C&I Retailing Magazine December-January 2022

Page 1

DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022



www.gilbarco.com.au


CONTENTS

EDITORIAL

December 2021/January 2022

26 06 FACE TIME Joseph Alessi, National Merchandise Manager, New Sunrise

10 STORE REVIEW Bowser Bean Strathfieldsaye is a showcase in innovation

14 HEALTHY SNACKS Consumers return to healthy norms as they emerge from COVID lockdowns

18 PET CARE Pet ownership is up and so is the demand for convenient pet purchases

22 SUSTAINABILITY A greener future becomes a growing priority for companies

26 C&I CHOICE It’s been a bumper 12 months for our C&I Choice Product of the Year

30 PRODUCT RANGING We bring you all the latest new product launches

42 OPINION Theo Foukkare, AACS; Skye Jackson, Ampol; Norrelle Goldring, Global Consultant; Darren Park, UCB Stores

10

I

t’s been a busy couple of months, and we’ve enjoyed significantly more movement nationally. But as we have come to learn, we can never truly know what is around the corner when it comes to Covid. Just as the Federal Government moved to welcome international skilled workers back into Australia, which would have provided a welcome relief to the labour shortage being felt across the industry, the arrival of the Omicron variant delayed this by two weeks. But despite this set back, there is still optimism that 2022 will be a new year with fewer restrictions and we’ll get to have more of the face-to-face contact that we’ve all been missing. Personally speaking, having joined the industry during the pandemic, I am very much looking forward to putting some faces to some names in 2022 and finally meeting in person all the industry folk that I’ve come to know so well over Zoom, email, and the phone. A perfect opportunity for this will be at the C&I Expo to be held (finally) on the 30-31 March at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Our exhibitor stands are almost completely sold out and we’re receiving lots of registrations, so I look forward to seeing you all there.

This issue of Convenience & Impulse Retailing brings the latest trends in healthy snacks, pet care, and sustainability initiatives. We also celebrate some of the best new release products from throughout the year by announcing the winner of our C&I Choice Product of the Year award along with eight category winners. And as always, we are grateful to share valuable opinion pieces from Theo Foukkare, Darren Park, Skye Jackson, Norrelle Goldring, Dan Armes, and Nic Moulis. We hope you enjoy this issue and on behalf of the whole team at C&I, we wish you and your families and very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year. Cheers, Deb Jackson

52 INDUSTRY NEWS Sanitarium; Nestlé; Reitan Convenience Sweden; AACS; NRA; Pacific Optics; Illegal tobacco

60 PETROL NEWS Dan Armes, ServoPro; Fuel security for farmers; UK fuel crisis; Nic Moulis, Rennic Group 4  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Safa de Valois

James Wells

Keith Berg

Ben Curtis


PRIME TIME

Raising $16m in seed funding, All G is a feel-good food challenger from Australia

We’re Love BUDS, the new protein on the block As Australia’s buddy delicious, 100 per cent plant-based protein, we’re yours for the biting. Better your burger game, super your sliders, and make your mince choice matter. Want a healthy, sustainable alternative that doesn’t compromise texture, flavour or the future? Bust out BUDS on your menu.

We’re creating a positive food movement, dedicated to making food all good, for everyone and everything through our alt protein and foodpositive brands. Our mission is to take the weight and heartache out of feeding our beautiful planet. The answer is delicious, nutritious, proteinpacked and earth-friendly plant-based food. Our growing range of plantbased food brands across meat and dairy will touch the hearts and souls of millions of people in the coming years, and together achieve massive positive impacts for the greater good. To find out more about All G Foods head to: www.allgfoods.com

What’s the sell?

New software creating savings for suppliers and wholesalers

Pacific Optics launches COVID saliva test kit

MyBrandz Product Management Software delivers cost savings for suppliers and Wholesalers across the FMCG channel. Developed by Karen Campbell over the past six years, MyBrandz has quickly become a ‘Must Have’ selling tool for The Distributors sales team. Suppliers also get the benefit of access to ‘Widget World’ – a catalogue generating link to the MyBrandz PMS. To take a tour of everything MyBrandz simply go to www.mybrandz.com.au and click on the PMS link. For more information contact Karen Campbell: Karen@mybrandz.com.au

Published by C&I Media Pty Ltd (A division of The Intermedia Group) 41 Bridge Road (PO Box 55) Glebe NSW 2037 Tel: 02 8586 6292 Fax: 02 9660 4419 E: magazine@c-store.com.au

Group Publisher: C&I Media Pty Ltd Safa de Valois Commercial Director: Safa de Valois

The Intermedia Group takes its Corporate and Social Responsibilities seriously and is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. We continuously strive to improve our environmental performance and to initiate additional CSR based projects and activities. As part of our company policy we ensure that the products and services used in the manufacture of this magazine are sourced from environmentally responsible suppliers. This magazine has been printed on paper produced from sustainably sourced wood and pulp fibre and is accredited under PEFC chain of custody. PEFC certified wood and paper products come from environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests. The wrapping used in the delivery process of this magazine is 100% biodegradable. DISCLAIMER This publication is published by C&I Media Pty Ltd (the “Publisher”). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials.

• So much ‘meaty’ taste – it’s hard to wrap your head around • A sizzle on the grill you’ll flip over • 100 per cent plant-based pleasure • Void of nasty GMOs

The BUDS family

• 125g BUDS Burger Patties • 40g BUDS Slider Patties • NEW 500g BUDS Mince

Score your sample now at www.welovebuds.com/request-a-sample or contact salesenquiries@allgfoods.com

Pacific Optics has released a TGA certified COVID-19 Antigen saliva test kit, cutting out the need for uncomfortable nasal swabs. The new product provides users with a simple, instruction-guided, two-step process that delivers results in 15 minutes, with all testing fluids contained and retained in the sealed pen. The two-pack kits are available for wholesale as a unit of 12 for $228.60, with a RRP for each pack at $29.99, providing a 30 per cent margin for retailers. The five-packs offer the same profit margin and are available as a unit of six at $267, with a RRP of $69.99 per five-pack. The kits have a shelf-life of 24 months and are delivered in a retail ready counter display unit.

Associate Publisher: Deb Jackson

Journalist: Thomas Oakley-Newell

Editorial Director: James Wells

National Sales Manager: Ben Curtis

Editor at Large: Keith Berg

Graphic Designer: Alyssa Coundouris

The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2021 - C&I Media Pty Ltd.

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INFORMATION PARTNERS:

December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 5


FACE TIME

A NEW SUNRISE

Joseph Alessi has built some solid relationships within the industry as the National Merchandise Manager at New Sunrise, but he’s just as well-known for his karaoke skills and dance moves. This is his story…

I

was born and raised in Sydney’s inner west, the youngest of three siblings. I am now married with three children of my own, an 11-year-old son, nineyear-old daughter, and a seven-year-old son.

My father migrated to Australia when he was 18 years old, leaving a small Sicilian coastal town to call Australia home, so from a young age, we often spoke Italian at home. Fair to say that my upbringing involved lots of Italian family get togethers, the traditional and sacred Sunday lunches and the appreciation for a close, tight knit family. Growing up I remember that family was always around, it felt like we were constantly gathering to celebrate one event or another. Then there was the extended family, where the cousins aren’t actually cousins, but you call them cousins because it was just what you did. Dad owned his own barbershop for well over 40 years. Growing up, I would spend some of my school holidays at his barbershop. Despite being quite young, I quickly learnt and appreciated good customer service and the importance of building relationships. I was amazed at how Dad would see so many clients in a day, yet had a knack for remembering their names, families, and the last yarn they had. Every haircut, despite who was sitting in the chair, was like picking up exactly where they had left off in the last conversation. And yes, he was cutting hair, but he had genuine care and interest for the clients he saw. From a young age, Dad had me sitting nearby on a stool, listening, and watching his every move. And yes, my ‘helping’ may have been quite mundane such as sweeping the floor or collecting the money or dusting off some hair from the back of the client’s neck, but it got me in front of customers, talking and listening to men much older than me – it was a schooling like no other. 6  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Joseph presenting at the New Sunrise Supplier Forum in 2021 in Sydney

My appreciation for small business came at a young age along with my appreciation for building quality relationships. I realised early, that if you enjoy what you do, then work becomes much more interesting. After completing a Bachelor of Business at university where I majored in Marketing and International Business, I took a role at (then) Cadbury as a Territory Manager (Sales Rep), calling on petrol and convenience stores across Sydney’s inner western suburbs. I found myself working with small business owners and developing strategies to help them grow their business. It wasn’t an easy role, but I really enjoyed it. Cadbury was a wonderful business to work for, with a strong work ethic. We represented powerhouse brands such as Cherry Ripe, Dairy Milk, Freddo and Picnic. But we did not rest on the power of the brands – the willingness to win, drive, and celebrating success was just part of the work ethic. Hitting targets, smashing goals, and having purple passion was the culture of the business. I was with Cadbury for 15 years, holding many different job titles, and different company names over that time (Cadbury, Cadbury Schweppes, back to Cadbury, Kraft Foods and then Mondelez) but always kept the same phone number. In all the different roles at Cadbury, I always had a passion for independent business. I thoroughly enjoyed working with businesses that were owned by entrepreneurs, were

What suppliers have to say about Joe… “The great thing about Joe is that he has done both the retailer and supplier side, so it really allows him to be balanced in what he wants to do and looks at it from both sides, which really supports the longer-term partnership. It really is a pleasure to work with Joe (and have a few drinks).” – Felicity Needham, General Manager Convenience & Petrol, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia

“Joe is one of the most approachable and relatable customers/partners that I have ever dealt with in my career. He has a knack of bringing everyone together with his enthusiasm and energy. I wish I had just half of the passion that Joe demonstrates about his business, his people and being better every day. No doubt this drives our fantastic performance with New Sunrise.” – Jason Shackleton, National Business Manager – Petrol & Convenience, Asahi Beverages


FACE TIME “Anyone who knows Joe would agree that his positive and energetic personality engages you immediately. One memory that stands out from Joe’s supplier days was during a category review session, where suppliers would present insights to a small group of retailers. A few suppliers including myself had to nominate the order of presenting and knowing that Joe has a knack of leaving an audience on a high, we all volunteered to go before him and avoid the pressure of maintaining the euphoria. I remember as I walked out of the room somewhat happy with my performance, Joe burst the door open with his arms in the air grabbing the room immediately in his grand entrance. I clearly recall leaving a little deflated as I closed the door behind him like his butler and thinking that it didn’t matter whether you presented before or after Joe, his positivity draws you in and is contagious. Maybe something we should all catch!”

Joseph, pictured with his children, has been coaching their soccer team for more than then eight years

– Troy Richard, National Channel Manager – P&C, Stuart Alexander

self-made, or were independently owned. Not only did they seek greater collaboration and flexibility, but they were also extremely passionate and valued true and honest partnership.

“I first met Joe when he started at New Sunrise Group and I still remember our first meeting, fair to say that we didn’t have the strongest relationship with the New Sunrise Group at that point, but I just recall Joe saying, “this is the NEW New Sunrise”. Everything changed for the better after that.”

Cadbury gave me the opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience, but more importantly offered fantastic learning and lifelong friendships. Some highlights were taking key customers to the FA Cup Final in Wales in 2005, or the Champions League Final in Paris in 2006, or Watching U2 at Madison Square Garden in 2007, or the Olympics in London in 2012, and sailing the coast of Santorini in 2010. In 2015, I attended a New Sunrise conference in Los Angeles as a supplier (representing Mondelez/Cadbury), and I had the opportunity to meet many New Sunrise retail members. What struck me at this conference, was hearing from the retail owners on how the success of their businesses have seen their families grow – just as I had seen with my dad’s business growing up. The thought of working for a group of independent business owners, just like my dad’s barbershop, saw me leave Mondelez after 15 years and join New Sunrise. I am now the National Merchandise Manager at New Sunrise, where I have worked for five years.

– Joseph De Petro, National Business Manager – Petrol & Convenience, SnackBrands

Original Yellow Wiggle, Greg Page, with Joseph at the recent New Sunrise Iceworks Conference in Port Douglas an opportunity to represent the interests of more than 1,000 independent retail businesses in the country – and this is my motivation every day to succeed. My drive is their success and supporting them.

I am proud of the fantastic results we have achieved for our retail members, being the fastest growing retailer in the industry over the last 36 months.

I am also very proud of the Iceworks Conference and study tours we have produced, including Dallas in 2017, San Francisco in 2018 and Singapore in 2019. I am proud that against the odds, we held a highly successful conference in Port Douglas in 2021. I am so proud of the quality of retail program we continue to produce, and the strategic house that underpins our decisions as a business and shapes the direction we are on.

I am particularly proud of being recognised by supplier partners as the best national independent convenience retailer via the CMA Pulse Survey. New Sunrise gives me

But I am most proud of the relationship our team has with our valued retail members and our trusted supplier partners. C&I

“Joe has always been open and honest and a great person to work with both as a peer and as a customer, easy to find common ground and has the consumer or shopper at the heart of what he does.” – Steve Caruso, Sales Director – Off-Premise, Red Bull

“Many great memories come to mind (both within and outside of usual business hours) but the one thing they all have in common is Joe’s ability to include everyone, ensuring they feel part of the group and are having a great time. He sure can lead a good singalong, but I will let him share more on that…” – David Maunsell, Customer Director: P&C and Independent Grocery – Beverages & Milk, Lactalis

December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 7


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STORE REVIEW

A SHOWCASE IN INNOVATION

From a shipping container during COVID to a high-end café design, Bowser Bean Strathfieldsaye is constantly evolving.

T

he Bowser Bean concept was launched in 2017 as a way to call out the popular takeaway food and coffee being offered by family-owned business Vantage Fuels. The original location at Strathfieldsaye showed such success, that now four years later, there are 16 Bowser Bean locations across regional Victoria and NSW. Located on the outskirts of Bendigo, Bowser Bean Strathfieldsaye has been constantly evolving its brand and concept, including enhancing its coffee offer through training and technology, developing its menu, and incorporating highend café design elements.

“The refurbishment provided the opportunity to bring our food, coffee, in-store dining, and convenience up to an industry leading standard. We improved the store layout, food displays, coffee visibility and workflow. “The café area is a standout allowing customers a pleasant setting for a quick relax and recharge or caffeine charged group catchup. We have also added a hydration station with on demand sparkling and still water. For the kids we have installed a CocaCola FCB dispenser.”

Haydn Tierney, Managing Director, Bowser Bean/Vantage Fuels, said that during lockdown the Strathfieldsaye site was a standout for the network, with many locals discovering the café and getting behind the food and coffee offer.

While completing the latest refurbishments, Bowser Bean came up with an innovative way to continue trading during the renovations process – by deploying a temporary 40-foot, purpose-built shipping container, which enabled Bowser Bean to continue serving its food and coffee to customers while they filled up at the bowsers.

Given the site’s increase in popularity, the decision was made to refurbish the store, with the help of Two-Fold Projects, and create a high-end café and purposeful convenience store.

Tierney said not only did the container allow Bowser Bean to continue to trade, but also took the pressure off the build team, ensuring the refurbishments were completely accurate and on time.

10  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Bowser Bean’s purpose is to make our customer’s day that little bit better.” – Haydn Tierney, Managing Director


STORE REVIEW

Bowser Bean's refurbishment saw an improved store layout

Not a petrol station that sells coffee, but a café that happens to sell petrol

The overhauled Strathfieldsaye location is another example of how Bowser Bean has been pushing the boundaries of petrol and convenience (P&C) said Tierney, who sees the site not as a petrol station that sells coffee, but as a café that happens to sell petrol. “Bowser Bean’s purpose is to make our customer’s day that little bit better. Our patrons can be fueled up, caffeinated, nourished and back into their busy day in a couple of minutes. Or they can savour their barista coffee, use the Wi-Fi and reflect while enjoying the café.”

The new in-store dining area has been a hit with customers

Being on the edge of Bendigo, Tierney said that Bowser Bean must provide its customers with a convenient food and coffee offer on par with the increasingly cosmopolitan offer of Bendigo CBD, and that this adds value to the Vantage Fuels business. “The Bowser Bean offer complements and strengthens the traditional components of our business, being P&C. Food and coffee draw new customers to our forecourts and stores, while our long-term customers enjoy an expanded convenience offer.” Despite the new fit-out and technologies in-store, Tierney says the true plaudits are for the efforts of the team. “No matter how good the fit-out is - Bowser Bean and Vantage cannot achieve its world class offer without the exceptional service and efforts by our team. It is thus essential that we recruit, develop, reward and retain a great crew.” C&I

There are 16 Bowser Bean locations across regional Victoria and NSW December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 11



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HEALTHY SNACKS

RIDING THE

HEALTH WAVE

COVID saw consumers indulge, but healthy snacks will always have a place in the market, writes Thomas Oakley-Newell. 14  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

T

he healthy snacking trend continues to grow within Australia, with more and more consumers no longer seeing snacks as a way to simply tide them over until mealtime, but as a means to provide them with nutritional benefits. Consumers have a greater understanding of what is beneficial in a product and what to avoid. We have seen this reflected in the way brands sell their products, it is no longer good enough to just be tasty, there is an expectation that a snack must also provide some kind of health benefit. This expectation of a product to not only provide nourishment but nutritional value, means the petrol and convenience (P&C) channel must continue to update its retail offer to include more healthy snacks. Theo Foukkare, CEO, Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), said healthy snacking has experienced good growth over the last three years, however it experienced some challenges as consumers during lockdown found comfort in traditional and guilty comfort foods. “COVID-19 in 2020 was the worst thing that could have happened for healthy anything for a lot of consumers. Guilty pleasures increased, whether it was chips, beverages, ice cream, or alcohol, to name just a few. It was like a bad day every day, so what better to do than eat junk!


HEALTHY SNACKS

“Thankfully there are now renewed freedoms in most states, consumers are well and truly adopting their normal healthy habits again; more exercise, better eating habits, portion control and being selective again with what they consume. Thankfully the initial ‘shock’ factor is well and truly over, and we can all get on with the new normal for now.”

THE HEALTH HIT Australia has always been a health-conscious market and the previous year, while difficult for many brands, saw some brands experience growth within the category despite COVID restricting movements and many people opting for guilty pleasures. Snackinar, an emerging brand within the dried meat category, saw sales revenue grow 76 per cent during the first half of 2021, compared to the previous six months. It also saw 60 per cent of total sales from July to September come from Western Australia, with COVID having a definite impact on sales on the east coast.

…consumers are well and truly adopting their normal healthy habits again; more exercise, better eating habits, portion control and being selective again with what they consume.” – Theo Foukkare, CEO, AACS

Michael Hearne, Founder, Snackinar, said that he believes there is great potential for his product to grow due to it containing zero sugar, a stark difference to what is currently available. “Beef jerky hasn’t become as popular in Australia as the US or UK, despite it being sold in every supermarket, petrol station and bottle shop. Australians just don’t have the sweet tooth the average American consumer has. Even some of the organic jerky being sold here has 25 per cent sugar. Australians don’t want high sugar content.” Currently, the projection for Snackinar in the second half of 2021 is for sales revenue to grow more than 100 per cent compared to the first half of 2021. Steve Trinder, Director of Tribeca Brands, said that their high protein Mars and Snickers bars jumped 22 per cent nationally, while the entirety of their chip range increased by 17 per cent, showing no effect from the lockdowns across Victoria and NSW. “More people are moving into that healthy snacking space and becoming more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies and what ingredients are in products like fake sugars and preservatives.”

Its flagship X50 chip range, which includes broccoli, cauliflower and mushroom chips has recorded a growth of 17 per cent nationwide and Trinder expects to see these types of healthy products become the new norm for people looking to purchase chips. “The X50 range is currently in the health food section, but I think the way that the category is trending over the next couple of years, the more commercial potato chip section is going to see these sorts of products start to flow in and be mainstays in that chip category,” said Trinder. Foukkare, AACS, is also of the belief that there is now a consumer expectation that there should be healthy options across the entire range. “The main trends evident in healthy snacking, is that it is not just about better for you in some categories, there is now a consumer expectation that there should be options for them in all categories. There really are some amazing products available today that only a small portion of Australians are enjoying, and I know that once more people try them, they will convert.” Kerin O’Brien, co-owner of Purabon, whose most popular products are a range of plant-based protein balls, said he would like to see healthy snacking become more normalised and added to the more traditional snacking options like chips and chocolate. “Customers are now not really saying ‘that’s health food’ and ‘that’s not health food’, but all these things are delicious. I’d like to see a more normalisation of the category. It’s all food.” O’Brien also believes there is a strong shift towards consumers purchasing plant-based products not only for their health but also for the wellbeing of the planet. “I think what we’re seeing is the popularity of plant-based snacks pushing out the products that have got animal proteins in them. Over the past couple of years people have moved from vegan products being very niche for a very small market to more people accepting plant-based, which they see as having a greater impact on protecting the environment.” December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 15


HEALTHY SNACKS

EASE OF ACCESS The P&C channel has always been a strong avenue for the sale of snacks and now with consumers becoming more healthconscious, healthy snacks have become more prominent in the category and many brands see the channel as pivotal. O’Brien, Purabon, said the convenience channel is very important due to the broad range of customers it allows them to access.

The growth of the sector has seen new business opportunities arise. One such business is nuTree, a health food supplier that aims to provide retailers with ease of access to the best performing products in the ‘better for you’ space. Through its market research, nuTree has identified the top performing products and offers retailers the opportunity to purchase a wide range of brands directly through a single supplier. Founder of nuTree Ryan Price, believes the ‘better for you’ market can still perform considerably stronger than what it currently is by engaging the consumer before they walk in the door. According to the AACS 2020 State of Industry Report, there are 3.2 million transactions in the channel daily. “The opportunity to start converting the healthy consumer to want to shop in the channel, outside of filling up for fuel or getting a drink, is there if we can convince consumers to see the convenience channel as the staple for a purchase of healthier products.” Theo Foukkare from AACS believes one of the main challenges is the lack of mainstream availability to a wide range of products, something nuTree could potentially help solve. “The very big brands have options available however not to the same degree as major grocery, and to a lesser degree, health food stores. I see a real opportunity for P&C to get further behind this movement as it will pay dividends in future years.” 16  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Customers are now not really saying ‘that’s health food’ and ‘that’s not health food’, but all these things are delicious.” – Kerin O’Brien, co-owner, Purabon

“It’s a really good mix of customer types and segments that visit P&C. It forms part of our broad offering because we’ve got P&C, we’ve got grocery, we’ve got food service offerings. It rounds out our ability to get to market.” Theo Foukkare from AACS offered some advice for those retailers looking to stock better for you foods. “You need to be in the category presenting a range, not just a few small options. Retailing is all about storytelling and providing enough of a range relevant to your local consumers, that they will not just grab one today, but take comfort that they will be able to have healthier options on an ongoing basis. “My other tip is not to rest on your laurels once you have a range in. You need to always be curating your range, introduce NPD, delete the slow sellers, talk to your consumers and ask them what they want in your store.” Foukkare pointed at the success of The Fox’s Pantry at BP Tugun on the Gold Coast, which earlier in the year was awarded AACS Independent Store of the Year. “It is focused on healthier options across the board, the staff believe in it, the owners believe in it, their local community believes in them, and it is an amazing example of how understanding your local consumer’s needs and engaging into their healthier lifestyle can lead to retail success.” C&I


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PET CARE

A PAW-FECT OPPORTUNITY

Pet ownership is up and so is the demand for convenient pet care purchases, writes Thomas Oakley-Newell.

A

ustralia has always been a nation that loves pets, but over the past two years, largely due to the pandemic we have seen a massive uptick in pet ownership. New data shows that 69 per cent of households now own a pet, making Australia the second largest pet owning nation in the world. The research by Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) revealed that over the course of the pandemic there has been more than two million pets adopted, with many people now working or spending more time at home they’ve been provided with the opportunity to properly care for a new addition to the family. This boom in pet ownership means significant growth for the pet care category, the AMA research found that on average dog owners spend $3,200 per year while cat owners spend $2,100, bringing the total spend for dog and cat owners nationally to $20.5 billion and $10.2 billion respectively. The growth of the industry means there is significant opportunity for brands and retailers to move away from the traditional avenues of specialist pet stores and supermarkets and begin stocking product in the petrol and convenience (P&C) channel. 18  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

RAINING CATS AND DOGS! Over the past 18 months with more people spending time at home, there has been a shift in purchasing behaviour as consumers start to impulse buy products for their pets. Nestlé Purina, one of Australia’s largest pet care brands, said it has noticed an increase in sales across the impulse channel and has altered its product range to cater for this shift. “To deliver to Purina’s objective of driving growth across the pet care category by providing more choice and increasing accessibility of our strong performing brands, we’ve focused on our product ranges for smaller format and independent convenience retailers,” Nestlé Purina stated. Nestlé Purina currently stocks a range of pet foods and treats across the sector including cat food brands Fancy Feast, Friskies, and Felix, dog food brand Supercoat, and dog treat range Lucky Bones. The updated product range optimised specifically for the P&C channel includes smaller pack sizes for the impulse shopper and single serve options opposed to multi-serve options that correlates to purchase behaviour.


PET CARE PART OF THE FAMILY The time spent at home has seen pet owners form a closer bond with their pets and an increased desire to share experiences with them. With consumers now paying closer attention to their own health and the wellbeing of the planet, the pet care category has seen these habits become part of what owners look for when purchasing products for their pets. “We’ve noticed that as we’re paying closer attention to our own health, we’re also increasingly examining what’s in our pets’ bowls. Pet parents are looking for products they see as fresh and healthy; that utilise strong scientific claims; and those that are doing the right thing when it comes to sustainability,” said de Búrca. The trend of shoppers paying closer attention to their pet’s diets has been noted by Nestlé Purina which has now, in the P&C channel, increased focus on minimal artificial additions, fewer and locally sourced ingredients, and the inclusion of superfoods and probiotics. Fancy Feast is one of Purina’s largest brands, bringing in $134 million in sales to Australian grocery in the latest MAT and continues to experience double digit growth, with 90 per cent of those sales from Fancy Feast’s Classic Wet Cat range.

“Shoppers are seeking unique and specific nutritional products for their pets. Forty-seven per cent of pet owners have experienced health issues with their pet driving a greater need for more tailored pet nutrition they trust.”

“Shoppers are increasingly moving to single-serve Wet Food in both dog and cat, with single-serve Wet Cat now nearly 90 per cent of value sales, so it is important to have strong representation of single-serve rather than multi-serve.”

Nestlé Purina said its fastest growing category is the Pet Treat range, which is its second largest contributor to Pet Care growth, which aligns with the company’s research that 70 per cent of Australians described their pet as a beloved member of the family.

A new brand that has seen success in the channel is human-grade pet treat company Doggylicious, producer of dog cookies and dog peanut butter, with its five variants of cookies – Probiotic, Rainbow, Calming, Protein, and Hip, Joint and Coat – currently stocked in 65 OTR convenience stores across South Australia.

“Owners are seeking more opportunities to bond with and spoil their pets. These shoppers are willing to spend more on premium and high-quality food and treats to enable this,” said Nestlé Purina.

Ben Whyatt, Doggylicious Founder, believes stocking pet care products across the P&C channel is a no-brainer.

Within this category, the best performing treat is Lucky Dog Bones Originals 800g, which is also the top performing SKU in the Dog Treat snack segment, highlighting owners’ desires to indulge their pet as if they were a family member.

“I think OTR were the first to put pet treats and pet care in their stores, which makes perfect sense as half the time dogs are travelling in the car with their owners, so there’s a whole new customer that P&C gives us that we were not previously tapping into.”

Whyatt from Doggylicious, agrees that the humanisation of pets is a growing trend, and capitalised on this mindset by producing a range of Easter eggs for dogs over the Easter period.

OTR has signson the floor and a doggy station.They’ve made it really clear that dogs are welcome and that dogs are catered for in their store. So if your dog is in the car, you might just want to get it a little treat.” – Ben Whyatt, Founder, Doggylicious

Darach de Búrca, Portfolio Marketing Director Care and Treats at Mars Petcare, said they believe that up to 70 per cent of care and treat purchases are impulse or unplanned and that there is huge opportunity to increase the physical availability of the products. “Consumers have more choices than ever on where and how they get their groceries. We want to make sure that our brands are available to pet parents whenever they need them, and the 24-hour availability of the P&C channel can be a lifesaver if you realise your fussy cat is out of Whiskas at 7am.” Mars Petcare is the producer of more than 50 pet brands such as Pedigree, Whiskas, and Royal Canin, and due to the pet population boom brought on by COVID-19, its care and treats category has seen sustained growth over the past two years, which de Búrca suggests shows that we’re snacking with our pets while working from home. December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 19


PET CARE

We want to make sure that our brands are available to pet parents whenever they need them, and the 24-hour availability of the P&C channel can be a lifesaver if you realise your fussy cat is out of Whiskas at 7am.” - Darach de Búrca, Portfolio Marketing Director Care and Treats, Mars Petcare

“We were looking at what a human is after and how can we let them share that experience with their dog. So, over Easter we produced an Easter egg pack, which was really responsive, because when your dog is happy, everyone seems happy.”

A CONVENIENT PURR-CHASE The introduction of pet care products in the P&C sector is a relatively new development and retailers must learn to adapt to this change to incorporate the category as part of their retail offer. As pet care is traditionally a planned purchase in grocery, it becomes less planned within the P&C channel, so it is important to disrupt the shopper at time of purchase and remind them of the offering. Whyatt from Doggylicious, said OTR has done a great job in ensuring consumers are aware of his products as they enter the store. “OTR has signs on the floor and a doggy station. They’ve made it really clear that dogs are welcome and that dogs are catered for in their store. So if your dog is in the car, you might just want to get it a little treat.” 20  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Nestlé Purina agrees with this sentiment and believes positioning pet treats near the middle of the planogram will interrupt shoppers and encourage cross purchasing of main meals and treats. The company also offered some general planogram principles for retailers to keep in mind when stocking pet care products, which include clustering animal groups – cat and dog – separately to aid in shopper navigation, ensuring a fair share of the shelf is given to each sub-category, and ensure a better best flow up into the higher dollar per kilo brands. The influx of pets over the past two years means the demand for pet care products is not slowing down and the opportunity to capitalise on this growing market is evident to Mars Petcare, which sees the opportunity to expand. “There’s a great opportunity to embrace the high growth beyond traditional channels such as online, specialty and subscription. The P&C category is highly expandable, so there is a huge opportunity to increase the physical availability of these products,” said Mars Petcare’s de Búrca. C&I


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SUSTAINABILITY

A GREENER FUTURE Sustainability becomes a growing priority for companies, writes Thomas Oakley-Newell.

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he impacts of climate change are being felt and seen around the world in devastating measures, from flooding in India, droughts in Europe, to bushfires here in our own backyard.

With concern growing about how to not only manage, but prevent, these catastrophes, companies are under increasing pressure to reduce their impact towards climate change. To do this, businesses must first measure their current environmental footprint, including the amount of greenhouse and carbon dioxide emissions they are responsible for, then identify a solution that reduces this impact but also does not considerably damage their bottom line. This is not an easy process. But it is an important one. Only a handful of countries in the world have not committed to a Net Zero target before 2050. Australia has only just done so. Despite lagging as a nation, many companies operating within Australia have committed to a sustainability target. Recent research by IRI has identified that 55 per cent of Australians try to buy environmentally friendly products, and that this trend rings true across all age demographics – from empty nesters to families with young kids through to retired couples. 22  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Daniel Bone, Insights Director, IRI, said that the research highlights the need for FMCG retailers and brands to not only understand the complexities and characteristics of a sustainability mindset but also be able to respond through action in a meaningful way to attract a greater share of shopper spend. “Shoppers have spoken in the strongest possible terms about their views on sustainability – they want to save the planet and feel that they can help do this on a daily basis by making informed and proactive purchasing decisions with their food and grocery shopping.”

SETTING TARGETS Many FMCG companies have gone public with their sustainability commitments, which predominantly focus on the way they source their ingredients and their production methods. One such company is Arnott’s Group, which has committed itself to a range of targets including that it will sustainability grow and source 100 per cent of its key ingredients by 2035, and reduce, reuse or repurpose plastic packaging across Australia and New Zealand by 10 per cent by 2025. It will also increase choice, opportunity, and wellbeing by promoting inclusion and belonging, supporting communities, and providing diverse food options and guidance on nutrition.


SUSTAINABILITY

We have a comprehensive calendar of activities building on the progress we’ve made so far – specifically a continued focus on developing opportunities and solutions to the issues of packaging and climate change.” Cameron Davidson, Chief Consumer Officer, Frucor Suntory

Simon Lowden, Chief Transformation Officer, Arnott’s, said the company will be focusing on three key areas, including how ingredients are sourced, how products are made, and how communities are connected.

reducing absolute Scope One and Two emissions by 50 per cent globally by 2030 and reducing Scope One, Two and Three emissions intensity by 43 per cent per tonne of product produced at a global level,” said a Ferrero Group spokesperson.

“Our sustainability strategy focuses on the areas where we as a business can have the most meaningful and immediate impact with consideration to our supply chain, our retailers and our consumers.”

The first target covers 100 per cent of Scope One and Two emissions for the group’s plants, warehouses and head office. The second target covers the entire value chain.

Frucor Suntory has set five targets to achieve before 2030, they include contributing zero waste to landfill, using 100 per cent recyclable packaging, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35 per cent, reducing water usage by 20 per cent and that one-in-three drinks sold will contain low or no sugar.

Nestlé Australia is another FMCG company that has set a number of commitments including halving GHG emissions by 2030 and reaching Net Zero by 2050. It also plans on making packaging 100 per cent recyclable or reusable by 2025 and is aiming for 100 per cent certified sustainable cocoa and coffee globally by 2025.

Cameron Davidson, Chief Consumer Officer, Frucor Suntory, said that since 2017 they have made great progress across all areas of their sustainability and have implemented several projects that are delivering encouraging results. “We have a comprehensive calendar of activities building on the progress we’ve made so far – specifically a continued focus on developing opportunities and solutions to the issues of packaging and climate change. This involves a shift towards a circular economy, and ongoing efforts to decarbonise our operations.” The Ferrero Group has outlined four key pillars in which they are working towards; protecting the environment, sourcing ingredients sustainably, promoting responsible consumption and empowering people. “One of Ferrero’s ambitious new targets is to significantly reduce the group’s carbon footprint by 2030. These are science-based carbon targets, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative in December 2020, using 2018 as the base year and include

- Cameron Davidson, Chief Consumer Officer, Frucor Suntory

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES Due to many of these sustainability challenges having never been faced before, the methods for achieving these targets are not simple and often involve innovative new technologies and practices, all which cost money. Margaret Stuart, Head of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Nestlé Australia, said that despite the obvious costs associated with reaching their sustainability targets, it is imperative they do so. “Achieving our sustainability commitments can’t wait – and neither can we. Globally, we have invested considerably to accelerate our sustainability initiatives across packaging, improving water stewardship, through to regenerative agriculture. These investments are imperative to the long-term success of our business.” Davidson, Frucor Suntory, said it is too early to tell if these new sustainability costs would impact revenue. December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 23


SUSTAINABILITY

Simon Lowden, Chief Transformation Officer, Arnott’s Group

Achieving our sustainability commitments can’t wait – and neither can we.” - Margaret Stuart, Head of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Nestlé Australia

“There have been costs and savings with rolling out new procedures, creating new partnerships and investing in technology to help us meet our sustainability goals. We believe it’s our social responsibility to have a positive impact on the world around us, and we want to make sustainability an easier choice for consumers and commercial partners.” While Lowden, Arnott’s Group, is of the belief that for sustainability to be widely adopted, it must stack up commercially. “Everything that we’re doing in this space, we’re doing innovatively and in collaboration with our partners to identify viable sustainable alternatives.” A less direct challenge is that companies with a heavy reliance on raw materials may see these materials become harder to source as the impact of climate and environmental challenges are felt around the globe. Lowden explained: “We work closely with our supplier network to manage some of these challenges and explore opportunities to engage technological solutions. We also recognise the role that we play in driving the demand for repurposed plastics and enhancing recycling technologies so that as an industry we are better placed to achieve a circular economy for packaging materials.”

MEASURING PROGRESS Most companies have now set a sustainability target and committed to releasing annual reports detailing their progress and identifying areas for improvement. There are also global initiatives such as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), which is a list of 17 global goals intended to be reached by 2030. Another recognised metric for measuring progress is the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), which Ferrero Group and Nestlé are both using. This initiative allows companies to submit their targets for approval and if they are in line with what the latest climate science deemed necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, they can then communicate those targets publicly and work towards them. 24  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Arnott’s Group only released its first public sustainability statement earlier this year, but Lowden said they are working hard to meet and exceed the targets they have set for themselves. “We recognise that as an iconic Australian brand we play a significant role in the Australian food system and as such, have a responsibility to make it more sustainable. To do so, we are focusing our energy on conducting business within the natural boundaries of the planet and placing sustainability at the centre of our business strategy. It is important that as we continue to grow our business, we are shrinking our environmental impact on the planet and supporting the communities in which we operate.” Frucor Suntory has partnered with an independent advisory board to ensure they are on track with their target. “To help us accurately measure our CO2 emissions, we require all suppliers, site managers and manufacturers to provide us with regular internal and external reports. Since 2017, we have been working alongside Toitu Envirocare, which actively – and independently – measures and assesses us to make sure we’re making progress towards our CO2 target,” said Davidson. Ferrero Group says that reliability and transparency are critical to ensure sustainability and that by establishing direct longterm commercial relationships with producers and suppliers of raw materials they can make certain to stick to their sustainability targets. “We require all suppliers and collaborators to adhere to our Codes (such as the Code of Business Conduct and Supplier Code) and to comply with our non-negotiable high standards.” Despite Ferrero Group implementing these sustainability measures, they have not seen a drop in revenue, in fact the opposite, ending the 2020 financial year with an increased turnover of 7.8 per cent on the previous year. “Consumers are voting with their wallets so as a company it’s not enough to just sell products. A company needs clear commitments and activities on sustainability.” C&I


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Doing the right thing for our planet for the next generation of Aussie kids From reef to rock, paddock to plain, we’re a vast and varied country. And whilst the landscape might change, what doesn’t, is knowing that our planet needs protecting for future generations of Aussie kids. At Sanitarium™, we’re keen to find ways to reduce our environmental impact. That’s why our commitment is that Weet-Bix™ packs just like this one, found on breakfast tables around the country, are 100% recyclable. So enjoy, knowing that when you fuel up on Weet-Bix™ and recycle, you’ll not only feel good, you’ll be doing the right thing for our planet.

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Shine+ Charged named the C&I Choice Product of the Year L-R: Safa de Valois, Steve Chapman and Deb Jackson

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Shine+ Charged named the C&I Choice Product of the Year The 2021 C&I Choice Product of the Year has been awarded to a product that bridges the gap between being an energy drink with real health benefits.

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ollowing much deliberation, C&I has chosen innovative new beverage Shine+ Charged as the best new release product of the year, awarding it as the 2021 C&I Choice winner. Shine+ Charged is a 500ml ‘better for you’ energy drink that utilises the benefits of nootropics as opposed to the traditional high sugar options. Steve Chapman, Founder, Shine+, said being named the C&I Choice Product of the Year was something that has been on his bucket list since founding the company. “It’s such a huge honour. I also think it’s probably one of the best awards we can get, given we are traditionally so dominant in petrol and convenience (P&C). This really is the channel we care about the most.”

26  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Chapman said the inspiration for creating Shine+ Charged came through research that showed one of the leading reasons why people purchased a beverage was for a pick-me-up. So, the team decided to build a range optimised for the consumer looking for a healthier energy drink alternative. “We looked at the market and realised there was no one really owning that space whatsoever from a brand leadership perspective. Aside from your big energy players that would have a sugar free option, but that would generally be artificially sweetened.” Chapman said that while the range, which currently has four flavours, is sugar-free it doesn’t compromise on flavour, which was very important. “We didn’t want to sacrifice flavour for zero sugar. Often people think that there’s this trade off, when something is made from zero sugar, but we pushed food scientists hard and really came up with something that’s full-flavour but with very low calories and no sugar.” Another reason why C&I has awarded Shine+ Charged the best new release product is the company’s impressive performance over the past 12 months, which is at 100 per cent growth on the previous year.

“Our company goal is to keep doubling every year, so 100 per cent is the benchmark. And we are well above that at the moment. “So, that’s the plan for the next 12 months as well and we’re probably already on track to double again, for the next four months now with the success of this Charged range, it’s doing far better than we expected.” Initially created for P&C, Shine+ Charged is set to go market wide, but Chapman said due to energy being so traditionally dominant within P&C, he expects that to be the biggest channel. There are currently four flavours available, Blood Orange, Wild Tropical, Grape, which is exclusive to 7-Eleven, and Mixed Berry, which is exclusive to Ampol. Chapman said that of those flavours, Grape has proven the most popular. “Energy drinks have never launched a grape flavour successfully. Grape is such a dominant flavour in sports, so we’ve kind of bridged that gap where no energy drinks have actually done it before, and it’s now jumped to our number one selling SKU in 7-Eleven, above all the 330ml and glass bottles ranges.”


www.shinedrink.com


C&I CHOICE AWARDS

Flavoured Milk

Winner: Dare Double Espresso No Sugar Added

Confectionery

Winner: Jelly Belly Donut Shoppe Over the past year, Australians have increasingly turned to sweet indulgences to provide that joyful energy boost or as a reason to connect with friends and family. Riding this wave of gourmet, sweet goodness, Jelly Belly introduced a new flavour mix, Donut Shoppe, which hits the spot for all those flavour explorers. The assortment of doughnut flavours includes Glazed, Chocolate Glazed, Apple Filled, Strawberry Iced, and Blueberry Cake. The Donut Shoppe Mix comes in a 28g pouch, the perfect grab and go format for a fun, flavour packed, pick me up.

Dare Double Espresso No Sugar Added was launched to provide a better for you version of the beloved Dare products. “We believe in providing consumers with choice, and this product is a great way to offer fans of Dare Iced Coffee a range of options to suit their needs at the time of purchase. We know fans of Dare love the taste of Dare Double Espresso, so we’ve worked hard to ensure Dare Double Espresso No Sugar Added packs the same delicious coffee fix,” said a spokesperson. Packed with twice the coffee, and made with no sugar added, Dare Double Espresso No Sugar Added is a delicious blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee, combined with fresh milk for a smooth flavour.

C&I Choice category winners Each year we award one product as the C&I Choice Product of the Year. This year, we’ve decided to also highlight our pick of the best new product releases in several categories. Here are the winners…

Chocolate

Winner: KitKat Cookie Collision Coffee

Winner: Beforeyouspeak Coffee As pioneers in the functional beverage category, Beforeyouspeak Coffee tapped into the significant demand for healthier options and took ‘health on the go’ to a new level with its RTD range that is dairy free, low in calories, and boosted with essential vitamins, minerals, and superfoods. Beforeyouspeak’s RTD range includes the Performance Blend, supercharged with Siberian Ginseng and Turmeric available in Double Shot and Oat Latte flavours; and the Collagen Blend infused with Marine Collagen and Biotin available in an indulgent Mocha Oat Milk Latte flavour. 28  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

KitKat Cookie Collision brings together the iconic KitKat crisp wafer fingers with delectable cookie fudge filling and cocoa crisps, all covered in smooth milk chocolate. The perfect collision of that sweet cookie taste with delicious milk chocolate makes for a more indulgent break, allowing KitKat fans to give in to their senses as they revel in the new flavour. Nestlé Head of Marketing Confectionary Joyce Tan said: “The cookie flavour is a universally loved classic, so we’re excited for fans to delight their senses with the KitKat Cookie Collision, making their break all the more indulgent.” KitKat Cookie Collision is available in Coles, Woolworths and independent grocery and convenience stores nationwide for RRP $2.


C&I CHOICE AWARDS Pet Care

Winner: Purina Lucky Dog

Snackfoods

Winner: Donskis Bullets We all know the DON name… Is DON. Is GOOD. Synonymous with ham, bacon, and smallgoods Australiawide, the company has entered the snacking and convenience arena with its Donskis Bullets in 45g bags. Donskis Bullets are an ambient meat-based snack range that delivers more flavour, more convenience, and more opportunity for growth. A bite sized version of the original Donskis, they are made from wood smoked salami for authentic taste and packed with flavour in every bite. Donskis Bullets are available in both Hot and Mild and are a delicious full flavoured snack that provides consumers with a real flavour kick when hunger strikes.

Purina Lucky Dog is a beloved Australian heritage dog food brand that has been keeping dog’s tails wagging since 1963. Purina Lucky Dog offers a simple range of tasty meals and delicious treats that provide practical care without compromise. Made with real meat, it’s the smart choice for real Aussie dogs. The Minis Biscuits Beef & Bacon flavour are specially crafted for small breeds to enjoy. These treats are made with wholesome ingredients and are sure to induce lots of tail wagging with their tasty, meaty flavour. As well as being a great treat for reward or play, these biscuits are also oven baked with a deliciously crunchy texture that's designed to clean teeth and reduce tartar. In addition, these biscuits come in the shapes of bones and hearts to enable dog owners to show that extra affection and care for their best mate.

Non-Dairy

Winner: Bickford’s Premium Plant Milk Food On The Go

Winner: Mrs Mac’s Pastry Bakes

Australian owned Mrs Mac’s has been operating since 1954 and earlier this year released its new pastry bake range featuring golden puff pastry filled with a delicious savoury filling. The range includes a variety that plays across breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacking occasions, with the three core flavours of bacon, egg and cheese, ham and cheese, and pulled beef. The range has a bakery style look and finish making them a convenient meal option whether it be on the go or as a centre of plate offer. The format originates from the UK where bakes have become popular within the hot food category, rivaling pies and sausage rolls in terms of demand, and Mrs Mac’s new pastry bakes are sure to excite consumers in the same fashion as the UK.

Bickford’s tapped into a rapidly growing category with the launch of its Premium Plant Milk range, available in five varieties – Almond, Oat, Cashew, Macadamia, and Pistachio. The five plant-based varieties are all made using more than 90 per cent Australian ingredients with no artificial sweeteners or GMOs. And the entire range is manufactured, bottled, and warehoused in the Bickford’s HAACP accredited South Australian Operations Centre using industry leading, worldclass technology. Bickford’s Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Chris Illman, said the launch was in response to global demand for plantbased, café quality milks. “We’ve extensively tested each product for multiple uses, from café-envy style milk, to topping your cereals or as an alternative when baking, to meet various ‘milk’ needs throughout the day, so that the range can be used like fresh milk and can be enjoyed hot or cold.” The one litre Bickford’s Premium Plant Milks are available through independent retailers nationally, found in the chilled drinks aisle, with an RRP of $6. December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 29


Maximus Ultra breaks ground in sports drink category Maximus is raising the stakes in the sports drink category with the addition of an Australian first hybrid sports drink, Maximus Ultra, to its range. Maximus Ultra contains Branched Chained Amino-Acids (BCAAs) to support muscle recovery and performance. It also contains 50 per cent more electrolytes than regular Maximus as well as B Vitamins, B3, B5, B6 and B12. Kate Taylor, Senior Brand Manager, says Maximus Ultra adds great value to the Maximus range as it is the first hybrid sports drink of its kind in Australia. “Besides being a market first and a unique product in the sports category, it also remains true to Maximus’ core – to give consumers the extra hydration they need to work, play and everything in-between,” she says. “Like the rest of the players in the team, Maximus Ultra also helps hard working Aussies to replenish, recover and refuel to push themselves to the limits, time and time again. “Since its launch, Maximus has proven to deliver incremental value to the sports category through groundbreaking NPD. “By introducing Maximus Ultra to our line up we’re continuing to drive our ambition to create innovative sports drinks that not only have additional benefits but retain a competitive price point per litre.” Maximus Ultra is available now at most supermarkets, petrol stations, and convenience stores, in two flavours Tropical and Berry. 30  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

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The non-alcoholic beverages sector is continuing to gain traction with consumers, driven by a reduction in alcohol consumption and a move towards healthier lifestyles. The category grew +2.9 per cent in 2020/21 according to the 2021 IWSR Drinks Market Analysis’ No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study. It’s an opportunity that petrol and convenience (P&C) retailers are increasingly taking notice of. The category presents the opportunity for brand new incremental sales with great margin for retailers, and it’s for this reason that we have chosen Australia’s largest range of non-alcoholic RTD cocktails, Naked Life, as our latest C&I Choice. Naked Life, famous for its sugar-free sodas and iced teas has just unveiled a new range of RTD non-alcoholic cocktails and amber spirit inspired mixed drinks, with a whopping 11 SKUs hitting supermarket and P&C shelves.

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C&I gets behind the Naked way of life

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The Naked Life non-alcoholic cocktail range was created to deliver the most popular cocktail flavours globally, in a RTD format. Among this range are the award-winning Margarita, Yuzu Sake and Wimbledon Spritz. Next to that, there is also a unique offer with the amber range, including Spiced Caribbean Spirit Dry & Lime, a Canadian Rye Spirit Dry & Lime, Australian Cane Spirit & Cola and American Malt Spirit & Cola. At the centre of the brand’s ethos is the belief that it is possible to champion the good things in life without compromising what’s important. That’s why founder and CEO David Andrew has worked for years with a select team to craft each batch with a carefully distilled blend of botanicals and ingredients. This way Australians get to enjoy a drink that has the unmistakable taste of a cocktail without the alcohol, sugar, or high calories.


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Why convenience retailers should offer Snackinar The high-protein snacks loaded with essential nutrients and no sugar. Special introductory pricing is available for retailers interested in trialling these innovative highprotein snacks.”

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nackinar is the innovative Australian-made highprotein snack that retailers need. They’re an ideal replacement for unpopular beef jerky products and their variants that suffer low pickup in Australia. Nick Hazell, who is credited with the invention of popular savoury snacks such as the Grainwave and the truffle Red Rock Deli chip, said: “Jerky is horrible from all perspectives, it’s a terrible snack food. The texture is bad, people don’t get a satisfying aftertaste that leaves you wanting more, and it’s such a journey to chew through a piece of jerky. It can’t be an effective snack food because people don’t want to go through that. The question is, how do we make this product something better? Because if we can do that, we can tap into a much larger consumer segment.” (Source: Meat and Livestock Australia, 2018 Investigation of Novel Drying Technologies & Opportunity Spaces for the Australian Meat Industry). Despite wide availability for many years, and more than 50 local brands, jerky has failed to gain traction in Australia with annual sales languishing at around $40 million. If jerky was as popular in Australia as it is in the UK and US markets, annual sales in Australia would be greater than $100 million. The best way forward for dried meat snacks in Australia is to bring a better product to market with its own name and brand expression. Snackinar Beef Strips are this solution. Snackinar is produced using a process that’s different to that used to create jerky or biltong. It’s based on a unique baking cycle in purpose-built ovens that enable wellseasoned beef to dry in a way that results in beautifully tender

32  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

meat with a great texture and a nice easy chew. Once the baking cycle is complete, the meat is simply sliced up and packaged. (Jerky is sliced first, then marinated and finally dried. Biltong is pickled in vinegar first before being semidried). Snackinar aligns with what Australian consumers want because it is not tough or sugary the way jerky is. Snackinars are loaded with haem iron that can directly combat iron deficiency. More than 2.5 million Australian women have inadequate iron intake. Up to 35 per cent of the haem iron consumed can be leveraged by the human body, while only as little as two per cent of non-haem iron can be. Dairy and plants contain non-haem iron only. Nonhaem iron is the form of iron added to ‘iron-enriched’ and ‘iron-fortified’ foods. Snackinars are a great post-exercise snack with hunger negating effects and sea salt to replenish electrolytes (magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium). They are made in Australia using high quality grass and grain fed Australian beef to ensure high nutritional value with optimal fat marbling for great natural flavour. After an initial soft launch via Amazon in 2020 to test the market, Snackinar sales are currently growing at more than 100 per cent per quarter. The majority of Amazon customer reviews are very positive. Special introductory pricing is available for retailers interested in trialling these innovative high-protein snacks. You can find Snackinar online at snackinar.com and @snackinar. For more information, please email michael@snackinar.com.


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PRODUCT RANGING

Give your signage a facelift with Fujivision powered by Fujifilm Digital signage allows business owners to better understand their customers and engage on a deeper level.

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Fujivision products include:

- Front of store display screens - Digital LED signs - Outdoor signage - Video walls - Advertising screens - Digital menu boards

hen it comes to digital signage, Fujivision, powered by Fujifilm, can provide fully customisable solutions tailored to the differing needs of every business. Currently working with customers in the petrol and convenience (P&C) industry, Fujivision offers fully integrated end-to-end solutions from installation of digital signage right through to ongoing training and support. “Fujivision provides you with everything you need to get set up and running then to stay visible,” says Anthony Irwin, Product Manager, Fujifilm. “As well as providing digital signage, Fujivision can also implement audience analytics with your solution, which captures key information about your signage audiences including demographics, mood, reaction and how long the customer views the message.” This technology allows business owners to better understand their customer and to measure deeper insights into the types of customers that are engaging with specific content. “Fujivision can help you measure which pieces of content are performing the best, so that you can tailor your content to deliver the right message, to the right customer, at the right time,” says Irwin. “The content management system used by Fujivision is cloud-based, allowing for smaller in-store hardware, and centralised content updates. Instead of sending out printed POS to each store, updates to the digital screens can be made from one centralised location, saving you time and money.”

Variety of signage

• Fujivision can offer the right solution to engage customers and bring them in-store. • This includes window signage, ceiling or wall mounted screens, combined with thin LED signage above cabinets and outdoor freestanding solutions that draw attention to your store 24 hours per day. • Reliable commercial screens are cost effective and have a 24/7 rating and long lifespan.

34  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Targeted content

• Thinking you can only show images on your screens? Fujivision’s CMS makes it easy to schedule specific content based on location and can change this based on time of day to target the different needs and types of customers that visit your store throughout the day. • Targeted messaging ensures the content is most engaging to guarantee longer view times and drives behaviour to purchase.

Fujivision benefits:

• Reach creative awareness for your business, products, and promotional offers instantaneously. • Engage with your customers and create a deeper, more immersive brand experience. • Measure. We are more than just screens. Our cutting-edge data analytics and audience measurement solutions give accurate ROI, message performance and live content targeting. • Influence your customers by providing dynamic, targeted messages that are noticed and remembered. • Create efficiencies by investing in a digital solution as opposed to constantly spending on traditional point of sale formats. • Generate revenue by advertising your products and services or through media sales.

Fujivision can help to:

• Save time and money when it comes to updating prices or your latest promotion • Increase footfall by placing digital screens on the outside of your store • Boost basket value by using screens in-store promoting key offers • Keep customers entertained and engaged – news, weather, traffic updates, in-store promotions For more information visit Fujivision.com.au or contact ffau.fujivisionsales@fujifilm.com.


PRODUCT RANGING

Waterproof. Dustproof. Literally Drippin Beats by Fuse It wasn’t too long ago that portable speakers were only just that, portable but with huge batteries, large drivers, and quite large framework to be able to bring it all together. As technology has evolved components have become more efficient, bringing a rise of smaller speakers that are now truly portable and pack of punch for their size. Enter the Drippin Beats Waterproof and Dustproof speaker by Fuse. The epitome of a small but mighty unit this speaker has it all in one tidy unit built to go wherever you want to take it, we are thinking tunes by the beach, a pool party or maybe camping. Crafted to last that little bit longer enjoy 4.5+ hours listening time to rich tunes being driven by 5W. Simple controls allowing track and volume control, input control and call answering are featured discreetly on top of this modern stripped back frame, which combines the aesthetic of modern simple tech with the reminiscent shapes of live music amps from the 70s.

Vittoria Coffee launches its first ever instant coffee After 64 years of roasting coffee in Australia, Vittoria Coffee is proud to announce the launch of its first ever instant coffee. Made with its famous 100 per cent Arabica blends, the freeze-dried instant range captures the richness and balance of a traditionally prepared Vittoria Coffee in the convenience of an instant. In the early days of the company’s history, one of its greatest challenges was convincing Australians to drink espresso coffee. Throughout the 80s, CEO Les Schirato would spend weekends in the supermarket conducting demonstrations for traditional tea and instant coffee drinkers, showing them how to prepare pure coffee in a plunger and how to make an espresso using a caffettiera. At this time, sales of pure coffee in supermarkets were tiny compared to instant coffee. Today, that’s no longer the case with the pure coffee market worth close to $400m. Over the years, Vittoria Coffee saw its customers becoming increasingly time-poor, which lead to the development of new, easier coffee experiences. Available in four 100g jars – Original Classic, Italian, Latte and Mountain Grown.

Move past the looks and get straight into the important functional detail, this speaker packs a punch for such a small unit, 90+*- 3DB Sensitivity, 120-20000HZ frequency with a 5W Output power it is clear mighty mouse is in the building. A solid connection via the latest Bluetooth 5.0 format means you can rely on staying connected, wirelessly of course to your ultimate portable personal soundtrack device. So, save your bank for the experience, find this powerful, waterproof and dustproof speaker in your local convenience outlet and make the most of this summer with your own personal soundtrack. Pool party sounds good! Enjoy some drippin beats and truly make the sounds of summer. Fuse Drippin Beats Speaker will retail for RRP $39.99. For enquiries reach out to the Pacific Optics team or customer service on orders@pacificoptics.com.

Tyrrells a standout in Crinkle Cut segment Tyrrells 75g has proved to be an absolute star performer in the convenience channel. Since the launch six months ago, the SKUs have rocketed to be in the top five best SKUs launched in that period. The Tyrrells brand has contributed 30 per cent of total category growth in the last 12 months despite only being in the market for six months. Joseph de Petro, National Business Manager – Petrol and Convenience, said: “Prior to the launch of Tyrrells the Crinkle Cut segment was stagnant and in decline, down -9.8 per cent in the last six months. We invested behind this brand in the convenience channel, and since the Tyrrells launch, the Crinkle Cut segment is growing ahead of the category at +4.3 per cent.” Although new to the snacking category and only six months in the market Tyrrells is the second-best performing brand in the salty snack category and a serious challenger for the number one position. Data source: IRI 24.10.21 December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 35


PRODUCT RANGING

Donskis Crackle – the latest in high protein savoury snacking Customers are snacking more often – providing a great foundation for Donskis Crackle in Savoury Snacks. ‘Snackification’ continues to rise with a projected four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at +4.8 per cent. COVID has not slowed this growth, as people continued to snack while working from home or home schooling, and this trend is expected to stick post COVID. People are shifting to healthy snacking alternatives, like popcorn and vegetable snacks – and seeking low carb and high protein options. Meat based snacks have been gaining momentum as they offer the benefits of protein and satiety. They provide an alternative snacking solution that fulfills the highest need of snacking – energy and sustenance. Australia has one of the highest meat consumptions per capita, yet ambient meat snacking penetration is only around nine per cent. There is opportunity to bring more people to the category with a trusted and well know meat brand that delivers on delicious taste and better for you snacking. Donskis Crackle from Don Smallgoods comes in three tasty impactful flavours – Sea Salt, Salt & Vinegar and Smoky Bacon. Crackling is a product many people are familiar with but may come with unhealthy perceptions. Oven baked, not fried, Donskis Crackle has less fat than other offers in the market. Low carb and with up to 19g of protein in each serve, it offers the eating experience of chips without the carb load, less fat and real protein that provides longer lasting energy.

Sophie Fetterplace, Head of Marketing and Innovation, Don Smallgoods says: “Don is a well-known and trusted brand within smallgoods – Is Don, Is Good. Donskis Crackle has all the delicious, tasty flavour of Don in a high protein savoury snack. They are oven baked not fried, unlike other crackle offers, and with no artificial colours and flavours, they offer a better for you alternative when people are looking for a salty snack.” Please contact Don Customer Service on 1800 806 381 to find out more.

Four’N Twenty Travellers keep Aussies fuelled on summer road trips The much-loved Four’N Twenty Traveller range is the ultimate travel companion this summer. Holidaymakers on the road won’t be able to resist these delicious handheld snacks, perfect for eating on-the-go. Four’N Twenty is the original creator of the Traveller format and remains the number one brand in Australia’s hot, on-the-go savoury sector. Recent launches include exciting new flavours and formats to ensure there is something for everyone and every occasion. Perfect for a bite to eat on the run, the Four’N Twenty Traveller range is conveniently shaped for the one-handed eat. In addition to the popular Traveller pie range, Four’N Twenty has launched a new pizza range that’s packed full of flavour. The Traveller pizzas come in two mouth-watering flavours, Meat Lovers and Hawaiian, and are the perfect choice for hot pizza on-the-go. With something to suit everyone, they are sure to hit the spot this summer. Patties Foods, General Manager of Marketing and Innovation, Anand Surujpal, says: "Our Four’N Twenty Traveller is the top-selling range in convenience and retail. Customers can enjoy delicious hot handheld snacks anytime or anywhere they please these summer holidays – making them the perfect road trip travel companion.” Whether you’re looking for a road trip snack, lunch, or something to tide you over between meals, the Four’N Twenty range provides delicious and satisfying meals that are great additions to every warmer. Available to purchase hot from petrol and convenience stores, customers love reaching for a tasty Four’N Twenty when they’re out on the open road. The Four’N Twenty Traveller range is the original, and still the best! 36  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au


PRODUCT RANGING

Signature Desserts Signature Desserts cheesecake and mousse are the perfect on-the-go dessert. Ever felt like a cheesecake but didn’t want to eat an entire cake? Well, Signature Desserts has just the product for you. The innovative packaging for the 100g cheesecake and 90g mousse, both with a spoon included, are optimally designed for impulse purchases and easy on-the-go eating. The cheesecake packaging was created by Founder of Signature Desserts, Trevor Hansen, when he owned and operated an industrial snack bar and was looking for a way to sell his famous cheesecake as an all-inclusive packaged product. Over the past three years, Signature Desserts has invested in the latest technologies and machinery enabling the company to produce more than four million units a year, greatly expanding its product range and customer offering. The RRP for both the cheesecake and the mousse is $2.99 and is targeted at those looking to impulse purchase a dessert or add-on to other products such as coffee, tea, or soft drink. Signature Dessert products are made from all-natural and high-quality ingredients without fillers, artificial colours or flavours. The cheesecake is known for its smooth and dense consistency that melts on the tongue,

and the mousse is renowned for being rich, thick, and smooth with a low aeration rate. Currently the cheesecake range offers three different flavours – lemon, vanilla bean with strawberry coulis, and mango. While the mousse range has four – chocolate, lemon, mango, and strawberry, with all fruit mousses made from 40 per cent real fruit. The mousse range comes in a variety of different pack options – a nine-carton of chocolate mousse, a nine-carton of fruit mousses, and a mixed carton featuring six of each flavour. The cheesecake has similar pack options – a nine-unit carton of a single flavour, a mixed carton with six of each flavour, and a mixed pallet. Signature Desserts is continuously working to bring new and return customers in-store, by investing in social media campaigns and activations as well as the launch of its annual Cheesecake Challenge, and various other in-store competitions. As well as the mousse and cheesecake, Signature Desserts produces a variety of other products including, but not limited to, fruit bars, panna cotta, and custard creams. Signature Desserts’ wide range of products is available for wholesale from Metcash, and the company will be attending the C&I Expo in March 2022. December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 37


INDULGENCE It’s all about convenience

Signature Desserts has been supplying our unique single serve desserts to the Australian market since 1995.


Our range of Cheesecake and Mousse products are designed to meet consumer demand for delicious, convenient, ready-to-eat desserts. Our range for Foodservice and Retail includes Australia’s favourite flavours of Chocolate, Vanilla, Mango, Strawberry and are proudly all natural – we do not use any synthetic flavours or colours.

With an attractive starting RRP of $2.99 our Mousse and Cheesecake SKUs are available in single and twin packs, making them easy to display, sell and consume.

For sales enquiries contact trevor@signaturedesserts.com.au Phone +61 7 3395 6633 Mobile +61 413 126 107


PRODUCT RANGING

New fizzy drink Sorted is jam-packed with health benefits Seventy per cent of Australians don’t meet their daily fibre requirements and new better-for-you fizzy drink, Sorted, is here to solve that. Packed with seven grams of healthy fibre to support good digestion, it’s easy to keep your tummy active and regular when Sorted, with all the fizz and pop of a regular soft drink, tastes so good. Released by The Good Seed, Sorted is a prebiotic better-for-you beverage that is made using all natural ingredients that are proven to support your gut in the production of good bacteria. The fizzy drink is made with Acacia Gum, a prebiotic fibre that improves intestinal health, and zero sugar, instead using a protein-based sweetener to avoid any spikes in blood sugar and insulin and ensure no gastrointestinal distress. Sorted is formulated by food scientists and guided by current microbiome and digestive research, and is able to be enjoyed by everyone, as it is suitable for diabetics, as well as FODMAP, gluten-free, Keto, and vegan diets. The team behind Sorted is The Good Seed, made up of Ivy Ong and Adrian Soon, who started the company after struggling with strange health concerns that were unable to be treated by modern medicines.

The pair turned to alternative methods, first setting their sights on Kefir, a drink traditionally made by fermenting milk that contains more than 10 times good bacteria than yoghurt. Due to intolerances, they began making water kefir and in 2017 started The Good Seed, selling their hand-brewed bottles of water kefir out of their Honda Jazz. Fast forward four years, and Ong and Soon have their own purpose-built factory, and have set their sites on a new venture aimed at cultivating good gut health – Sorted. Sorted is available in three different flavours – Watermeon and Mint, Blood Orange, and Blackcurrant. The RRP is $3.50 and will become available across the P&C channel in 2022.

Tiger Coffee Oceania: Reconnect – Renew – Rebuild in 2022 When the Convenience & Impulse (C&I) Expo 2021 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiger Coffee kept busy preparing for the next show, to be held at the Convention Centre in Melbourne at the end of March 2022. For the first time, attendees to the C&I Expo 2022 will get to see the latest in cutting-edge soft and hardware solutions for the self-service market. Introducing the next generation standalone coffeebarONE Solution by Iovent. Iovent is working with Eversys SA and Tiger Coffee to develop software that will enhance the user experience. Self-service and standalone coffee bar solutions are an innovative way to address the Business of Coffee (5th Wave) scenario, where every business whether it is convenience, petrol, or grocery, wants to address their coffee service model taking into account the barriers to labour shortages and associated costs, space, sustainability and also overall productivity. These are only some of the problems that, so far, have not been resolved for some convenience business models. Tiger Coffee Oceania is at the forefront of coffee serving solutions ensuring a bespoke and custom fit out, service and maintenance 40  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

agreement to support an improved customer experience in-store. Tiger Coffee Oceania, with Iovent and Eversys coffee machine technology are already providing a partnered solution to the two-way telemetry and contactless product offering for Coles Group in both supermarket and P&C locations. Tiger Coffee has been able to lead the adoption of bench top coffee automation in Australia and New Zealand. Now, as the official distributor of Eversys in the Pacific region, Tiger Coffee Oceania will be able to roll out above the bench, below the bench as well as standalone coffee serving innovations. With the Iovent partners program, using technically advanced product solutions, working with clients that want to explore business opportunities like data and profit sharing while providing the customer with a quality and consistent coffee experience is already appealing to several clients in the United Kingdom and Europe. The result of improved coffee in-store is repeat business, which is what every retailer is looking for. Register your interest now at LetsTalkCoffee@eversysoceania.com or visit www.eversysoceania.com.


PRODUCT RANGING

Choose Pepsi Max to win this summer! Pepsi Max is giving consumers a million reasons to pick up a bottle or carton of the great tasting no sugar cola this summer. Between the months of January to April, Pepsi Max is giving Aussies the chance to ‘max their summer’ by giving away more than $1 million worth of epic prizes including vouchers for Airbnb, Jetstar and Ticketek. Simply purchase a limited-edition Pepsi Max PET bottle or multipack carton, scan the QR code and enter the unique code for a chance to win instantly1. This major consumer activation will continue to build on Pepsi Max’s 11.7 per cent growth in petrol and convenience (P&C) in 2021* and excitement around the brand. Impactful in-store display and POS will be available to participating retailers, as well as significant digital and out of home advertising to drive traffic to stores, purchase and participation. For more information contact Scott Taylor on 0439 657 174 or email scott.taylor@asahi.com.au. *IRI Market Edge Convenience, Value MAT Sep 2021 T&Cs apply, see www.pepsimax.com.au/summerpromo for full details. Enter for your chance to win during the promotion period. AU res. 18+ only. Starts: 9am AEDT on 28/1/22. Ends: 11:59pm AEDT on 17/4/22. Max one entry p/unique code and five entries p/person p/day. Prize Pool: $1,001,626 (10k instant prizes). Winners of instant prizes valued at $50+ at website from 25/4/22. Promoter: PepsiCo Beverage Singapore Pty Ltd (ABN 28 609 497 832), 799 Pacific Highway, Chatswood NSW 2067. NSW Authority No. TP/00510. ACT Permit No. TP21/01636. SA Licence No. T21/1485. 1

Providing ‘Crazy Customer Love’ with amaysim At amaysim, award-winning customer service that goes above and beyond to show ‘Crazy Customer Love,’ is always the aim. “We provide your mobile customers great value, frictionless connection, no lock-in contracts, more data for their buck, access to the Optus 4G Plus network and surprising bonuses. In other words, the amaysim SIM is a little love machine, powered by customer love. “We are the fourth largest mobile service provider, servicing over 1.2 million subscribers and growing. We have just been awarded 2021 Whistleout Mobile Provider of the Year and we exist to courageously champion your customers’ mobile needs by giving them amazingly simple connectivity, smart tools, DIY account management, and transparent products with a whole lotta heart.” Should you want to know more about amaysim and how they can help to grow your business, contact James.So@amaysim.com.au or call retail support on 1300 922 312. For more info about amaysim visit www.amaysim.com.au. December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 41


OPINION

THEO FOUKKARE CEO, AACS

The channel will deliver almost $10 billion in retail shop sales in 2021.” – Theo Foukkare, CEO, AACS

A bright future for P&C The petrol and convenience channel is stronger than ever, writes Theo Foukkare, CEO, AACS.

R

ecently the Federal Government announced its Future Fuels & Vehicle Strategy*. It is a very comprehensive report, however some of the key headlines were around the implementation of 50,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging points and investment into the electrical infrastructure to allow the grid to cope with the demand over time. This then sparked some media commentators to suggest that the “petrol and convenience industry is about to have its Kodak moment”. I find it both frustrating and funny when uninformed commentators don’t do their research and provide balanced views on a topic. AACS members have been on a transformational journey for more than a decade in moving from petrol stations to convenience stores and ultimately into what we will refer to as roadside retailers. The channel has seen a significant decline in ‘fuel only’ transactions over the last 10 years and the channel is now less reliant on ‘fuel’ being the driver of transactions and foot traffic. In fact, in our 2020 State of the Industry (SOI) Report, we highlighted that fuel only transactions now account for less than 40 per cent of the mix. This will continue and the mix of shop sales will ultimately be the reason consumers come to our stores. The channel will deliver almost $10 billion in retail shop sales in 2021. Both major brands and independent operators are investing heavily in new food offers for now and later, shop redesigns to accommodate seating, adopting the home delivery model and click-and-collect services, creating parcel delivery and pickup hubs, and in many cases becoming the place to get your daily coffee from. In 2021, we expect foodservice to achieve $1 billion in retail sales. Our coffee offers continue to go from strength to strength, we played a key role in providing grocery products through the lockdown periods of the pandemic, functional beverages and better for me choices continue to gain traction, and this will only continue to grow as the

42  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

offers strengthen. In some cases, foodservice and coffee is now delivering in excess of 35 per cent of total shop sales. Kodak moment, I don’t think so. Back to EVs for a moment. We all understand that EVs, battery electric vehicles (BEV) and hydrogen will play a role in the future of fuels, however the latest car sales data for the month of September suggests that Australia will have some time before our sales of EVs get to the levels anticipated and being seen in some parts of Europe. Some people might not know, however there are more than 20 million registered vehicles in Australia, of which approximately 15 million are passenger vehicles. Based on this, how far do you think 50,000 chargers will go to powering the country?

Sales by propulsion or fuel type

• Petrol: 44,872, up 12.2 per cent • Diesel: 26,800, up 24.4 per cent • Hybrid: 6959, up 60.8 per cent • V minus Tesla*: 466, up 189.4 per cent • PHEV: 301, up 142.7 per cent • FCEV: Nil • Tesla refuses to supply sales information Source: VFACTS industry data compiled by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) September 2021 The retail and supplier family of the petrol and convenience channel is stronger than ever, I have never been as excited about the channel as much as I am today! Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year filled with new adventures, no lockdowns, and as close to a normal life as possible back. C&I * Download the Future Fuels & Vehicle Strategy here: https://mcusercontent.com/f923665e6cbfcadfc7fcbe74c/files/738556ae-ba9d-80b0-38e64dfb143d0af4/Australian_Government_Future_Fuels_and_Vehicles_Strategy_Released_November_2021.pdf


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OPINION

Shifting times

SKYE JACKSON General Manager Merchandise Ampol

Making sure you have the right offer and convenient ways for your customers to transact with you is key.” – Skye Jackson, General Manager Merchandise, Ampol

I

The petrol and convenience channel has a natural ability to target and benefit from changing shopping behaviours, writes Skye Jackson.

t’s hard to believe that another year has gone by so quickly. It’s fair to say that 2021 didn’t quite work out as we had anticipated after a challenging 2020, and I don’t think anyone expected the level of impact COVID-19 had on our lives this year! As a result of COVID, I believe the way that Australians balance their professional and personal lives has changed significantly, and it will be interesting to see how this behavioural change impacts customer missions and the way people shop with us. As a Sydneysider who spent over 16 weeks in lockdown, the shift to being at home really helped me create a healthy balance between my professional and personal life. This has meant being able to go for a run at lunchtime or take my dogs for a walk in the morning without the guilt factor of being away from my desk. Before COVID, I stayed at my desk 9-5 and would never have made the time for these activities, which are so crucial for physical and mental health! As a leader, I think it’s important to walk the talk on flexibility, so I will openly tell people when I’ve been offline during the day and for what type of activity. It’s important to find ways to manage your wellbeing and exercise is a great one to incorporate into your daily routine – having a run in the middle of the day allows me to re-set and get on with a productive afternoon. I’ve also realised that we can work quite effectively from home, and as we start to move back into the office, we’ll be transitioning to a 60/40 split of office-to-home working. This change has enabled me to think a little bit differently about recruitment by not restricting our search for talent to those within Sydney. As a result, I’ve been able to add some great new talent to our team based in Melbourne. The trend to flexibility will also drive changes in the way our customers shop with us. As we see people transition back to office-based working, we will start to see a revitalisation of the typical customer missions we experienced pre-lockdown,

44  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

such as using our convenient locations to pick up a quick coffee and breakfast on the way to work. In this future world of flexible home and office working, we expect to see our customers shop with us in varied ways, and the opportunity for Ampol is to continue capturing our customers during the days they are working from home. Making sure you have the right offer and convenient ways for your customers to transact with you is key. An example is utilising delivery services, such as UberEats, to reach a customer working from home who needs a quick re-charge, lunch or snack. What’s interesting in targeting the working-from-home consumer is the trend for larger pack sizes, either because they want to save some for later or they have someone at home to share with. This means we need to ensure we have the right range to target these at-home consumers, which is quite different to the single consumption pack sizes that are more popular for customers on-the-go. Our channel has a natural ability to target and benefit from the changing shopping behaviours we’ve seen through COVID-19 because of our convenient locations in both metropolitan and residential areas. At Ampol, we’ve benefitted from the trend of people staying within their suburbs to shop, and with our stores so conveniently located, we see consumers using us for a quick top-up of their essential items to save the hassle of going to a supermarket. The key to retaining these types of customers is absolutely all about the basics – having what they need, when they need it and providing great customer service. As we move towards these new flexible ways of working, it’s important to think about the varied needs of a customer throughout the week, and ensuring we find ways to serve these missions through both product range and transaction type. After another interesting year, I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings. C&I


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OPINION

A return to the corner store?

The pandemic has seen consumers increasingly shop locally, and retailers are taking advantage by experimenting with smaller formats. But can the traditional corner store be replicated?

NORRELLE GOLDRING Global Consultant – Shopper Journey

Ultimately what differentiates a corner store from a simple convenience store is not only its range but its ability to customise.” – Norrelle Goldring, Global Consultant – Shopper Journey

T

he early 2020 UK TV series Back in Time to the Corner Shop charted the rise and fall of the corner store in Britain, but it could equally have been the US or Australia. With the advent of supermarkets and chain convenience stores, traditional ‘mum and pop’ corner stores have pretty much been wiped out in some western markets due to inability to compete on price, and a lack of differentiation. But with the consumer push toward shopping locally and supporting local businesses arising from COVID, exemplified here by the resurgence of IGA, perhaps the time is ripe for a return to the traditional corner store. Certainly, the supermarkets have been attempting their versions of it in the past couple of years, with Aldi the latest to enter the fray with its ‘Corner Store’ concept launched in North Sydney in July. Albeit at twice the footprint of an average convenience store, theoretically what makes it a ‘corner store’ is its range tailored to local constituents. Coles has been trialling ‘Local’ formats such as at Rose Bay, partnering with local butchers, bakers and cafes. Woolworths has been rolling out Metro smaller footprint stores, although some CBD and transit locations have suffered or closed due to COVID-related footfall reductions. The small local format is seeing a rise in some markets, due not only to consumer demand but because operationally they are cheaper to build, rent, maintain, and run than a larger format store. In Russia ‘ultra-convenience’ small format withinshort-walking-distance stores are forecast to represent a quarter of food retail sales by 2025, up from 10 per cent in

2021. Ultra-convenience stores, spearheaded by Mercury Retail’s Red & White and Bristol chains, now represent 43 per cent of total convenience, and sales were up 27 per cent in the first half of 2021. The number of ultraconvenience stores is forecast to double by 2025, with sales value forecast to increase by three-times to RUB5 trillion over the same period.1 In some markets the traditional corner store never went away and is still a mainstay. In India, Indonesia, and the Philippines for example, more than 80 per cent of grocery shopping is done at India’s 15+ million kiranas, Indonesia’s 3.5 million warungs, and the Philippines’ 800,000+ sarisaris.2 Often the corner stores in these markets are run by at least two successive generations of the same family. And they are modernising in these markets, with the assistance of tech firms stepping in with services. Consumers are increasingly replacing phone-based corner store orders with ones made and paid for on WhatsApp and either picked up curbside or delivered to home. Corner store owners are increasing their range of services to allow payment of utility bills and mobile phone card top-ups. Companies such as Mitra Bukalapak in Indonesia and Jumbotail in India provide store owners with an app that allows them to order direct from manufacturers, without needing a sales call or to leave the shopfront to visit a wholesaler. Companies such as Reliance and Amazon are working on similar platforms for mum and pop store operators. The space is so hot the term ‘kirana tech’ has been coined. Retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart have begun partnering with kiranas for deliveries.3 What could this look like here? Corner stores with differentiated, niche and/or high-quality food ranges, fresh food offerings, and an ability to ‘get products in’ customised to specific shopper requests. A range of services ranging from dry cleaning to postal services, in partnerships with organisations such as Australia Post. They could use their role in the local community to use their space for workshops and events including with local charities and other local businesses. The likelihood of continued working from home means that consumers will continue to shop local at elevated levels for some time. Suburban and regional town corner store locations will do well. Ultimately what differentiates a corner store from a simple convenience store is not only its range but its ability to customise. And an historic role in and support of the local community, as highlighted in Back in Time for the Corner Shop. And this is what will be difficult for the chains to replicate. C&I intellinews.com/russia-s-ultra-convenience-shopping-s-future-isn-t-just-online-220611

1

asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-trends/Mom-and-pop-2.0-Asia-s-traditional-retailers-embrace-tech

2

www.ndtv.com/india-news/kiranas-emerge-as-key-partners-for-amazon-reliance-walmart-2471185

3

46  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au


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OPINION

DARREN PARK CEO, United Convenience Buyers

Generic brands are of a high quality and return more profit to you than branded white milk…”

MAKING GENERIC MILK BRANDS WORK FOR YOU

– Darren Park, CEO, United Convenience Buyers

Darren Park, CEO, United Convenience Buyers, highlights the significant opportunity that generic milk brands represent for petrol and convenience retailers.

A

s a convenience retailer, you know that household staples such as milk are a popular choice for customers, as we make it easy for them to pick up essential items without the need to venture into a large grocery store. A frequently purchased item such as milk is something that customers will always come back for. So, ensure you have plenty of stock day and night, and you will create loyal customers who consider your store a destination shop for this and other commodity items. With so many customers shopping so often, white milk presents us with a unique margin growth opportunity, which will drive more profit into your stores – ranging and selling generic brands as an additional offer.

Generic versus branded milk

Did you know… Up to 85 per cent of total litres sold in most convenience stores is generic milk! How much difference can there be between branded and generic products? There are many instances where the generic product is just as good, if not better than the brand name. Did you know, many generic brands of milk 48  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

come from the same dairies as branded milk, they are proudly Australian owned and support Australian farmers. While we all know that big brands are important, customers are shopping in our channel because of the convenience, store location and their ‘top-up shop’ mission. As a low-priced household essential and with very little real brand differentiation, when it comes to milk, the brand is most often far less important for shoppers than the mission. With majority of white milk sales coming from generic milk, this suggests that customers are happy to buy generic milk as often, if not more often than the big brands represented in this commodity category.

Generic milk = More margin for retailers

Generic brands are of a high quality and return more profit to you than branded white milk from a lower cost base while meeting the shopper need of the ‘top-up’ mission. With more Australian shoppers choosing local and convenience stores as their destination of choice, we have seen an increase in the percentage of single unit versus multibuy purchases, which are now 55 per cent and 45 per cent respectively (Source: Provided by UCB Trade Partner).


OPINION

Great cost! More profit! Customer and retailer win!

What do we know about white milk shoppers?

+50% More than half of shoppers never buy white milk from convenience stores.

20% Only ever buy when it’s an emergency.

4% Use P&C as the main store channel.

Currently, 26 per cent of shoppers across the petrol and convenience (P&C) channel buy white milk, but only four per cent use our channel as their main source of purchase – these are similar numbers to small format supermarkets (Source: CMA White Milk August 2019 & Shopper Report August 2020). So, what can you do to drive sales of white milk in your store, but especially generic white milk brands, to maximise your margin? 1. Demonstrate more value to your shoppers Think about ways you can disrupt, attract, and inspire shoppers to buy more white milk from your store, while preferring generic brands – adding more value is a great way to do this. Whether it’s cross-category bundling (eg. bread and milk or bread and eggs combo) or highlighting local and Australian made brands.

2. Remind shoppers about milk As a staple product in most Australian households, milk is regularly bought in a supermarket shop, so why not show, and remind your shoppers that you sell it to? Think about strong in-store signage or point of sale at key locations in planograms and throughout your store, to help remind shoppers. 3. Planogram for success Place the range in prime shelf positions and/or close to complementary ranges, such as bread or eggs. 4. Recommend generic brands to your customers Your milk shoppers are most likely locals who have young and older families and will most likely purchase milk with their bread. Make sure you let these shoppers know that you sell generic milk brands at great prices and great combos for them. Being in stock day and night when your shopper needs milk will remind them of your offer and can inspire behaviours that will have them coming back for more! C&I

Convenience shoppers over index in

mid-week shop.

The shoppers are more likely to be a

local & baby boomer.

Source: AACS 2020 State of the Industry Report

Source: CMA Shopper Report August 2020 December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 49


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INDUSTRY NEWS

SANITARIUM IS TAKING ACTION IN RESPONSE TO OUR EVER-CHANGING WORLD Sanitarium is reducing its impact on natural resources by fostering efficiency and taking a recycle, reuse and regenerate approach to sustainability. The company promotes a plant-based diet because it's better for both people and the planet. Nature nourishes our body, mind, heart and spirit, so caring for our environment is our natural commitment to offer a healthier, better world for future generations. As such, Sanitarium is targeting 100 per cent of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

UP&GO™

UP&GO packaging provides the ultimate convenience, delivering the right type of energy when and where you need it. Sanitarium is actively seeking sustainable solutions to improve the recyclability of its packaging, helping you to recycle on the go. How about making some cash back? You can recycle both UP&GO cartons and bottles through container deposit schemes in NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, NT and WA, earning a 10 cent refund for each container you recycle. Sanitarium contributes to these government programs to help fund the collection of eligible products. Tasmania and Victoria have plans to implement them in the next couple of years.

Weet-Bix™

A change that could help divert 200 tonnes of plastic from landfill. Sanitarium Health Food Company is strengthening its commitment to sustainability by educating millions of Australian households on how to recycle 100 per cent of Weet-Bix packaging. From November, Weet-Bix boxes will include the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL), alerting consumers to the fact 100 per cent of the packaging can be easily recycled. It just takes three simple steps – eat the Bix, recycle the box and REDCycle the bag. Sanitarium Health Food Company, Executive General Manager, Todd Saunders said displaying the ARL on Weet-Bix boxes was an important step in the company’s sustainable packaging efforts, with a 2021 Consumer Insights Report finding the ARL doubled the likelihood of consumers recycling soft plastic. For more information on Sanitarium’s sustainability journey visit Sanitarium.com.au/sustainable-packaging.

96% of our packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable Target 100%

22% average recycled content included across all packaging by mass Target 50%

52  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Dominique Lamb, CEO, National Retail Association

NRA CEO HIGHLIGHTS MULTI-FRANCHISING AS KEY OPPORTUNITY FOR P&C RETAILERS The opportunity to multi-franchise is a key growth area for petrol and convenience (P&C) retailers, says Dominique Lamb, CEO, National Retail Association (NRA). Lamb was speaking at a webinar hosted by the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), where she identified multi-franchising as an area that should be at the forefront of the minds of P&C retailers. While a number of larger chains already include other franchises on site, such as Ampol with Boost Juice, and EG with Oliver’s and now Pizza Hut, Lamb believes there is still the opportunity for others to do so. Lamb said P&C retailers should be looking to the European model and what they have done in terms of consumer retail offers. “Those roadhouses where you go and virtually everything is in there. It’s almost like a one-stop-shop or a smaller version of a strip shop that includes all the things you need at your convenience. If you could get an Australia Post on site, I think that would be a great idea. If you could partner with a food provider or even dry cleaning, anything that will make someone’s life easier.” Theo Foukkare, CEO AACS, said British-based retailer EG Group is a global standout in this space. “Their offers in the UK, Europe and the US have capitalised on the multifranchise tenant offers, which has been wildly successful.” Closer to home, Foukkare said OTR has for many years invested heavily in creating multiple food branded offers in its network, which has delivered very good results and aligned with customer needs. “OTR has a combination of its own food and coffee brands, while also partnering with majors like Subway, Wok in a Box, Hungry Jacks and Oporto, to name just a few.”


$ $

$ $

$

$

$

$$

matter $

Why numbers

$

$$

UNITED WE STAND

$

$$ $

$ $$

$

$

$ $$

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$ $ $ $$ $ $

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United Convenience Buyers stripping back the numbers for the Petrol and Convenience channel!

” The UCB 24-hour Sale Day was an absolute success. We

24 Hours of Power

secured some amazing deals and Members were offered pricing that hadn’t been seen since the 90’s! In fact, 50% off standard pricing was almost the norm across the day’s offers.”

Darren Park is arguably one of the most passionate individuals to walk the Australian Petrol and Convenience shop floors and forecourts. He is always seeking that edge on Members sustainability. One of those initiatives is negotiating industry-best pricing for UCB Members. With this year’s Conference unfortunately being postponed until April 2022, he wanted to create a sales event that would allow Members to stock up and buy big brand products at the best possible prices, in time for the busiest period of the year. We wanted our Members to have the best lead-up to the holiday season, by stocking up and buying big brand products at amazing prices.

+80,000 cartons sold in 24hrs

The UCB Team went to work with our Trade Partners setting sights on building on our 2020 Virtual Trade Show experience, on delivering bigger and better buying opportunities for Members. Darren challenged the UCB team and channelled the support of our Trade Partners to find that little bit “more”. What followed was a true demonstration of what a collaborative and engaged buying group community can really do when Members’ success is the priority. Trade Partners and the UCB Team worked tirelessly together to build a range of hot deals across Big Brands for all UCB Members. We quickly learned that this sale day was going to be different. Members got in early, with the first order in at 4:54AM. We didn’t look back, the orders just kept pouring in. We were kept busy all day until our last Member order came in with just 18 seconds to go. Thank you to all the Members that got behind the Sale Day and to our Trading Partners for their strong support to make it our biggest yet.

“Excellent promotional prices we took advantage of it for all of our stores, the order process was very user friendly. It’s a great way to support UCB and the Trade Partners – here’s to getting the deals on to shop floor and rewarding our customers with some great offers as the State opens back up in the run up to Christmas” - John Blazely from United Retail Group in Victoria

+$1.5 Million in purchases SHOP

SHOP

SHOP

SHOP

SHOP

+500 Member Orders


INDUSTRY NEWS

LABOUR SHORTAGE IMPACTING THE PETROL AND CONVENIENCE CHANNEL A lack of international temporary visa holders and international students has seen an 80 per cent rise in job vacancies within the retail trade, from February 2020 to May 2021. The figures released by the ATO show job vacancies increased from 19,000 to 35,000. Theo Foukkare, CEO Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), said the petrol and convenience (P&C) channel has felt the full effects of the labour shortage, as the sector remained an essential service throughout the pandemic, and there are currently more than 10,000 job vacancies. “From talking to members, on average, stores are looking for approximately two staff per store. Now as everything reopens, we have people leaving stores in our channel to go and earn cash working in a kitchen or a pub and they’re earning more with no restrictions on hours.” The limit of hours that an international student can work per week is capped at 20 in the P&C channel, whereas there was a temporary relaxation of the cap across a variety of other sectors such as hospitality and agriculture, where it was raised to 40 hours per week.

Foukkare is seeking to extend and broaden the relaxation of the cap to all retail trade including P&C outlets as restrictions ease. “The labour shortage will be an issue for the next 12 months and we need assistance. Let’s say we have a positive COVID case at a site, that store may potentially have to close if all the staff have been deemed close contacts. The last thing we want is for retailers to not be able to man their store because they can’t access other staff that haven’t been exposed due to a limit on hours.”

NESTLÉ CALLS ON INDUSTRY TO HELP END RECYCLING CONFUSION Nestlé has put a call out for more companies to adopt the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) to help rectify common recycling mistakes. New research from Nestlé revealed that while 95 per cent of Australians claim they are confident about recycling their household waste, an alarming 88 per cent are putting everyday household items in the wrong bin. The study found that 86 per cent of people are taking the time to look on pack for recycling instructions but inconsistent on pack labels are causing confusion. Margaret Stuart, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé Oceania, said there is only one labelling scheme that makes it clear – and that’s the ARL. The label provides Australians with easy-to-understand recycling information and makes it easier to ensure they are choosing the right bin for the right packaging. It removes confusion, saves time, and reduces waste going to landfill. “More than 600 companies have adopted the ARL but we’re calling on more companies to do so. We must help people by providing clear, concise, and consistent labelling to make sure that the right things get to our recycling centres and don’t end up in landfill,” said Stuart. “We know Aussies care about the environment and want to do the right thing – but when they’re standing at the bin they simply want to know ‘Can this be recycled’ and ‘What bin do I put this in’? “There are lots of recycling labels on the market – such as ‘Recycle me’, ‘Remember to recycle’ and even the Mobius loop – but these don’t necessarily mean the packaging is recyclable or tell people how to recycle it.” Nestlé is committed to making 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and is rolling out the ARL on all its locally manufactured products to help consumers know how to recycle right. 54  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au


INDUSTRY NEWS

SWEDISH CONVENIENCE STORE PBX AIMS TO BE WORLD’S MOST SUSTAINABLE New Swedish convenience store PBX will test sustainability strategies instore, in an effort to become the world’s most sustainable convenience store. PBX, created by Reitan Convenience Sweden, has been described as a ‘living lab’ where Reitan can test new concepts and strategies in a real-life environment. Mariette Kristenson, CEO Reitan Convenience in Sweden, said sustainability must be a necessity for companies. “This is one of our biggest investments ever and it is something that must be done if we are to be able to run a long-term profitable business. It is with great humility that we began this journey with the ambitious goal of creating the world’s most sustainable convenience store.” The Stockholm store currently does not stock cigarettes, has a 100g limit on sweets, and is now trialling a new on-the-go drinks solution, allowing customers to bring their own containers to fill with Coca-Cola beverages, to reduce waste. The concept from Coca-Cola allows consumers to purchase a GLACIAL beverage container or bring their own into the store and choose to fill from more than 60 different flavoured beverages, most of which are not available packaged. Lisa Wahlström, Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, said that the company’s packaging accounts for most of its emissions. “We therefore need to find innovative solutions so that consumers can continue to enjoy our drinks with the same good quality and taste, while at the same time reducing the amount of packaging.” The containers are supplied by sustainable bottle provider GLACIAL, which, along with Coca-Cola, has a partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature. “Coca-Cola is the largest partner in the world when it comes to WWF’s work to protect the world’s freshwater resources and GLACIAL has a combined partnership and licensing agreement with WWF where they donate money for the benefit of the world’s oceans,” said Wahlström.

SPIKE IN RETAIL CRIME OVER THE PANDEMIC PERIOD An increase in customer crime of up to 400 per cent has been seen in retail outlets across the country, said Dominique Lamb, CEO, National Retail Association (NRA). Lamb was speaking at a webinar hosted by the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), when she revealed the statistics, which included a 400 per cent rise in retail violence across NSW during the peak of the pandemic. “This is almost at epidemic levels across the country. We’ve seen significant increases depending on the location. In Victoria there’s been a 77 per cent increase in people engaged in retail crime carrying a weapon and a 108 per cent increase in Victoria of people being intoxicated then engaging in retail crime. “In NSW the story is very similar, who in fact had the largest spike of 29 per cent. But at the peak of the pandemic, we were talking about a 400 per cent increase in customer violence and customer crime within that retail space.” Lamb said one of the driving factors was the introduction of hygiene protocols, and the need for customers to wear masks and check-in to venues. “It’s very concerning, and it’s something I continue to work with all of the State Governments and Federal Government about providing additional support to retailers.” There has also been a rise in theft, which Lamb said would have been triggered by socioeconomic circumstances such as people losing their jobs or going onto JobKeeper, which might be a reduction in what they would regularly be paid. Through the research by NRA, it was reported that 95 per cent of respondents were negatively impacted by COVID. December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 55


INDUSTRY NEWS

PACIFIC OPTICS BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE Pacific Optics is making some big changes to help build a more sustainable future.

SPONSORED

P

acific Optics has proudly been serving the petrol and convenience (P&C) market since 1994. In the decades a lot has changed about the landscape of the market and of the world as we know it. One of the most positive changes is an awareness of all businesses and individuals in the role that they can play to build a more sustainable future and the real impact they can have by making small changes. This ethos and focus can be witnessed by the global protests around climate change and the scientific evidence that is coming forward to support theories that have been circulating for more than 100 years. But what does being sustainable really mean? And what should a business focus on to ensure they are supporting a brighter, better, greener future? The answer to these questions really sits in the scope of control you have over your supply chain, operations and product. Given this, Pacific Optics has focused on four pillars, which allows the business to help support a more sustainable future. Firstly, a focus on moving to sustainable packaging options, seeing what materials, what processes, what formats can be achieved that not only showcase the product, but also allow the product to safely travel through the supply chain, ensure the product is communicated to the end user and ensure that the packaging has the smallest footprint and waste element possible or can easily be recycled or reused.

56  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

The Pacific Optics business has many different products and packaging types, so this process is involving quite a breadth of experience across the business from operations, product management, marketing, sales and QC teams scoping all packaging options and undergoing a process of contesting every element of the packaging. What this means is a review of what a hook is made of – can the cardboard have any lamination or glaze removed to increase the ease of recycling, can inner trays be removed and replaced with more ecofriendly alternatives like mulched reused cardboard or similar? Also is there a need for instruction guides or can a QR code be placed on the packaging that would allow in-depth unprinted instructions to be accessible to an end user without the impact that paper and print processes have on the environment. Secondly, a focus on removing production waste and secondary material waste from the business. Across the last six years Pacific Optics has undergone a process to remove secondary and tertiary packaging to limit its impact on the environment. The business has also placed specialised recyclers at its operational facilities to ensure all cardboard and soft plastic wastes can be recycled. They are currently going one step further and using some of the cardboard that is used to transport product and processing it to form the packing material that helps protect product when it is in transit. They have also just invested in home compostable satchel bags for e-commerce and bag transport items,


INDUSTRY NEWS

Pacific Optics is excited as to what the future holds in the P&C channel and is proud to be able to partner with like-minded businesses to not only see a future full of success but also one that is green, sustainable, and here for generations to come.”

meaning again a material waste that is commonly occurring is being removed from the business and consumer and trade partners can trade and buy from Pacific Optics with pride. Industrial process drives a lot of energy consumption and impacts the environment in a big way. Hence the third focus in developing sustainable places of work. Pacific Optics is pleased to have just opened its new state of the art operational hub at Yatala in Queensland. This facility is designed to a Five Star Green Star certified rating using the current Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Design and As Built rating tool. The facility also has a 35kw PV Solar system on the warehouse roof, energy efficient LED high bay lighting to the warehouse and offices including zoned daylight sensors and time clock control system, and the hot water for the facility is also driven from the roof with solar hot water. There are rainwater storage tanks connected to all landscape irrigation and the main office amenities have their WC flushing connected to this system. The focus was to build a facility that helps increase operational capacity and run as environmentally efficient as possible.

Finally, the scope turns to product. Pacific Optics is known for quality and longevity for price point of product, and they meticulously craft their products. They know there is a role to play here in building sustainable products that still live up to the rigor our market demands. The first of these products will be seen this summer in the famous Aerial Eyewear. Coming to market will be sunglasses made from recycled consumer waste, such as discarded food container and bottle lids to make sunglasses that protect your eyes and help protect the environment at the same time. The PCTG process works with the discarded consumer waste getting sorted into its colour likeness. It is then cleaned to ensure any remnants of contaminates are removed with water from a process similar to the rainwater collection process mentioned earlier. It is then ground into small particles taking it to a form that can be used to mould useful shapes with the same integrity as you would expect from a brandnew raw material, in this case some stylish sunglasses. Pacific Optics hopes to be able to move more of its range to this process and link up with an environmental charity to do work to support the preservation of the environment in the coming years. Pacific Optics is excited as to what the future holds in the P&C channel and is proud to be able to partner with like-minded businesses to not only see a future full of success but also one that is green, sustainable, and here for generations to come. C&I

Recycled Source

Recycled Plastics

Applications

Transparent bottles & caps Food containers

Transparent & clarity

Products in any colours

Colourful bottles & caps Food containers

Shiny black

Products in only black

December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 57


C&I Expo is heading back to Melbourne in 2022, bringing retailers and suppliers together for two big days of business at the premier Australian convenience and impulse event. The retailer audience consists of owners and operators of convenience stores, service stations, independent supermarkets, mini marts, corner stores, newsagents, and food service stores that have a convenience offer. Suppliers and wholesalers are encouraged to exhibit to showcase new products and services. C&I Expo is a trade-only event and admission is free! Retailers and suppliers from all banners and brands are welcome to attend any or all of the functions over these two days where the focus will be on innovation and best practice within the convenience and impulse industry. Visitors will be treated to an impressive line-up of exceptional presentations at the C&I Industry Symposium. When the expo doors open, visitors will experience first-hand the latest in convenience products, services and merchandising.

“I love the Symposium, I love the C&I show. I love how our whole industry gets together for one event…Our whole company is here so we can network with people at all different levels.” - United Convenience Buyers

THE Calendar Wednesday 30th March 2022 10:00am – 12:00pm C&I Industry Symposium 12.00pm – 5.00pm C&I Expo Day 1 4.30pm – 6.00pm Networking Drinks Thursday 31st March 2022 9.00am – 11.00am C&I Industry Symposium

THE Venue

11.00am – 4.00pm C&I Expo Day 2

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre MCEC is just a 20-minute drive from Melbourne airport and a short stroll to the city centre offering premium exhibition facilities, a central location and easy access to public transport and accommodation.

It’s a great chance to see new innovation in the market, new products, see what’s happening and what our competitors are doing. Vodafone Prepaid


Why EXHIBIT? • C&I Expo 2022 is Australia’s only industry-based event that is open to retailers and suppliers across all banners and brands. The general public is not admitted. • Access to independent operators who may not be receiving adequate representation • Access to the major corporate and independent chains • Industry-wide advertising in the lead up to the event • Broad-based industry support for the event

why visit? • A single national event over two days, showcasing best industry practice and cutting-edge innovation • A chance to see, touch, taste and smell the latest in convenience products and trends first-hand inside one large exhibition hall

Why our visitors love it 83%*

Experience new products and new equipment

67%*

Networking

• Premium industry education at the Symposium • Convenient hours, mid-week timing at a central location, close to public transport and accommodation • Opportunity to network with major retailers and suppliers at the Networking Drinks www.candiexpo.com.au

1300 789 845

98.5%

*

*Source: C&I 2019 Post Event Attendee Survey

OF ATTENDEES WOULD RECOMMEND THE C&I INDUSTRY SYMPOSIUM TO OTHERS

Symposium & Networking Drinks Sponsor


INDUSTRY NEWS

SPONSORED

PHILIP MORRIS PARTNERS WITH TOBACCO RETAILERS TO FIGHT ILLICIT TRADE If you’re aware of a retailer selling illicit tobacco you can now report them online at www.stopillicit.com.

I

llicit tobacco has plagued the retail sector for years. From backyard chop chop operators to opportunistic smugglers, now to sophisticated crime syndicates; the seriousness of the issue continues to grow and escalate. Today, illicit tobacco represents roughly 20 per cent of all tobacco consumed in Australia. Make no mistake, those who peddle illicit tobacco are thieves, stealing from businesses like yours, Government, and the broader community, who ultimately lose out when tobacco taxes are not paid. Legitimate, regulated tobacco retailers have long been frustrated at the lack of assistance provided by the authorities to tackle illicit trade. While good work has been done in recent times at the border to prevent illicit tobacco entering the country, with stings and busts, the pain is still being felt right across the country by local retailers. From Council inspectors unwilling to enforce the law to State and Federal Health Departments unwilling to even acknowledge illicit tobacco as an issue, the legitimate

60  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

tobacco retail industry has been poorly served when it comes to government action at a local level. Now the tables have turned. A new approach, pioneered by Philip Morris, working in conjunction with retail groups, is seeing Australia’s first anonymous web-based reporting tool for retailers launched. The tool allows local tobacco retailers to report illicit tobacco in their area and equips the industry with hard data so that we can all work together to demand action from police. The tool is available at WWW.STOPILLICIT.COM and has been established by Philip Morris to allow retailers to anonymously report illicit traders to the authorities. Through the website, legitimate retailers will be able to report the names and locations of stores known or suspected of selling illicit tobacco or nicotine liquid (vapes). Via WWW.STOPILLICIT.COM retailers can report anonymously through the site, knowing their identities are protected and the site has been created in response to issues experienced by retailers over the years where complaints made to the police go unanswered and those selling illicit tobacco have been able to keep getting away with it.


INDUSTRY NEWS

ILLICIT COMES IN MANY FORMS DOMESTIC ILLICIT WHITES

Packs of cigarettes sold in plain packaging. Recognisable by printing errors or being sold well below the price of other legal tobacco products.

COUNTERFEIT

Tobacco products that have been manufactured without the permission of the trademark rights holder.

CHOP-CHOP

Loose roughly cut tobacco sold in plastic bags or pre-filled tobacco tubes sold in boxes of 50-200 cigarettes.

CONTRABAND

Genuine products produced for lawful sale in a specific market but smuggled into a different market.

NICOTINE E-CIGARETTES

Smuggled vaporisers containing no tobacco. Often small disposable prod-ucts the size of USB sticks.

The legitimate tobacco retail industry has been poorly served when it comes to government action at a local level.”

WWW.STOPILLICIT.COM changes that. Retailers reporting the sale of illicit tobacco will not only have their complaints forwarded to police, but additionally retail groups and their associations will also be made aware of how many stores are being reported, allowing them to also take action on your behalf. Retail groups and key industry associations will be informed about how many illicit retailers are reported as operating in each state and postcode on a regular basis. They will then in turn be armed with the information they also need to demand action from local law enforcement officers and political leaders to address the issue relating to organised crime in their communities and request that they once and for all put a stop to these illegal activities. Through this initiative, associations and retailers will also be able to demand that police be given the powers to seize illicit tobacco from stores and the operators face heavy fines. They can also demand that governments fund and resource the police properly to get the job done and clean up the streets. WWW.STOPILLICIT.COM will be able to show the authorities and decision makers the size and scale of the

issue in a way that is impossible to ignore. It is imperative that all tobacco retailers get behind this important initiative and we can start making real inroads at reducing the amount of illicit in the market. The insidious nature of illicit means that we all need to work together. Retailers, industry, law enforcement and political stakeholders to ensure that those doing the wrong thing are weeded out and shut down. C&I

Are you aware of a store selling illicit tobacco in your area? Report them anonymously online now at www.stopillicit.com December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 61


If you supply to, own or work in independent grocery, a convenience store, service station, dairy, corner store or mini-mart, the C&I NZ EXPO is the only trade event you cannot afford to miss in 2022.

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THE FUTURE IS Bright FOR C&I After 28 years of successful expos in Australia, the C&I NZ Expo made its debut in Auckland in September 2019. It was a huge success with incredible support and enthusiasm for the show from the NZ industry.

“We were absolutely blown away by the industry support for the inaugural C&I Expo NZ. The debut expo featured 70 exhibitors, huge foot traffic and over 220 industry professionals attended the Industry Symposium. We are looking forward to bringing the Expo back to Auckland in 2022 even bigger and better!” – Safa de Valois, C&I Commercial Director

Reconnect - Renew - Rebuild


PETROL NEWS

DAN ARMES

RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS

Founder of ServoPro

Getting your processes, policies, and procedures sorted will save you time and money, writes Dan Armes.

R

unning a petrol station isn’t easy. Our members work each day to maintain an outstanding workplace environment for both customers and employees. Part of maintaining a high functioning petrol station business is giving workers access to a clear documentation of policies and procedures. Written documentation, whether in paper form or online, of company expectations and guidelines does more than just provide clarity. It also assists in safety, employee consistency, compliance and helps your service station easily resolve workplace conflicts. If you don’t yet have a thorough documentation of policies and procedures for your petrol station, here’s a few great reasons to implement one today.

Provide employees with guidance

Having a strong team is one of the most crucial elements to running any successful business, including petrol stations. Once you have built a great team of workers, the next step is providing them with the resources they need to best perform their jobs. Documented policies and procedures help your staff to structure their workday, and give them a point of reference in the event of confusion or indecision. A clear sense of guidance or direction can give your workers the confidence and tools they need to feel prepared for each shift, no matter what may happen. 64  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Identify problems quickly

Without clearly defined policies and procedures, it can be much easier to allow conflicts or problems to proceed unresolved. This can create greater conflict as time goes on. Documentation of company standards and operational procedures will help you and your employees identify issues as they arise. The faster a problem can be identified, the faster it can be resolved. Lacking a guiding document can make standards unclear, leading to delay in resolution of pertinent issues.

Encourage consistency

In defining a set of clear guidelines, your employees will feel motivated and comfortable with procedures and policies at your service station. This confidence easily translates to consistency. For example, a clearly defined dress code allows employees to know what is and is not acceptable attire during their shift. Eliminating this uncertainty makes consistent adherence to company policy much easier for all involved.

Improve safety

Detailed documentation of policies and procedures is not only important to workplace performance but is critical to workplace safety as well. Physical documentation of best practices is essential in businesses such as petrol stations where potentially hazardous and flammable materials are regularly handled.


PETROL NEWS

Having a strong team is one of the most crucial elements to running any successful business, including petrol stations.” – Dan Armes, Founder, ServoPro

Allow for easier training

What new employee wouldn’t love to have a clear list of guidelines and expectations, on the very first day of the job? Policies and procedures can not only provide your existing employees with confidence and structure, but they can also help your new employees to flourish faster because they have a stronger understanding of how each task is done. Employees in charge of training new hires will also have an easier time. They can train with the confidence that they are giving the new employee the exact instructions you as the business owner would want them to have. It removes any chances of miscommunication as information is passed from you to the managers, to the new employees. Standardised and industry specific training courses like ServoSkills allow consistent and comprehensive training throughout your team.

Measure performance

Furthermore, guidelines in proper footwear, cleaning tasks, and even policy in the event of crime or emergency will enable workers to feel prepared and knowledgeable in what steps to take should action become necessary.

Protect your business

Having documentation of company policy helps protect your business from more than just emergencies. This documentation also protects your petrol station in the event of lawsuits ranging from areas such as safety violations, noncompliance, all the way to simple HR complaints. As a business, it is important to reduce your liability when possible, and clearly formatted policy and procedure documents are an excellent way to mitigate risks.

Improve compliance for auditing

If your company relies on compliance or audits, it’s incredibly important to have well documented policies and procedures. These policies and procedures should cover every task your employees do regularly, and they should be thorough and up to date. Of course, they should also be in line with compliance guidelines. This way, each step of your policies are clearly outlined in the event of an audit. This makes it far less likely that you will be flagged for compliance issues.

When you clearly outline policies and procedures, not only do you provide new employees with an excellent roadmap for training, but you also create conditions of satisfaction for doing any particular job. These conditions allow you to easily measure performance and provide a set of talking points for performance reviews that are clear to you and your employees. It’s important when discussing an employee’s performance to have concrete guidelines to outline what constitutes good performance. This not only protects employees from receiving vague feedback that might not help them improve, but it also gives the person conducting the review protection against being accused of giving a biased performance review.

Reduce micromanaging

Having a clear guide for your employees on exactly the steps they need to follow to do their job allows them to confidently navigate their daily tasks. And because they’re able to have that useful reference on-hand, you can reduce the need for micromanaging. “Consult the manuals” can be a regular response to questions, which empowers employees to manage themselves, and gives managers the ability to focus on managing day to day operations. Petrol stations can greatly benefit from creating official policies and procedures. Not only will employees feel more confident, safe, consistent, and protected, but you will also see an improvement in management, training, and performance. Creating this documentation may seem like a heavy task at first, but the benefits are worth it in the end. C&I December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 65


PETROL NEWS

FUEL SECURITY FOR FARMERS From powering the machines that sow crops, to transporting food and fibre to market, fuel is a crucial element at all stages of modern agricultural production, writes Annabel Mactier. Protecting local domestic refinery capacity is vital to future-proof the agriculture industry against any fuel shortages.” – Ashley Fraser, Grains President, VFF

T

he 2012 Geelong Shell diesel refinery breakdown highlighted the vulnerability of Victoria’s agriculture industry to fuel shortages. During this period diesel had to be rationed after the Geelong Refinery – which supplies more than 50 per cent of Victoria’s fuel requirements – was damaged, resulting in many farmers being unable to access adequate quantities of fuel during the peak of harvest. The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) received calls from growers who were having to dump grain because they didn’t have enough fuel to transport it to the silo or having to make the decision between fuelling their machinery or their trucks. “This was a wake-up call on the potential risks of fuel shortages,” says Ashley Fraser, Grains President, VFF. “As producers of perishable essential goods, security of supply and timeliness of supply are critical. Sowing and harvest periods are especially high-risk for Victorian producers, as even short-term delays can significantly impact grain production.” Since that time the VFF has actively championed a reform of Australia’s fuel security policies. As a member country of the International Energy Association (IEA), Australia is obliged to hold emergency stocks equivalent to 90 days of net imports, and have effective policies in place in order to be able to contribute to an IEA collective action. Despite this, however, Australia has been non-compliant since 2012. Unlike other IEA members, Australia had no public stockholdings or minimum stockholding obligation for the domestic oil industry. Instead, Australia’s fuel supply system operated on a ‘just in time’ approach, with approximately

66  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

80 per cent of oil delivered directly from refineries or import terminals to service stations or other end-consumers, and limited storage capacity along the supply chain, with only three days of fuel supply at petrol stations. While this may have been cost effective it meant there were limited reserves, leaving the supply chain highly vulnerable to shocks. Australia’s policies relied largely on market forces to ensure a secure supply of fuel, with Commonwealth Government intervention viewed as a last resort. The Liquid Fuel Emergency Act of 1984 provided the authority to prepare for and manage a national liquid fuel emergency. In the event of a supply interruption, Australia largely relied on consumers to respond to price signals to address demand for fuel.

Ashley Fraser, Grains President, Victorian Farmers Federation


PETROL NEWS The Commonwealth Government also had the power to ration the purchase of fuel, and while a small list of ‘essential users’ may be exempted from rationing during an emergency, it is important to note that agriculture was not included. The VFF ran a long campaign with other peak industry bodies to highlight the risks of this approach, meeting with Ministers as well as presenting at a number of inquiries and industry round tables. The events resulting from COVID-19, however, have been a key turning point for fuel security policy, exposing the frailties of global supply chains. The Federal Government has now committed to returning to full compliance with the IEA’s 90-day oil stockholding obligation by 2026 through a raft of new measures, including minimum stock holding requirements, increased diesel storage and the establishment of a national reserve. “It is really positive to see a real recognition from the government of the importance of fuel for agriculture, which is a big change from when we first started campaigning,” Fraser says. “While these changes are a positive win for farmers, there is still more work to be done.” The VFF is still deeply concerned about the future of domestic refineries. Since 2000, the number of Australian domestic refineries has halved to just four, with a further two announcing they will be closing shortly, leaving Australia highly dependent on imported fuel.

“Protecting local domestic refinery capacity is vital to future-proof the agriculture industry against any fuel shortages,” says Fraser. Similarly, the VFF is continuing to lobby for strategic national fuel reserves to be moved on shore. The Federal Government has purchased $94 million fuel stocks – which is the equivalent of another four or five days of oil for Australia's emergency reserves. However, the oil is stored in the US, and would take several weeks to be shipped to Australia in the event of an emergency. The VFF will continue to lobby this issue to ensure agricultural supply chains always have the fuel that they need. This article originally appeared in Victorian Farmer Magazine. C&I

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PETROL NEWS

PANIC BUYING RIFE AS UK PETROL STATIONS RUN DRY Simon King reports on the factors that led to the recent UK fuel crisis, which saw a frenzy of panic buying, and petrol stations running out of fuel.

T

Our members were actually working with their fuel suppliers.” - Gordon Balmer, Executive Director, PRA

he recent UK fuel crisis has been blamed on factors, including a lack of HGV drivers, while consumers across the country exacerbated the problem by panic buying, which led to dry petrol stations. The problem can be traced back to 16 September, when civil servants hosted the meeting with several major employers who were struggling to recruit sufficient HGV drivers. Industry bodies have claimed that the UK is between 75,000 and 100,000 drivers short, while the Government puts the figure at around 35,000. The meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule: a convention designed to allow participants to speak freely on the understanding that their remarks will be regarded as off the record and will under no circumstances be made public. Yet at some point in the ensuing six days, at least one participant decided casually to ignore those rules by leaking a relatively detailed account of proceedings to ITV, a British free-to-air TV network. A key commentator across the media during the crisis was Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent

68  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

fuel retailers who account for 65 per cent (around 5,500) of the 8,380 fuel stations in the UK. These petrol stations are owned by third party companies, such as EG Group, Rontec, Welcome Break and Applegreen, as opposed to the oil company-owned sites and supermarket-owned sites, which make up the balance. Balmer has worked for the PRA for seven years, although he has been in the oil industry for more than 40 years. He was promoted to Executive Director in July 2021. Balmer says: “We’re seeing early signs of the panic buying starting to abate. We did a survey of our members sites this morning and of the sites that we surveyed, it was a representative sample, members said that around 40 per cent of them had got both petrol and diesel. “Twenty-nine per cent had got just petrol only and 20 per cent had just got diesel only. Fuel is getting through, and the demand is starting to ease.” But how did the UK get itself into this situation? “Our members are retailers of fuel, and they rely on their fuel companies to organise the deliveries of fuel with the logistics partners they work with,” Balmer says.


PETROL NEWS

There are levers that the government is trying to pull.” - Gordon Balmer, Executive Director, PRA

“The issue is twofold here. Firstly, there is a structural issue in the logistics industry where they haven’t got enough drivers, but that isn’t confined just to the UK – we understand that there are similar situations occurring across Europe, for example, in Germany and Poland. “Brexit has been there in the melting pot too, unfortunately, and some drivers have gone back to their country of origin. Then of course, you’ve also got the other dimension of COVID, where some people have retired or don’t want to put themselves at risk or have moved on to other jobs.” Balmer says that while the fuel crisis was not inevitable, it’s been going on for some time. “We flagged up those issues, but our members were actually working with their fuel suppliers to either slightly increase the stock holding that they have at sites, or to work around some of these issues by extending the lead time on when they can take deliveries in,” he says. Balmer said that the PRA has direct access to the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. “There are levers that the government is trying to pull; it’s looking at relaxing visas, trying to improve drivers work terms and conditions and relaxing the downstream oil industries protocol, which is helpful. They’re all helpful to try and alleviate this situation – we think that they’re doing all they can.” The downstream oil industries protocol allows the government to work constructively with fuel producers, suppliers, hauliers, and retailers to ensure that disruption is minimised as far as possible. The measure made it easier for industry to share information, so that they could more easily prioritise the delivery of fuel to the parts of the country and strategic locations that were most in need. December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 69


PETROL NEWS

Some are quoting reductions in non-fuel sales of between 20 and 50 per cent.” - Gordon Balmer, Executive Director, PRA

Balmer says: “What needs to really happen is that people need to calm down – we do need to restore some order. If you don’t need petrol, perhaps now is not the time to go to the forecourt and top up. If obviously, you do need petrol, then you’ve got to do it. “We need a little bit of respite in order to restock the system.” Some independent petrol stations put limits in place to create a level playing field among their customer base. I live in South Wales and my local petrol station, owned by the EG Group, limited drivers to £30 (A$55.50) of fuel per trip to the forecourt. Balmer says that the vast majority of PRA members didn’t limit fuel sales due to the administrative burden of doing so. “Unless you’ve got some of the newer pumps that they can configure to cut customers off when they’ve reached a limit, then it’s almost impossible to manage,” Balmer says. He says that PRA members need to work closely with their fuel supplier and understand what’s going on and be patient. “We’re hoping those people that have got fuel have got full tanks now so they won’t need to return to the forecourt for a while and that may give us the time to start to recover the situation. “Nearly 40 per cent of our members have got both petrol and diesel; they’re saying that the queues are starting to recede, so we’re seeing very early signs of some of the panic buying starting to reduce.”

Shortages continue to frustrate motorists and retailers

A PRA poll on Wednesday, 6 October, showed that 13 per cent of independent retailers in London and the Southeast were dry. This is leaving some motorists continuing to feel insecure about fuel availability at their local neighbourhood filling stations.

70  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Independent forecourts reported a complete lack of visibility as to when their next delivery might arrive, and some had been dry for four days and still waiting for a delivery. Balmer says: “We have yet to see any explanation from the Government of the benefits arising from the suspension of competition law between the major oil companies in the delivery of downstream fuel. We need to restore a competitive market with incentives for those who deliver on the job. “Most independent retailers have built a reputation with their local customers for reliable service, good facilities and a well-stocked convenience store. Sadly, retailers have been throwing away large quantities of fresh produce as the ‘closed’ sign has deterred not just forecourt business but shop sales too. Some are quoting reductions in non-fuel sales of between 20 and 50 per cent.”

National Insurance increases

Aside from the fuel crisis, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that National Insurance (NI) rates will rise 1.25 per cent from April 2022. Balmer says that the PRA is concerned that this will increase the burden on businesses who have already been hit hard by the pandemic. “Whilst the PRA respects the intention of the Government to support the social care sector, the increase in NI could impact economic recovery by making recruitment of staff more expensive and this will also affect people who are seeking to return to work,” Balmer says. “With the furlough scheme and business rates relief coming to an end, the freezing of allowances on incomes and pension pots, an increase in corporation tax, and an increase in council tax, the Government has now played its last card for further tax increases, such as in fuel duty and business rates.” C&I


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PETROL NEWS

THE FUTURE FORECOURT COVID has been the dress rehearsal for the future of fuel retailing, writes Nic Moulis.

A

NIC MOULIS Managing Director Rennic Group

Our glimpse of the future must have us investing in the demand changes coming in transport energy.” – Nic Moulis

snowball of change has started in the downstream petroleum industry. From an initial state of small significance there are shifts that are growing larger and perhaps potentially disastrous, though with the right planning it might be beneficial instead. After that opening sentence, your mind would most likely turn to new transport energy. If you thought electricity and hydrogen, you would not be wrong. However, like a snowball gaining size as it rolls down the slope, there are many smaller parts that will contribute to the size and type of market we are heading towards. The COVID-19 outbreak, most importantly how consumers and marketers have reacted to the changes it has brought, gives us a sign of what is to come. The fall in demand for our core products was unprecedented. Fuel sales during the June to October 2021 lockdowns fell, in Sydney by 54.1 per cent, Melbourne by 44.1 per cent and staggeringly in Canberra by 67.5 per cent when compared to October 2019. Coupled with this the price of wholesale fuel in the period from April 2020, the depth of initial lockdowns, to October 2021 rose an unbelievable 508.69 per cent. In a May 2020, a KPMG report into the mobility retailer of tomorrow looked at what a forecourt with less contribution to the business meant for owners. KPMG suggested, in its report titled ‘Fuel Forecourt Retail Market’ May 2020, that in the next 10 to 15 years fuel would contribute 20 per cent of overall business. With the new mobility services, EV charging as an example, contributing 10 per cent. They see the other 70 per cent coming from convenience retail and what they call ‘adjacent services’ like parcel pickup or home delivery. We will recover our volumes lost over the last two years. But our glimpse of the future must have us investing in the demand changes coming in transport energy.

72  December 2021/January 2022 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

The physical nature of our forecourts has come into question in the last two years. Health concerns around the pandemic has meant customers are worried about in-store interaction. Retailers have had to close stores for deep cleans after an infection outbreak, or just because it is no longer viable to staff a service station at certain times. QR codes have alleviated anxiety for some and show how technology can be used to enhance the customer experience. KPMG voiced the opinion that ‘digitising the forecourt’ will provide performance improvement and cost reduction, while increasing the customer experience. In recent years we have seen how other industries revolutionised customer interaction through technology. Here in Australia, Ruckus Energy Co has built a merchant to consumer application that allows for activation and completion of fuel transactions when sites are trading, or closed, without any additional hardware or console operator interaction. Technology has supported operations in the COVID new normal. Keeping that investment going into the next decade provides the opportunity to increase productivity, bring new energy types and customers to forecourts. McKinsey and Company, in a report ‘Fuel Retail in the Age of New Mobility’ April 2021 noted, “operators need to move quickly to rethink strategy and transform their business”. In McKinsey’s view, for a retailer to win they need to consider taking three steps; extract maximum value from core business, develop a distinct convenience value proposition and craft a comprehensive new energy strategy. Apart from the last step, dealing with COVID has provided a moment to see how well we have addressed the first two. Only you will be able to answer as to how your business stacked up. The impact of the last two years has been devastating. It has a benefit, as it lets a business use the rebound in activity to undertake change. Take the opportunity, compared to what is coming, COVID is just the dress rehearsal. C&I


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