. Yes, even a small business needs workers’ comp. In some states (e.g. Ohio, Washington) workers’ compensation is only available through a state fund. The penalties if you do not obtain workers’ comp insurance can be significant. It can lead to allegations of criminal noncompliance in some states. It can also lead to fines that vary depending on the number of employees, the reason for noncompliance, and the amount of time a business was noncompliant.

This insurance can also cover you as the business owner, but in many states, the owner is not required to be included. If you have the option, choosing whether to include yourself on the policy is personal. Check with your broker or agent for advice.

4. Who does workers’ compensation insurance cover? A workers’ compensation policy covers employees who’ve been injured or become ill from the job during employment-related activities. Which employees are eligible depends on each state. It does not cover employees who have been injured outside their job role, self-inflicted injuries, injuries or illnesses from drugs or alcohol intoxication, injuries caused by fights or horseplay, or injuries sustained after an individual’s employment has been terminated.

6. Should I obtain workers’ compensation insurance direct from the carrier or through a broker or agent? Considering it’s essential to protect yourself, your business, and your employees, it is best to work with an insurance agent or broker. They understand the specific risks your business faces and guide you in partnership with the insurance company, and support safety in your organization to help manage costs. Important elements for success your broker and insurance company can support:

5. How is workers’ compensation different than group health? Workers’ compensation insurance is state-regulated coverage for workers who get injured or ill on the job. Group health insurance is coverage for preventative care and medical expenses for injuries or illnesses not occurring from the workplace. Most health insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for conditions covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

continued on page 26




• Safety program information that is consistent with retail and the type of hazards commonly found in the stores. • Owner, manager, and employee support for the safety effort, including regular safety training and safe work procedure review, and post-injury management procedures. All of these are essential to reducing injuries and managing costs. • Advocating fair and effective claims handling.

“Make sure everybody is going through ongoing training sessions so they’re up-to-date and reminded of safety procedures, especially related to crime.” 7. What are the most common types of employee injuries in convenience stores? The three most common types of workplace injuries are: A. Overexertion. Lifting heavy objects like cases of water can lead to strains and sprains. Keeping heavy objects close to the body, bending at the hips, keeping good posture, and maintaining overall good condition can help to prevent these injuries. B. Slip, Trips, and Falls. This could be from spills, a recently mopped floor, or obstacles on the floor. Since these risks could also injure a customer, it’s imperative to maintain good housekeeping—keeping things like brooms in their place, using clean mop heads and mopping when there’s less traffic, and using the “wet floor” signs when appropriate, with employees wearing the proper footwear. C. Assault-related injuries. These tend to be the most serious injuries and require constant reminders for employees on how to handle suspect shoplifting or criminal 26


threats. A proper, calm response to the situation and an understanding to never leave the store during or immediately after an assault can prevent injuries or save a life. 8. How can I manage workers’ compensation claims or losses? All owners, regardless of the number of stores, should have a safety program and ongoing safety training. • Consult the experts. There is plenty of literature about the best ways to mitigate injury risks. MSIG or your insurance company/broker have knowledge and resources to improve risk control in your store. • Train constantly. Don’t just train new employees. Make sure everybody is going through ongoing training sessions so they’re up-to-date and reminded of safety procedures, especially related to crime. • Review your store for employee and customer safety risks. Survey your store to identify potential hazards and how they might affect employee safety. After the assessment, follow up to make sure the hazard has either been eliminated or that training is provided to help workers avoid injury. “ • Provide the right tools. Simple items like safety cutters, good floor mats, or quality step ladders can help prevent injuries and illnesses. • Report the claim as soon as possible. Report it to the insurance company even if you’re not sure it’s a viable claim. 9. How can I fight workers’ compensation fraud? Workers’ compensation fraud is unfortunately common. Employees can exaggerate

Key Points • Report all work-related injuries or illnesses within three days. • Maintain communication with your adjuster. • Maintain communication with employees that are on leave or disability. • Help make an early transition back to work. • Help reduce claims and keep costs down by promoting safety and preventing accidents. or claim the injury happened at work to receive benefits while staying out of work. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that workers’ compensation fraud costs employers over $7.2 billion annually. Here are some things you can do to prevent fraud: • Look for warning signs. Was the injury reported soon after the employee’s day off? Did it happen immediately following a job termination? Were there no witnesses? Does the claimant have a history of suspicious claims? Was the injury reported late? Are they refusing X-rays or other diagnostic tests? These can all be warning signs of fraud. • Assure your surveillance system includes the vault and back rooms. Questionable injuries tend to happen where there are no witnesses or camera coverage. • Communicate a zero-tolerance polcontinued on page 28




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icy for workers’ compensation fraud. Tell your employees about the costs of workers’ compensation fraud and explain that it could lead to serious consequences. • Encourage employees to share suspicions. Creating an environment where people can speak out will help detect fraudulent behavior. • Let your claims adjuster know your suspicions. When it’s serious enough, the claims staff may hire a private investigator to conduct surveillance. This might determine a situation where the claim can be denied or fraud can be pursued.

“Workers’ compensation fraud is unfortunately common. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that workers’ compensation fraud costs employers over $7.2 billion annually.” 10. What are some common workers’ compensation terms? There is plenty of jargon associated with workers’ compensation insurance. Here’s a basic glossary of terms: • Accepted claim/admitted claim: A workers’ compensation claim in which the injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. • Alternative work/light duty: A new job offered to an injured employee that gets them back to work but not in the same role they performed while getting injured. • Claims administrator/adjuster: The individual at an insurance company who handles an injured worker’s claim. • Impairment rating: The percentage estimate of how much an injury has affected the use of an injured worker’s body.

It can include physical impairments or mental impairments, and be permanent or temporary, severe or mild. • Independent medical examination (IME): A medical exam performed by a physician not chosen by the company or the injured worker. This step is typically taken after a dispute arises over the extent of an injury. • Permanent disability: Payments to an injured employee when an on-the-job injury permanently limits the kinds of work they can do and/or their ability to earn a living. • Temporary partial disability: Payments to an injured employee who can still work, but not at the same rate or level that they did before the injury or illness. These payments are available for a limited time, ending when a worker makes a full recovery. • Temporary total disability: Payments to an injured employee who is unable to work at all for a temporary period. The benefits stop when the employee can resume working. Summary Workers’ compensation insurance is an essential part of your insurance program and protects your employees and the business. It can be confusing, but it’s there for peace of mind knowing your injured employee will be cared for without paying out of pocket, which is why it’s important to choose your insurance company and broker wisely. They will support you with this process. Also, your claims adjuster is your expert at navigating the rules and requirements of effectively applying the proper benefits promptly. Work with your adjuster and contact them when you have any questions.

JOHN HARP CAN BE REACHED AT 908-604-2951 or jharp@msigusa.com

One of two jackpot Powerball tickets for the January 5 drawing was sold at a 7-Eleven in Sacramento, reported KCRA.com. The other jackpot ticket was sold in Wisconsin. The winners will split the $630 million grand prize. • C-store chain Kwik Trip is asking customers to bring their own coffee cups because of a supply shortage that is affecting many foodservice retailers, reported CSNews Online. To make up for the inconvenience, customers who brought their own cups were temporarily able to get anysize refill for just 99 cents. • Walgreens executives said the drugstore chain lost more income to theft and damaged items in 2021 than it did in 2020 and is “absorbing a 52 percent increase in shrink,” reported Business Insider. Walgreens said organized crime has played a part in driving shrink up over the last two years. • Molson Coors announced it has teamed with Coca-Cola to launch a new line of alcoholic drinks under the Simply brand. The first product, Simply Spiked Lemonade, will launch this summer in a variety 12-pack of 12-ounce slim cans this summer. • Walmart buyers are the most likely to shop on Amazon within one day of visiting one of the retailer’s stores, according to a new study by Numerator on the showrooming effect—when consumers browse a brick-and-mortar store and then buy online. Over half (53 percent) of Walmart shoppers made an Amazon purchase within a day of shopping in-store at Walmart, compared to 38 percent of both Target and Costco shoppers. • McDonald’s and its franchisees recently cut operational hours by 10 percent in response to a lack of employees at a number of its U.S. locations because of coronavirus staffing shortages, reported Fox Business. The burger chain has struggled with consistent employee attendance during the COVID-19 surge brought on by the omicron variant as infections reached record levels in the first months of 2022. • A whopping 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, surpassing the record set in 2020 of 4.4 million, reported NPR. org. Over the past two years, a number of people filing paperwork for new businesses lost their jobs in the pandemic and decided to become self-employed. • Taco Bell recently rolled out a $10 monthly taco subscription service that gives customers one taco per day for 30 consecutive days, reported CNN Business. The national program, called Taco Lover’s Pass, is available to purchase for memcontinued on page 34



A Big Turnout For The 1st Quarter Affiliate Member & Board Meeting The conference hall at the Hyatt Regency Savannah in Georgia was packed with franchisees and vendors who flew in from across the country to attend the NCASEF’s first quarter Affiliate Member and Board of Directors meeting, held February 7-10. Attendees also included several members of SEI upper management, who addressed franchisees on several topics. The twoday Board meeting featured informative vendor presentations by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Altria Group, Takeover Industries, Ferrara Candy, Botanic Tonics, and Payality. The mood was upbeat during the four-day event, as Board members, vendors and the SEI representatives appreciated being in the same room again.

The Affiliate Member meeting was first on the schedule. The morning session featured guest speakers Jack Stout, SEI Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Demand Chain, and Doug Rosencrans, SEI Senior Vice President of Franchise Operations. Also present from SEI were Jasmeet Singh, Vice President of Franchising and Operation Services; Bruce Maples, Senior Director of Franchisee Relations and Engagement; and Onutase DeHenre, Chief of Staff to President and CEO Joe DePinto. Topics included plans to accelerate expansion of the WIN coffee program, growing private label sales without cannibalizing name brand items, 7-Eleven’s and franchisees’ performance during the pandemic, continued on page 30



A Big Turnout For The 1st Quarter Affiliate Member & Board Meeting continued from page 29

and the new commissary being built in Virginia to serve Mid-Atlantic stores. In the afternoon, vendors and franchisees broke off into four different workshop groups: Brokers and Wholesalers, Service Providers, Beverage Vendors, and Food Service and DSD Vendors. Participants discussed issues pertaining to their specific group and worked on solutions. The meeting was capped off with a tabletop trade show featuring 20 exhibiting vendors. NCASEF Chairman Sukhi Sandhu commenced the Board meeting by outlining his vision and goals for the next two years. He said his primary objective is to strengthen the relationship and communication between franchisees— including among franchisees—vendors, and SEI. He said it is very important that all stakeholders in the 7-Eleven system are united. He also announced the formation of 12 (and counting) new NCASEF committees that will handle certain tasks. The committees include Accounting/Finance, Bylaws,

Charity Golf, Convention and Entertainment, Digital/IT, Election, Facility Maintenance, Government Affairs/Community Relations, Logistics/ Simplification, Membership, Vendor Relations/Merchandise, and Store Profitability/Gasoline. All committee members are expected to hold regular Zoom meetings and make progress on their agendas. Among the other items discussed was the need to reexamine the Franchise Agreement—particularly the gross profit split, which is negatively affecting low volume stores. It was suggested that the split should be changed in favor of franchisees as stores move more towards foodservice. Board members said the gasoline commission also needs to be revisited because the current structure doesn’t cover even half of the expenses of maintaining the gas pumps and islands. Problems with delivery check-in was another major point of discussion. On day two of the Board meeting, Teeto Shirajee (President, South Florida FOA) continued on page 34




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A Big Turnout For The 1st Quarter Affiliate Member & Board Meeting continued from page 30

and Nick Bhullar (President, Southern California FOA) were appointed interim Vice Chairs by the NCASEF Board and officers. They will serve until formal elections for the vice chair positions are held during the fourth quarter meeting in late October. Issues discussed included KSR items in stores due to supply chain problems, the need to speak with SEI about overall pricing strategies, changing the bylaws so Members at Large cannot run for NCASEF office, the need to set a timeline for 7Boss and ASI 2 fixes, allowing stores to close overnight in high crime areas, and renegotiating the Franchise Agreement with SEI. Next, Independent auditor Randy Walker reported on the completed audits of NCASEF’s 2018 and 2019 financials, which were healthy, while Treasurer Romy Singh presented a current financial report. NCASEF General Counsel Eric Karp spoke about the covered circumstances where limiting store hours is allowed as per the 2019 Agreement, store surrenders, and the current situation between Seven & i, ValueAct and the company’s shareholders. A survey of Board and Affiliate members after the meeting revealed that attendees were very pleased with the content of the meeting and the way it was organized and conducted. Board members commented about good time management, how NCASEF officers stuck to the agenda, the open communication with SEI upper management, how informative the meeting was, and appreciated the formation of committees. Vendors indicated they were pleased with the breakout groups, having SEI present, and the ability to collaborate and interact with Board members. The NCASEF Board of Directors will reconvene May 11-12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, when members will discuss progress made on some of the issues discussed during this session.

continued from page 28

bers of its rewards program who have downloaded the Taco Bell app. • In a bid to push more of its workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Kroger has eliminated paid pandemic-related leave and is charging $50 per month to employees that haven’t gotten shots, reported USA Today. Vaccinated workers who suffer a breakthrough infection will still get the paid emergency leave, and the health plan surcharge does not apply to hourly or union employees. • New York expects to generate more than $1.25 billion in marijuana tax revenue over the next six years, reported Marijuana Moment. For fiscal year 2023, the state is projected to collect $56 million in revenue, mostly from licensing fees. From there, the yearly revenue estimates increase as sales are expected to go online and expand: $95 million in 2024, $158 million in 2025, $245 million in 2026, $339 million in 2027 and $363 million in 2028. • Oreo celebrated 110 years by releasing a new cookie flavor, reported Fox Business. The cookie brand, owned by Mondelez International, reached its 110th anniversary on March 6, but released a limited-edition flavor on January 31—Chocolate Confetti Cake. • Wawa stores in Florida are looking to fill 2,000 full-time and part-time jobs, reported WFTV.com. The convenience store chain has more than 230 stores in Florida, and the open positions are the result of seasonal opportunities and new locations. The large-scale hiring effort is looking to fill store-level customer service, supervisory and management-level positions. • Reynolds American recently announced its support of TruAge, the new digital solution developed by NACS that enhances current age-verification systems and protects user privacy. TruAge is currently in pilot tests in three select markets and is expected to see wider rollout later in 2022. • After more than 20 years of steady but slow sales growth, sales at bulk retailers Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club rose 26.6 percent in dollars and 18 percent in volume during the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with the same quarter of 2019, far greater than any other type of retail including dollar stores, grocery, drugstores and mass merchants, reported the Wall Street Journal. • As the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant exacerbated already severe staffing shortages, Walgreens and CVS decided in mid-January to close some of their pharmacontinued on page 36





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Central Florida FOA Elects Officers The Central Florida FOA announced that it held elections for Executive Board Members on December 9, 2021. Congratulations to (from left to right) Stephen Warris, Treasurer; Chinton Patal, Vice President West; Harvinder Thaper, Vice President East; Fari Ishani, President; and Merril Joseph, Secretary.

continued from page 34

cies on weekends, reported the Wall Street Journal. The companies said weekend shutdowns are unusual but become a reality when locations lack enough pharmacists and technicians to remain open. • While 80 percent of employed U.S. adults consider an employer’s professional development and training offerings an important consideration when accepting a new job, just 39 percent say their current employer is helping them improve their current skills or gain new skills to do their job better, according to the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor online survey. • PepsiCo recently unveiled a new Rockstar Energy drink infused with hemp seed oil, B vitamins, spearmint, and lemon balm with a dose of caffeine. The company said Rockstar Unplugged—which is targeted at young, female consumers—focuses less on providing a big hit of energy and more on “enhancing good vibes.” • Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp outsold General Motors Co in the United States in 2021, marking the first time the Detroit automaker has not led U.S. auto sales for a full year since 1931, reported Reuters. Toyota sold 2.332 million vehicles continued on page 42







Member News continued from page 17

talent far outweighed other factors for boosting salary increases. Nearly three in four respondents (74 percent) cited the tight labor market for increasing their budgets from prior projections, while only one-third cited anticipated stronger financial results (34 percent) and inflation or the rising cost of supplies (31 percent).

Coffee Cups & Lids Are the Latest Supply Chain Mess America’s latest shortage is of disposable cups, turning to-go cups and lids into one of the most precious goods in the U.S., reported the Wall Street Journal. A Starbucks in Chattanooga, Tennessee recently ran out of 24-ounce cups, forcing customers to upscale to the chain’s 30-ounce Trenta cups. A Starbucks Corp. spokesman said the chain was working to get more, and leftover holiday-theme cups were helping fill the gap. Restaurateurs and suppliers around the country are facing the same empty cupboard. Disposable cups imported from China and elsewhere are stuck in ports along the mucked-up supply chain, American paper mills are short workers, and the U.S. hasn’t caught up from the extreme cold snap in Texas last year that suspended production of resins used to make plastic cups and the coating on paper cups. Some places are fighting shortages and higher costs by selling branded, reusable cups that carry a drink discount. These environmentally

“America’s latest shortage is of disposable cups, turning to-go cups and lids into one of the most precious goods in the U.S.”

friendly options were largely off the table early in the pandemic, restaurant operators said.

The Most Popular Health & Beauty Items In C-Stores Among health and beauty aid (HBA) products in convenience stores, Medical Accessories experienced the biggest increase in sales in 2021 at slightly more than $1 million dollars, a 30.7 percent increase over the previous year, reported CStore Decisions, citing the latest convenience store channel data from NielsenIQ. Other best-selling HBA products in c-stores last year include: • Pain Relief, at just over $348 million, a 6.2 percent increase. • Vitamins and Supplements, at just over $284 million, a 9.3 percent increase. • GI Care, at just under $125 million, up by 9.6 percent. • Travel Sets, at more than $986,000, an increase of 18.1 percent • Adult Incontinence Products, which had sales of nearly $579,000, a 26.6 percent increase. • Ear Care, which registered sales of almost $212,000, but with an increase year-over-year of 21.7 percent. Results in other categories included Sun Care, with just over $14 million in sales and an 11.9 percent increase; Hand & Body Lotion, with sales in excess of $14 million and a 2.7 percent drop; Feminine Care, which saw sales of just under $46 million dollars, representing a 9.2 percent increase; Sexual Health, which registered sales just under $122 million, up by 0.3 percent; Oral Hygiene, with sales of just under $129 million dollars, a 4.8 percent increase; and Eye

Care, which registered sales slightly under $62 million, up 5.0 percent.

C-Stores Struggling To Stay Fully Stocked Frustrated shoppers hoping to pivot to a neighborhood convenience store to fill in some everyday necessities because of unpredictable product shortages and empty shelves at their favorite grocery stores may be out of luck, reported CNN Business. Convenience stores typically serve as an ideal substitute to a grocery store when all that’s needed is a case of water, a couple bags of chips or maybe just a carton of milk. But convenience store operators said the ongoing supply chain disruptions have also impacted their ability to adequately meet the fill-in needs of shoppers in larger cities and, more importantly, the daily essential needs of customers in secondary markets and rural areas where a c-store might be the only store in town for food items. Convenience store chain TBX, which operates 50 stores across Texas and Oklahoma is averaging 6,500 to 8,000 out-of-stocks a week from manufacturers. That’s a very high number—an average of 12 percent to 13 percent currently, when it would normally be 1.5 percent. The company’s CEO said the usual contingency plan would be to restock with another brand, but even that’s proving to be difficult.

Wholesale Prices Increased Almost 10 Percent In 2021 Wholesale prices rose less than expected in December but still set a new standard at a time when consumer inflation is running at a nearly 40-year high, reported CNBC. The continued on page 41





Member News continued from page 39

producer price index, which measures prices received by producers of goods, services and construction, was up 0.2 percent for the month, half the 0.4 percent Dow Jones estimate. However, on a 12-month basis, the index was up 9.7 percent to end 2021, the highest calendar-year increase ever in data going back to 2010. The monthly gain was a sharp drop-off from the two previous months, which showed gains of 1 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October.

Record Number Of Workers Quit Their Jobs A record number of workers quit their jobs in 2021 while U.S. employers had more positions to fill than ever before, reported CNN Business. In December, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, down slightly from the record 4.5 million in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While millions of workers left jobs for cash incentives, better pay or better benefits, people also left the labor market to care for children or elderly relatives during the pandemic. Meanwhile, older workers re-

tired early either because they could or because age discrimination forced them out of the labor market. Even though a record number of people quit their jobs last year, the U.S. labor market still recorded a net employment gain of 6.4 million. In total, 75.3 million workers were hired last year, while 68.9 million quit, were laid off or discharged. Out of these socalled separations, 47.4 million were volun-

tary quits. In line with that, the number of layoffs hit a new record low at 1.2 million in December, showing that the negative impact from the Omicron variant didn’t fully hit the labor market at the end of last year. Job openings stood at 10.9 million in December, compared with the data series high of 11.1 million recorded in July.

Study Reveals Snacking Preferred Over Traditional Mealtime

• Expanding Snacking Experiences Through Social Connectivity—More than half of people globally say social media has inspired them to try a new snack over the past year. • Integrating Purchasing Decisions With Values—85 percent of consumers worldwide want to buy snacks from companies offsetting their environmental footprint.

Omicron Forces Grocery Stores To Cut Hours

Consumers Some U.S. superprefer snackmarkets reduced hours ing as a regular “In December, 4.3 million and cut services as eating behavior Americans quit their jobs, COVID-19’s Omiover traditional cron variant infected down slightly from the record mealtime for the cashiers, baggers and 4.5 million in November.” third consecustockers, deepening tive year (64 pergrocery chains’ staffing cent today, up 5 challenges, reported percent since inaugural findings reported the Wall Street Journal. Across the counin 2019), according to Mondelēz Internatry, supermarket workers were calling out tional’s 2021 State of Snacking report. sick after contracting COVID-19 or getting This trending preference for snacking exposed to the virus, prompting retailers spikes among younger generations, with to manage operations with fewer workers, 75 percent of Gen Z replacing at least one while shopper demand for groceries remeal each day with a snack. Furthermore, mained high. Some grocers said they hired consumers are seeking snacks that deliver a new employees, used temporary employrange of benefits beyond physical well-bement agencies and overscheduled available ing and nutrition needs. Consumers’ habits staffers to keep stores open. indicate both sustenance and indulgence Supermarkets have struggled with hiring are part of a balanced lifestyle, with 85 perand retaining workers during the pandemcent of consumers now eating at least one ic. Executives said unemployment benefits snack for sustenance and one snack for inand federal stimulus checks made it harddulgence each day. Other key findings of er to find people willing to work at their the report include: stores. Some executives and store workers • Expanded Definition—Nearly 80 persaid fears of working in public and potencent of consumers globally say their tially spreading or contracting COVID-19 definition of a snack has evolved over are keeping potential employees out of the the last three years to include more or job market. Employee advocates said that different types of foods, occasions for even with government payments, many eating, or other elements. continued on page 43



Member News Legislative Update 26 States To Increase Minimum Wage In 2022

California Minimum Wage Increases By $1

More than half of the states in the country began the new year by increasing their minimum wages, while several cities and counties are also bumping up pay for workers in 2022, reported The Hill. A total of 26 states will have minimum wage increases go into effect in 2022, with wage hikes beginning in 22 states on January 1, according to Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., a company providing information on finance, regulatory compliance and the law. A wage increase in New York state began a day earlier, kicking in on December 31. Additionally, 56 cities and counties are increasing the minimum wage in 2022. Thirty-five of those local increases went into effect on January 1. According to Wolters Kluwer, the highest rate hike comes from the city of West Hollywood, California, which is implementing a $17.64 per hour minimum wage for hotel workers. The minimum wage in California as a whole was bumped up to $15 for businesses with 26 or more employees. Parts of New York state, including New York City, also implemented a $15 minimum wage on December 31. By the end of the year, the minimum wage in 49 states and municipalities will meet or exceed $15. The minimum wage in ten more states will reach $15 within the next few years after scheduled pay increases are completed. Those states include Maryland, Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

California’s minimum wage went up by $1 on January 1 when new laws kicked in for 2022, reported KTLA5.com. Businesses with 26 or more employ- e e s must now pay their workers at least $15 an hour—a figure that labor rights advocates like Fight for $15 have sought for years. Meanwhile, employers with 25 or fewer workers had to raise their pay to at least $14 an hour in the new year, also $1 more. One last increase in 2023 will bring the amount to $15 for this group of employees as well, however. The increases are part of a state law that has steadily hiked the minimum wage since January 1, 2017, when it was around $10. California’s statewide minimum wage is already among the highest in the U.S. and well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which hasn’t changed in more than a decade. But many cities in the Golden State— primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area— already offer higher minimum wages than the rest of the state because of local ordinances. In Southern California, the West Hollywood City Council recently passed one that will set the city’s minimum wage at $17.64 starting July 2023. That’s above the nation’s current highest, which is $16.84 in the Bay Area city of Emeryville.


Two U.S. Senators recently introduced legislation to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax as a way to give drivers relief from high fuel prices, reported CSNews Online. The Gas Prices Relief Act would lower high gas prices by suspend-

Bill To Suspend Federal Gas Tax Is Introduced

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in the United States in 2021, compared with 2.218 million for General Motors. • Swisher recently announced it has hired Jacinta Carter as Executive Vice President, Human Resources, People & Culture. The company said Carter will lead all aspects of Swisher’s human resources operations, with a priority focus on organizational alignment, promoting inclusion and opportunity in the workplace, and designing and evaluating career paths to meet the company’s business growth goals. • U.S. sales of hybrid vehicle sales jumped 76 percent to 801,550 vehicles last year, accounting for 5 percent of U.S. light vehicle sales, reported Reuters. Sales of pure electric vehicles also jumped 83 percent to 434,879, but represented only 3 percent of the market. • Florida is expected to reach $3.2 billion in cannabis sales in 2025, making it the second largest cannabis market in the U.S. behind California, according to data and analytics provider Headset. New York, with adult-use cannabis licenses expected to be issued in 2023, is projected to be the third largest market in the U.S., with sales reaching $2.8 billion by 2025. • Domino’s is offering customers who order online for pickup rather than delivery a $3 coupon for a future order as a “tip,” reported Fox 6 Milwaukee. The program will run until May 22. Last fall, the chain cited the tight labor market as the reason for reduced hours, longer delivery waits and the company’s first quarterly sales dip in more than 10 years. • An incredible 99 percent of retailers in the U.S., Canada and Europe say they will be doing same-day delivery within the next three years, compared to 35 percent able to do so today, reveals a new survey by data-led delivery and fulfillment cloud platform provider Bringg. • Recent filings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicate that Walmart could be planning to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), reported The Hill. The company’s initial foray into the emerging metaverse also included applications for shopping services called “Verse to Store,” “Verse to Curb” and “Verse to Home.” • Pennsylvania-based c-store chain Sheetz recently announced a new partnership with Penn Highlands Community College to offer education benefits and tuition discounts to its qualified employees. This new collaboration features a 5 percent tuition reduction on credit classes, as well as an annual tuition reimbursement to eligible Sheetz employees. • McDonald’s recently filed a trademark for a virtual restaurant in the metaverse that will deliver food online and in person, reported Business Insider. The company filed 10 trademark applications covering both McDonald’s and McCafe. One of the trademarks was for continued on page 44

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hourly workers are still struggling.

Pandemic Dries Grocery Supplies

as a country and displaying maps it said contained erroneous borders for Xinjiang and Tibet, reported The Guardian. The Beijing municipal government fined the company 150,000 yuan ($23,519) for the “errors” including “wrongful act of assigning Taiwan province as an independent country.” It said the 7-Eleven website also failed to use China’s names for some disputed islands in the South China Sea, including the Japanese-administered Senkakus which China calls the Diaoyu islands. The punishment was issued in December but was not reported in the media until January.

High demand for groceries combined with soaring freight costs and Omicron-related labor shortages created a new round of backlogs at processed food and fresh produce companies in January, leading to empty supermarket shelves at major retailers across the country, reported Reuters. Transportation disruptions in January, caused by a lack of truck drivers and highway-blocking storms, led to a doubling of freight costs for fruit and vegetable producers, on top of already-elevated pandemic prices. Shoppers on social media complained of empty pasta and meat aisles at some A new study by Visa shows the imporWalmart stores; a Meijer store in Indianapolis was swept tance of bringbare of chicken; ing swipe fees “High demand for groceries a Publix in Palm charged to proBeach, Florida cess credit and combined with soaring freight was out of bath debit cards under costs and Omicron-related labor tissue and home control as conshortages have led to empty hygiene products sumers and small shelves at major supermarkets while Costco rebusinesses move across the country.” instated purchase away from cash limits on toilet paand the fees exacper at some stores erbate record inin Washington state. U.S. retailers are now flation in consumer prices, the Merchants facing roughly 12 percent out of stock levPayments Coalition (MPC) said. Visa’s latels on food, beverages, household cleaning est Global Back to Business study released and personal hygiene products compared in January found 18 percent of small busito 7-10 percent in regular times. nesses surveyed are already cashless, 41 percent expect to accept only digital payments such as cards or mobile payments in the next two years and that 64 percent will do so in the next 10 years. Meanwhile, 16 percent of consumers said they no they China has fined and issued a warning longer use cash, 25 percent expect to be to 7-Eleven over its website listing Taiwan digital-only in two years and 53 percent

Visa Study Shows Need To Bring Swipe Fees Under Control

7-Eleven Fined For Calling Taiwan A Country

“Swipe fees drive up prices merchants must charge and equate to an estimated $724 a year for the average U.S. family.” will do so in 10 years. For Visa and Mastercard credit cards— which account for nearly 80 percent of the U.S. credit card market—swipe fees averaged 2.22 percent of the purchase price and totaled $61.6 billion in 2020, up 137 percent over the previous decade, according to the Nilson Report. The fees drive up prices merchants must charge and equate to an estimated $724 a year for the average U.S. family, according to payments consulting firm CMSPI. As prices rise with inflation, swipe fees go up proportionately because the percentage is based on a larger amount, giving even more to the card industry.

Vroom & Trustly Partner To Lower C-Store Swipe Fees Convenience industry e-commerce provider Vroom Delivery recently announced that it has partnered with online banking payments company Trustly to allow convenience store customers to pay directly with continued on page 45



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Legislative Update ing the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas transfers to keep the Highway Trust Fund tax through January 1, 2023. The act re- solvent. quires the Secretary of the Treasury to monitor the program in order to ensure that oil OSHA Withdraws COVID and gas companies pass along the savings to consumers. It also encourages the Sec- Vaccine Mandate The Occupational Safety and Health Adretary to take appropriate enforcement acministration (OSHA) tions to ensure consumrecently withdrew its ers see these savings. “OSHA RECENTLY WITHDREW vaccine and testing The act further mainITS VACCINE AND TESTING mandate for businesses, tains the integrity of the after the Supreme Court Highway Trust Fund by MANDATE FOR BUSINESSES, blocked the requirerequiring the DepartAFTER THE SUPREME COURT ments in early January, ment of the Treasury BLOCKED THE REQUIREMENTS reported CNBC. OSHA to make general fund Dreyers OREO ad 2-22 FINAL.pdf




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“virtual food and beverage products,” while another included “operating a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery.” • Rite Aid is planning to close another 63 stores to save about $25 million year, reported CNN Business. After years of overexpansion, Rite Aid and other giant American pharmacy chains have struggled. They’ve been closing hundreds of stores over the past few years, despite the pandemic that has drawn people into pharmacies. • Pizza chain Little Caesars recently increased the price of its famous Hot-N-Ready pizza above $5 for the first time in 25 years, reported Fox Business. The price of the promotional pie, which was first introduced in 1997, jumped by 11 percent to cost $5.55. Little Caesars said the increased price is meant to balance rising labor and commodities costs. • Supermarket chain Aldi recently opened its first checkout-free store in London, England. The Aldi Shop&Go concept store opened on January 18 for public testing, and allows customers to complete their shop via the Aldi Shop&Go app without scanning a single product or having to go through a checkout. • PepsiCo and Beyond Meat’s joint venture is planning to continued on page 46

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their bank accounts when ordering online, which will cut the average processing fees retailers pay to credit card networks by more than half. The companies said when customers check out on the Vroom platform, they will now have the option to pay directly with their bank account rather than entering in credit or debit card numbers, downloading an app or creating a new account. No bank account or routing numbers are required. Rather, consumers simply log in to their online bank account via Trustly’s secure interface—not sharing any bank credentials directly with Vroom—making the process extremely safe and much faster than the


traditional online checkout experience. Furthermore, in addition to dramatically lowering transaction fees typically paid by stores when utilizing credit card networks, Trustly also reduces chargebacks due to their sophisticated fraud prevention technology, dramatically lowering the risk for both retailers and consumers, the companies said.

Walmart Expands Its InHome Delivery Service 1

Walmart plans to expand the availability of its InHome delivery service from 6 mil2/10/22

4:00 PM

lion to 30 million households by the end of this year, reported CNBC. InHome allows Walmart employees wearing cameras to enter a customer’s home to deliver groceries and other purchases or to pick up returns, even when the customer is not there. InHome costs $19.95 per month with no additional fees, and it’s part of a growing trend of “delivery as a service.” Walmart said it will hire 3,000 employees to support its InHome expansion, giving them real-world and virtual reality training. They will be paid about 9 percent more than Walmart’s average wage of $16.40 an hour. The company’s 3,700 stores will be used as fulfillment centers and InHome continued on page 47



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NACS and other industry groups are uniting to contest the FDA’s plan to issue rules on two tobacco product standards—one prohibiting menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and another prohibiting all characterizing flavors (including menthol) in cigars—by spring, reported NACS Online. The groups argue that banning menthol tobac-

launch a plant-based jerky as its first product, reported CNBC. Pepsi and Beyond announced the joint venture, called The PLANeT Partnership, nearly a year ago with the goal of creating plant-based snacks and drinks together. • White Castle was an official sponsor of the USA Luge team when they competed in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. White Castle is also the title sponsor of USA Luge’s off-season recruitment program, the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search. • Facial recognition company Clearview AI recently told investors it is on track to have 100 billion facial photos in its database within a year, enough to ensure “almost everyone in the world will be identifiable,” reported the Washington Post. No federal law regulates how facial recognition should be used, though some cities and states have passed bans or restrictions. • Crafts retailer Hobby Lobby Stores increased its minimum hourly wage to $18.50 in January, reported Bloomberg. The company began paying staffers more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in 2009, and in 2014 it set a new rate at $15. • Autonomous convenience store startup Boxy has raised $28.4 million, fueling its plans to expand across its home country of France, reported PYMNTS.com. The company said it will use the money to help meet its goal of opening a new store per week this year, in hopes of having 1,000 stores online by 2025. • Trains and delivery trucks full of packages have become targets for some thieves who are looking for goods to steal and sell, reported CNBC. Major retailers, including Target and Best Buy, have spoken out about these organized thefts and urged Congress to make it harder for criminals to make money from the stolen goods online. • Illinois has generated almost $100 million more in tax revenue from adult-use marijuana sales than from alcohol in 2021, reported Marijuana Moment. Additionally, cannabis tax dollars have exceeded those for liquor every month since February of last year. • The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the creation of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which will be responsible for building a national electric vehicle charging network that can build public confidence, with a focus on filling gaps in rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach locations. • Retail refrigerated flavored milk sales recorded a 5.1 percent dollar sales gain—reaching $1,671.2 million—during the 52 weeks ending November 28, 2021, reported DairyFoods.com. Unit sales rose 2.1 percent to 663.0 million. • Walmart is testing alternatives to single-use plastics by using reusable tote bags as

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Legislative Update pulled the rule for businesses effective January 26. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that the agency had exceeded its authority. The Biden administration also ended its legal battle over the mandate, and OSHA asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to dismiss all cases related to it. The administration had faced dozens lawsuits from Republican-led states, private businesses, religious groups, and national trade associations. OSHA issued the mandate under its emergency powers, which the agency can use to shortcut the normal rulemaking process if the labor secretary determines workers face a grave danger. The agency’s emergency rules also serve as proposals for permanent regulations. OSHA left open the possibility that it might try to finalize a permanent vaccine and testing rule in the future.

Proposed State & Local Tobacco Legislation Here is the latest tobacco legislation roundup at the state and local levels as compiled by Convenience Store News. CALIFORNIA Sacramento—The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors recently voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol. The new law goes into effect in July. COLORADO Denver—State legislators have proposed a bill (House Bill 22-1064 ) to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco and nicotine products, including vapor products, electronic cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, Hookah, chewing tobacco and cigars. If approved, it would go into effect across the state on July 1. Any retailer caught selling flavored tobacco or nicotine products would be subject to the same penalties as a retailer caught selling to minors. MAINE Portland—The Portland City Council is considering banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. If the council moves the measure forward, Portland would become the second city in Maine, behind Bangor, to approve a flavor ban. NEW JERSEY Trenton—The governor recently signed legislation requiring any retail store that carries tobacco products, including convenience stores, to also carry nicotine replacement therapy products. The products are to be displayed in a location that is behind the sales counter. OREGON “NACS AND OTHER INDUSTRY Hillsboro—Washington Country’s ban on GROUPS ARE UNITING TO CONTEST the sale of flavored tobacco products is heading THE FDA’S PLAN TO ISSUE RULES to the ballot box. A petition to bring the issues ON TWO TOBACCO PRODUCT to the voters gathered the needed signatures.

FDA Plans Menthol Cigarette & Flavored Cigar Ban




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delivery drivers will operate electric vehicles as part of the company’s goal of a zero emissions logistics fleet by 2040.

Teen Truckers Approved For Interstate Driving To Help Supply Chain Teenage truck drivers will soon be allowed to drive across state lines under a pilot program the Transportation Department is advancing, reported Bloomberg Law. The recently enacted infrastructure law included apprenticeships that will let people as young as 18 drive trucks interstate, an idea pitched as a way to help alleviate nationwide delays in the supply chain of goods. The American Trucking Associations has estimated that the industry is short 80,000 drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revealed details of the pilot apprenticeship program in an information collection request published in early January. Under the program, 18- to 20-year-olds will be allowed to operate trucks in interstate commerce supervised by an experienced driver for two probationary periods, totaling no less than 240 driving hours. The apprentice then could drive without an experienced driver, according to the regulation. The White House highlighted the program in its “Trucking Action Plan” in December in response to supply-chain strains.

Biden Administration Unveils Plan To Help Trucking Industry The Biden administration recently announced a multi-pronged effort to improve worker recruitment and retention in the trucking industry, citing it as a way to improve the national supply chain for the long-term, reported The Hill. The Department of Transportation and the Department of Labor have partnered on a 90-day initiative to engage with industry leaders, drivers and other stakeholders to improve trucker pay, attract new talent to the industry and better retaining drivers. Senior administration officials highlighted the trucking industry as a critical cog in moving the nation’s goods at a time when the supply chains are under stress from the coronavirus pandemic. More than 70 percent of the country’s freight is transported by trucks, they said. Among the steps the administration will take are connecting more veterans with trucking jobs upon their return to the civilian workforce, focusing on registered apprenticeship programs where drivers can get paid while they learn on the job, and making it easier for drivers to get a commercial driver’s license.

Circle K’s Employee Training Reduces Turnover Circle K is reducing employee turnover and increasing sales with gamification and virtual 3D experiences in its training, reported Chain Store Age. Facing the demand of training new hires with the skills needed for its convenience store environment, Circle K has been leveraging technology from gamified simulation train-

ing provider Attensi to enhance its employee training procedures. The Attensi platform uses remote training techniques, delivered via mobile app, to deliver consistent training to over 15,000 employees across nine countries. The training leverages the same techniques used in video games, with the goal of appealing to competitive instincts and a desire for skills mastery. Features of the platform include lifelike 3D graphics and competitive challenges that match the working environment as closely as possible. Attensi also employs realistic design to make the training close to the real-life environment in which employees will work, providing an emotional connection that makes training stick in muscle-memory like a real-life experience.

Monster To Enter Alcoholic Beverage Sector Monster Beverage Corporation recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC, a craft beer and hard seltzer company for $330 million in cash. The transaction will bring the Cigar City (Jai Alai IPA and Florida Man IPA), Oskar Blues (Dale’s Pale Ale and Wild Basin Hard Seltzer), Deep Ellum (Dallas Blonde and Deep Ellum IPA), Perrin Brewing (Black Ale), Squatters (Hop Rising Double IPA and Juicy IPA) and Wasatch (Apricot Hefeweizen) brands to the Monster beverage portfolio. The transaction does not include CANarchy’s stand-alone restaurants. The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2022 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Monster’s organizational structure for its existing energy beverage business will remain unchanged, the company said. CANarchy will continued on page 48



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function independently, retaining its own organizational structure and team.

NY Retailers Request Higher Lottery Commission Lottery sales agents in New York are seeking a 1 percent increase in commission from the state this year, a push that’s backed by a coalition of business groups who argue the move would aid convenience stores, grocery stores, bodegas, newsstands, and service stations that are also lottery retailers, reported Spectrum News 1. If approved, the commission increase from 6 percent to 7 percent would be the first since the lottery’s inception in 1967. The New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) is among the groups backing the push to increase the compensation rate. NYACS pointed to the rise in operating expenses for convenience stores across the country in the last decade. Costs have risen by 43 percent, and in New York the pressure has been further driven by an increase in the state’s minimum wage. Lottery sales as sold by retailers, meanwhile, have increased by 13 percent.

“Lottery sales agents in New York, including c-store operators, are seeking a 1 percent increase in commission from the state this year.”



CSNews Announces 2022 Category Captains

Convenience Store News recently announced that it selected 17 suppliers for recognition in its 2022 Category Captains awards program. The publication stated the suppliers were chosen “based on the outstanding jobs they do of working together with their retailer customers to enhance overall category sales and profitability.” All entries were judged based on factors like product innovation; creativity in merchandising, marketing, promotion and advertising; use of consumer insights to drive entire category sales; innovative and dynamic category management tools; and fact-based evidence of market-specific or account-specific results. The 2022 Category Captains are: • Alternative Snacks: Jack Link’s • Beer/Malt Beverages: Anheuser-Busch • Candy: The Hershey Co. • CBD: E-Alternative Solutions • Foodservice/Cold & Frozen Beverages: Frazil • Foodservice/Hot Beverages: SEB Professional • Foodservice/Prepared Food: Rich Products Corp. • General Merchandise: BIC USA Inc. • Health & Beauty Care: Lil’ Drug Store Products Inc. • Other Tobacco Products/Cigars: Cheyenne International • Other Tobacco Products/E-Cigarette & Vapor Products: E-Alternative Solutions • Other Tobacco Products/Overall: Swisher • Packaged Beverages: The Coca-Cola Co. • Packaged Sweet Snacks: Hostess Brands • Salty Snacks: Conagra Brands • Wine & Liquor: E&J Gallo Winery • Leadership Award for Comprehensive Multi-Category Management: Core-Mark International & Eby-Brown Co.

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part of its growing direct-to-fridge InHome delivery service, with plans to expand the testing to packaging for curbside pickup orders, reported CNBC. The pilot project is part of a broader effort by the retailer to reach zero waste in its operations across the U.S. and Canada by 2025. • PepsiCo Beverages North America recently announced a $15 million investment in Closed Loop Partners’ Leadership Fund, a private equity fund that acquires and grows companies, including in the packaging value chain, to strengthen recycling infrastructure and build circular supply chains that keep materials out of landfills. • Publix Super Markets, which operates about 1,300 grocery stores in the southeastern U.S., will start offering paid parental leave in 2022, reported Bloomberg News. The supermarket chain is adding the benefit as retailers struggle to fill jobs and retain existing employees in a tight labor market. • As global auto manufacturers continue to invest in electric vehicle production, internal combustion engine powertrains dominate future U.S. intentions, with 69 percent of consumers looking to retain the technology for their next vehicle, according to Deloitte’s “2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study.” • Convenience store chain Kwik Trip recently opened its 800th store, reported the La Crosse Tribune. The store—located in Holmen, Wisconsin— is about 9,000-square-feet and features a car wash and a grocery market with fresh food delivered daily. • Sheetz recently announced a long-term agreement with clean energy supplier Constellation to power nearly 70 percent of its Pennsylvania facilities with renewable energy. The solar projects, which will be developed in Pennsylvania, are expected to achieve commercial operation by January 2024 and will help Sheetz avoid nearly 78,000 metric tons of carbon emissions associated with its energy use annually. • Starbucks has entered the energy category for the first time with the introduction of Starbucks BAYATM Energy, a ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage developed through the North American Coffee Partnership, a joint venture between Starbucks and PepsiCo to create RTD coffee and energy products. • Google told employees they must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face a series of escalating consequences that will include pay deductions and the eventual loss of their jobs, reported The Hill. • KFC and Beyond Meat kicked off the new year by offering their plant-based Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets nationwide for a limited time. KFC tested its first iteration of Beyond Fried Chicken in August 2019 as a part of a limited-run test in Atlanta. In 2020, the chain expanded the test to select continued on page 50

Sales of Sour Punch® Standup Bags are up +39%! SLIN # 142847 UIN # 328147 CM # 491599

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Legislative Update co products will push them into the black market. “Menthol makes up more than 37 percent of the tobacco market,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president of government relations. “That demand will not go away due to a ban. NACS is on record opposing menthol bans as we believe illicit vendors will quickly source and begin selling foreign and counterfeit menthol cigarettes. Illicit vendors do not verify age, do not collect and remit taxes, and they sell other illegal products beyond just menthol

cigarettes.” The article notes that, in the convenience retailing channel, cigarettes contributed 27.79 percent of in-store sales in 2020, according to the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2020 Data. Other tobacco products, which includes cigars, accounted for 6.90 percent of in-store sales in 2020. Anna Ready Blom, NACS director of government relations, said there will be an opportunity for retailers to make their voices heard by filing comments before the agency finalizes the rules.

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restaurants in Nashville, Charlotte, and Southern California. • Cannabis has contributed $43.5 billion to Canada’s GDP since recreational pot was legalized in October 2018, according to a new report by Deloitte Canada and provincial pot distributor, the Ontario Cannabis Store. The report said for every dollar in revenue or capital expenditures, the industry adds about $1.09 to Canada’s GDP from legal purchases. • Walmart plans to roll out 5,000 electric vehicles for its InHome and GoLocal delivery services in 2023 as it seeks to meet its goal of operating a zero-emissions delivery fleet by 2040, reported Ad Week. The retailer has reserved the vans from GM’s electric transport unit, BrightDrop. • White Castle announced that it has donated $10,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the organization created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas. The two Columbus-based fast-food hamburger chains might be industry competitors, but both have a long history of supporting causes at local and national levels. • The Kroger Co. recently announced it is building a high-tech Customer Fulfillment continued on page 59

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Legislative Update License Required To Sell Tobacco & E-Cigs In Oregon As of January 1, convenience stores and other retailers in Oregon are required to buy a license to sell tobacco or e-cigarette and vaping products, reported KDRV.com. According to public health officials, the purpose of the Tobacco Retail License law is to let the state more accurately track where tobacco is being sold to ensure that businesses are following Oregon’s tobacco laws, like not selling to anyone under the age of 21. Prior to January 1, Oregon was one of only seven U.S. states that didn’t require a tobacco retail license of some sort. Retailers must now buy an annual license for $953 from the Department of Revenue in order to legally sell tobacco products. The fee is supposed to be used only to cover the costs of running the licensing program and conducting inspections. For the first six months that the law is in effect, the Oregon

Health Authority and local officials are directed to conduct outreach to help retailers get up to speed. Inspections begin immediately to check if retailers have a license, with penalties issued if they do not. Public health inspections and another list of potential penalties begin July 1.

stores, and others that use an ethyl alcohol based flavoring component that don’t meet Utah’s unique flavoring test will have to go to state liquor stores.

Utah Bill Would Remove Hard Seltzer From C-Stores

Shoppers in several areas of Virginia must now pay for disposable plastic bags, reported WUSA9.com. The Plastic Bag Tax, which went into effect on January 1, requires shoppers to pay five cents per disposable plastic bag at convenience stores, grocery stores and drug stores. The tax applies to residents in the City of Alexandria, Arlington County and Fairfax County. A similar tax will also take effect in Fall Church but not until April 1, 2022. The Alexandria City Council, Arlington County Board and Fairfax County Board

A new bill introduced in Utah’s Capitol Hill could take many popular hard seltzer brands out of convenience and grocery store shelves and place them in state-run liquor stores, reported FOX 13 News. According to the article, Utah has a unique legal definition of beer that seltzers presently don’t meet. Under the proposed legislation, Senate Bill 176, it all comes down to how they are brewed and what flavorings are in them—those with glycol based flavoring standards stay in convenience and grocery

Virginia Plastic Bag Tax In Effect

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Avanti Is Your Magazine Avanti Magazine was created in 1981 by franchisees, for franchisees. It represents your voice within the 7-Eleven universe and requires your participation to remain relevant to the ideas, information, and knowl-edge floating about the franchisee community. You can contribute to the success of Avanti Magazine by submitting any of the following: > Articles on any 7-Eleven topic that may be of interest to other franchisees. > Your FOA events and Board meeting calendars. > FOA event photos with a short description (who, what, where, when, and why). > Store or community event photos with captions. > Any combination of the above. Please send your submissions to avantimag@ncasef.com.

As former National Coalition Chairman Bill Schuessler famously said,

“None of us is as great as all of us together, so let’s stay tightly knit together.” AVANTI JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2022


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Legislative Update of Supervisors decided to adopt the tax in September 2021. Officials hope the tax will be a step in reducing the “negative environmental impacts of single-use plastic bags.”

“SHOPPERS IN ARLINGTON COUNTY AND FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA MUST NOW PAY FIVE CENTS PER DISPOSABLE PLASTIC BAG AT CONVENIENCE STORES AND GROCERY STORES.” The revenue collected from the tax will be used to fund environmental cleanup programs and pollution and litter mitigation programs.

Oregon Bill Would Allow Drivers To Pump Their Own Gas The Oregon Legislature is considering giving the state’s drivers the option to pump their own gas, reported The Oregonian. House Bill 4151, filed ahead of the legislative session that began on February 1, would allow gas stations to offer self-service pumps alongside pumps staffed by a station attendant. Oregon is one of only two states in the U.S. that don’t allow self-service gas pumps, although the state relaxed those rules for some rural counties in 2015, allowing customers to pump their own gas at night. The state also allowed self-serve gas

for a few months in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, and briefly during a heat wave last summer. Gas station owners and the legislators sponsoring the bill said the workforce shortage from the pandemic has led to long lines at the pump, overworked attendants and some stations struggling to remain open to comply with the attendant requirement. Supporters of the bill say it would preserve the availability of assistance for people with disabilities or others who need or want help from an attendant. The bill requires that prices would remain the same whether pumped by a customer or a station attendant.

You have the power to impact change. Legislators around the country are consistently voting for policies that impact your livelihood. As a business owner, your voice matters in local, state, and federal issues – and we can ensure it is heard. Own It Voice It created a portal to amplify your voice on the legislation and policies that have the biggest impact on your business.

Thousands of retailers reached out to legislators in 2020 to enact change. 52


Scan the QR Code and take action now!

Member News continued to page 54

7-ELEVEN OPENS 77,711TH STORE SEI recently announced it has hit another major milestone: 77,711 7 Eleven stores open worldwide. “Since the inception of convenience retailing with the first 7 Eleven store in Dallas, Texas, a lot has changed in how, when and where we do business,” said Joe DePinto, SEI President and Chief Executive Officer. “As customers continue to redefine convenience, we redefine our approach to ensure that we are exceeding their expectations. Today, that means accelerating our sustainability efforts to address social and environmental issues that are important to our customers and the communities in which they live and work.” The company stated that, in addition to the sustainability initiatives already taking place at the local level, 7 Eleven collaborated with Plastic Bank to extract 140 metric tons of oceanbound plastic from the environment in December 2021—that’s equivalent to 7 million single-use plastic bottles. Founded in 2013, Plastic Bank builds recycling ecosystems in underdeveloped communities to fight both plastic pollution in oceans and high poverty levels in developing countries. People who gather ocean-bound plastics receive bonuses which help them purchase basic family necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition and health insurance. SEI also said it has ambitious plans by 2030 that include cutting its carbon emissions and food waste by

50 percent, replacing plastic with eco- As Co-CEOs of 7IN, Wakabayashi and friendly materials in its packaging and Abe will be responsible for all operations sustainably sourcing food ingredients outside North America and Japan, as well as overseeing the 7–Eleven for its private brand products. The trademark globally. This company also continues team will further to increase the supply enhance providing of electricity from “SEI Senior Vice support to existing renewable energy President Ken Wakabayashi L i c e n s e e s projects and expand and Master its electric vehicle is now Co-CEO of Franchisees charging options for 7-Eleven International LLC and focus on customers as part of expanding the its efforts to reduce alongside Seven-Eleven 7-Eleven brand emissions. Japan’s Shinji Abe.” into new territories. This announcement comes following the formation of 7IN, which SEI said will be able to better leverage 7-Eleven’s product development capabilities, digital technology and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, while maintaining its position as a global brand. Along with this change comes a team revitalization in support of international growth and enhancement of the 7-Eleven brand worldwide. Joe DePinto, Chief Executive Officer, Chris Tanco, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Stan Reynolds, SEI EXECUTIVE Executive Vice President and Chief APPOINTED 7IN CO-CEO Financial Officer from 7-Eleven, Inc. SEI recently announced Senior Vice along with Ken Wakabayashi, Co-CEO President, Head of International Ken of 7IN will serve on the 7IN Board of Wakabayashi has been given a new role Directors. as Co-CEO of 7-Eleven International LLC (7IN). Wakabayashi will lead the 7NOW GOLD PASS LAUNCHED 7-Eleven brand’s global growth strategy SEI recently unveiled the new 7NOW alongside Co-CEO Shinji Abe from Gold Pass subscription delivery service, Seven-Eleven Japan, the company said. continued on page 54



Member News continued from page 53

which allows customers to get their delivery fee waived on a choice of more than 3,000 of their favorite 7 Eleven products. For just $5.95 a month and no added delivery fee, customers can get all the drinks and snacks they need, typically in about 30 minutes. SEI said the 7NOW Gold Pass service pays for itself in about three delivery orders per month, but the perks don’t end there. Subscribers with a basket subtotaling at least $10 receive additional benefits including the option to select a free product, such as a free small Slurpee drink. Additionally, members of 7Rewards can unlock double the rewards when they order delivery

using the 7NOW Gold Pass service. All items available for order through the 7NOW app are available through the 7NOW Gold Pass service throughout the U.S. and real-time tracking lets customers know when to expect their orders. Customers can look for the 7NOW Gold Pass banner on the 7NOW app home screen to sign up.

GRUBHUB & 7-ELEVEN LAUNCH GRUBHUB GOODS NATIONWIDE Food-ordering and delivery marketplace Grubhub recently announced the national availability of its branded convenience concept, Grubhub Goods, in collaboration with 7-Eleven. Grubhub now offers on-demand convenience delivery to customers from more than 3,000 Grubhub Goods locations across the country. This nationwide expansion follows a successful pilot with 7-Eleven in New York of more than

Midwest FOA Makes Donation To Day Care For Blind Children The Midwest FOA recently made a $1,000 donation to the Penrickton Center, a private, non-profit five day residential and day care agency serving blind, multi-disabled children ages 1-12. Presenting the check to Penrickton Center Executive Director Kurt M. Sebaly (center) are Midwest FOA Vice President Nisar Siddiqui (left) and his wife, Irshad Siddiqui (right). 54


“7-Eleven and Grubhub have teamed to launch Grubhub Goods delivery service nationwide.”

a dozen Grubhub Goods locations in Manhattan. The Grubhub Goods locations with 7-Eleven reach the vast majority of Grubhub’s diners nationwide and feature a selection of 7-Eleven’s most popular convenience items, including energy drinks, ice cream, personal care products and more delivered by Grubhub drivers. To celebrate the national launch of Grubhub Goods with 7-Eleven, Grubhub offered customers 50 percent off on orders of $15 or more.

Have you received your PREPAID SPINNER yet? Designated promotional signage space

Holds up to 130 facings of prepaid product

Features backer panels that display the POG to maintain integrity

65" Tall

And the best feature is... it’s completely FREE to the store! Bottom drawer can be used to store extra inventory and pegs

25" Deep 26" Wide

Interested? Please email 7elevenautoreplen@incomm.com & include: • • • •

Store number and address Contact information for delivery If the store is a RIS or PDI location If the store is 7 Eleven or Stripes branded

As always, if you need more gift cards, POP or pegs, email 7elevenautoreplen@incomm.com. 7 Eleven Branded cards can be ordered through FES.




INTRODUCE YOUR ADULT CUSTOMERS TO NEW NEON BURST Anheuser-Busch recently unveiled Neon Burst, the newest offering in the company’s flavored malt beverage (FMB) c-store singles portfolio. Available on March 28, Neon Burst contains 8 percent alcohol per volume and has only 3g of sugar per 12 oz. The FMB singles segment continues to drive incremental category growth +$107MM vs a year ago; contributing 55 percent to total category growth (Source: IRI TUS Neon Burst is preferred by MULC YTD 12/12/2021). Neon Burst is preferred by core c-store core c-store shopper with 73 percent purchase intent. shopper with a 73 percent purchase intent. In fact, 7 out of 10 FMB consumers scored Neon Burst as “just about right” in flavor (Source: Proof Competitive Concepts November 2021; iHut Liquid Test December 2021). Furthermore, Anheuser-Busch’s target consumer ranks Neon Burst a distinctively more exciting brand than other 8 percent ABV brands (Source: Proof Competitive Concepts November 2021).


Grow your sweet baked goods sales with new Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes singles and Hostess Baby Bundts. Hostess Brands has expanded America’s No. 1 donut lineup with the rollout of its new caffeinated Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes singles in two flavors: Chocolate Mocha and Caramel Macchiato. Three times bigger than the original Hostess Donettes mini donuts, Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes are caffeinated with coffee bean extract and are lightly glazed. The Chocolate Mocha variety combines the flavors of chocolate and espresso coffee, while the Caramel Macchiato variety combines creamy caramel and espresso coffee flavors that perfectly blend for a smooth and rich taste. Both varieties come in a 2.5-ounce single-serve package at a suggested retail price of $2.49. Hostess Baby Bundts Lemon Drizzle and Strawberry Cheesecake, introduced in November, are a sweet twist on



the familiar. Baby Bundt’s quantitative research surpassed BASES concept hurdles for success with outstanding purchase intent, outstanding uniqueness, and outstanding value. Sweet Baked Goods is a winning categor y—large, growing, and is a frequently purchased category, Satisfy your customers’ snack up 11.7 percent in cravings with new Hostess the latest 26 weeks. Hostess is a Boost Jumbo Donettes and category leader and is winning Hostess Baby Bundts. in the marketplace +31 percent in the latest 26 weeks. Upcoming promotions include: • P2—Big Bet Coffee Cap Rack Promo with Boost Jumbo Donettes • P3—7Rewards Boost with Coffee Bundle • P4—Hostess Single Serve 2/$3.50 • P5—7Rewards 2 Hostess Singles get 400 points and Speedy Rewards








HAVE YOUR CAKE & YOUR COOKIE TOO WITH NEW OREO CAKESTERS Oreo Cakesters are a soft-baked twist on a classic. These innovative snack cakes are coming to stores this spring and they’ll keep your customers coming back for more. Rich in flavor and textures, these delicious, indulgent treats get top marks from consumers for taste, texture, and overall liking. (Source: In Home CLT December 2020). In addition, 66 percent of shoppers stated they’re superior to other snack cakes (Source: In Home CLT December 2020). Snack cakes are a large and growOreo Cakesters get top ing sweet-snackmarks from consumers ing category, and Oreo Cakesters for taste, texture, and are the biggest innovation to hit overall liking. the category in a long time. This continued on page 58





BUBBLE GUM IS BACK! The Category is up 8% overover last last year.year. 8% OriginalTM Outta Here Original is the #4 selling bubble gum item in C-Stores and trending up* TM

The brand is up 18% versus prior year – outpacing other leading bubble gum brands and the gum category* Brand appeals to kids and adults * - IRI Data – L52 weeks ending 8/8/21

For Information Contact Ford Gum & Machine Co., Inc Email: sales@fordgum.com Phone:847-955-0003

SLIN# 141718 McLane: 514695 Coremark: 868430

© 2022 Ford Gum Trademarks Used Under License From BIG LEAGUE CHEW PROPERTIES, LLC © 2022 All Rights Reserved. www.bigleaguechew.com



continued from page 56

one-of-a-kind snack innovation blends a favorite cookie brand with a new, softer side to bring experience-loving younger Millennials and Gen Zs into your store. Oreo Cakesters are incorporated into the upcoming packaged pastry planogram update and they’re going to make a big splash in-aisle with a 2 for $4 fully-funded promo in P3. Customers are about to fall in love with this playfully delicious mashup of soft cake snack and their favorite cookie brand, and you’re about to fall in love with the sales they rake in. Don’t miss out. Order starting March 28, 2022.

INCREASE YOUR SALES WITH NEW INNOVATION FROM MODELO & CORONA Constellation Brands has new offerings from the Modelo Chelada Brand Family and Corona Hard Seltzer to increase your alcoholic beverage sales, so place your orders today. Modelo Chelada Naranja Picosa—Served in a ready-to-drink can, Modelo Chelada Naranja Picosa is a fun and tasty blend of refreshing flavors including orange, lime, salt, and a hint of spice. Cheladas continue to experience explosive growth driven by fruit-forward flavors, and Modelo Chelada leads the category as the #1 brand RTD Chelada brand family. The RTD Chelada category continues strong dollar growth with a 14 percent four-year CAGR. Modelo Chelada is the top dollar sales Chelada brand family. Modelo Chelada can maximize its consumer reach with all 6 flavors. Corona Hard Seltzer S e lt z er it a — C o r o n a Hard Seltzer Seltzerita brings true hard seltzer category innovation with the boldness of a margarita flavor balanced with the feel of a sparkling seltzer. With a splash Increase your alcoholic beverage of real Mexican sales with Modelo Chelada lime juice* and Naranja Picosa and Corona Hard sweetened with Seltzer Seltzerita. agave and cane sugar, this hard seltzer was inspired by authentic margarita flavors and captures the flavor of the most popular cocktail in the United States. Corona Hard Seltzer Seltzerita brings big, interesting flavors with flavorful ingredients and a unique 6 percent 58


ABV. Offerings available in 12pk, 12oz Slim Cans Variety Pack and 24oz Single Serve Can (Classic Lime).

THE 4-IN-1 CHILLMEISTER CAN COOLER Available from In Motion Design, the Chillmeister is a 4 in 1 can cooler that keeps beverages ice cold or piping hot. Use it as a tumbler to keep your morning coffee hot or pop in your favorite canned or bottled drink for a cool refreshing beverage. Cheers to endless possibilities.

The Chillmeister keeps beverages ice cold or piping hot.

OREO FROZEN TREATS ARE HERE America’s favorite cookie is now available as delightfully delicious frozen treats. Oreo is the best-selling cookie brand of the 21st century and a Top 5 Millennial Brand that more than half of all U.S. households purchase, and now it has expanded to the freezer. Oreo Frozen Treats are available in consumers’ favorite forms, ranging from take-home 14oz to snackable bars, cones, sandwiches, and more. These delicious new items will drive category growth, bringing Oreo fans to the freezer. Unlike other cookies and cream with a vanilla flavored base, the new Oreo Frozen Treats feature the first-ever frozen base to be flavored like the “Stuf ”, or creme, in an Oreo cookie with Oreo cookie pieces mixed in. Additionally, Oreo Bars and Oreo Oreo Frozen Treats will drive Cones are category growth, bringing Oreo dipped in a fans to the freezer. delicious coating made from continued on next page

continued from previous page

crushed Oreo wafer pieces, giving consumers a multi-textural experience. Don’t miss out on this exciting launch. Make sure to have your freezers stocked with these tasty new items today.

POCKET-SIZED BIC EZ REACH LIGHTER The BIC EZ Reach lighter features a 1.45inch extended wand that helps keep fingers further from the flame. Its body is the size of a pocket light- The BIC EZ Reach lighter is the size of a er, so it fits comfortably pocket lighter and offers more than 50 percent more lights. in your hands, bags and pockets, making it perfect for lighting candles, grilling and everything in between. The new design lights at any angle. Offered in classic colors and fashionable designs for every consumer. Every lighter is 100 percent safety tested and up to 50 percent more lights versus non-refillable wand pocket lighters.

BETTER-FOR-YOU FITVINE WINE FitVine is for people who FitVine is the leader in the better- want to enjoy their wine and for-you wine category.

Center (CFC) in northeast Ohio. The facility will combine vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics to provide fast fresh food delivery service, the continued from page 50 company said. The CFC will measure 270,000 square feet and is expected to create up to 400 new jobs. • Nationally, consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, up from $3.4 billion in 2020, according to new data released by the Federal Trade Commission. More than $2.3 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams, while online shopping accounted for about $392 million in reported losses from consumers. • The Coca-Cola Co. recently unveiled a new, modern packaging design for its Flavors Portfolio. Vibrantly colored cans of Coca Cola Cherry, Coca Cola Vanilla, Coca Cola Cherry Vanilla and their zero-sugar counterparts feature a bold logo positioned to clearly distinguish between full-sugar (white script) and zero-sugar/calorie-free (black script) options. Full-color cans designate single flavors, and stacked colors communicate dual flavors. • Amazon is shutting down its 68 brick-and-mortar bookstores and pop-up ki-

feel good about it. FitVine focuses on crafting high-quality California wines with significantly less sugar, fewer sulfites, and no flavor additives without lowering the alcohol. They make choosing a premium, tasty wine straightforward and simple. FitVine offers 8 of the most popular varietals sold in the U.S. and is the leader in the better-for-you wine category, making FitVine a delicious everyday option for consumers.

STRYVE FOODS’ VACADILLOS COME TO 7-ELEVEN Stryve Foods recently announced a major new distribution agreement with 7-Eleven to bring three flavors of its popular Vacadillos carne seca air-dried meat snacks for the first time to nearly 8,000 7-Eleven convenience stores. The nationwide order from 7-Eleven comes with a commitment for a standing floor display that prominently showcases three Vacadillos flaThe Vacadillos standing floor display promivors—Chile Lime, Hanently showcases three Vacadillos flavors— banero and Scorpion. Chile Lime, Habanero and Scorpion. Stryve and Vacadillos sales are the fastest growing for the meat snacks category in U.S. convenience stores, with 343 percent incremental yearly revenue growth.

osks in the U.S. and U.K. to concentrate on its supermarkets, including Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh, reported CNBC. • Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. recently announce that it has invested $55 million of its Circle K Venture Fund in startup companies that are developing solutions focused on enhancing the customer experience in its stores and improving efficiency. The company said it has secured equity stakes in several entrepreneurial companies that are shaping the future of convenience, entering into agreements to test and commercialize their innovations. • G Medical Innovations Holdings Ltd. announced that more than 500,000 of its LiveNow COVID-19 PCR collection kit tests are now available at more than 4,000 Circle K convenience stores nationally. The kits are expected to generate approximately $12 million in revenue, based on the expected return of at least 100,000 kit samples to the company’s testing lab. • Value-store chain Family Dollar had to temporarily close more than 400 stores recently after the discovery of a rodent infestation and other unsanitary conditions at a distribution center in Arkansas touched off a far-reaching recall of food, dietary supplements, cosmetics and other products, reported the New York Times. AVANTI JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2022


FOA Board Meetings Central Florida FOA

Midwest FOA

Phone: 207-415-0924

Phone: 847-971-9457

May 18, 2022—General Meeting

March 24, 2022—Michigan General Meeting/Mini-Show

August 17, 2022—General Meeting November 9, 2022—General Meeting

Chicagoland FOA Phone: 847-278-7415 March 24, 2022—Board Meeting

April 6, 2022—Webinar Wednesday April 20, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

Southern California FOA

May 4, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

Phone: 818-357-5985

May 18, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

March 23, 2022— Members Meeting

June 1, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

May 18, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting

April 28, 2022—Board Meeting

August 24, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

May 12, 2022—Summer Trade Show & General Session

September 21, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

June 30, 2022—Board Meeting & General Meeting

October 5, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

July 28, 2022—Board Meeting

October 19, 2022—Michigan General Meeting/Mini-Show

September 22, 2022—Board Meeting October 27, 2022—Board Meeting December 8, 2022—Board Meeting

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles Phone: 619-726-9016 March 15, 2022—Board Meeting April 19, 2022—Board Meeting May 17, 2022—Board Meeting June 22, 2022—Mini Trade Show July 19, 2022—Board Meeting September 20, 2022—Board Meeting October 18, 2022—Mini Trade Show November 15, 2022—Board Meeting

November 16, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

San Diego FOA Phone: 619-713-2411 April 21, 2022—Monthly Board Meeting May 19, 2022—Monthly Board Meeting June 16, 2022—Monthly Board Meeting July 21, 2022—Monthly Board Meeting August 18, 2022—Monthly Board Meeting September 15, 2022—Monthly Board Meeting October 20, 2022—Monthly Board Meeting



July 20, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting August 17, 2022—Board of Directors Meeting September 21, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting October 19, 2022—Board of Directors Meeting November 16, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting

UFOLINY Phone: 631-793-6348 March 29, 2022—General Membership Meeting April 19, 2022—General Membership Meeting May 24, 2022—General Membership Meeting June 21, 2022—General Membership Meeting September 20, 2022—General Membership Meeting October 25, 2022—General Membership Meeting November 29, 2022—General Membership Meeting

FOA EVENTS continued from page 62

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles 24th Annual Golf Tournament

Chicagoland FOA Golf Outing

Chicagoland FOA Holiday Trade Show

Black Gold Golf Club Yorba Linda, California June 21, 2022 Phone: 619-726-9016

Venue TBD August 25, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

Venue TBD November 10, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

Eastern Virginia FOA Trade Show North Carolina

Southern California FOA Holiday Party

The River Place Fort Mill, South Carolina August 26, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

Universal Studios Universal City, California December 3, 2022 Phone: 818-357-5985

San Diego FOA Day At The Races

Midwest FOA Chicago Holiday Showcase

Del Mar Racetrack Del Mar, California August 26, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

Venue TBD Rosemont, Illinois December 7, 2022 Phone: 847-971-9457

UFOLINY Golf Outing

Central Florida FOA Holiday Party

Baiting Hollow Golf Club Baiting Hallow, New York September 7, 2022 Phone: 631-793-6348

Holiday Inn Orlando Florida December 10, 2022 Phone: 207-415-0924

San Diego FOA Vendor Appreciation Day

UFOLINY Holiday Party

Alesmith Brewing Co. San Diego, California October 6, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

Crest Hallow Country Club Woodbury, New York December 14, 2022 Phone: 631-793-6348

Eastern Virginia FOA Trade Show Northern Virginia Waterford at Springfield Springfield, Virginia June 21, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

Chesapeake Division FOA Trade Show Hilton Springfield Springfield, Virginia June 24, 2022 Phone: 571-344-2781

San Diego FOA Charity Golf Tournament Rancho Bernardo Inn San Diego, California July 13, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

Chicagoland FOA Annual Picnic Busse Woods/Ned Brown Meadows, Shelter #27 Elk Grove Village, Illinois July 23, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

San Diego FOA New Year’s Eve 2022 Hilton San Diego/ Del Mar Del Mar, California December 31, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

AD INDEX FitVine Wine...................................37


Anheuser-Busch................................8 Ford Gum........................................56


Aon Risk Management............12, 13







In Motion Design............................36

Nutrabolt C4...................................40

Constellation Brands................32, 33

Johnson & Johnson.........................38

Swedish Match..................................4





Lewer Companies...........................31

Tell Industries.................................20


Lucas Oil..........................................45

Vita Coco.......................................6, 7

American Licorice..........................49



FOA EVENTS FOA Of Greater Los Angeles/ San Diego FOA Trade Show

Eastern Virginia FOA Trade Show

Pechanga Resort & Casino Temecula, California March 23, 2022 Phone: 619-726-9016

Hampton Roads Convention Center Hampton, Virginia April 14, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

Central Florida FOA 9th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Suburban Washington FOA Trade Show Baltimore/WashDC/ Suburban Washington

Orange County National Golf Center Winter Garden, Florida March 28, 2022 Phone: 207-415-0924

Central Florida FOA 9th Annual Trade Show DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Orlando, Florida March 29, 2022 Phone: 207-415-0924

South Texas FOA Annual Trade Show Canyon Springs Golf Course San Antonio, Texas March 30, 2022 Phone: 210-480-0711

South Texas FOA Annual Golf Tournament Canyon Springs Golf Club San Antonio, Texas March 31, 2022 Phone: 210-480-0711

Columbia Pacific FOA Annual Trade Show 2022 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland Portland, Oregon March 31, 2022 Phone: 503-998-5941

Metro Points Hotel New Carrollton, Maryland April 21, 2022 Phone: 301-580-0305

Nor-Cal United 7th Annual Trade Show Central Valley FOA Greater Bay FOA Northern California FOA Sacramento Valley FOA Sunrise Banquet Hall and Event Center Vacaville, California April 29, 2022 Phone: 707-344-6287

San Francisco/Monterey Bay FOA Trade Show Paradise Ballrooms Fremont, California May 18, 2022 Phone: 408-203-1039

UFOLINY Trade Show Hilton Long Island/Huntington Melville, New York May 18, 2022 Phone: 631-793-6348

Southern California FOA Annual Trade Show

Southern California FOA 35th Annual Golf Tournament

Pasadena Convention Center Pasadena, California April 6, 2022 Phone: 818-357-5985

Pacific Palms Resort City of Industry, California June 14, 2022 Phone: 818-357-5985

Eastern Virginia FOA Annual Charity

Midwest FOA Charity Golf Outing

Golf Sleepy Hole Golf Course Suffolk, Virginia April 13, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926 62


Cantigny Golf Course Wheaton, Illinois June 15, 2022 Phone: 847-971-9457

NCASEF BOAR D MEETINGS National Coalition Board meetings are scheduled one per quarter. Vendors interested in sponsoring a Board meeting should contact John Riggio, JR Planners, at 262-394-5518 or johnr@jrplanners.com.

National Coalition Board of Directors Meeting The W Hotel Scottsdale, Arizona May 11-12, 2022

National Coalition Board of Directors Meeting Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 6-7, 2022

NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 7-10, 2022

Midwest FOA Chicago Spring Show Donald E. Stephens (Rosemont) Convention Center Rosemont, Illinois June 16, 2022 Phone: 847-971-9457 continued on page 61


For a totally different Cheez-It ® experience, offer new Cheez-It ® Puff’d ™! These puffy, fun-shaped snacks are light, airy, and baked with 100% real cheese inside and out. For a craveable afternoon and evening snack, add Puff’d ™ to your Cheez-It ® lineup today! Watch for our multi-media launch! TM

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