Avanti March/April 2022

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March/April 2022




7 - E L E V E N


Supporting Charities And Community Service 7-Eleven Franchisees Make A Difference

Giving Back To Our Communities And Our Customers We Are More Than A Neighborhood Convenience Store Change Is The Only Constant Shifting Sands Overexertion/Back Injuries­

The Spring 2022 Affiliate Member Directory Page 34

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Page 12

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Save The Date!

Contents 19

Registration Opens Soon!

NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Giving Back To Our Communities And Our Customers

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

By Sukhi Sandhu, NCASEF Chairman

We Are More Than A Neighborhood 16 Convenience Store By Joe Rossi, NCASEF Executive Vice Chair 26


Change Is The Only Constant


Shifting Sands


Overexertion/Back Injuries­— Why It Hurts

By Eric H. Karp, ESQ., General Counsel to NCASEF



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

The Spring 2022 Affiliate Member Directory Page 34 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.

New Products Highlight The Southern California FOA Trade Show


Central Florida FOA Charity Golf Tournament & Trade Show


Beads & Fun At The San Diego FOA/FOA Of Greater Los Angeles Trade Show

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


By Aran ‘Art’ Farooqi, Franchisee

Making An Impact On Their Community




Bits & Pieces..........15

Legislative Update.......15 Join Your Local FOA....21 SEI News...................54 Vendor Focus.....58 FOA Board Meetings.....60 FOA Events.....................62 AVANTI MARCH | APRIL 2022


Member News


7Rewards Ranks Among Best Loyalty Programs SEI’s 7Rewards and Speedway’s Speedy Rewards have made it onto Newsweek’s America’s Best Loyalty Programs list. The 2022 ranking of America’s Best Loyalty Programs was compiled based on the results of an independent survey of more than 4,000 U.S. customers who are members of loyalty programs of retailers or service providers in the U.S. Customers were given the opportunity to evaluate various loyalty programs: around 20,000 evaluations were collected. The survey period ran from October to November 2021. The final assessment and rankings were based on six criteria—ease and enjoyment, benefit, overall satisfaction, customer support, trust, and recommendation.

a fresh look at the 50 most impactful international retailers based on their operations at the start of 2021. To qualify for this year’s rankings, companies had to meet several criteria. The review process looked at retailers’ international direct selling capabilities and total global retail sales. According to the NRF’s profile of Seven & I, the company operates or franchises 79,000 stores in 19 countries. Most of its stores are 7-Eleven convenience stores in the U.S. and Japan. It also operates a range of superstore, department store and small grocery formats in Asia. 7-Eleven U.S. became much larger with the purchase of the Speedway chain, and ecommerce sales have grown in all markets with the new 7Now concept being launched in the U.S. Its private label program continues to expand into new product lines, including meal solutions and cosmetics.

Seven & I Makes Top 10 On Global Retailers List Seven & I Holdings has broken into the top 10 for the first time on the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2022 Top 50 Global Retailers list. The NRF’s ranking is

C-Store Sales At Pre-Pandemic Levels

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

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

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

Leticia Benavidez OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR 855-444-7711 • leticiab@ncasef.com

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

Total in-store convenience industry sales increased to a record $277.9 billion in 2021, according to recently released

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 March/April2022 ©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

NACS State of the Industry data. The increase came despite a 1.5 percent decline in the number of convenience stores, which totaled 148,026 stores at the start of 2022. Factoring in fuels sales of $427.8 billion, total convenience store sales reached $705.7 billion in 2021, meaning that overall sales were 3.1 percent of the total U.S. GDP of $23.0 trillion in 2021. The average in-store basket size increased 6.3 percent in 2021 to $7.59 and has grown 22.4 percent over the past two years, making up for a 6.9 percent decrease in in-store transactions since 2019. Total fuel gallons sold increased 4.4 percent in 2021 but are still 7.2 percent below the level they were in 2019. Overall, 79 percent of all U.S. convenience stores (116,641



stores total) sell fuel. Total convenience store fuel sales increased 46.2 percent in 2021, reflecting both higher demand and higher gas prices, which averaged $3.02 a gallon in 2021, considerably higher than the average of $2.17 a gallon in 2020. Foodservice saw sales grow 24.1 percent in 2021 and are 10.6 percent higher than 2019 levels. Overall, foodservice accounted

“Total in-store convenience industry sales increased to a record $277.9 billion in 2021.”

for 22.5 percent of in-store sales in 2021— significantly higher than the 16.8 percent reported a decade ago. Foodservice now accounts for 35.5 percent of in-store gross profits, compared to 29.2 percent in 2011.

7-Eleven Round-Up Campaign To Benefit Ukraine Relief In response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, SEI recently launched a multi-week Round-Up Campaign in all 7-Eleven and Stripes stores to raise money for the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund. Beginning March 28 and ending April 28, cuscontinued on next page

Member News continued from previous page

tomers were given the option “Twenty-eight 7-Eleven FOAs during checkout to round up from across the country raised a their total and donate to the total of $113,933 for the Ukraine American Red Cross instead of receiving change. The Humanitarian Crisis Fund.” company also matched individual donations from all franchisees, franchisee sales associates, and SEI employees up to $250,000. FOAs across the country also held fundraising events to support the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund. The average number of weekly in-store By the end of the campaign, 28 7-Eleven buyers in convenience stores was down 14 FOAs from across the country raised a total percent in 2021 compared to the pre-panof $113,933 for the Fund. We will provide demic weekly average in 2019, according an update on the final fundraising tally in to VideoMining’s C-Store Shopper Insights the May/June issue of Avanti. Tracker. Continued work-from-home trends and high gas prices had a negative

C-Store Sales Increase As Customer Counts Drop

impact on in-store traffic. Despite the depressed traffic, the average weekly sales per store for the convenience channel was actually 4 percent higher relative to 2019. This was partly due to inflation and partly due to the healthy appetite of c-store shoppers for buying a range of in-store products, adding up to $58,456 in sales (excluding fuel) per store per week. The overall behaviors of the shoppers, e.g. spending more time shopping in-store (over 3 minutes), also indicated that shoppers are now very comfortable visiting and shopping convenience stores. Breakfast gained significant share of trips in 2021 compared to the previous year, largely as more of the workforce began returning to the office and once again commuting in the mornings. That was a boon continued on page 17



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Member News Eighty-six percent of consumers say that rising gas prices are having an effect on their spending on other goods and services, and half say that gas prices are having a significant impact, reveals a new Technomic study. The report also states that every 50cent increase in gas price has a $68 billion impact on consumer spending. • Walmart is increasing the starting pay for its 12,000 long-haul truck drivers who deliver merchandise to its stores and Sam’s Clubs locations to $95,000 to $110,000 a year—from $87,500 previously—amid a U.S. shortage of drivers that threatens to prolong supply chain snarls and merchandise shortages, reported Reuters. • Seven-Eleven Japan recently introduced plastic forks and other utensils that are 30 percent made from plant-based materials, reported The Japan Times. The move came as a new law to promote recycling went into effect in April. Under the law, convenience stores are required to reduce the usage of single-use plastic items that are distributed free of charge. • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit recently ruled in favor of Pulse Network in its antitrust case against Visa alleging that the credit card giant had employed several anticompetitive tactics to prevent Pulse from gaining a larger share of debit transactions and preventing merchants from having competitive choices of which debit network to use on their transactions, reported NACS Online. • Amazon recently filed planning documents to open its first Amazon Go location in Texas at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, reported the Dallas Morning News. The 600-square-foot kiosk will be located in Terminal D. Construction is estimated to cost $650,000 and is expected to be finished by July 31. • A new study by frontline employee communication firm Nudge reveals that retail leaders are struggling with turnover—27 percent stated turnover was their biggest challenge, while 37 percent of polled retail workers said they want to quit their jobs due to a combination of poor management, pay and benefits, and poor communication. • Chicago recently began offering free gas and public transit cards to residents as an effort to combat spiking gas prices and inflation, reported NBC Chicago. The “Chicago Moves” initiative issued up to 50,000 pre-loaded gas cards worth $150 each, distributed to residents through a lottery system. The city also issued 100,000 pre-loaded cards for public transit worth $50. • Rite Aid will close 145 “unprofitable stores” in ongoing cost-cutting moves designed to help the pharmacy chain be more competitive, reported Forbes. The number includes the 63 stores the company already announced in Decontinued on page 31

Legislative Update New Visa Program Would Address Labor Shortages A new program formulated to help small businesses combat labor issues was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, reported FSR Magazine. The Essential Workers for Economic Advancement program would create a pathway for workers from outside the U.S. to come on market-driven, non-immigrant, three-year visas, with the opportunity for extensions of up to six years. Designed for small businesses, the program would be available for non-agriculture jobs with lower education thresholds that have been unfilled for extended periods of time. Initially the EWEA would be available to 65,000 workers, with the possibility to grow to 85,000—or drop to 45,000—depending on market-based needs. Unlike the Specialty Occupations Workforce program, family members would not be eligible to join participants in the U.S.


Cigarette GraphicWarning Labels Requirement Delayed Tobacco manufacturers have received another three months—until April 9, 2023—before potentially having to place graphic warning labels on their traditional cigarette packs, reported the Winston-Salem Journal. A U.S. District Court judge in Texas approved February 10 the latest launch-date delay for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA, ITG Brands LLC and Liggett Group LLC. It is at least the seventh judge-ordered delay for the

FDA-required graphic warning labels when counting previously set launch dates of June 18, 2021, Oct. 16, 2021, January 14, 2022, April 14, 2022, July 13, 2022, October 2022, and mostly recently January 9, 2023. The graphic warnings are designed to cover the top 50 percent of the front and rear panels of packages, as well as at least 20 percent of the top of advertisements.

The Latest Tobacco Legislative Roundup Listed below is the latest tobacco legislation and regulation roundup—state and local—as published by Convenience Store News. CALIFORNIA • Antioch—The Antioch City Council recently approved legislation prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products and banning retailers from selling or providing electronic cigarettes and other paraphernalia. Additionally, the measure will prohibit businesses from selling fewer than six cigars or 20 little cigars, including cigarillos, or any packages of them for less than $10. • Sacramento—A bill before the California State Assembly (Assembly Bill 1690) would prohibit the sale of single-use vapor products and tobacco filters. • Santa Ana—The Santa Ana City Council unanimously approved a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. The new ordinance went into effect 30 days after the March 15 vote. COLORADO • Denver—State lawmakers continue to debate banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. The latest version of House Bill 1064 would exempt premium cigars, pipe tobacco and all flavored items sold in age-restricted stores. It would also cap the number of the stores continued on page 42



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Making An Impact On Their Community As many 7-Eleven franchisees across the country do, NCASEF Chairman and Central Valley FOA Vice President Sukhi Sandhu makes time to give back to the neighborhoods his stores serve. Recently he, his family and store team participated in two community events to lend their support and help brighten the day of attendees. The first was the “10K with a Cop” running event at the Stanislaus County Sheriff Training Resource facility in Modesto, California which Sukhi and his team have been involved with since every year since 2017. “10K with a Cop” helps strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the community, teaches kids self-discipline, and increases health and wellness through physical fitness. Sukhi, his family and his 7-Eleven store team and their families passed out waters, bananas, and nutritional bars to not only runners but nonparticipants, families, kids, and community residents. The next event was an Open House at Tuolumne Elementary School in Modesto. Again, Sukhi’s team was there to help pass out hot dogs, chips, and waters to parents, students, and faculty. “Being a responsible business owner and making an impact on our communities is at the core of not only what we do as small business owners, but also I sincerely enjoy doing it and helping out any human being in any way I can,” said Sukhi.



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Member News continued from page 13

to categories like Coffee, Energy Drinks, and Prepackaged Food, which all performed exceptionally well in the daypart. The shares for food and beverage categories were up year-over-year while tobacco and alcohol trip missions were down. Key growth categories included refreshing beverages like Sports Drinks (+24 percent share) and Water (+13 percent), snacks like Cereal Bars (+15 percent), Meat Snacks (+12 percent) and Candy (+9 percent), as well as fresh food options like Roller Grill (+13 percent) and Prepackaged food (+6 percent). Their gain reduced the dominance of categories that held up through the pandemic like Cigarettes (-7 percent) and Beer (-6 percent).

Job Quits Remain High Americans continued to quit their jobs at an aggressive pace in February, underscoring how persistent turmoil in the labor market has made it difficult for employers to fill open positions, reported Fox Business. The Labor Department said that 4.4 million Americans, or about 2.9 percent of the workforce, quit their jobs in February. That’s down from the previous high of 4.5 million in November, but well above the pre-pandemic level of about 3.6 million. Meanwhile, the number of job openings fell slightly to 11.3 million by the end of February—the third-highest level on record. The data em-

phasizes how newly empowered workers are quitting their jobs in favor of better wages, working conditions and hours as businesses lure new workers with higher salaries. As a result, Americans’ incomes are rising across the board as employers have ramped up hiring to offset the losses.

Gas Prices This Summer To Be The Highest Since 2014 A new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that the retail price of regular-grade gasoline will average $3.84 per gallon in the United States this summer, the highest since summer 2014. In addition, the department forecasts that U.S.

“The retail price of regulargrade gasoline will average $3.84 per gallon this summer, the highest since summer 2014.” consumption of gasoline will increase this summer but remain less than during the pre-pandemic summer of 2019. As a result, the Energy Information Administration estimates that the average U.S. household will spend about $2,945 on gasoline in 2022, which, in real terms, is $455 (18 percent) more than in 2021.

Visa & Mastercard Asked To Cancel Swipe Fee Increases The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently joined with a group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers to urge Visa and

Mastercard to cancel credit card swipe fee increases scheduled to take effect in April, saying higher fees would add to inflation. On April 15, Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Illinois), and Representatives Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) and Peter Welch (D-Vermont) sent a letter to Visa and Mastercard asking that they withdraw plans to implement a package of swipe fee increases. The estimated $1.2 billion in increases were scheduled to take effect in April 2021 but were postponed by a year after Durbin and Welch said they were ill-timed as the economy was struggling to recover from the pandemic. Visa, Mastercard and the banks that issue their cards charged retailers $77.5 billion in credit card swipe fees last year and $28.1 billion in debit card swipe fees, the letter said. Swipe fees for all types and brands of cards totaled $137.8 billion in 2021, more than double the amount 10 years earlier, according to the Nilson Report. Swipe fees drive up consumer prices, amounting to more than $700 a year for the average American family, the NRF said.

Coin Circulation Issues Persist NACS and a coalition of retail and banking groups recently urged the federal government to use its resources to reinvigorate coin circulation within the United States, reported NACS Online. The groups sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen highlighting the problems both industries are experiencing in securing enough coins. “The consequences of a coin circulation slowdown fall hardest on consumers that do not have the ability to pay electronically. If retailers are not able to offer change for cash purchases consumers who rely on cash will be vulnerable,” wrote the groups in the letter. continued on page 41






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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





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Giving Back To Our Communities And Our Customers BY SUKHI SANDHU, NCASEF CHAIRMAN

As 7-Eleven franchisees, we not only provide our customers with the products and services they need, but we also support the communities our stores serve. We do this at the store level, at the local FOA level, and at the national level via the National Coalition. I feel it is very important to be active in our communities— whether it is via raising funds for a charity, sponsoring a little league sports team, or donating essentials like coats and backpacks to those children in our neighborhoods from less fortunate backgrounds. This type of involvement shows our customers, our business partners, our bureaucratic and political officials, everyone, that we are responsible businesspeople who care. NCASEF has a long history of charity fundraising via our golf tournaments and Charity Auction Night during our annual convention. This year, we have chosen Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) as our preferred charity moving forward. We were looking for a charity that was national but with local ties, and CMN Hospitals fit the bill perfectly. They have 170 children’s hospitals in their network in the United States and in Canada. The idea is that we organize charity golf tournaments during three of our quarterly Board meetings—plus our annual convention—so we can raise funds for this worthy organization. Depending on where the Board meeting is held, we will get the local

“My hope is that NCASEF can serve as a conduit to facilitate a relationship between local FOA leadership and the local CMN Hospitals people so they can develop and maintain an ongoing affiliation.” FOA involved, as well as the NCASEF Charity Golf Committee members and NCASEF officers. We will also invite CMN Hospitals representatives to attend, and ask them to find a

“This type of involvement shows our customers, our business partners, our bureaucratic and political officials, everyone, that we are responsible businesspeople who care.” local children’s hospital to be the beneficiary of our fundraising event. After the golf tournament, we will present the donation check to CMN

and local children’s hospital officials. In essence, we will be working with a national organization, but the impact is directly to the local community where we are holding our Board meeting and the money we raise isn’t going somewhere else. My hope is that NCASEF can serve as a conduit to facilitate a relationship between local FOA leadership and the local CMN Hospitals people so the FOA can maintain and have that ongoing relationship. I encourage all FOAs to support CMN Hospitals via your golf tournaments, trade shows, or other fundraising events. Beyond NCASEF’s charity of choice, we recently partnered up with SEI on a fundraising campaign in response to the humanitarian crisis brought on by the war in Ukraine (the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund). The news and images coming out of Ukraine are heartbreaking, and the 7-Eleven family felt we had to help out in some way. SEI started a Round-Up Campaign at the store level to get customers involved, which lasted a month and ended on April 28. In conjunction with that, NCASEF teamed with SEI to continued on page 21





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Giving Back To Our Communities And Our Customers continued from page 19

expand the campaign to allow FOAs, individual franchisees, and local store employees to raise and donate funds, with SEI matching that money dollarto-dollar up to $250,000. Results of that campaign will be available soon, but the numbers so far are promising. Our FOAs alone—28 in total from across the country—managed to raise $133,933, and I thank them for their contribution. At the store level, I know many franchisees participate in and support local events, fundraise for local charities and causes, and help out in times of crisis. My stores regularly participate in local events like the 10K with a Cop marathon, which helps fortify the relationship

between law enforcement and the community. We are also very involved with our local schools by fundraising for their programs, participating in their anti-bullying program, and happy to hand out water and snacks at many other school events. I would like to encourage you all to continue being active and contributing members of your communities, whether it’s through the CMN Hospitals charity, through sponsoring local events, or helping out in times of need. I know there are many franchisees out there who

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”

“I would like to encourage you all to continue being active and contributing members of your communities.” participate in many different ways in their local communities, and we would love to share your stories so the public realizes how much value we bring to our communities. We are not just running 7-Eleven stores, we are also GIVING BACK. 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 MARCH | APRIL 2022


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We Are More Than A Neighborhood Convenience Store BY JOE ROSSI, NCASEF EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIR

7-Eleven franchisees are more than just store operators, we’re active members of our communities. In a sense, we are the often-overlooked good neighbors—we’re seen, but not many people realize just how much we contribute to the community. Sure, our stores are known as the place to go for a refreshing Slurpee or Big Gulp on a hot summer day, but we’re also there to lend a helping hand when the situation calls. We do this by sponsoring local events, supporting law enforcement programs, and by raising funds for special causes or charities like cancer research and children’s hospitals, to name a few. Some of us look out for the most vulnerable people in our neighborhoods by providing them with free food or clothes. Others are involved with their local schools by setting up scholarships or by assisting with after-school programs. During times of natural disaster— be it hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or blizzards—our stores remain open to serve our community. When Texas was hit with an ice storm and subfreezing temperatures early last year and power was knocked out in most of the state, most Texas 7-Eleven stores remained open. Those with electricity set up phone charging stations for their customers to use, while others continued to operate even without electricity nor a functioning POS.

“Sure, our stores are known as the place to go for a refreshing Slurpee or Big Gulp on a hot summer day, but we’re also there to lend a helping hand when the situation calls.” During the Northern California wildfires of 2017, some 7-Eleven stores served as makeshift command posts for firefighters, and provided them with drinking water and food. More recently, we remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support our communities, health workers and first responders as much as we could. Franchisees worked many shifts in their stores throughout the pandemic as their employees became ill or abandoned them in favor of the generous unemployment benefits offered by the government. On a larger scale, we often team up with our franchisor to raise funds for American Red Cross disaster relief programs through in-store canister or round-up campaigns, as we recently did with the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund. In the past we’ve done this to help areas hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters, and we

“More recently, we remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support our communities, health workers and first responders as much as we could.”

will continue to do so. In these instances and many others—then, now, and in the future— 7-Eleven franchisees and our stores provide a necessary lifeline to our communities, which unfortunately often goes unrecognized by the public at large. But the officers of the NCASEF plan to change that, by publicizing our contributions on social media and other outlets for the public to see and take notice. We feel it’s important that everyone knows just how much we give back and how much value we bring to our neighborhoods.

“In the meantime, we should all continue the good work of being socially responsible members of our communities.” In the meantime, we should all continue the good work of being socially responsible members of our communities. As I wrote in my last article, we are not islands unto ourselves. We are at our best when we are helping others. JOE ROSSI CAN BE REACHED AT 312-501-4337 or joer@ncasef.com






The famous Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, who died nearly 2,500 years ago, is quoted as saying that change is the only constant in life. The internal paradox in this statement, using terms that are seemingly opposites, illustrates that change is an inevitable part of our personal and business lives. But it’s important not only to recognize these changes, but also

“One of the overall trends is that the system has become much more oriented towards company-owned stores and gasoline sales.” to consider their impact both short term and long term. Changes in the 7-Eleven system just over the last three years are very significant and have implications for the profitability and value of every franchisee in the system. One of the overall trends is that the system has become much more oriented towards company-owned stores and gasoline sales. The drivers of this change have been the successive acquisitions of the Sunoco and Speedway chains in 2018 and 2021, respectively, at a combined cost of more than $24 billion. For example, at the end of 2019 franchise stores represented 76 percent of the system, but by the end of 2021 that percentage had fallen to 56 percent. However, the number of stores in the United States with gasoline rose from 46 percent to 62 percent. See https://www.7andi.com/en/ir/file/library/ kh/pdf/2022_0407khe.pdf.

“The parent company of SEI is increasingly dependent on the convenience store business in general and its North American convenience store business, in particular.”

The result is that the share of SEI’s revenue from its portion of the gross profit split has fallen from about 9.5 percent in 2019 to 5.7 percent in 2021. The main driver of this change is the spike in company store revenue, primarily derived from the Speedway transaction. The bottom line is that SEI is increasingly dependent on company-owned stores and less reliant on the revenue and profit it derives from franchised stores. At the same time, SEI’s gross revenue from the sale of gasoline, both retail and wholesale, nearly doubled from 2019 to 2021, from $18.3 billion to $34.6 billion. For perspective, SEI’s gross revenue from gasoline in 2011 was about $9 billion. Similarly, the number of gallons sold also nearly doubled from 2019 to 2021. Not incidentally, SEI’s retail cents per gallon gross margin rose from 24.09¢ in 2019 to 34.85¢ in 2020 to 35.77¢ in 2021. That gross margin, as a percentage of revenue, rose from 9.1 percent in 2019 to 11.5 percent in 2021. The bottom line is that SEI is on its way to doubling its gasoline business, is

The parent company of SEI is increasingly dependent on the convenience store business in general and its North American convenience store business, in particular. The Medium-Term Management Plan issued by Seven & i on July 1, 2021called for a concentration of management resources on the U.S. and Japan convenience store business as a pillar of future growth, with specific goals for SEI of 15,000 stores, fresh food constituting 20 percent of revenue, 6,500 stores on 7NOW, and SEI eventually accounting for 50 percent of the cash flow of the worldwide convenience store business. In its most recent public filing, Seven & i projects that North America will soon account for nearly 60 percent of its revenue and 41 percent of its operating income. The North American operations continue to outperform 7-Eleven Japan. For 2021, SEI showed year-over-year increase in net income of 71.4 percent, while SEJ posted a reduction of 2.5 percent for its fiscal year ended February 28, 2022. Moreover, SEI stores posted a 7.4 percent increase in same store sales, while

“At the same time, SEI’s gross revenue from the sale of gasoline, both retail and wholesale, nearly doubled from 2019 to 2021, from $18.3 billion to $34.6 billion.” elevating its profit on that line of business and is increasingly dependent on the gasoline business to generate net income. The data also seems to show that SEI is more than willing to close unprofitable stores and stores which require too much capital investment to bring them up to current standards, and even more willing to purchase new stores, especially if they have gasoline stations. By the end of 2022, SEI is projecting that during the previous four-year period, it will have closed nearly 1,200 stores, or about one store every six days.

SEJ posted an increase of only 7/10 of 1 percent. On top of that, the merchandise gross profit of SEJ stores was 31.7 percent, compared to the U.S. stores at 34.2 percent on a blended basis. Finally, EBITDA for SEI exceeded that of SEJ, based in part on the incremental revenue and operating profit of the Speedway stores acquired on May 14, 2021. These and other related developments may well be reflected in the very recent public announcement by the parent company that it’s revamping its board of continued on page 26



Change Is The Only Constant continued from page 25

“The bottom line is that SEI is consistently outperforming SEJ and thus the parent company’s focus on North American operations will continue to grow.” directors to include more directors who are not part of management and are not Japanese. The announcement was carried in Convenience Store News on April 7, 2022. See https://www.csnews.com/7eleven-parent-revamp-board-directorsamid-activist-investor-pressure. The changes including having a majority of its board made up of outside directors, adding two women and three non-Japanese members, and reducing the number of

inside directors. The one thing that hasn’t changed materially is that U.S. stores continue to sell substantially less fast food and daily food then SEJ stores. For example, in 2021 those two categories represented about 16.5 percent of sales in the U.S., but amounted to more than 42 percent of sales for SEJ stores in FY 2022. There is some indication that there will be a push to at least narrow those differences in the future. The bottom line is that SEI is consistently outperforming SEJ and thus the parent company’s focus on North American operations will continue to grow as its dependence on North American operations for cash flow and profit increases.

As all franchisees are aware, the National Coalition is earnestly seeking a reset of the relationship between the organization and the franchisor. It hopes to establish a more collaborative relationship based upon transparency and mutual respect, leading to material and measurable gains for franchisees. As your leaders pursue these goals, they are aware and they want you to be aware, of the shifting environment in which we are all operating. Only on a fully informed basis can these goals of the National Coalition be realized.

ERIC H. KARP CAN BE REACHED AT 617-423-7250 or ekarp@wkwrlaw.com

New Products Highlight The Southern California FOA Trade Show The Pasadena Convention Center in California was packed to the gills on April 6 with franchisees and vendors alike at the Southern California FOA’s annual Trade Show. There were close to 400 franchisees in attendance, including from various California FOAs, as well as SEI’s local team. The event featured 90 exhibitor booths, and many vendors launched new products at the show. There were also lots of raffle prizes—including cash—worth more than $50,000. Entries to the raffle giveaways were garnered by placing orders. During the event, Southern California FOA Board members donated $21,711 to the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund. The trade show was a huge successful for both franchisees and exhibiting vendors.




There is always a period of adjustment It took tremendous courage from after the long hard battles of a war. There the SEI c-suite to re-enter the arena of are many injuries on both sides—the peaceful conversation with the franchisee mental, emotional, and physical wounds community. This paved a path that now that run deep into the culture. However, allows the NCASEF head table to assist the future looks brighter afterwards, and in resolving the many issues that are hope becomes the currency of peace. hurting the morale and finances of all store As our new NCASEF leadership operators in our system. The stacking of has started the process of building a the NBLC with FOA leaders from around constructive relationship with 7-Eleven, the country gives the elected leadership Inc. after many years of conflict, there of the franchisee community a direct is renewed hope that together we can role and unfiltered access to the decisionovercome the new challenges in our makers at SEI. The power and efficiency of industry. I personally want to extend my the NBLC will be enhanced by providing gratitude to our leadership at the NCASEF, who were elected by the Board of “The stacking of the NBLC with FOA leaders from around the country Directors representing the FOAs from around our gives the elected leadership of the nation. I am very grateful franchisee community a direct for the chance at peace role and unfiltered access to the and renewed focus on decision-makers at SEI.” overcoming the hardships of the future as a team with SEI leadership. Together we can defeat the common enemy known near real-time feedback for all the current as the Marketplace. We have to face the and future programs being developed by realities of this post-COVID world where our franchisor. By having a role in the there are battles being fought daily in every decision-making process, the NBLC and market and every location. NCASEF together will be able to find

“By having a role in the decisionmaking process, the NBLC and NCASEF together will be able to find solutions to the many issues our model faces.”

“I am very grateful for the chance at peace and renewed focus on overcoming the hardships of the future as a team with SEI leadership.” solutions to the many issues our model faces. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if the right people with the right motives were involved in the many new programs being deployed to our stores. Would the outcome have been less painful and less disruptive if there was more collaboration with the operations side of the business model, i.e., franchisees? I tend to imagine the pre-development and post rollout discussions would have been more accurately focused on the needs and wants of the actual store operators as opposed to the software engineers’ and development managers’ timelines. I wonder if the system designs would have been more robust. Perhaps the programs would have been made to be a better fit in many of the current stores’ hardware and communication infrastructure with more franchisee input. Only the future is unwritten. The past is history, and the present is a gift. And for this gift I am thankful to all those who make it possible to work towards a common goal of making a great return on our investments. I just hope it will not be the dystopian vision of some futurists.

ARFAN “ART” FAROOQI CAN BE REACHED AT 813-786-1895 or dhsenergysales@gmail.com




s E f a o a a m c c

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INTRODUCTION What if you or one of your employees suffers a back injury and is unable to work? Employee back injuries can occur in the store from lifting, pushing or pulling, slip and falls, and repetitive motion. These injuries rarely occur from a single event, as it’s frequently an accumulation of small events over days and even years. Back injuries are one of the most costly injuries to businesses and are a common cause of workers’ compensation claims at 7-Eleven stores. The cost of a back injury can be significant because of medical bills, continuing therapy, lost time, and in serious cases the employee may need surgery or be unable to return to their regular duties. In general business, overexertion while handling objects resulted in $13.3 billion in costs in 2021. Common causes of back injuries include: 1. Improper technique while lifting or carrying. 2. Sudden motion or twisting. 3. Slip, trip, and fall. 4. Lack of fitness. 5. Poor posture when standing or bending.

“At MSIG-insured franchise stores, 16 percent of all injuries involved lifting as the basic source of claims.” Injury Claims - Lifting, Overexertion 70 60



50 40 30


20 10 0



2019 Count

$1,000,000 $900,000 $800,000 $700,000 $600,000 $570,230 $406,068 $500,000 $400,000 $300,000 $200,000 $100,000 $0 2020 2021 Cost

At MSIG-insured franchise stores, 16 percent of all injuries involved lifting as the basic source of claims. But the severity or medical/lost time costs are 35 percent of the total. The following chart demonstrates the patterns of lifting claims since 2017.

“Employee back injuries can occur in the store from lifting, pushing or pulling, slip and falls, and repetitive motion.”

Here are a few examples of franchisee store back injury cases: • Employee rotating milk cases—$102,237 • Employee lifting beverage cases in the cooler—$102,920 • Employee throwing trash into the dumpster—$172,425 • Employee lifting mop bucket—$7,610 Good storage with 5 g. in middle racks.

Dollie on floor and housekeeping.

Below are some common causes of back injuries in the stores: • Lifting bag in a box (BIB). • Moving cases of beer or soda. • Handling full trash bags, especially with wet coffee grounds. • Repetitive bending to the floor while stocking. • Standing at the register on a hard floor without a mat. • Pushing cases of milk inside the cooler. • Overhead reaching while stocking cooler or backroom.

Safe Lifting Guidelines • Plan the lift—where will the case or product go? • Check the load –is it as heavy or light as expected? • Know your limits—get help. • Get a good grip. • Bend your knees, not your waist. • Hold the item close (fully extended arms can increase the load by 10 times). • Move your feet—do not twist at the waist. • Avoid lifting heavier items (e.g. 5g. BIB) from below the knees or above the shoulders. • Wear sturdy shoes with a cushioned insole. Recommendations to Prevent Back Injuries 1. Train your employees in safe lifting, and encourage stretching and fitness. 2. Most employees should not lift more than 25 pounds without help. 3. Bag in a box—keep full boxes off the floor. 5 g. boxes should be placed above the knees and below the shoulders. continued on page 31





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Instructions • Visit www.convenience.org/AssociationMembers • Enter promo code 8DN423ZX when requested. • New applications will be reviewed, dues discount will be applied upon approval. • Renewals will process at the discounted dues automatically! Contact NACS for questions or support: Keith Harlow Director, Member Services kharlow@convenience.org 703.518.4206



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.


10. Keep crates stocked in the cooler 4 high or less. 11. Crates or case goods should be kept on the dollies in the cooler for easier movement. 12. Store dollies in a designated space or on a holder to prevent trip and falls. 13. A long-handled hook device should be used to limit reaching for lightweight items like cups. 14. Stocking lower shelves should be done

“Most employees should not lift more than 25 pounds without help.” 4. BIBs should be replaced during shifts with 2 employees. 5. Stock rooms and cooler should have clear space to allow for proper lifting/handling methods and to reduce reaching. 6. Add cameras in the vault and backroom to document an injury. 7. Incoming deliveries should be placed where employees can easily grasp and carry. 8. Make sure stacks of beverages are stable. 9. Encourage milk and other caseloads are delivered only 4 high.

Did You Know? • Most liquids weigh 8.3 pounds per gallon. • A 24-count of bottled beer weighs 35-40 pounds. • A 5 g. bag in a q box weighs 43 pounds. • 10 pounds at arm’s length puts almost 100 pounds of force on your lower back.

using a small chair or stool, or a knee pad on the floor to minimize bending. 15. Use a sturdy step stool to reach high shelves.

“A cushioned mat at the registers can improve back health and lessen fatigue.” 16. Trash bags should be emptied frequently, especially if there are wet coffee grounds. 17. Dumpsters should have a fold down side so employees don’t have to toss trash bags over the top. 18. Keep floors clean and dry— a slip can result in a back strain. 19. A cushioned mat at the registers can improve back health and lessen fatigue. If you need assistance with back injury prevention resources, please contact your broker, agent, or me, John Harp, at 908-6042951 or jharp@msigusa.com.

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

continued from page 15

cember it would close. Rite Aid has more than 2,400 retail pharmacy locations across 17 states. By comparison, CVS and Walgreens each have more than 9,000 stores. • Wawa recently announced the start of hiring efforts for the summer season with the goal of hiring close to 1,000 new associates for its stores in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The company said associates hired in full and part-time positions enjoy a starting wage of $15 per hour. The recruiting campaign launched on March 7 and will continue through the summer season. • Dollar General plans to create as many as 10,000 new jobs this year through expected new store, distribution center and private fleet growth, reported Footwear News. The retailer also plans to open 1,110 more stores this year, expanding both its Dollar General chain and its higher-end Popshelf format, which sells most merchandise for $5 or less. • M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the most popular candies in the U.S., according to candy subscription platform Candy Club. Reese’s and M&Ms are locked in a battle for #1 in yearly candy sales, swapping places depending on the survey. • NACS recently announced that Kyle McKeen has been named CEO of TruAge, the new digital solution that enhances current age-verification systems and protects user privacy. McKeen has decades of leadership in retail, including serving as president and CEO of Alon Brands, which owned and operated hundreds of convenience stores in Texas and New Mexico. • The total U.S. economic impact from marijuana sales in 2022 is expected to reach $99 billion—up more than 20 percent from last year—and upwards of $155 billion in 2026, reported MJ Biz Daily. • Circle K recently announced a fundraising campaign in support of those suffering from the conflict in Ukraine. The “You Donate, We Match” campaign invites customers to make a donation at the till of any of the 2,500 Circle K stores in the Baltics, Scandinavia, and Ireland, which will be matched with an identical donation by Circle K. • Dollar Tree will increase its inventory of consumable items this year and has plans to add 400 Family Dollar/Dollar Tree combo store formats to its portfolio this year, reported Progressive Grocer. • PepsiCo and Beyond Meat recently launched the first product from continued on page 43



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VENDORS: Join The NCASEF Affiliate Member Program


Register online at NCASEF.com

Board Presentations

If your company would like to present before the NCASEF Board of Directors at any of the remaining 2022 Board Meetings, contact Meeting and Trade Show Coordinator John Riggio at 262-394-5518 or johnr@jrplanners.com.

The Affiliate Member Program provides an excellent opportunity for vendor representatives to network and form new relationships with NCASEF Board members from around the country. The Program consists of two meetings per year—one in spring, and one in fall—where Affiliate Members can meet with the President and Vice President from each of the NCASEF’s 39 regional Franchise Owners Associations. Each FOA represents between 15 and 400 franchisee members, and each meeting includes presentations from the franchise community and/or industry executives, plus roundtable discussions, breakout sessions, and group social events that provide time for one-on-one networking. All Affiliate Members also receive the NCASEF’s list of FOA Presidents and Vice Presidents and their contact information. Each Affiliate Member can have up to two representatives at the meetings. During breakout sessions and roundtable discussions Affiliate Members can ask any question and bring up any topic before the group or among individual FOA leaders. Additionally, each Affiliate Member has the opportunity to purchase presentation time at any of the four annual NCASEF Board Meetings to present their latest and greatest products to the Board, and will be listed in Avanti Magazine’s Affiliate Member Directory. You can register for the Affiliate Member Program online by visiting https://ncasef.com/program-pages/vendor-affiliate-members/.


Franchisees: Call or email the representatives below if you have questions for them or simply want to speak to a representative from their company. Please note: This directory is current as of April 21, 2022.

5-Hour Energy

Accel Entertainment

Advantage Solutions

14150 Colt Chase Road Frisco TX 75035 972-948-2481 bmargheim@fivehour.com

140 Tower Drive Burr Ridge IL 60527 630-280-6119 teresar@accelentertainment. com

3425 Knob Oak Drive Grapevine TX 76051 512-632-1809 randy.watkins@advantagesolutions

Brad Margheim

Abbott Nutrition James Spencer

10115 Kingshyre Way Tampa FL 33647 813-295-3163 james.spencer@abbott.com 34

Teresa Radtke

Acosta Sales & Mktg Todd Mares

453 Monterey Dr. Rockwall TX 75087 972-835-0836 mmares@acosta.com


Randy Watkins

Altria Group Distribution James Duke

6601 W. Broad Street Richmond VA 23230

804-484-8151 407-375-0935 james.duke@altria.com

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. James Allred

13142 Terlingua Creek Drive Frisco TX 75033 601-209-5667 james.allred@anheuser-busch. com

Aon Risk Services Tonya Rosales

5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1400 Dallas TX 75244 214-989-2349 972-757-3322 214-989-2304 tonya.rosales@aon.com

AriZona Beverages Doreen Higney

1 Arizona Plaza, Suite 400 Woodbury NY 11797 516-812-0365 dhigney@drinkarizona.com

Aspire Brands Kyle Kulhanek

400 N May #301 Chicago IL 60642 630-460-1197 kylek@aspiredrinks.com

Atkinson-Crawford Sales Co. Scott Gibbons

11999 Plano Road, Suite 110 Dallas TX 75243 972-234-0947 214-923-4300 sgibbons@acsales.com

Bang Energy

Anayansi Ramirez

1600 North Park Dr Weston FL 33326 786-390-2043 anayansi.ramirez@bangenergy.com

Barbot Insurance Services John Barbot

9001 Grossmont Blvd #711 La Mesa CA 91941 619-337-0290 619-609-1882 619-337-2703 jcbarbot@barbotins.com

Big Ideas Marketing Marc Segal

2235 Sisson St Baltimore MD 21211 888-908-8697 443-277-0223 410-654-8792 marc@bigideasmarketing.com

Blue Triton Brands Erik Dube

1322 Crestside Drive Suite 100 Coppell TX 75019 203-241-2653 erik.dube@waters.nestle.com

Bon Appetit Mike Kawas

4850 E. 50th Street Vernon CA 90058 913-708-5526 323-584-1075 m.kawas@bonappetitbakery. com

Botanic Tonics LLC Jennifer Hunter

740 Kingman Ave Santa Monica CA 90402 512-983-4468 jhunter@botanictonics.com

Bug Juice International

Richard Hunsberger

5520 Wisdom Court Waco TX 76708 214-914-5531 rhunsberger@bugjuice.com

CAB Enterprises— Electrolit Kaitlin Pierce

300 Great Oaks Blvd, Suite 325 Albany NY 12203 817-333-4196 kaitlinopierce@outlook.com

Sabrina Crum

1617 Funny Cide Drive Waxhaw NC 28173 704-748-3530 sabrina_crum@campbells.com


Chris K. Perry

37 Belgrade Road Oakland ME 04963 407-921-2121 chris.perry@campofriofg.com

CENTR Brands Stacey Rivas

300-2318 Oak St Vancouver BC V6H 4J1 510-529-1988 srivas@centrcorp.com

Crossmark/Johnson & Johnson Paul Maione

917 Westwind Drive North Palm Beach FL 33408 908-797-2154 paul.maione1@crossmark.com

Molly Ferguson

12002 Airport Way Broomfield CO 80021 512-944-9799 molly.ferguson@danone.com


Aaron Steinbach

23902 Hartford Springs Trail Katy TX 77493 402-250-9985 aaron.steinbach@chobani.com


Myrna Hawkins

5800 Granite Pkwy, Suite #900 Plano TX 75024 214-244-9485 mbarronhawkins@coca-cola. com

Constellation Brands Tonya Huff


Kristin Carroll

4109 E 10th Ave, Ste 135 Denver CO 80220 214-232-9690 kristinc@drinkdefy.com

D.G. Yuengling and Son Karoline Las

2890 Telluride Loop, 305 Sarasota FL 34243 518-491-5124 klas@yuengling.com

Don’t Quit

10110 Robin Hill Lane Dallas TX 75238 469-585-5937 tonya.huff@cbrands.com

Kirk Hardwick

Core-Mark International

715 North Douglas Street, Suite B El Segundo CA 90245 214-676-1196 kirk@dontquit.com

3200 Hackberry Road 3E18G Irving TX 75063 972-750-6190 cladesich@core-mark.com

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream 1202 Lakewood Drive McKinney TX 75072 214-534-5721 chip.vineyard@us.nestle.com

Chris Ladesich

Calypso Lemonade

Crossmark Convenience

950 East Grantline Rd, Suite 400 Tracy CA 95304 415-637-9931 415-637-9958 Mike@baysidewirelessdist.com

851 W Grange Ave Milwaukee WI 53221 414-482-0303 208-851-2626 khickey@drinkcalypso.com

5100 Legacy Drive Plano TX 75024 469-814-1508 817-226-8678 972-803-9630 cheryl.tucker@crossmark.com

Kim Hickey


Danone North America

Bayside Wireless Mickeal Assaf



Cheryl Tucker

Chip Vineyard

continued on page 37





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Central Florida FOA Charity Golf Tournament & Trade Show The Central Florida FOA’s 9th Annual Charity Golf Tournament was held on March 28 at the renowned Orange County National Golf Course in Winter Garden, Florida. It was a beautiful spring day in Florida with a sellout crowd of 144 golfers participating. The event raised $15,711 for Swim Across America (SAA), all of which was donated to the John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg (each SAA charity swim is partnered with an academic or research hospital within the community that serves as the beneficiary). The following day, on March 29, the Central Florida FOA held its 9th Annual Trade Show at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld with 82 vendor booths. It was well attended by Central Florida FOA members. Also in attendance were SEI Vice President of Operations Southeast Zone Jim Summers, and members from the National Coalition, including Chairman Sukhi Sandhu, Treasurer Romy Singh and Vice Chair Teeto Shirajee. In addition, there were franchisees from both the South Florida FOA and United Franchise Owners of Florida in attendance.



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949-599-6105 paquino@heinekenusa.com


4050 Corporate Drive, Suite 100 Grapevine TX 76051 413-265-5054 david.read@ecolab.com

Hershey Company

Kenny’s Candy and Confections

David Read

Fairlife LLC

Jason Tomlinson

1001 W. Adams Street Chicago IL 60607 740-403-0885 jasont@fairlife.com

Ferrara Candy Taylor Condon

404 W. Harrison St., Suite 650 Chicago IL 60607 248-877-1847 Taylor.Devine@ferrarausa.com

Fiji Water

Patrick Haas

Abigail Milne

19 East Chocolate Ave Hershey PA 17033 727-743-3772 ammilne@hersheys.com

Hostess Brands Jackie Lawing

9030 County Road 2432 Terrell TX 75160 972-635-7523 940-368-4413 972-638-7523 jlawing@hostessbrands.com

Impact Sales & Marketing Diane Drew

11444 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 210 Los Angeles CA 90064 856-426-2775 patrick.haas@fijiwater.com

1851 Windmill Run Wimberley TX 78676 512-847-3284 512-563-3947 512-847-7284 ddrew@impact-sales.net


In Motion Design

2515 Freeland Court Naperville IL 60564 630-988-5908 tim.turner@fitvinewine.com

7314 Madison Street Paramount CA 90723 562-537-6898 anorouzi@in-motion-design. com

Tim Turner

Gaskets Unlimited Patrick Loo

3001 McCall Drive Atlanta GA 30340 877-542-7538 patrick@gasketsunlimited.com

Green Team Worldwide Environmental Group Miglena Minkova

65 Triangle Blvd Carlstadt NJ 07072 973-420-4634 miglena.minkova@greenteamworl

Amir Norouzi

Johnsonville Sausage Eugene Rech

PO Box 906 Sheboygan Falls WI 53085 920-453-6960 920-918-9102 920-453-2221 grech@johnsonville.com

JUUL Labs Lisa Lee

560 20th Street San Francisco CA 94123 706-570-0206 lisa.lee@juul.com

Heineken USA


222 W Las Colinas Blvd, 1675E Irving TX 75039

One Kellogg Square Battle Creek MI 49016

Paul Aquino

Christina Quintana




Stephen Ornell

109 Lakeside Drive Perham MN 56573 972-977-2446 sornell@klnfamilybrands.com

Lucas Oil Products

Keurig Dr Pepper

302 N Sheridan St Corona CA 92878 972-214-7120 mfeldman@lucasoil.com

5301 Legacy Drive Plano TX 75024 214-212-1232 tom.nawa@kdrp.com

Mad Tasty


4041 Macarthur Blvd, Suite 170 Newport Beach CA 92660 941-527-5749 dankelly@madtasty.com

5190 Shaw Lane Denton TX 76208 214-843-7012 linnea@drinkkoia.com

McLane Company Inc.

Tom Nawa

Daniel Kelly

Linnea Solbrook

Nick Bullard

4747 McLane Parkway Temple TX 76504 414-704-9392 nick.bullard@mclaneco.com

Lagunitas Brewing Company Michael Evans

1280 N McDowell Blvd Petaluma CA 94954 217-652-6147 michael.evans@lagunitas.com

L.A. Libations Daniel Stepper

1708 Walnut Manhattan Beach CA 90266 310-291-1713 818-279-0502 danny@lalbev.com

LifeMade Products Colt Bearden

6375 Lansdale Road Fort Worth TX 76116 817-538-8693 Colt.Bearden@lifemadeproducts.co

Marty Feldman

MegaMex Foods/ Hormel—Don Miguel Todd Ginley

333 S Anita Drive, Suite 1000 Orange CA 92868 714-385-4500 972-670-8875 twginley@mmxfoods.com

Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. Sydni Vaught

785 Sante Fe Trail Keller TX 76248

817-492-1200 svaught@mikeshard.com continued on page 38

Liquid Death

Rachel Ridenour

3898 Van Ness Lane Dallas TX 75220 214-558-2482 Rachel@liquiddeath.com




AFFILIATE MEMBERS Mini Melts of America William Allison

2540 Metropolitan Drive Trevose PA 19053 860-889-7300 267-975-0262 860-887-1033 bill@minimelts.com

Molson Coors Keith Smith

7800 North Dallas Parkway, Ste 400 Plano TX 75024 484-947-7696 312-496-2700 accts payable keith.smith@molsoncoors.com

MONSTER Energy Company Michael Pineiro

1 Monster Way Corona CA 92879 951-316-8635 michael.pineiro@monsterenergy.com

Morinaga America Raymond Gates

4 Park Plaza, Suite 750 Irvine CA 92614 518-812-4478 gates@morinaga-america.com

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Peter Doyle

7800 Will Rogers Blvd Fort Worth TX 76140 713-682-8250 832-725-1749 713-682-0530 pdoyle@mother-parkers.com


KC Ann Hansen

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908-928-4090 908-251-3863 kchansen@msigusa.com

Napjitsu Inc. Austin Allen

109 Stratford Reserve Place Austin TX 78746 813-777-2044 austin@napjitsu.com

Nepa Wholesale Zahid Anwar

8445 NW 62nd Place Parkland FL 33067 954-465-6896 zahid711@gmail.com


Justin Finn

9977 N 90th Street, Suite 160 Scottsdale AZ 85258 609-903-3678 jfinn@njoy.com


Jaswinder Singh

3133 Osgood Ct Fremont CA 94539 916-430-6771 jassi@drinkpath.com

Payality Powered by Payroll People Bettye Smith

2152 E Copper Ave, #105 Fresno CA 93730 559-251-9060 bsmith@payrollpeople.com

414-807-4765 lenzk@rjrt.com

10 Bank Street, 10th Floor White Plains NY 10606 201-681-1157 bryan.baker@pladisglobal. com

Som Sleep

Bryan Baker

Promotion In Motion, Inc. Scott Abajian

23652 Meadcliff Pl Diamond Bar CA 91765 909-717-3775 sabajian@promotioninmotion. com

Red Bull North America Amanda Pomorski

PepsiCo, Inc.

35 Red Oak Drive Coatesville PA 19320 717-286-6478 amanda.pomorski@redbull. com

7701 Legacy Drive Plano TX 75024 407-461-1243 Marla.Daudelin@pepsico.com


Perfetti Van Melle

1016 Mopac Circle ST. 201 Austin TX 78746 847-602-6005 bobby@chewrevgum.com

3645 Turfway Road Erlanger KY 41018 760-807-5113 brittany.edwards@perfettivanmelle

RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co./RAI TMS

Marla Daudelin

Brittany Edwards

15303 Dallas Parkway, Suite 1300 Addison TX 75001 38



Robert Salerno

Katherine Bone

4601 Silo Hills Drive Springfield MO 65802

Abdul Khan

5029 Auckland Avenue North Hollywood CA 91601 415-203-1514 abdul@getsom.com

SRP Companies Jack Claiborne

15 N. 1800 West Lindon UT 84042 407-412-8563 jack.claiborne@srpcompanies. com

Stewart’s Enterprises

Ralph Talamantez

716 Newman Springs Rd., Ste 246 Lincroft NJ 07738 916-622-4188 ralph.talamantez@stewartspiked.com

Storck USA

Tony Harper 8809 E. Long Court Centennial CO 80112 312-494-5912 312-256-3745 312-494-7912 tony.harper@us.storck.com

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Swedish Match North America Aaron H. Choate

403 Wellington Court Southlake TX 76092 817-312-2017 877-860-7481 aaron.choate@swedishmatch. com

Swisher International Brett Anthony

4354 E. Kentbrook Dr. Springfield MO 65802 904-598-4642 banthony@swisher.com

Takeover Industries Mike Costello

119 E. Union Street, Suite B Pasadena CA 91103 630-328-9999 mike.c@takeoverind.com


R. Brian Bycott

7668 Warren Parkway Frisco TX 75034 214-455-6565 Robert.Bycott@t-mobile.com

Turning Point Brands George Cooper

610 Tall Oaks Court Centerton AR 72719 479-224-9763 gcooper@tpbi.com

Twang Partners Heath Chapman

6255 WT Montgomery San Antonio TX 78252 809-508-8095 512-773-6621 hchapman@twang.com

Ultimate Sales & Services Beth Coldsmith

613 Stephenson Ave. Suite 101 Savannah GA 31405 512-657-4317 bcoldsmith@ultimate-sales. com

UPTIME Energy Inc. Vincent Palmieri

8000 Woodley Avenue Van Nuys CA 91406 661-210-9787 vpalmieri@uptimeenergy.com


AFFILIATE MEMBERS Vixxo Corporation Regina Coleman

7000 E Shea Blvd Ste H1970 Scottsdale AZ 85254 925-756-7075 916-217-5130 regina.coleman@vixxo.com

Vita Coco

Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds

250 Park Ave South, 7th Floor New York NY 10003 718-614-8592 tpuntoompoti@vitacoco.com

1063 Enchanted Rock Drive Allen TX 75013 310-633-4293 jessica.butler@wonderful.com

Tom Puntoompoti

Jessica Butler

Change Kids’ Health to Change the Future. Children’s hospitals are on the frontlines when it comes to protecting the health of future generations. But they can’t do it alone. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises critical funds for 170 member hospitals across the United States and Canada to help fulfill their most urgent needs.

cmnhospitals.org AVANTI MARCH | APRIL 2022




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Member News continued from page 17

“A coalition of retail and banking groups recently urged the federal government to reinvigorate coin circulation within the United States.”

The Federal Reserve through its U.S. Coin Task force did launch a public campaign encouraging each participant in the ecosystem to do their part to get coins back into circulation, and in late 2020 and early 2021 coin circulation improved so much that the Federal Reserve lifted its restrictions on coin orders by financial institutions. However, since then, coin circulation has slowed, and coins are being rationed once more.

Chocolate & Candy Sales Hit All-Time High In 2021, chocolate and candy sales were up 11 percent over 2020, and up 15.4 percent over 2019 as consumers increasingly focused on seasonal celebrations, sharing and gifting, and emotional well-being, according to the third annual State of Treating report published by the National Confectioners Association. The total confectionery category hit $36.9 billion in retail sales in 2021 and is projected to reach $44.9 billion in sales by 2026. Key findings from the report include: • Sales of chocolate grew 9.2 percent, and non-chocolate grew by 14.5 percent. • 71 percent of consumers mostly purchase chocolate and candy at their primary grocery store. • 66 percent of consumers research candy usage occasions on social media.

• 78 percent of all adults believe it is perfectly fine to occasionally treat with chocolate or candy. • 88 percent share with family and friends at least half the time when buying chocolate and candy. • 72 percent of consumers agree that it is important for chocolate and candy brands to offer portion size variety.

Couche-Tard’s Net Earnings Increase

For its third quarter ended January 30, 2022, Circle K parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. reported net earnings of $746.4 million, compared with $607.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2021. The company said its total merchandise and service revenues were $4.8 billion, an increase of 5.8 percent. Same-store merchanSome Walmart Stores dise revenues increased 3.7 percent in the Stop Selling Cigarettes United States, 7.2 percent in Europe and other regions, and decreased 0.8 percent in CanWalmart is ending cigarette sales in some ada. Merchandise and service gross margin U.S. stores after years of debate within the increased 1.0 percent in the United States retail company’s leadership ranks about the to 33.6 percent, 0.2 percent in Canada to sale of tobacco products, reported the Wall 31.6 percent, and decreased 0.7 percent in Europe and other regions to 37.8 per“Walmart is ending cigarette sales in cent, which was impacted by various markets, including some stores the integration of Circle K in California, Florida, Arkansas and Hong Kong. Same-store road New Mexico.” transportation fuel volume increased 3.2 percent in the United States, 3.2 percent in Europe and other regions, and 7.2 percent in Street Journal. Cigarettes are being removed Canada. in various markets, including some stores in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico. In some of these stores, Walmart has rolled out a design with more self-checkout Lawmakers Help Small registers, as well as other items such as grBusinesses With ERTC Issues ab-and-go food or candy sold near the front of stores in place of tobacco products. Top During a Senate Finance Committee hearcompany executives decided to start moving ing recently, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan out of the category in some locations before (D-NH) pressed IRS Commissioner Charles the COVID-19 pandemic, according to WSJ Rettig on the IRS’s delays in issuing the Emsources. At Walmart, sales of cigarettes are ployee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which generally less profitable than some other is hurting small businesses. In response, items sold near the front of stores Commissioner Rettig said the agency has such as candy, the article states. prioritized the filing of these tax credits and has expanded mandatory overtime so that employees can process the necessary forms. continued on page 46



Member News continued from page 15

Legislative Update statewide, require them to use ID scanners, triple the number of annual store inspections and mandate all products sold to have unique ID numbers. In a March 16 meeting, the Colorado House of Representative’s Health and Insurance committee approved pushing back the implementation date from July 2022 to January 2024 and banning sale of all synthetic nicotine. MAINE • Brunswick—The Town Council is considering a proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. The proposal covers any tobacco and nicotine product that tastes or smells like non-tobacco products, including fruit, mint and chocolate. • Portland—The Portland City Council unanimously approved a ban on flavored tobacco products, which goes into effect on June 1. TEXAS



• Houston—The Houston City Council approved an ordinance banning the use of electronic cigarettes and vapor products in a public space or workplace, within 25 feet of a building entrance or exit, or in outdoor arenas and public transit stops.

New Utah Law Takes Some Hard Seltzers Out Of C-Stores A new bill that recently passed the Utah Legislature will cut the number of hard seltzers available on convenience and grocery store shelves in half, reported the Associated Press. The clampdown is aimed at drinks containing commonly used food flavorings that have trace amounts of ethyl alcohol, making certain seltzer flavors technically illegal to sell in Utah grocery and convenience stores. Up to 39 of the 80 approved types of hard seltzers—including some made by well-known brands like Truly, Coors and Bud Light— continued on next page

Member News continued from previous page

Legislative Update would likely have to go, as well as hard kombuchas. The bill must still be signed by Republican Utah Governor Spencer Cox, who said he has no plans to veto it. Lawmakers have said stores would be given six months to comply, softening the impact of the changes. Under the new law, the seltzers could still be sold in state-owned liquor stores, which are the only legal outlets for wine and spirits in Utah. But limited shelf space means that some varieties could disappear from the state altogether.

New Jersey’s Plastic Bag Ban Includes Paper Bags New Jersey’s upcoming single-use plastic bag ban law goes further than any other state by including paper bags, reported NJ.com. However, while paper bags are banned in supermarkets they’re still allowed in the majority of stores and businesses, like convenience stores. Starting on May 4, 2022, almost all stores in New Jersey will be banned from using plastic bags at the registers, and grocery stores will be banned from using both paper and plastic bags at registers. Not only can they not hand them out to customers, but they can’t charge for them either. Instead, stores can either give away or sell reusable bags, or customers can bring their own bags. Convenience stores or neighborhood bodegas are not considered “small grocery stores” and have their own category in the state rules, so they can still give out paper bags.

Senate Bill Would Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent The U.S. Senate recently passed legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023, ending the twice-annual changing of clocks in a move promoted by supporters advocating brighter afternoons and more economic activity, reported

Reuters. The Senate “THE U.S. SENATE RECENTLY approved the measure, PASSED LEGISLATION THAT WOULD called the Sunshine MAKE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME PERProtection Act, unanimously by voice vote. MANENT STARTING IN 2023.” The House of Representatives, which has held a committee hearing on the matter, must still pass the bill before it can go to President Joe Biden to sign. The White House has not said whether Biden supports it. Senator Marco Rubio, one of the bill’s sponsors, said supporters agreed the change would not take place until November 2023 after input from airlines and broadcasters. The National Association of Convenience Stores opposes the change, telling Congress “we should not have kids going to school in the dark.”

FDA Proposes Ban On Menthol In Cigarettes & Cigars The FDA recently released its long-awaited plan to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, reported the Associated Press. The agency said eliminating menthol cigarettes could prevent between 300,000 and 650,000 smoking deaths over 40 years. The FDA said it will also seek to ban menthol and dozens of other flavors like grape and strawberry from cigars, which are increasingly popular with young people. The agency’s proposals on both cigarettes and cigars are only initial drafts and are unlikely to be finalized before next year. Companies would then have one additional year to phase out their products. Tobacco industry lawsuits could delay the prohibition for several more years, according to experts. For now, FDA leaders said they will take comments for two months and then proceed “as expeditiously as possible.”

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their Planet Partnership joint venture—Beyond Meat Jerky, reported Market Watch. The plant-based beef jerky snack is available in Original, Hot & Spicy, and Teriyaki flavors and can be found in convenience and grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and other retail channels. • The American Airlines Center sports arena in Dallas recently announced the opening of two new autonomous, frictionless food and beverage markets. Powered by autonomous retail technology from Standard AI and mobile payment technology from SpotOn, the Market To-Go shops are among the first

food and beverage destinations at a North American sports venue that fully integrate AI and mobile payments for an autonomous experience. • FedEx will soon begin testing a 1,900-pound autonomous drone for “middle mile” transport from hub to hub, reported Popular Science. The aircraft, made by drone company Elroy Air, measures about 27 feet across and 19 feet long, can carry about 300 to 500 pounds in a pod below its belly, and has a range of some 300 miles. • Technology developed by Walmart helped the retailer identify and freeze nearly $4 million in gift cards that had been continued on page 47







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Member News continued from page 41

The Senator went on to press the Commissioner on the need to provide greater flexibility for businesses—such as by waiving relevant penalties—so they can time the payment of their taxes with receiving the delayed ERTC. Congress created the ERTC on a bipartisan basis to help employers struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020 and 2021, this refundable payroll tax credit covered a share of eligible wages and other compensation provided to employees by the hardest-hit small businesses. However, the IRS still has not sent out ERTC payments for many businesses due to the current backlog of unprocessed tax returns at the IRS. Small businesses need this relief, and the IRS should take all possible steps to provide ERTC payments as rapidly as possible, Senator Hassan said in a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commissioner Rettig. On April 18, the IRS issued a statement saying small businesses will be relieved of penalties if they have not received their ERTC provided “they can show reasonable cause and not willful neglect for the failure to pay.”

Customers Prefer A Good C-Store Experience Despite price sensitivity at the pump, both consumers and convenience retailers agree

that drivers are willing to go out of their way to visit the c-store they prefer instead of shop for the lowest price, according to the results of two new surveys released by NACS. The 2022 NACS Consumer Fuels Survey found that 74 percent of drivers say they will drive five minutes out of their way to go to the store they prefer, contrasted with 64 percent who say they would drive five minutes out of their way to save five cents per gallon. Similarly, the Q2 2022 NACS Pulse Survey found that 75 percent of convenience retailers believe consumers would drive five minutes out of their way to go to the store they prefer, while 67 percent say consumers would drive five minutes out of their way to save five cents

“Seventy-four percent of customers say they will drive five minutes out of their way to go to the convenience store they prefer.” per gallon. The retailer and consumer surveys also found similarities for the top reasons customers select a place to shop: speed of service, friendly customer service and care for their community.

Seven & i To Reorganize Its Board Seven & i Holdings plans to revamp its board of directors as it seeks to accelerate overseas growth, reported Reuters. The company said in a statement it would name two female and three non-Japanese nominees to the new roles of independent outside directors, making external members the majority in its board composition. The reorganization is intended to add diversity and bring in new skills as the company pursues growth outside Japan, the company said. On April 19, Seven & i announced that it had nominated Eliz-

abeth Miin Meyerdirk, a founding member of Uber Eats, to join its board of directors pending approval from shareholders at a May 26 annual meeting. Seven & i added that it would continue reforms of its business portfolio, and is in final negotiations to sell its struggling Sogo & Seibu department store unit. The company also rebuffed calls from some shareholders to sell its less-profitable superstore business, stating that the convenience store business can take advantage of the superstore’s supply chain and its ability to procure products.

Supply Chain Disruptions Continue While the Omicron variant has largely come and gone in the U.S. and many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted around the country, several issues continue to affect the supply chain, with other challenges expected later this year, reported the National Retail Federation (NRF). In March, China announced a new round of lockdowns because of a COVID-19 outbreak. This affected key manufacturing and shipping hubs, including Shanghai and Shenzhen, which are critical for many retailers. Additionally, consumer demand will continue to be strong in 2022 and will put additional pressure on the supply chain as retailers try to keep up. The war in Ukraine and economic sanctions against Russia continue to hammer the Russian economy, with many U.S. companies pulling their operations and investments out of the country. Some of these actions are having both direct and indirect impacts on the supply chain. Lastly, retailers are already planning for potential additional disruptions due to labor negotiations on a new West Coast ports labor contract. The current contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the continued on next page



Member News

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bought by thousands of primarily elderly victims at the direction of con artists who duped them, reported CNBC. The U.S. Department of Justice, after being notified by Walmart, recently seized that money through a federal court action in Arkansas. Now victims of the frauds can claim the money. • Pilot Company is spending $1 billion to transform 400 of its Pilot Flying J truck stops into more welcoming, clean and comfortable spaces, reported the Knoxville News Sentinel. More than 50 Pilot locations across North America will be renovated in 2022, the first phase of a three-year overhaul. • Sixty-six percent of U.S. consumers are now drinking coffee daily, the most in about five years, reported Bloomberg Business, citing a National Coffee Association survey. Driving the gains are coffee lovers age 40 and up who are heading back to the office. By comparison, just 58 percent of Americans were daily coffee drinkers in 2021 and 63 percent in 2020. • RoboBurger, the world’s first fully autonomous robotic burger chef in a vending machine format, was recently launched at the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City, New Jersey. This restaurant in miniature cooks restaurant-quality freshly grilled burgers from scratch, and it will soon be heading to airports, malls, colleges, offices, factories, and military bases across the country. • Target is raising its starting wage for workers in some positions to up to $24, reported CNN Business. In 2020, the retailer set its minimum wage at $15—which will remain in place—but Target said some workers will qualify for higher starting pay based on the nature of their job and the prevailing competitive wages in their local market. • Bitcoin Depot recently became the first cryptocurrency ATM operator to deploy 7,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. and Canada. Last year, Bitcoin Depot launched an exclusive partnership with Circle K as BTC ATM expansion continues into the mainstream market. • A new report by Edge by Ascential predicts that $2.4 trillion in gross merchandise value will move online worldwide between 2021 and 2026, more than double the amount generated by all of the leading store-based channels. Edge by Ascential also expects online retail to account for almost 40 percent of global retail sales by 2026. • Honda and General Motors are teaming up to build electric cars that cost less than $30,000, reported CNN Business. All of the vehicles will rely on a shared battery architecture, but they will be continue to be branded distinctly as either GM or Honda cars. • McLane Company recently hosted its second annual National Hiring Day with the aim of hiring more than continued on page 49

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Pacific Maritime Association is set to expire on July 1.

es, amounting to more than $700 a year for the average American family.

House Committee Asked To Investigate Swipe Fees

Food Prices To Continue Increasing

The Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC) recently asked the House Financial Services Committee to go beyond overdraft fees as it looks into bank fees “costing consumers billions,” stating that credit and debit card swipe fees should be considered as well. “MPC applauds the committee’s action, but we believe a full examination of ‘fees costing consumers billions’ should also include the billions of dollars big banks and card companies charge to process credit and debit card transactions,” the organization said. “The banking industry collects seven times as much in swipe fees as it does in overdraft fees and the impact on American families is far more widespread. Swipe fees are a hidden tax paid every day by almost all American consumers, not just those who overdraw their accounts.” MPC asked the committee to investigate “the broken and uncompetitive market in which swipe fees are set,” noting that Visa and Mastercard centrally price-fix the swipe fees charged by banks that issue their cards. The banks then all charge the same fees rather than competing to give merchants and consumers the best deal. Merchants paid $110.3 billion in credit and debit card swipe fees in 2020, according to the Nilson Report. By comparison, overdraft fees totaled $15.5 billion in 2019, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. At an average of just over 2 percent of the transaction amount, U.S. credit card swipe fees are the highest in the industrialized world. Swipe fees are most merchants’ highest operating cost after labor and drive up consumer pric-

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released an update to its Food Price Outlook for 2022 and found that nearly every food item is going up in price, reported NPR. That’s on top of the price increases consumers have already been forced to endure in the last year. The USDA’s most recent Economic Research Service predicted that all food prices will increase between 4.5 and 5.5 percent. As for take-out or dine-in menus, the USDA said those prices are expected to go up between 5.5 and 6.5 percent for the remainder of this year. Additionally, food prices climbed 7.9 percent for the year ending in February 2022. A closer look at various food categories show just how expensive shoppers can expect items to get: • Beef and veal: +16.2 percent • Pork: +14 percent • Poultry: +12.5 percent • Fish and seafood: +10.4 percent • Eggs: +11.4 percent • Dairy: +5.2 percent • Fats and oils: +11.7 percent • Fresh fruits: +10.6 percent • Fresh vegetables: +4.3 percent • Processed fruits and vegetables: +7.6 percent • Sugars and sweets: +7 percent • Cereals and bakery products: +7.8 percent

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Member News continued from page 47

Store Brand Sales Hit Record High

cent over the last five months of 2021. Overall, store brand dollar sales grew 1 percent to a record $199 billion in all U.S. retail channels in 2021, according to the report, based on IRI data. Private brand dollar share last year was 17.7 percent, while unit share came in at 19.6 percent. Both represent increases over a three-year period. In the eight largest departments covered by IRI, private label grew in six. In the largest

Store brand sales picked up in 2022 right where they left off at the end of last year, growing 4.2 percent in dollar volume across all U.S. retailing channels in the month of January, compared to the same period in 2021. The increase was about equal to the 4.4 percent growth of national brands, according to IRI data provided to the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). Last “Store brand sales grew 4.2 year was a roller coaster ride for percent in dollar volume across store brands. Sales were up, then all U.S. retailing channels in the down, but finished strong, with month of January.” increases averaging about 5 per- 1 1/28/22 3:26 PM Dreyers OREO ad 2-22 FINAL.pdf

category—refrigerated foods—store brands increased by 0.7 percent, followed by general merchandise (+1.7 percent), health care products (+0.2 percent), frozen (+0.8 percent), produce (+11.4 percent), and beverages (+2.7 percent). The figures reveal that the U.S. store brand market in 2021 was able to retain the unprecedented, COVID-fueled, double-digit sales gains from 2020.

Shoppers Are Redeeming More Digital Coupons Digital coupons held a 34 percent share of redemption versus free-standing inserts (FSIs), which came in second at 24 percent, continued on next page

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Member News

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2,000 people for career opportunities as drivers or as warehouse teammates. The company said it has full- and part-time roles available for qualified applicants aged 18 and older for warehouse and 21 and older for drivers, including overnight and daytime jobs. • Walgreens is opening robot-powered micro-fulfillment centers across the U.S. to fill customers’ prescriptions as the role of stores and pharmacists change, reported CNBC. The drugstore chain plans to open 22 facilities across the country. By 2025, as much as half of Walgreens’ total prescription volume could be filled at the automated hubs. • Grubhub announced it has teamed with real-time grocery delivery service Buyk to bring ultrafast grocery delivery to the Grubhub marketplace through Buyk and Grubhub branded concepts. More than 2,000 grocery and convenience items from local and national vendors, as well as Buyk’s own private label products, will be available for purchase and delivery in 15 minutes or less. • Mall pizza chain Sbarro announced plans to open over 100 new locations inside convenience stores across the U.S. and United Kingdom in 2022. The company said it has established key franchise relationships with ARKO Corp’s GPM Investments, EuroGarages, EG America and Travel Centers of America to achieve its goal. • The city of Baltimore, Maryland is experiencing a spike in robberies, and convenience stores appear to be a favorite target of the criminals, reported the Associated Press. Robberies of convenience stores have jumped 300 percent, with more than 80 so far this year. • In response to the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine, Alimentation CoucheTard recently announced that it suspended its Circle K operations in Russia and implemented plans to “take care of its employees in a responsible and safe manner.” • White Castle plans to install Miso Robotics’ Flippy 2 hamburger cookers in 100 locations, reported Today.com. The burger chain has been experimenting with the robotic fry cook since September 2020. • Instacart recently launched its new Instacart Platform, which offers customers 15-minute grocery delivery and gives retailers direct access to Instacart’s consumer technology and the ability to use them in-house. Publix Super Markets and ALDI are among the retailers implementing features from Instacart Platform, including customized e-commerce storefronts and digital advertising. • Hostess Brands recently announced that it has redesigned and modernized its corporate brand identity. To reflect its differentiated position in the category, the company said it wanted to explore a new corporate identity that reflects its progressive, disciplined business model, agile spirit and growth mindset. There is continued on page 52

according to Inmar Intelligence’s 2022 Promotion Industry Analysis. This is the second year in a row that digital coupons have led in redemptions. Nearly one-third of shoppers increased their coupon usage in 2021 and 54 percent did so because of financial pressures. It’s clear the pandemic and inflation surges throughout 2021 continue to adversely impact shoppers, the report states. Based on the Promotion Industry Analysis, these shoppers are turning to digital coupons over other savings options, with 72 percent of shoppers reporting they used a digital coupon in-store. In fact, there was a 13 percent increase in digital coupon redemption in 2021, as inflation started to take hold. Brands reacted swiftly to the heightened shopper demand and increased digital coupon distribution by 28 percent in 2021.

Court Rules Franchisees Can Be Considered Employees The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that 7-Eleven franchisees can be considered employees, allowing them to be covered by state labor laws regarding wages, overtime, and other employment protections, reported the Boston Globe. The decision overturns a ruling in U.S. District Court that the Federal Trade Commission’s franchise rule conflicted with the state’s independent contractor statute to determine if workers are employees, and therefore the statute didn’t apply to 7-Eleven franchisees. Following the high court’s decision, Massachusetts 7-Eleven franchise owners can now proceed with their case in district

court and seek damages from the parent company for being misclassified. The ruling opens the door for any franchise owners in Massachusetts, including for other companies such as Dunkin’ and McDonald’s, to argue that they are employees.

Visa Cuts Swipe Fees For U.S. Small Businesses Visa recently lowered swipe fees for small businesses in the United States by 10 percent to help merchants recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Reuters. Visa, the world’s largest payment processor, reduced swipe fees for both online and in-person consumer credit transactions for 90 percent of U.S. businesses, according to a document obtained by the news agency. The changes apply to merchants with $250,000 or less in Visa consumer credit volumes, according to a source familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the document is confidential. Visa and Mastercard have seen more consumers turn to online modes of payments, as people use cards to pay for clothes, food, groceries and even leisure spending since the start of the pandemic.

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Shoppers Say Out-of-Stocks Are Worse Now Due to continued supply chain disruption and retail labor shortages, many U.S. shoppers say product out-of-stocks are worse now than compared to the period of panic buying seen at the start of the pandemic, reported Winsight Grocery Business, citing the latest research from Retail Insight. Original research by the retail-execution company showed 7 in 10 (71 percent) consumers felt out-of-stocks are now worse in-store compared to when consumers panic-bought at the start of the pandemic, with a further 61 percent saying stock availability online was now lower than during the same period of panic buying. More than half (54 percent) said out-ofstocks seemed to be more of a bricks-andmortar issue, and while items were not available in-store, online availability seemed better, the report said. However, 6 in 10 (61

percent) said there was often a replacement item that met their needs if their usual products or brand was not available on the shelf. Online, nearly half (46 percent) of shoppers had noticed more items were missing or not available in their online grocery orders, with the same number (46 percent) saying they had experienced more substitutions in their weekly online shop and 41 percent saying they had noticed more errors creeping into their online food shops. Additionally, poor inventory product in online grocery orders had prompted 45 percent of consumers to do extra top-up shops to replace missing items or poor swaps.

“Seventy-one percent of shoppers say product out-of-stocks are worse now compared to the period at the start of the pandemic.”

Workers Cite Low Pay For Quitting A new Pew Research Center survey finds that majorities of workers who quit a job in 2021 say low pay (63 percent), no opportunities for advancement (63 percent) and feeling disrespected at work (57 percent) were reasons why they quit. At least a third say each of these were major reasons why they left. Roughly half say childcare issues were a reason they quit a job (48 percent among those with a child younger than 18 in the household). A similar share point to a lack of flexibility to choose when they put in their hours (45 percent) or not having good benefits such as health insurance and paid time off (43 percent). Roughly a quarter say each of these was a major reason. For the most part, workers who quit a job last year and are now employed somewhere else see their current work situation as an improvement over their most recent job. At least half of these continued on next page

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.” 50


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workers say that compared with their last job, they are now earning more money (56 percent), have more opportunities for advancement (53 percent), have an easier time balancing work and family responsibilities (53 percent) and have more flexibility to choose when they put in their work hours (50 percent).

High Gas Prices & Pump Transaction Limits Cause Problems When gas prices hit the highest they’ve been in 14 years recently, drivers faced a new kind of pain at the pump: fueling limits that denied them a full tank, reported the Washington Examiner. Since credit card companies refuse to reimburse station owners for fraud or disputed charges above the $75 threshold, many pumps limit transactions to $75. That used to be more than enough for a fill-up. Most drivers have never paid near that high a price to fill their tanks before—touching off deep frustration and confusion, especially for those with larger vehicles or who have long work commutes, forcing them to refill more often than the average driver.

Visa & Mastercard Increase Gasoline Purchase Limits Visa and Mastercard plan to change their rules for gas stations to allow larger transactions after a surge in fuel prices across the U.S. made it hard for some drivers to fill up using credit cards, reported Bloomberg. Many

gas stations have a $125 limit for Visa transactions at the pump because larger transactions trigger higher fees for certain cards, as well as additional liability in the event of fraud. In recent months, that’s forced some customers—those who drive large SUVs in states with high fuel prices, for instance—to pay using two transactions to top off their tanks. Beginning in May, Visa will quadruple the maximum transaction amount that carries better interchange rates for purchases made with small-business and commercial cards. Visa will also raise the fraud-liability threshold to $175. Taken together, the moves should mean gas stations can raise limits and fewer consumers will face pump shutoffs. Mastercard will increase the amounts it pre-authorizes at gas stations to $175 from $125 for consumer cards and to $500 from $350 for commercial cards.

last through May 31. The state typically applies levies of 29.1 cents per gallon on gas, and 32.6 cents per gallon on diesel. More than a dozen states reportedly considered taking similar measures. There were proposals on Capitol Hill to suspend the federal gas tax, which is 18.4 cents per gallon.

Inflation Is Squeezing Dollar General

Inflation is pinching Dollar General in multiple ways, reported the Wall Street Journal. One is on its gross margin line, which was 31.2 percent in the fourth quarter ended January 28, a decline of 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier, as transportation and distribution became costlier. Capital expenditures are another issue; higher steel costs are expected to make new store openings more expensive. For 2022, capital expenditure is set to be roughly 4 percent of revenue, higher than the typical range of 2.5 percent to 3 Maryland & Georgia Temporarily percent. Suspend State Gas Taxes Dollar General is trying to compensate As gasoline prices soared recently, Maryby relying less on third parties for hauling land and Georgia temporarily suspended goods. By the end of 2022, its private fleet is expected to comprise 40 percent of the tracthe gas taxes they charge consumers at the tors used to transport goods from distribupump, reported CNBC. Maryland lawmaktion centers to stores, up from 20 percent at the end of 2021. It also “Maryland and Georgia is continuing its rollout of self-dissuspended their state gas taxes as tribution on frozen and refrigerated items, which already is yielding gasoline prices soared recently.” cost savings. The more concerning effect of inflation, however, is what it might do to the economic health of low-iners suspended the state gas tax for 30 days come people who comprise Dollar General’s beginning March 22, which saved drivers 36.1 cents per gallon on gas, or 36.85 cents core customer base. One worrying indicator per gallon on diesel fuel. The gas tax holiis that inflation has been outpacing growth in wages for almost a year. day could cost the state almost $100 million. Georgia’s suspension of its gas tax is slated to continued on page 52



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Walmart Goes On A Hiring Spree Walmart plans to hire more than 50,000 employees before the start of summer as it chases growth in new business categories from online grocery to advertising, reported CNBC. The company said the new hires will include personal shoppers, delivery drivers and data scientists, among others. Walmart, which is already the nation’s largest private employer with about 1.6 million employees, aims to grow its advertising business, expand its third-party marketplace and launch its direct-to-fridge grocery delivery service in additional markets.

“Walmart plans to hire more than 50,000 employees before the start of summer.” However, adding new employees could be difficult for the big-box retailer at this time. It will be competing for labor with fellow retailers and restaurants in a tight market where some companies are raising pay and sweetening perks to attract workers. A Walmart spokeswoman said the company’s size gives employees an opportunity to move into higher paying roles. At stores, hourly pay is as much as $26 for “team leads,” a supervisor role that oversees departments like bakery. At distribution and fulfillment centers, supply chain workers’ hourly pay starts at $16 but can rise to $30, she said.

Online Grocery Sales Increase Online grocery sales in the U.S. continue to grow, albeit at a smaller and often uneven 52


pace, according to a new study by Forrester Research, “U.S. Online Grocery Snapshot: Q4 2021,” developed with IRI data. The report focuses on several important topics related to online grocery sales, including category growth in eight edible and non-edible categories looking back four quarters, trends in click-and collect and e-commerce sales growth, and the impact of inflation. Key findings include: • Food as a percentage of e-commerce now stands at 37 percent, versus 2 percent pre-pandemic. • Online food sales have boosted Walmart and smaller grocers. Edible items tend to be purchased at Walmart and via clickand collect. Smaller grocers now capture 65 percent of all online edible perishable sales, up from 55 percent pre-pandemic. • Click-and-collect continues to emerge as an e-commerce strategy. Forrester estimates 15 percent of online grocery sales are click-and-collect orders, up just two percentage points from Q4 2020. • Inflation is impacting consumer strategies. Prices have risen 6 percent over the past year, but 77 percent of shoppers stated they have noticed higher prices, and 37 percent stated they are buying more private-label brands.

Wawa To Double Its Store Count Wawa plans to nearly double its store count to 1,800 locations by 2030, reported PhillyVoice.com. It currently has 965 stores, but will open its 1,000th location later this year. The expansion will include traditional neighborhood stores and non-traditional rest-stop style formats in both existing and new markets, according to the company’s CEO. Some of the new locations will feature drive-thrus, a format Wawa began testing continued on next page

no change to the Hostess consumer brand design mark. • Chick-fil-A is partnering with Darling Ingredients to turn its used cooking oil into a renewable fuel, reported Nation’s Restaurant News. According to Darling, the finished renewable fuel can reduce greenhouse gases by up to 85 percent after being processed through its Diamond Green Diesel Venture as diesel. • Chase Bank recently announced that it will pilot public fast electric vehicle charging stations across 50 of its U.S. branches beginning this summer. To bring the charging stations to branches, the bank partnered with EVgo, a company that builds, owns and operates the nation’s largest network of public DC fast chargers, powered by 100 percent renewable energy. • DoorDash recently introduced express grocery delivery, a new service that offers consumers faster and more convenient delivery of fresh groceries in under 30 minutes, in partnership with Albertsons Companies’ banner stores including Safeway, Vons, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, and Tom Thumb. • According to a recent survey by Future Market Insights, the global non-alcoholic beers market is expected to surpass a valuation of US$ 43.6 billion by 2032, expanding at a 7.8 percent CAGR. • Walmart has expanded its autonomous delivery pilot with Cruise—the self-driving car unit of General Motors—in Arizona, reported TechCrunch. com. The company will now be doing limited deliveries for customers in Chandler, in addition to Scottsdale. • Pilot Travel Centers LLC recently announced that its team members and guests have raised a total of $1,153,000 for Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund. This amount includes 100 percent of the donations collected from guests who rounded up their purchase at more than 650 participating U.S. Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, and an additional $100,000 gift from the company. • Doritos bags will now have five fewer chips thanks to inflation, reported the Patriot-News. According to the article, Doritos is the latest snack that has fallen victim to “shrinkflation,” a phenomenon in which beloved foodstuffs are getting cut down in size due to inflation. Analysts estimate the move will potentially save Frito-Lay more than $50 million. • BP and Uber recently signed a new global strategic partnership aiming to have more than 3,000 BP convenience retail locations available on Uber Eats by 2025. The new partnership covers retail sites in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of the U.S. • While average selling prices within the total auto aftermarket increased 14 percent in 2021 compared to continued on next page

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during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion will include 300 stores in the chain’s existing territory, but Wawa also plans to “fill in the market” between Virginia and Florida. Wawa doesn’t have any stores in North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia despite ample markets along the I-95 corridor. But Wawa is expected to open its first store in North Carolina in 2024. That will give the chain a presence in seven states.

FDA Issues Marketing Denial Orders For Myblu Products Convenience stores and other retailers must remove several myblu electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products from their shelves after the FDA issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) to myblu maker Fontem US after determining their applications lacked sufficient evidence to show that permitting the marketing of these products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health. The currently marketed products receiving MDOs include: • myblu Device Kit

• • • • • •

myblu Intense Tobacco Chill 2.5% myblu Intense Tobacco Chill 4.0% myblu Intense Tobacco 2.4% myblu Intense Tobacco 3.6% myblu Gold Leaf 1.2% myblu Gold Leaf 2.4% The FDA said tobacco products subject to a negative action regarding a premarket submission, including those subject to an MDO, may not be offered for sale, distributed or marketed in the U.S. Such products may not be introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, and if the product is already on the market, the product must be removed from the market.

California Retail Theft Ring Members Arrested California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently announced the arrest of and felony charges against members of an organized retail theft ring operating throughout California, including Los Angeles, Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Ventura

counties. The California Department of Justice filed charges against nine defendants following a California Highway Patrol (CHP) investigation that began in 2021. During a search and arrest operation in Los Angeles, officers arrested five of the targeted suspects and recovered approximately $62,000 in cash and $135,000 of stolen merchandise from major retailers, including Macy’s, Columbia Sportswear, Abercrombie & Fitch, J.C. Penney, and Lululemon. California and states across the country have seen a pattern of organized retail crime. According to a 2020 national survey, U.S. retailers lose approximately $700,000 per every $1 billion in sales to organized retail crime.

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2019 (pre-pandemic), prices for consumer replacement tires grew 13 percent, according to The NPD Group. Despite elevated prices and altered driving behaviors, unit demand for tires neared pre-pandemic levels in 2021. • Uber recently reached an agreement to list all New York City taxis on its app, an alliance that could ease the ride-hailing giant’s driver shortage and alleviate high fares while directing more business to cabdrivers, whose livelihoods were affected by the emergence of car-sharing apps and the pan-

demic, reported the Wall Street Journal. • Sheetz recently announced plans to hire 3,500 employees company wide. As such, the Pennsylvania-based convenience retailer hosted several hiring days across the states it operates beginning in March. The hiring drive follows Sheetz’s investment of over $70 million in store employee wages in 2021 and a recent pay increase for overnight workers. • Amazon recently opened its first Whole Foods Market location featuring the company’s Just Walk Out technology,

which enables customers to bypass checkout lanes and pay through a mobile app. The store, located in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood, is the first of two Whole Foods locations opening this year that will implement the system. • Redbox Entertainment, which operates a national network of DVD-rental kiosks and a streaming-video business, has cut 150 jobs to reduce operating costs amid the pandemic, reported The Hollywood Reporter. Redbox recently disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the continued on page 59



Member News

comprehensive charging technologies for all EVs. Combined with energy storage, the whole system can adjust For more than 30 years, Speedway electricity supply according to peaks and their customers, vendors and and valleys of electricity use to achieve associates have raised critical environmental and energy saving funds for Children’s Miracle goals. Network Hospitals (CMN The infrastructure also Hospitals). In 2021 houses Taiwan’s first pure “7-Eleven Taiwan has alone, Speedway— green (labeled “24K built a new generation of part of the 7-Eleven Green”) EV charging EV charging infrastructure family of brands— equipment that uses and that combines green raised more than stores 100 percent solar energy, energy storage $19 million for the power generated from and EV charging services.” organization through the DAKA Hoping Flower in-store campaigns, solar installations. In the promotions and the annual future, the project plans to add Speedway Miracle Tournament. Of wind power for the goal to transform those $19 million raised, more than the infrastructure into a total green $2.5 million supported local member energy EV charging station. hospitals through the annual Speedway Miracle Tournament, impacting 43 7-Eleven & Rocket hospital markets and millions of kids. In 2022, Speedway stores will continue League Go Full Throttle SEI has collaborated with Rocket to give customers the opportunity to League—a popular sports-action video donate for Children’s Miracle Network game that features a high-powered Hospitals across the country. hybrid of arcade-style soccer with vehicular mayhem—to bring gamers 7-Eleven Taiwan Builds New adrenaline-filled ways to take their Generation EV Charging play to the next level. With exclusive 7-Eleven Taiwan has teamed in-game 7-Eleven customization items with Taiwan Cement Corp. (TCC) and a fan-designed real-life 7-Eleven subsidiary, NHOA.TCC, to build a car hitting the road, there are new ways new generation of electric vehicle (EV) for consumers to drive in style. Plus, charging infrastructure that combines Slurpee drink lovers can fuel up with green energy, energy storage and EV the Blue ROCKETberry Slurpee drink charging services, the companies with an exclusive cup that changes announced recently. The EV charging color on contact with a cold drink and infrastructure built by NHOA.TCC is is topped with a Rocket League ball as the first of its kind to provide the most a lid.

SEI’s Speedway Stores Raise Funds For CMN Hospitals

Ohio Speedway Stores Receive SEI’s Restaurant Concepts Residents of the greater Columbus and Cleveland areas can now add Laredo Taco Company and Raise the Roost Chicken & Biscuits to their quick-serve restaurant routines, SEI recently announced. Now officially open to the public, both locations are the first Speedway stores to feature 7-Eleven’s popular restaurant concepts. The Speedway store located at 2381 US Highway 23 N. in Delaware, Ohio, received the Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits restaurant. The 4,600-square-foot store has dine-in seating options for customers and 20 fueling positions to fuel up vehicles outside. The Speedway location at 1835 Recreation Ln in Avon, Ohio, received the Laredo Taco Company restaurant. The 4,600-square-foot store also has dine-in seating options and 18 fueling positions to fuel vehicles.

“Two Speedway stores in Ohio are the first to receive 7-Eleven’s popular Laredo Taco Company and Raise the Roost Chicken & Biscuits restaurant concepts.”

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ROCKETBERRY for a limited time.

Protein-Packed Black Bean Burger

Exclusive 7-Eleven in-game items can be accessed by purchasing Mountain Dew, Doritos and select food and beverages products at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores. Customers who purchase these items via the Speedy Rewards or 7Rewards loyalty apps, or through the 7NOW delivery app, will be given a chance to unlock a code to boost their ride while playing the game. There are six unique items, inspired by real 7-Eleven crowd-favorites including an animated decal that looks like a classic Slurpee drink and an antenna and topper with a Big Bite hot dog. And as an ode to this ultimate collaboration, 7-Eleven has renamed its iconic Blue Raspberry Slurpee drink to Blue

“The new Black Bean Burger is ideal for customers who want more meatless options without sacrificing taste or convenience.”

Responding to requests made by its veggie-loving customers, 7-Eleven recently introduced a new Black Bean Burger at participating stores for a limited time. The high-protein meat alternative is an exciting menu addition that broadens 7-Eleven’s vegetarian options, the company said in a released statement. Crafted with hearty black beans, corn, rice and savory seasonings, this vegetarian patty is topped with American cheese and placed on a sweet brioche bun. 7-Eleven’s take on this popular vegetarian dish is ideal for customers who want access to more meatless options without sacrificing taste or convenience. 7-Eleven also offered a special limited time deal: two hot sandwiches for just $5 in-store. Deal items included cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, and the new Black Bean Burger.

Two New Hot Beverages Spring Into 7-Eleven 7-Eleven welcomed the spring season with two new hot beverages: the limited-time only Churroccino and White Chocolate Caramel-flavored Mocha, both available at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes stores. The Churroccino perfectly combines the sweet cinnamon flavors of a classic churro with a creamy,

delicious coffee taste. The White Chocolate Caramel Mocha features notes of rich mocha and an irresistible combination of creamy caramel, sweet white chocolate, and coffee flavors. At 7-Eleven and Speedway, customers can customize every cup of coffee at the hot and iced beverage bar. Coffee drinkers can get creative and craft their perfect brew with a variety of creamers, flavored syrups, and toppings that can be combined in more than 3,000 different ways to devise their one-ofa-kind masterpiece.

National Hiring Day Event Seeks To Fill 60,000 Roles

SEI, Speedway and Stripes, along with participating independent franchise owners and operators, hosted a National Hiring Event on May 3 across more than 13,000 stores in the U.S. The convenience retailers are collectively hiring employees for 60,000 jobs. Interested candidates were invited to apply to all open positions inperson at one of the locations or online by visiting careers.7-Eleven.com and Speedway.com/careers. Same-day interviews and on-the-spot job offers were available for in-person applicants. Career opportunities included both continued on page 56



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“SEI, Speedway and Stripes hosted a National Hiring Event on May 3 with the goal of hiring employees for 60,000 jobs.” entry-level and management positions inside the store as well as support roles and numerous IT positions and maintenance technicians to help fuel

SEI’s technological initiatives.

SEI Building Travel Center In Idaho

SEI is building a travel truck stop on U.S. 301 near Interstate 26 in Orangeburg, Idaho, reported KPVI News. The company broke ground on the $6.7 million, 6,600-square-foot travel center in May 2021. The travel center will bring about 29 new jobs and is expected to be complete by July 2022. The center will include about eight gas

pumps as well as a convenience store. It is going to be the first 7-Eleven in The T&D Region. The Orangeburg County Council gave third and final reading to a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement for the project at its July 19, 2021, meeting. C






Beads & Fun At The San Diego FOA/FOA Of Greater Los Angeles Trade Show Members of the San Diego FOA and FOA of Greater Los Angeles crowded into the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California on March 23 to grab some beads and participate in their Mardi Gras-themed trade show. It was a sold-out event with over 85 vendors and well over 300 7-Eleven stores represented. The event included lots of raffle prizes such as a Monster bicycle and skateboard, Corona cooler, gift cards, small electronics, and $20,000 in cash prizes. Entries into the raffle drawings were earned by placing orders, and over 6,000 orders were taken by vendors. Overall, it was a fun and successful trade show.








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



INTRODUCING CUTWATER SPIRITS Cutwater Spirits is the most awarded canned cocktail brand in the U.S. For this spring season, Cutwater is highlighting the most popular cocktail in America with the Cutwater Lime Margarita. Cutwater has partnered with the Orendain family in Jalisco to craft a traditional tequila made to the brand’s exacting standards. Cutwater master distiller manages each step of the process from agave selection to distillation—even installing a proprietary copper still at the Orendain distillery in Mexico. At Cutwater’s San Diego headquarters, the finished tequila is the base for Cutwater’s lime margarita, featuring tart notes of lime and a splash of orange, this cocktail is refreshing and balanced. After the Margarita, it is time for Cutwater’s Vodka Mule. Award-winning U.S.-made Cutwater Vodka, housemade ginger beer, and lime make for a mule with a kick. Enjoy this classic straight from its copper-colored can. Cutwater’s Rum Mint Mojito is an exceptional take on the poolside classic, featuring award-winning Cutwater White Rum, cane sugar and notes of freshly muddled mint and lime. Its bar-quality taste and convenience (no muddling, no mess) have made the Cutwater Mojito an instant fan-favorite. Cutwater is a San Diego-based distillery known for its award-winning lineup of over 20 canned cocktail classics made from its portfolio of bottled spirits that span nearly every spirit category including tequilas, vodkas, rums, gins, whiskeys, mezcals, and liqueurs. To date, Cutwater has earned over 1,950 awards across its portfolio and is distributed in 50 states. Cutwater’s innovative bar-quality canned cocktails are rolling out nationwide and ready when you are. Cutwater’s innovative bar-quality canned cocktails are rolling out nationwide.



NEW PICKS FROM THE PATCH Get ready to take your customers’ tastebuds to new heights with new Sour Patch Kids Fruits Flavors. They’re mixing up mischief in the patch with yummy Peach, mouth-watering Grape, and scrumptious Strawberry Fruits Flavors. Their top-rated, super successful Sour Patch Kids Watermelon flavor is consistently rated as the top sweet candy in the category (Chewy Candy Category Appraisal Key Learnings across Sweet & Sour Studies, N=282, November 2018). Now, Sour Patch Kids is extending that success to even more fruit flavors. And, with a fun fruit shape for each SKU, these new fruit flavors are really going to rock consumers’ socks off. These not-so-sour, soft, chewy candies are a sure-fire hit with the Gen-Z customers that come into your store. Sour Patch Kids is the #1 Candy brand in Instagram followers and the #1 Snack brand on TikTok, so these amazing new candies will take your teen customers’ social feeds by storm.

m c t W w


Popular Sour Patch Kids has added three new fruit flavors.

These fruity 8-ounce packs are the perfect snack at the perfect size. Get “Your Pick from the Patch” to get in on the sales! Get them on your shelves and they’ll be SOUR. SWEET. GONE. Order now!

LIMITED TIME ONLY TROPICAL SUNRISE PARFAIT Exclusive to 7-Eleven, the new Tropical Sunrise Parfait is sure to take your taste buds on vacation. This delicious yogurt parfait is made with Oikos nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with Guava syrup, layered with strawberries and continued on next page

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Tropical Sunrise Parfait is a 7-Eleven exclusive with a $1 off promotion on 7Rewards. mangoes, then topped with crunchy granola and shredded coconut. This better-for-you treat will be available for a limited time only starting March 28th with a $1 off promotion on 7REWARDS from April 13th to May 24th. Delight your customers with this offering and order from your 7-Eleven CDC today.

SMIRNOFF ICE SMASH PINK LEMONADE IN TWO SIZED CANS Introducing the Smirnoff Ice Smash Pink Lemonade Singles in 23.5oz and 16oz cans. Think Pink with a neon lemonade single that is perfectly sweet and tart, ready to get the party started. Smash Pink Lemonade brings the Miami vibes and one of the hottest trending flavors to one of the most successful FMB brands. Pink Lemonade is the perfect addition to the booming Smash line-up, which is +33.4 percent at 7-Eleven! (IRI scan last 13 weeks thru 4/3). 23.5oz—UPC 082000 798965 (most states); 16oz—UPC 082000 799023 (FL).

ishment while on the go. Vita Coco Coconut Juice is a blend of 80 percent fresh coconut water, water, and sugar with added coconut pulp or mango puree, resulting in a sweet and refreshing blend of coconut goodness meant for on-the-go consumption. Canned coconut waters and juices are seeing an increasing presence in c-stores, and Vita Coco, the largest brand in coconut water, is best poised for success. Please note: These items are not available to all 7-Eleven stores nationwide. There is currently only regional DSD availability to 7-Eleven, Speedway and PDI stores in the following Vita Coco Coconut Juice will states: Washington, Oregon, Ardrive up your beverage sales. izona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

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Smirnoff Ice Smash Pink Lemonade sales are up 33.4 percent at 7-Eleven.

ANNOUNCING NEW VITA COCO COCONUT JUICE Vita Coco, the #1 coconut water brand in the U.S., introduces Vita Coco Coconut Juice. Available in 16.9-ounce cans in two flavors—Coconut Juice with Pulp and Coconut Juice with Mango—Vita Coco Coconut Juice will drive relevance with young Gen-Z and Hispanic shoppers who are actively looking for great tasting coconut beverages for refreshment and replen-

cost-cutting measure would reduce annual operating costs by around $13.1 million. • The rate of positive drug test results among America’s workforce was up in 2021 to 4.6 percent compared to 4.4 percent in 2020, and up 31.4 percent from the alltime low of 3.5 percent just 10 years ago (2010-2012), according to a new analysis released by Quest Diagnostics. Of note, marijuana increased 8.9 percent, amphetamines increased 7.8 percent, and cocaine increased 5.0 percent. • Starbucks is shifting away from single-use plastics and testing reusable cups in six markets, reported USA Today. By the end of next year, customers will be allowed to use their own reusable cups in every store location in the United States and Canada. By 2025, the company hopes to give customers easy access to a personal or Starbucks provided reusable to-go cup for every visit. • A SuperLotto Plus lottery ticket worth $38 million was recently sold at a San Diego area 7-Eleven, reported TV news station Fox 5 San Diego. The ticket was for the April 30 drawing. • White Castle announced that it has recently reached a significant milestone: all-time sales of its burgers—The Original Slider and Cheese Slider—have surpassed 28 billion.



FOA Board Meetings Central Florida FOA

Midwest FOA

Southern California FOA

Phone: 207-415-0924

Phone: 847-971-9457

Phone: 818-357-5985

May 18, 2022—General Meeting

April 20, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

August 17, 2022—General Meeting

May 4, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

May 18, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting

November 9, 2022—General Meeting

May 18, 2022—Webinar Wednesday June 1, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

Chicagoland FOA Phone: 847-278-7415 May 19, 2022—Summer Trade Show & General Session June 30, 2022—Board Meeting & General Meeting July 28, 2022—Board Meeting August 25, 2022—Board Meeting September 22, 2022—Board Meeting

August 24, 2022—Webinar Wednesday September 21, 2022—Webinar Wednesday October 5, 2022—Webinar Wednesday October 19, 2022—Michigan General Meeting/Mini-Show November 16, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

San Diego FOA Phone: 619-713-2411

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles

May 19, 2022—Board Meeting

Phone: 619-726-9016

June 16, 2022—Board Meeting

May 17, 2022—Board Meeting

July 21, 2022—Board Meeting

June 22, 2022—Mini Trade Show

August 18, 2022—Board Meeting

July 19, 2022—Board Meeting

September 15, 2022—Board Meeting

September 20, 2022—Board Meeting

October 20, 2022—Board Meeting

October 18, 2022—Mini Trade Show November 15, 2022—Board Meeting

San Francisco/Monterey Bay FOA

Greater Bay FOA

Phone: 408-203-1039

Phone: 707-344-1070

June 8, 2022—Board Meeting

May 17, 2022—Board Meeting

July 13, 2022—Board Meeting

June 21, 2022—Board Meeting

August 10, 2022—Board Meeting

July 19, 2022—Board Meeting

September 14, 2022—Board Meeting

August 16, 2022—Board Meeting

October 12, 2022—Board Meeting

September 20, 2022—Board Meeting

November 9, 2022—Board Meeting

October 18, 2022—Board Meeting November 15, 2022—Board Meeting December 20, 2022—Board Meeting 60


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

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

July 20, 2022— Board of Directors & Members 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

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


Chicagoland FOA Golf Outing Cook County Forest Preserve, Grove #27 Chicago, Illinois July 31, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

Eastern Virginia FOA Trade Show North Carolina The River Place Fort Mill, South Carolina August 26, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

San Diego FOA Day At The Races Del Mar Racetrack Del Mar, California August 26, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

UFOLINY Golf Outing

Southern California FOA Holiday Party

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

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

San Diego FOA Vendor Appreciation Day

Midwest FOA Chicago Holiday Showcase

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

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

Chicagoland FOA Holiday Trade Show

Central Florida FOA Holiday Party

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

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

San Diego FOA Christmas Party Coronado Community Center (Nautillus Room) Coronado, California December 2, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

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

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 Anheuser-Busch................................8 Dreyers.............................................48 McLane............................................28 Aon Risk Management............12, 13

FitVine Wine...................................40



Ford Gum........................................57


Coca-Cola..........................................2 In Motion Design............................42 Swedish Match..................................4 Constellation Brands................32, 33 Johnson & Johnson.........................24 Swisher.............................................64 Danone.............................................11 Kellogg’s............................................63 Tell Industries.................................20 Diageo................................................3

King Palm...................................44, 45 Vita Coco.......................................6, 7 AVANTI MARCH | APRIL 2022


FOA EVENTS San Francisco/Monterey Bay FOA Trade Show

Midwest FOA Chicago Spring Show

Paradise Ballrooms Fremont, California May 18, 2022 Phone: 408-203-1039

Donald E. Stephens (Rosemont) Convention Center Rosemont, Illinois June 16, 2022 Phone: 847-971-9457

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

South Texas FOA Annual Trade Show

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles 24th Annual Golf Tournament Black Gold Golf Club Yorba Linda, California June 21, 2022 Phone: 619-726-9016

Canyon Springs Golf Course San Antonio, TX May 24, 2022 Phone: 210-480-0711

Eastern Virginia FOA Trade Show Northern Virginia

South Texas FOA Annual Golf Tournament

Waterford at Springfield Springfield, Virginia June 21, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

Canyon Springs Golf Course San Antonio, TX May 25, 2022 Phone: 210-480-0711

Southern California FOA 35th Annual Golf Tournament Pacific Palms Resort City of Industry, California June 14, 2022 Phone: 818-357-5985

Midwest FOA Charity Golf Outing Cantigny Golf Course Wheaton, Illinois June 15, 2022 Phone: 847-971-9457

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

Columbia Pacific FOA Annual Golf Tournament The Reserve Vineyard & Golf Club Aloha, Oregon June 28, 2022 Phone: 503-998-5941

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

Greater Oregon FOA Annual Golf Tournament Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club North Plains, Oregon July 18, 2022 Phone: 503-516-3483



NCASEF BOA RD 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

Greater Oregon FOA Annual Trade Show Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club North Plains, Oregon July 19, 2022 Phone: 503-516-3483 continued on page 61



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