C&I Retailing Magazine December 2023-January 2024

Page 1

c-store.com.au DEC 2023/JAN 2024




Dec 2023/Jan 2024


In this issue Regulars 08

Face Time

Nicola Richardson, General Manager Retail, eComm, and Brand Partnerships, Asahi Beverages 12

Store Review Caltex Wacol




Carbonated Beverages How this P&C staple keeps bubbling away


Healthy Snacks

A health-conscious nation means snacking needs to keep up 24

Sustainability How companies are adapting to a green future

New Products 28

C&I Choice Product of the Year

The prestigious 2023 C&I Choice


Product of the Year revealed 30

C&I Choice Category Winners of the Year The best of the best products from 2023


Product Ranging

We bring you all of the latest new product launches

Industry Experts 44


Theo Foukkare, AACS; Andrew Poore, Pacific Optics; Marianna Idas, eLease Lawyers

58 ON THE COVER The latest innovations from Tiko Lighters, available through Peleguy Distribution. For more details contact Peleguy on 1300377341 or orders@peleguy.com.au 4

December 2023/January 2024

Latest News 50

Industry Updates

C&I Expo; My Muscle Chef; AACS Awards; Tom’s Confectionery; ALDI 64

Petrol News Ampol; BP; Viva Energy

EDITORIAL CONTACT DETAILS 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 safa@c-store.com.au Editorial Director James Wells james@intermedia.com.au Managing Editor Thomas Oakley-Newell tom@c-store.com.au Art Director Alyssa Coundouris alyssac@intermedia.com.au Production Manager Jacqui Cooper jacqui@intermedia.com.au Production Assistant Tazlin Cantrill magazine.material@intermedia.com.au Prepress Tony Willson PROUD MEMBERS OF:


That's a wrap

elcome to the

staples in convenience retailing.

Convenience &

However, our exploration into this

Impulse Retailing

category reveals the changing trends

magazine, your

and consumer preferences. With

trusted source of insights and trends in

a spotlight on innovative flavours,

the fuel and convenience retail sector.

low-sugar alternatives, we unveil how

Firstly, it was so wonderful to catch

carbonated drinks continue to captivate

up with familiar faces at the C&I Expo recently, there were some fantastic

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. 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 reenactment 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 © 2023 - C&I Media Pty Ltd.

Our feature on sustainability in the P&C industry showcases inspiring

two days enjoyable and worthwhile. You

initiatives and eco-friendly practices

can check out our full coverage of the

adopted by retailers and suppliers to

event from page 50.

reduce their environmental footprint. From packaging innovations to

Richardson, General Manager of Retail,

renewable energy solutions, the

eComm, and Brand Partnerships at

industry is embracing change for a

Asahi Beverages, where she discusses

greener future.

her life and career that led her to this THE FINE PRINT 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 modern shopper.

stands and I hope everyone found the

In this issue we meet Nicola INFORMATION PARTNERS:

Carbonated drinks have long been

latest issue of

As always, we are grateful for our

current role. We also visit Caltex Wacol,

columnists Theo Foukkare, CEO of AACS,

where we see how a focus on customer

Andrew Poore, General Manager Sales

experience and innovation in food and

ANZ at Pacific Optics, and Marianna Idas,

drink can elevate a store to the next level.

Principal at eLease Lawyers.

Our feature on healthy snacking in

I hope you enjoy the issue and have

petrol and convenience stores uncovers

a fun and festive holiday period. Catch

the rising demand for nutritious options

you in the new year!

among on-the-go consumers. From protein-packed snacks to organic treats,


retailers are adapting their offerings to

Thomas Oakley-Newell

cater to health-conscious customers without compromising on convenience.

Join us for more

Scan the code to explore the website and get social.


Safa de Valois

James Wells

Thomas Oakley-Newell

Alyssa Coundouris




Go natural – it’s the fudging best Classic Aussie brand, Go Natural, has been delivering simple and delicious snacks for over 35 years, filling our bellies with natural goodies reminiscent of homemade baking. Adding to their delicious range, they are launching a brandnew Triple Choc Brownie. The delicious Triple Choc Brownie offers generous chunks of real white and dark chocolate chips, hints of cocoa and a touch of coconut, folded into a fudgy brownie mixture that curbs those cravings with a whole new level of deliciousness. The perfect on-the-go snack! Available now from The Distributors. www.the-distributors.com.au 1800 989 022

The upgrade your forecourt needs

Streamline parenting: One product, three essentials Introducing the Naturally Good ‘Grab & Go’ Bamboo and Nappy Wipes Pack – a gamechanger for busy parents and a must-have for impulse retailers. This all-in-one solution includes five biodegradable premium bamboo nappies, compostable water wipes, and biodegradable disposal bags, all sustainably packaged in a biodegradable craft bag for hassle-free outings. Simplify your product offering with this convenient, impulse-ready package, designed for parents on the go, essential convenience in one easy-to-stock and easy-to-grab pack. pandababysupplies.com.au 1300 943 700 Info@pandababysupplies.com.au

Did you know 40 per cent of Australians rode a bike during 2021? That’s over 4.6 million potential customers thanks to Airtec’s newest inflation product. Introducing The Vehicle and Bike Inflation System. With easy to identify illuminated buttons, specially designed 1m bike hose and dual head bicycle chuck, the Vehicle and Bike Inflator is the new standard for upcoming service station builds. Designed to exceed your forecourt needs, this product opens the door to a wider customer pool for service station owners. With the ability to capitalise on the rise in snack food and drink sales in conjunction with the use of the bike inflator. www.airteccorporation.com.au

An artful fusion of flavours Elevate your chocolate experience with Chocolate Generations (CG) by Yours Truly. Yours Truly – the companty that takes pride in crafting a range of hand-decorated artisan chocolate blocks. The journey begins with premium, velvety chocolate, expertly paired with unique and exclusive flavoured crumb. A finishing touch of dried fruits and nuts adds a delightful crunch to every bite. All creations are gluten-free and vegan-friendly (dark chocolate only), embodying the commitment to inclusivity. Priced at just RRP $8.95, this is an indulgence worth savouring. To explore the full range, reach out to Tony Tantis at Yours Truly Chocolates. tony@yourstrulychocolates.com.au 6

December 2023/January 2024

29-30 October 2024 MCEC, Melbourne

The Convenience & Impulse Expo is your opportunity to connect directly with convenience retailers from across Australia. To secure your stand, get in touch with our team now by emailing exhibition@c-store.com.au candiexpo.com.au


A TRAVELLING TRIUMPH Nicola Richardson is the General Manager of Retail, eComm, and Brand Partnerships at Asahi Beverages, but before landing there she had to travel across the world and work in a number of unique roles. This is her story…

I WAS BORN in Stafford, England, and grew up in a close-knit family. I have an older sister and a younger brother, and our extended family of relatives who moved from England. They have always been an important part of my life, and we are like a real life ‘Family Griswalds’ living within a few kilometres of each other and frequently taking holidays together. Turns out we also like to dress the same in ‘matchy matchy’ puffers. Growing up was a mix of school, sports, and hobbies. I enjoyed school and was actively involved in everything from sport, music, debating, and school plays. I was sporty but also a bit of a nerd and enjoyed the academic side of things. As a result, I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to study Marketing at University. I say lucky because one of my teachers unbeknownst to me nominated me for the sponsorship – such a kind thing to do! And a reminder of the impact we can have on others when we care about their development. I have tried to pay this forward throughout my life and career. My journey into the working world started with selling shoes in a retail store. During my university years, I took on various jobs, from being a debt collector, to a hospital cleaner in the maternity ward, and even working as a grocery merchandiser. I then started my marketing career at Dulux Paint 8

December 2023/January 2024

on their graduate program. Looking back it was a random mix but each experience taught me something valuable, whether that be what a hard day’s work can really look like, having empathy for others and learning how to be agile and adaptive in all types of situations. As a child my parents introduced me to the world through trips back to the UK, and exploring different parts of the USA and Asia. In my 20s travelling became a passion. My boyfriend (now husband) and I backpacked across Europe before settling in London where I worked in the Marketing team at Campbell’s Soup. I was so fortunate to gain this experience and learn best practice from a global business. Marketing was my thing – I loved the consumer, insights, communications and bringing things to life with agencies, sales teams, and customers. Upon return to Australia, I was offered an opportunity to work in sales, again through the support from a leader who thought I could do it. And whilst I thought I would do a ‘stint’ in sales, who knew it would become my new passion. Currently, I hold the position of General Manager Retail, eComm, and Brand Partnerships at Asahi. My path to this role included being the Sales and Transformation Director at Lion Dairy and Drinks and the Marketing Director there before that.


Nicola and her family catching a game of footy

Nothing like a run to clear the head

“Throughout my career and life, I have been blessed with having the support of people who have believed in me and given me great opportunities.” – Nicola Richardson, General Manager Retail, eComm, and Brand Partnerships, Asahi Beverages

Nicola and husband Dave

Freddy and Snoop Dogg enjoying some R&R

Throughout my career and life, I have been blessed with having the support and backing of people who have believed in me and given me great opportunities. This is no different at Asahi where I feel very grateful for being part of a great business, whilst getting the chance to do what I love. I have an awesome team and am passionate about developing people and giving them opportunities, just like I have been so fortunate to have. In my spare time, I cherish moments with my family, watching my boys play sports or do plays, and spending time with extended family and friends. I like to run (it helps clear my head), play basketball (albeit badly), golf (even worse), and do charity work with my kids. My family includes my husband Dave, our sons Josh and Liam, our dogs Freddy and Snoop Dogg, and our cat Ebony. For those in the retail industry, my advice is to focus on your core proposition and get this right first and foremost. Be famous for something that matters to your customers and communicate effectively with your suppliers. To suppliers, my advice is to be as customer centric as possible. Understand where the value lies for both you and your customers and concentrate on strengthening that connection. Empower your people, support their success, be their biggest cheerleader and never stop learning. ■ www.c-store.com.au


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Where good food meets great service Caltex Wacol is a shining example of how a focus on customer experience and innovation in food and drink can elevate a store to the next level. Words Thomas Oakley-Newell NESTLED IN THE industrial area of the Brisbane suburb of Wacol, this Caltex site caters to a range of customers, from workers on their lunch breaks to tradies topping up, but what really sets Caltex Wacol apart from its competitors is its food offer. “Due to the continual growth over the years, we have had to do multiple upgrades to the food offer in this store. In 2021, we upgraded the counter, added on to the kitchen, and moved from a fourtray to six-tray hot box, with the takeaway category increasing by 19.5 per cent as a result,” said Nadia Young, Store Manager. Despite the upgrades, they could still see that Caltex Wacol had not yet reached its peak, so when the rebrand to Caltex was scheduled, they used the closure time to add another three trays of hot box space as well as new fridges to showcase its sandwich, salads, meals, and dessert offers. “The team has a long list of fried food lines that they pull from, however they always ensure they have the top sellers available. They are well known for their chicken and chips, and hamburgers as well as 12

December 2023/January 2024

the classic Inghams Sweet Chilli Tenders and Keppel Biggins Crumbed Sausages. “Being in an industrial area, fried food is still in high demand and our customers usually use their visit to grab a break from work so are happy to travel to us. We do however notice seasonal shifts. In winter, we find that our customers really gravitate to the hot food and in summer they tend to switch it up for a sandwich, salad, or sushi that we have on offer,” explained Young. The site is also the top performing energy site in the state for two energy drink suppliers. “We could not continue to grow our food offer without opening up the fridge space, so we took iced coffee, flavoured milk, and milk out of the fridge run and into its own space, and now we have a dedicated door for multipacks as well as three more doors dedicated to energy units. “We have had incredible growth results across all categories changed during the rebrand. Every inch of this store is working hard to earn its space, and if we want to grow beyond this, we are limited by the walls.”


“The Wacol team loves to keep their offer interesting for their customers, they are always keen to trial new things and pass on customer feedback.” – Joanna Watters, Merchandising Team Lead, Caltex

A recent upgrade saw the addition of the Coffee Plus offer

Another part of the rebrand included the addition of four new brands – the new fuel offer of Caltex with Techron in every grade of fuel, the new Star Mart branded c-store, the Coffee Plus offer, and the fried food offer of Tucker Time. “With all the changes mentioned above and with the implementation of these new brands we have seen strong growth in all these areas in a very short time.”

An ever-engaging experience

L-R: Danielle Kean, Elizabeth Johns, Nadia Young, Mitchell Falls, and Debra Garner

An extensive fresh food offer is always available

One of Caltex Wacol’s secrets to success is its unwavering commitment to keeping the customer experience engaging and exciting. “The Wacol team loves to keep their offer interesting for their customers, they are always keen to trial new things and pass on customer feedback. Therefore, this site is often the testing ground for new offers, that if successful, are rolled out to the wider Caltex Stores,” explains Joanna Watters, Merchandising Team Lead at Caltex. Maintaining a strong connection to community and customers is another area where Caltex Wacol excels. Young says it is important to listen to your customers’ needs and train staff to do the same. “Have conversations, engage, learn their order, and even better yet, call them by their first name or nickname.” Relationships are equally important with suppliers, and Watters says that communication is key. “You cannot over communicate, especially with a busy site. If you are going to be late or if you are out of stock of product that we need every day to run our business, or business critical items as we call them; eggs, bacon, bread, chicken tenders etc, let us know as soon as possible so we can make other arrangements.” Looking ahead to 2024, Watters believes the industry landscape is in an incredibly interesting period, with changes in ownership, rebrands, and businesses for sale. “The disruption will no doubt inspire investment into better offers and better convenience leading to greater competition. The focus on food continues to remain strong and seems to be the path forward for all good retailers. The next evolution is how we keep our customers loyal to our shop offer as well as our fuel.” ■ www.c-store.com.au


PODCAST In-depth coverage of news, events, and insights relating to the petrol and convenience channel, brought to you by the team at C&I.

If you’re interested in featuring on the podcast, please contact:

Safa de Valois

Thomas Oakley-Newell

0405 517 115 safa@c-store.com.au

0405 969 565 tom@c-store.com.au

Group Publisher & Commercial Director

Managing Editor


Hydration innovation A predicted summer of heatwaves is welcome news for the beverage market, particularly in the convenience channel, but brands shouldn’t rest on their laurels in this highly competitive category. Words Claire Hibbit

WHEN IT COMES to carbonated beverages, consumers are seeking flavour innovation at an accelerated speed and frequency. In fact, innovation has driven the carbonated beverages market in recent years, as it quickly adapts to consumers’ evolving tastes towards healthconscious options. And demand for these better-for-you flavour formulations and nootropic variants is showing no signs of slowing. “Our customers love innovation in beverages, no matter what the segment,” explains Rob Kirby, Product Area Lead, 7-Eleven Australia. Increasingly, consumers are wanting a functional or health benefit with their drinks. “There has been a noticeable move away from full sugar drinks, with customers shifting into the no and low sugar varieties,” says Kirby. “In fact, zero and lowcalorie drinks in most cases now sell more than their regular counterpart.” According to Simon Rathbone, Head of Sales at Noosa Beverages, the company’s growth over the past few years has been strong in all channels as consumers demand a different experience, combined with value for money. “We have also seen a shift back towards more boutique and unique brands like Wimmers Premium Soft Drinks, as well as consumers wanting to support Australian and locally made products. “Consumers are expecting manufacturers to provide the next solution, if it tastes good, is healthier for you, and ticks those boxes; a portion of the market will undoubtedly follow,” he says. 16

December 2023/January 2024

Finding the right formula Key to success in the highly competitive and impulsive carbonated beverages market is staying ahead on flavour differentiation. According to Asahi Beverages, its top-performing carbonated drinks in the convenience sector are led by Mountain Dew, which has seen a growth of around 30 per cent in value over the past year. This is followed by Solo with an increase of over 16 per cent and Pepsi Max, which has seen more than 10 per cent growth. Over the past year, Asahi Beverages has launched several innovative beverages featuring functional energy ingredients and health-conscious options across various categories, not just in soft drinks. According to the company, its most notable launches include Mountain Dew Major Melon, which it says became the number one selling innovation in total soft drinks within convenience outlets. Dew Major Melon has not only an energetic design and flavour but also zero sugar. Additionally, Asahi Beverages rolled out Solo Lemon Lime (Zero Sugar) and Solo 50th birthday packs (limited edition memorabilia packs bringing to life some of Solo’s most iconic moments over the last 50 years), catering to what the company describes as “consumers’ increasing demand for flavourful yet health-conscious options”. “While zero-sugar options are among the fastest-growing sub-segments in the soft drink industry, their adoption in convenience settings has been comparatively slow. However, we have observed higher sales volumes can


be attained with flagship brands such as Solo Zero Sugar or through engaging flavour innovation like that found in Mountain Dew Major Melon.” Asahi Beverages says it’s excited to introduce Vibe, a “great-tasting soda range with benefits”, as the next launch in the convenience sector. It has also rolled out first-to-market initiatives targeted specifically for convenience outlets as customer-first approaches and exclusive promotions surge. For instance, Mountain Dew Major Melon and Gatorade Green Apple were both exclusively in 7-Eleven stores ahead of wider distribution. Similarly, Pepsi Max Soda Shop was released in BP stations around three months before becoming available in the broader market. Noosa Beverages has also recently launched its first new flavour in 10 years under the Wimmers Premium Soft Drinks brand; Pink Hibiscus, edging on botanicals and ensuring it was made with natural flavour. “The launch and the pursuing sales have been fantastic,” says Rathbone of the new Pink Hibiscus. “It has gained the attention of consumers and competitors, it’s certainly a very different product in the carbonated soft drinks market, it also makes a wonderful mixer with any white spirit on the hot balmy summer nights.”

Sustainable solutions The move by consumers towards more environmentally sustainable products is also leading beverage manufacturers and convenience retailers to rethink product formats and packaging. A report released by Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS) research unit last year found Australian consumers want sustainable products and are increasingly looking for more environmentally conscious shopping options. More than half (52 per cent) of the 1000 Aussie shoppers surveyed for the retail monitor report Spotlight on Sustainability, said they were giving more thought to the social and environmental impact of their purchases before they buy, and are even willing to pay more for products that are ethically produced.

“Consumers are expecting manufacturers to provide the next solution, if it tastes good, is healthier for you, and ticks those boxes; a portion of the market will undoubtedly follow.” – Simon Rathbone, Head of Sales, Noosa Beverages “Making consumers aware and keeping them informed about carbon footprint, sustainability, and social responsibility is growing in consumers’ minds,” says Rathbone. 7-Eleven’s Kirby notes a growing trend in drinks moving into cans rather than bottles. “We believe portion control, sustainability, and usage occasion are some of the reasons why customers are choosing cans over bottles,” he says. Recently, supplementary sports drink brand LeVeL Beverages has announced it is introducing 300ml cans to its core range of products, which are currently available in bottles. Available in more than 3000 stores nationwide including Coles Express and On The Run, LeVeL Beverages’ range of LeVeL Lemonade is a better for you soft drink, available in seven flavours; Original, Pink Grapefruit, Raspberry, Orange, Ginger, Pineapple, and most recent flavour, Cola. “According to our market research, 63 per cent of Australians prefer a fizzy drink on-the-go in a can over PET bottles,” says LeVeL Beverages Director, Chrish Graebner. “Functional, and better for you beverages continue to lead the way in the category, and brands need to strike the right balance of these elements in their formulations for today’s consumer,” says Graebner, who says P&C remains LeVeL Lemonade’s most important channel, accounting for 80 per cent of sales. Graebner says LeVeL Beverages has been on a solid growth journey, selling four million bottles since the brand’s inception. → www.c-store.com.au



“In the last quarter alone, we sold about 30 per cent more than the same time last year. We estimate in-market sales of LeVeL lemonade were more than $4,000,000. And this is just the beginning.” Graebner now has set his sights on taking the company even higher, launching a crowd-funding campaign to grow the loyalty and amplify the brand throughout its key consumer support base.

Capitalising on impulse Beverages play a key role in driving traffic to stores, therefore capturing the shopper’s attention as soon as they walk through the door is critical. To do this, retailers should ensure that the customer flight path to purchase is clear, with easy-to-read signage. POS that is bright, engaging, and interrupts the shopper journey, can help assist in the shopper’s decision-making process, or even entice them to make an impulse purchase. “Every retailer has their own opinion on what works for them in their area,” says Rathbone. “Speaking specifically about Noosa Beverages’ range of products, I would say it’s important to have locally produced and 100 per cent Australian owned product at the forefront and making it a feature within store. “Being predominately Queensland-based, tourists and visitors are more open to, and like, trying locally manufactured products, something different to the international brands that consumers have had for years, they will always search those common brands out, but you can make your site unique by working with us and supporting Australian made and owned brands.” As a highly impulsive category, soft drinks have always been viewed by convenience retailers as a way to generate associated sales with food and fuel. Therefore, strategic bundling and value creation is essential. To do this, retailers need to ensure associated combo products are placed in prominent locations on the path to purchase and are easily visible and accessible to encourage the uptake.


December 2023/January 2024

Differentiation is key in a crowded market

While shoppers will always seek value for money in-store, Kirby believes retailers need to understand their customers beyond price. “We know that our customers are feeling the squeeze on their discretionary income with cost-of-living pressures. It’s all about providing value that matters to the individual customer and building loyalty to encourage co-buys and return visits in a highly competitive market. “It’s not all about price, as innovation is another form of value. Local brands can be nimble, and international brands can tap into their global ranges and expertise to drive innovation, but this has to align to local tastes and seasonality to be successful. “Retailers are becoming more sophisticated with merchandising and trade planning, so I would encourage more collaboration between suppliers and retailers on how to maximise opportunities through prominent store assets, cobuy opportunities including meal deals, and even store-based clusters where relevant. “Whether activations are price, innovation, or loyalty-based, knowing your customer intimately and partnering collaboratively is what we see as being key to the success.” ■

“Local brands can be nimble, and international brands can tap into their global ranges and expertise to drive innovation, but this has to align to local tastes and seasonality to be successful.” – Rob Kirby, Product Area Lead, 7-Eleven Australia



Healthy Habits Australians’ health awareness continues to drive the healthy snacking category, as consumers turn to snacking rather than eating full meals due to busy lifestyles. Words Lizzie Hunter

ACCORDING TO THE Australian Association of Convenience Stores’ (AACS) State of the Industry 2023 Half Yearly Report, Snackfoods remains the fastest growing category, continuing its strong performance in 2022, with a +21.1 per cent growth in the first half of 2023. Soren Madsen, National Account Manager for Trumps, a Queensland based wholesaler and distributor of nuts and dried fruit, says the healthy snacking category is an ever-changing space as consumers continually seek out new and alternative healthy snacking options. “We’ve seen considerable growth in the healthy snack category within the petrol and convenience (P&C) channel over the last few years,” says Madsen. “Australians are more health-conscious and more careful with what foods they are consuming, boosting demand and creating more opportunities for healthy snack food retailers.”


December 2023/January 2024

Madsen says Trumps is meeting this demand with plans to expand its ‘Snacks to Go’ snack cup range in the new year. “Our ‘Snacks to Go’ cup range is our most popular product in the channel. We plan to launch new flavours, including dried fruits and natural nut combinations in the new year to provide more variety for consumers,” says Madsen. “The ‘Snacks to Go’ cups provide a healthy and convenient snacking experience, fitting perfectly into the cup holder of a car, trolley or even golf buggy.” Madsen notes that while demand for nut-based snacks has moved away from flavoured options to natural or dry-roasted flavours, he believes there will always be a market for flavoured snacks. “We have seen a shift in people wanting natural flavours, rather than nuts coated in salt or sugar, however, there is still a big sector of the market who prefer full flavoured snacks. Over the last 12 months, I think the P&C channel has certainly driven the demand for healthier snacking options.” Within the healthy snack food category, demand for protein-based products like bars and balls has also grown, driven by an expanding gym and workout culture, resulting in many snack food producers adding more protein-based snacks to their product range.* Following the successful launch of Carman’s Protein Bakes range into P&C in 2021, Carman’s Marketing Manager Lois Tristram says the company continues to innovate and explore different protein-based options to meet varying consumer expectations.


“The P&C channel provides such a great opportunity for Carman’s to attract new consumers to our products and trial new product offerings, like our Protein Bakes range,” said Tristram. “The Protein Bakes are a great example of a product that was first launched in P&C, that we later launched in a multipack format in grocery when we saw how much people loved it.” While protein isn’t a new trend, Tristram notes that it continues to grow in the P&C channel, as well as across grocery. “One of the key reasons people choose protein is that it keeps them fuller for longer,” says Tristram. “In response, Carman’s launched our Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter Brownie Protein Bakes, each with 10g protein. While Carman’s Oat Slices continue to be our top-performing product in P&C, the Protein Bakes have already grown by almost 85 per cent compared to last year.” Tristram says the P&C channel plays a key role in the company’s marketing strategy. “It sounds obvious but the greater the availability of our products, the more likely consumers are to give our brand a try. We want people to be thinking of Carman’s when they’re looking for a healthy snack, and we want our products to be readily available in that moment,” says Tristram. “The P&C channel is a really important channel for us and a great way to offer on-the-go consumers a little ‘moment of joy’ when they eat our snacks as they go about their everyday lives. “The COVID pandemic had an enormous effect on the industry – obviously snacking on-the-go slowed right down, but I think we’re seeing that pick back up again as people resume their busy lives”. Despite the growing consumer demand for protein-based options, Tristram also notes there is a growing fragmentation of what shoppers are looking for in a healthy snack. “People are looking for ‘better-for-you’ benefits in all different segments, whether that’s lower sugar, higher protein, lower carb or 100 per cent natural. Health means something different to different people. In response, Carman’s includes a variety of options in all of our ranges to cater to different consumer wants and needs.”

Plant-based options on the rise Kerin O’Brien, Sales Director at Purabon, an Australian based manufacturer of plant-based, wholefood snacks, says more consumers are looking for plant-based snacks with clean ingredients. “Having clean ingredients in products is becoming more important than ever as consumers care more about eating well and catering to their dietary requirements while shopping for snacks in convenience outlets,” says O’Brien.

“Australians are more health-conscious and more careful with what foods they are consuming, boosting demand and creating more opportunities for healthy snack food retailers.” – Soren Madsen, National Account Manager, Trumps “In the P&C channel, our protein and wholefood balls are our most popular impulse snack, often purchased where coffee is sold instore. “Our plant-based wholefood bars are also designed to provide a more satisfying snack for consumers seeking a larger serve for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack on the go.” Off-Piste Provisions, a plant-based meat company based in Aotearoa New Zealand, entered the P&C channel last year with its range of plant-based jerky. Off-Piste Provisions sales manager Will Baldock says the company recognised a gap in the channel for healthy, plant-based snacks. “Most on-the-go snacking options in New Zealand’s petrol and convenience stores are on the sweeter side; protein bars or anything covered in chocolate,” says Baldock. “There aren’t too many options for people looking for a more savory or nutritious option, leaving the door wide open for plant-based, healthy snacks.” Despite plant-based snacking being relatively new in New Zealand, Baldock says there is a growing demand for the category. → www.c-store.com.au



Baldock adds Off-Piste Provisions has plans to expand its product offering in New Zealand’s P&C market ahead of the summer road trip period. “While we’ve only been in the P&C channel for 12 months, it’s an exciting space to be in. It’s great that retailers are starting to see plant-based as a viable option and are willing to change and adapt to keep up with market trends. We’re looking forward to seeing plantbased alternatives being normalised and becoming part of the everyday mainstream shopping experience.”

No substitute for flavour

“People are looking for ‘better-for-you’ benefits in all different segments, whether that’s lower sugar, higher protein, lower carb or 100 per cent natural. Health means something different to different people.” – Lois Tristram, Marketing Manager, Carman’s “The reasons for this may be environmental, or simply due to people being more aware of what they are consuming and therefore wanting a healthier, natural option,” says Baldock. “When you consider other categories like dairy, plant-based alternatives like oat, almond and soy have become so mainstream, whereas snacking remains an untapped category.” Baldock believes the main challenge for the industry is pricing and market viability. “While consumers are willing to pay a little more for a product, there’s definitely a fine line between cost and experience,” Baldock says. “Due to the current economic conditions, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, people don’t have the same level of discretionary spend which really plays into the P&C channel where many purchases are made based on impulse. “Ensuring products hit the right price point and provide value to the customer is sustainable for both the business and the consumer, because snacks are an impulse and a luxury which a lot of people are starting to give up.” A key benefit of being in the P&C channel is that Off-Piste Provisions jerky is sold in the same section as mainstream jerky, says Baldock. “We’ve found our products sell best when positioned next to traditional jerky snacks. The position gives consumers the option for a plant-based snack, rather than having to go to a separate, health foods section.” 22

December 2023/January 2024

Despite current economic pressures, Baldock says consumers are prepared to pay more for a healthier alternative, as long as it provides similar value to its mainstream counterpart. “We’ve found consumers are willing to sacrifice on some elements of a product, but you still have to give them an enjoyable eating experience whether it’s the flavour, texture or chew of the snack,” says Baldock. “If people don’t find any value in the alternative, they won’t purchase it again.” Tristram echoes Baldock’s sentiments: “While healthy snacks need to deliver the health benefits consumers are now demanding, taste is key. “A brand can have the most compelling packaging in the world, but if the product they’re selling doesn’t taste amazing, the consumer won’t purchase it again,” Tristram said. “Consumers typically don’t want to compromise on taste, so there is a level of balancing healthiness with enjoyment when it comes to food. “I think that’s the key when it comes to positioning and selling healthy snacks in store, don’t just focus on the functional benefits of a product, make sure it continues to meet the consumer’s standards of taste and quality.” ■ * Health Snack Food Production in Australia - Market Size, Industry Analysis, Trends and Forecasts (2023-2028)| IBISWorld


FREEZE DRIED For ranging these products please email info@healthier-tastier.com or call (02) 4307 6847


Going green Sustainability is not only beneficial for the environment but for an organisation’s reputation, and increasingly, their bottom line. Words Claire Hibbit SUSTAINABILITY HAS MOVED well beyond a buzzword, with brands and retailers increasingly adopting greener mindsets across their products, processes, and supply chains. But it’s not only organisations implementing sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Consumers are also more conscious than ever before about the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. In fact, a study conducted by Monash University this year, the Retail Sustainability Spotlight, found that 51 per cent of Australian shoppers cited sustainability as an important factor in their retail purchase. According to the study, consumers also felt it was an important factor if products are locally produced (64 per cent), ethically produced (62 per cent), and packaged in recyclable materials (59 per cent). Lisa Rippon Lee, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia (CCEP), explains that sustainability is now a critical component of any business. “Consumers have an expectation that businesses operate in a sustainable manner, and they want to align themselves with organisations who are making strides.” CCEP’s comprehensive global sustainability action plan, This Is Forward, 24

December 2023/January 2024

includes six key social and environmental areas – climate, packaging, water, supply chain, society, and drinks. Some of CCEP’s key commitments include reaching net zero emissions by 2040, using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, stopping the use of oil-based virgin plastic in bottles by 2030, and creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce. “Over the past 12 months we have made great progress towards our key sustainability commitments,” says Rippon Lee. In July, CCEP transitioned Sprite’s iconic green plastic bottle to clear PET to increase

Nestlé aims to plant 10 million trees across Australia

its recyclability. The switch from green to clear Sprite bottles increases the likelihood of these bottles being remade into new bottles, meaning that they can have more than one life. Nestlé is another leading brand that aims to accelerate its sustainability commitments. In 2019, Nestlé announced its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Nestlé Net Zero Roadmap, a detailed timebound plan, was then launched in late 2020. The Net Zero Roadmap has three key phases with commitments at each stage. “As we work towards our 2025 targets, we have some exciting projects coming to market in 2024 and early 2025,” explains Nestlé’s Head of Sustainability, Amanda Robertson. “We are aiming to plant 10 million trees across Australia and are well underway with more than 1.9 million trees already planted and plans underway for the 2024 and 2025 planting seasons.” Nestlé also recently announced a $2 million investment at its Gympie, Queensland factory, the home of Nescafé, to help reduce water usage by around 45 million litres each year. “In addition to our 2025 targets, currently we have a range of pilots being run around the world to understand how to reduce emissions in our key commodities.”


Sprite changed its iconic green bottle to clear PET to increase recyclability

“Consumers have an expectation that businesses operate in a sustainable manner, and they want to align themselves with organisations who are making strides.” – Lisa Rippon Lee, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, CCEP

In October, Nestlé announced the classic KitKat and KitKat Gold four-finger bars as well as the KitKat Chunky Aero Mint bar and classic KitKat block will now be made using 90 per cent recycled plastic. The update builds on KitKat’s move last year to become Australia’s first food wrapped in soft plastic made with 30 per cent recycled plastic using a mass balance approach – with more than 40 million KitKat 4-finger bars wrapped with 30 per cent recycled plastic since. The major step in the brand’s sustainability journey cuts 1,200,000m2 of virgin plastic each year, enough to cover approximately 1000 x 50m swimming pools. The 90 per cent recycled plastic is allocated using the ISCC mass balance approach. According to Nestlé Oceania Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Margaret Stuart, the company is on a mission to cut its virgin plastics use by a third by 2025. “We hope this wrapper does more than just reduce virgin plastic use. We hope it’s a reminder of the circular potential for soft plastics. We all know the disappointment of not being able to recycle our soft plastics right now, but we’ve designed our wrappers so that where collection is available, they can be recycled.”

Waste not, want not

Sustainability in-store

Consumers increasingly value an organisation’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility, with sustainable packaging, including an increased use of recycled material in packaging, one of the biggest changes being witnessed across industry. “Environmentally friendly packaging is the way forward for the packaging industry and it will only continue to grow in importance, as businesses look to reduce the levels of virgin plastic in their packaging portfolio,” explains Rippon Lee. CCEP has announced a commitment to ensure 100 per cent of its packaging is recyclable by 2025, and the brand is well on its way to achieving this according to Rippon Lee, with it currently sitting at 96.8 per cent. “Consumers are only going to continue increasing their expectations around sustainable packaging, so it is important for industry to effectively communicate how they are making progress and continue innovating to meet consumer expectations.” CCEP has also made a commitment to use 50 per cent recycled plastic in its PET bottles by 2025. “Currently, seven out of 10 of our plastic bottles are made from 100 per cent recycled plastic (rPET), excluding caps and labels, a statistic we’re continually working hard to improve. “Through the investment in container deposit schemes and the recycling plants through the Circular Plastics Australia (PET) joint venture, we hope to accelerate feedstock levels and processing capacity to increase supply of rPET.”

Sustainability is also at the forefront for retailers. In 2022, 7-Eleven launched its sustainability strategy, which focuses on four areas: Climate Action, Supporting Local Communities, Sustainable Food Systems, and Improving Human Health. According to Fiona Baxter, Head of Sustainability at 7-Eleven Australia, the strategy was launched with the ambition of doing what’s right for people and planet, and to drive a thriving business fit for the future. Some of the company’s initiatives include reducing carbon emissions from its operations, working with suppliers on Scope 3 reduction opportunities, sustainable packaging changes, monitoring and managing modern slavery risks, diversity and inclusion, responsibly sourced ingredients and phasing out palm oil from 7-Eleven branded food products, reducing food waste through both food rescue and organic waste recycling, and encouraging healthy eating. In 2022, 7-Eleven also demonstrated its commitment to sustainable food systems, supporting communities and sustainable packaging by launching 100 per cent Fairtrade coffee, locally roasted in Melbourne, and served in cups and lids made from plants. “This year we developed our baselines for all our committed targets and engaged our 7-Eleven branded product supply partners in our commitments to work together to achieve them over the coming years,” says Baxter. → www.c-store.com.au



“In 2024 we will be progressing packaging changes and look forward to working with the packaging system to see soft plastics recycling return in a more sustainable way with the development of chemical and advanced recycling facilities. “We will continue on-boarding and connecting with key supplier sites on Sedex to assist us in monitoring and managing modern slavery risks. We will also continue to be working with our supplier partners to plan the phase out of palm oil from our 7-Eleven branded food products.” In October, ALDI Australia released its Making Sustainability Affordable report, sharing significant developments towards its national sustainability commitments. The report unveiled a 12 per cent reduction in plastic packaging since 2019, preventing a further 5,500 tonnes of plastic from entering circulation in 2022; and an 82 per cent diversion of waste to landfill. The report notes that throughout 2022, ALDI also made several innovations to its product packaging to transition to more sustainable options. Driving these changes is the commitment made in 2019 to reduce plastic packaging by 25 per cent by 2025. According to the report, ALDI is now almost halfway to achieving this commitment, recording a 12.2 per cent reduction in plastic packaging across its range of exclusive brands since 2019.

Where to from here? Consumer appetite for change is accelerating, and organisations need to take note. Sustainable packaging, substantiating sustainability claims, as well as an increasing focus on food waste are some of the key topics set to be top of mind for businesses and industry leaders in 2024. “Plastics, packaging, and recycling continue to be a concern to the community, and I truly hope we can meet this trend with solutions for soft plastics recycling in Australia,” says 7-Eleven’s Fiona Baxter. “The community will also continue to expect that businesses like ours take greater responsibility for minimising the waste we create. The broader community wants to do the right thing when it comes to things like recycling and it’s fair enough that they expect business to do the same.” Looking ahead, Rippon Lee says CCEP expects others in the packaging industry to develop solutions to continue closing the loop on packaging in Australia and reducing the levels of virgin plastic being created. “If you look internationally, there is a growing trend toward reusable and refillable packaging. In some of our other markets, such as Germany, reusable packaging including returnable glass bottles has been successfully implemented as part of CCEP’s continued efforts to eliminate packaging waste and reduce our carbon footprint. 26

December 2023/January 2024

PET recycling plant in Albury, NSW

“Plastics, packaging, and recycling continue to be a concern to the community, and I truly hope we can meet this trend with solutions for soft plastics recycling in Australia.” – Fiona Baxter, Head of Sustainability, 7-Eleven Australia “In a country like Australia, with a much vaster size and more sparse population density, the sheer distance between operational sites creates a challenge for introducing reusable packaging. We are always exploring a range of options to collect and recycle our bottles, including packaging solutions that work with our local recycling infrastructure.” Nestlé’s Robertson anticipates a greater focus on the circular economy and regenerative agriculture, including regenerative agriculture practices, which aim to restore soil health, enhance biodiversity, and sequester carbon to gain wider recognition and adoption in Australia. “We have made a number of investments to accelerate our sustainability commitments – including investing CHF 1.25 billion by 2025 to spark regenerative agriculture across our supply chain and committed a further CHF 1.5 billion by 2025 to source food-grade recycled plastic, and investing in projects such as our Global Reforestation Program which aims to plant 200 million trees by 2030. “But these are not costs – these are investments. There is often a lot of discussion about the high cost of tackling climate change, but the reality is that inaction will cost us more. “Beyond the impact to the planet, inaction will see an increase in the cost of raw materials and a rise in compliance costs as governments increasingly regulate to drive change. “Inaction will cost us money. It will cost us our reputation. And it will cost us the future we leave for our children.” ■

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“It’s the perfect blend of Milkybar white chocolate and the iconic Milo taste. There’s not more or less of the other, you can still taste the creamy white chocolate as well as the chocolatey coco-maltiness of Milo. The product delivers, the concept delivers, and Australians love it.” – Joyce Tan, Head of Marketing Confectionery, Nestlé

Nestlé’s Milkybar Milo awarded C&I Choice Product of the Year The 2023 C&I Choice Product of the Year has been awarded to a unique collaboration between two iconic Australian brands. FOLLOWING A YEAR of many impressive

“It’s the perfect blend of Milkybar white

product launches and innovations in the

chocolate and the iconic Milo taste. There’s

petrol and convenience channel, Nestlé’s

not more or less of the other, you can still

Milkybar Milo has been named as the 2023

taste the creamy white chocolate as well as

C&I Choice Product of the Year.

the chocolatey coco-maltiness of Milo. The

The collaboration between Milkybar and Milo combines the creamy Milkybar that customers know and love, mixed with crispy choc-malt balls and delicious Milo powder. Joyce Tan, Head of Marketing Confectionery at Nestlé, said they are super


December 2023/January 2024

L-R: Safa de Valois, Group Publisher of C&I Media, Joyce Tan, Head of Marketing Confectionery at Nestlé, and Kevin Pan, Channel Manager Convenience and Impulse at Nestlé

product delivers, the concept delivers, and Australians love it.” Kevin Pan, Channel Manager – Convenience and Impulse at Nestlé, said it has been an amazing launch. “We’ve seen a lot of excitement come

excited about being named the winner

through from all our suppliers. And there

of the award and are very proud of the

seems to be a general buzz around the

product and what it has done in the market.

whole product. It’s something different to the

“It’s doing extremely well. The pairing

typical Milkybar, which we’re very proud of.”

of Milkybar, as an iconic white chocolate

Milkybar Milo is available now across

brand, and Milo, another brand that

Australia in two convenient formats:

Australians have grown up with, make this a

Milkybar Milo Block (160g, $5.50) and

perfect partnership.

Milkybar Milo Bar (38g, $2.20).


Food on the Go

Winner: Indulge your cravings with Anytime Donuts


Discover Anytime Donuts – deliciously indulgent, jampacked with filling and now available Australia-wide. Try a family favourite like Strawberry or Choc Iced which are oozing with jam or go for the rich Choc Caramel that’s filled with luscious caramel. With many more flavours on offer, there’s something to satisfy every sweet craving and bring customers back for more. Conveniently frozen for you to thaw as you need each day, reducing waste and ensuring ultimate freshness. You don’t want to miss these delicious donuts. Available nationwide through PFD and Metcash or contact the Anytime Donuts team at info@gddonuts.com.au.

Winner: Swizzles Minions range hits Australia Swizzels, the trusted 95-year-old sweets brand that is much loved by Australians, has partnered with the Minions franchise to bring superior licenced products to market. Bringing these two iconic brands together is a sure formula for success – in fact, the Swizzles Minions range in the UK was the most successful NPD launch in 2022, with the total Minions range worth AUD$6.8m. The Swizzels Minions Squashies 140g have a unique soft, squishy texture that is morish. With a little bit of a mash up of marshmallow and jelly gummy texture, they have an RRP $4. The Swizzles Minions Tropical Chew Bars 140g each contain different Minions characters making them fun and engaging for children and are RRP $4.20. Retailers should contact CTC Australia to stock the Swizzles Minions range, which is sure to drive confectionery category sales.

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…

Flavoured Milk

Winner: Breaka delivers the flavour of fun Breaka has joined forces with iconic confectionery brand Chupa Chups to create a flavoured milk mash up that’s fun and delicious. Breaka x Chupa Chups flavoured milk, launching in two delicious flavours – Strawberry & Cream and Choco & Vanilla will be sure to delight flavoured milk drinkers nationally. Breaka is Queensland’s number one rainbow flavoured milk and has proven success with a range of fun flavours that consumers love. Flavour innovation brings incremental sales to the category, driving new shoppers to purchase flavoured milk or existing shoppers to buy more frequently. The new limited edition Breaka x Chupa Chups flavoured milks are available in 600ml cartons in grocery and convenience stores nationally. 30

December 2023/January 2024


Iced Coffee

Winner: Hunt and Brew gives Aussie coffee lovers an Australian grown bean

Functional Beverages

Winner: LeVeL Beverages’ latest innovation

Partnering with Howe Farms directly, a secondgeneration family-owned company, Hunt and Brew is the first to put local Australian coffee on the map at commercial scale and offers the first coffee product globally that’s grown, roasted, and bottled in the same country. The result is single origin Australian coffee, cold brewed and triple filtered for maximum flavour extraction, then finally cut with fresh Australian full cream milk, and nothing else. Hunt and Brew Australia reflects the unique characteristics of the local Queensland area, targeting all discerning Aussie coffee lovers.

LeVeL Beverages, founded by Chrish Graebner, is shaking up the beverage world with its range that seamlessly blends deliciousness and goodness. Now, for the first time ever, LeVeL Lemonade is available in a can. Graebner says that the innovation is setting the company up for the future, with the cans being more sustainable as well as having a longer shelf life. Graebner also revealed a fun fact from representative AU Omnibus study in which it was shown that 63 per cent of Australians prefer a fizzy drink from a can. To find out more visit www.level-lemonade.com.

Carbonated Beverages

Winner: Wimmers Pink Hibiscus Wimmers Premium Soft Drinks have just launched their first genuine new flavour, Pink Hibiscus, which has been 10 years in the making. Wimmers’ Master Beveragier has painstakingly created the new masterpiece, all while keeping true to the brand, offering a full experience which is refreshing to the very last drop. Already ranged in over 200 Coles stores, it’s the new must have for the P&C channel. Available now in both 600mL and 1.25L sizes, Pink Hibiscus is available at all good distributors throughout Queensland and Northern NSW. For more details, please contact Simon Rathbone at simon@wimmers.com.au.


Winner: Honest Gum shakes up the gum industry Honest Gum’s new plant-based, vegan gum is sustainable, compostable, ethically sourced, and most importantly, tastes delicious. The Ginger Lemon flavour, which is great for travel sickness and nausea, proved especially popular during winter as people travel to warmer climates. Honest Gum is also available in three other flavours – Eucalyptus Mint, Fruit, and Cinnamon – with 12 pieces per pack at a RRP of $3.95. To stock Honest Gum, contact Marie Hatzimihalis at chewnatural@honestgum.com.au or 0405 048 575.





Winner: A Toatl-ly unique flavoured milk! Toatl flavoured oat milk combines the deliciousness of traditional flavoured milk with the growing trend of plant-based options. The three flavours include a decadent chocolate, a smooth caramel, and a fruity flavoured strawberry, all made using Aussie oats, by an Aussie company, right here in Australia. Toatl plans to disrupt the flavoured milk segment with its oat milkbased offer, using the knowledge that oat milk has been outgrowing other milks in the category over the last two to three years, and predicting that this trend will continue as more consumers add plantbased milk into their repertoire. With ranging already secured across 7-Eleven, Coles Express, Ampol, and bp, Toatl can be found in the majority of buying groups throughout the petrol and convenience channel.


Pet Care

Winner: Alka Power a ‘game changer’ in the water category

Winner: The purr-fect product for P&C Specially prepared and packed with tender meaty pieces in a delicious and flavourful jelly, FELIX Sensations Jellies Favourites Menu will have cats purring for more. Made with the ideal combination of Vitamins D and E, balanced minerals, and Omega 6 Fatty Acids, they are full of healthy goodness to satisfy 100 per cent of a cat’s daily needs when fed according to the feeding guidelines on the pack. Based on shopper insights and the fact that the wet cat food segment is a fast-growing category in Australian grocery and impulse, Purina made the decision to make these products available to the petrol and convenience channel. FELIX Sensations Jellies Favourites Menu are sold in 85g pouches with 12 per box, at RRP $14.50. To stock FELIX Sensations Jellies Favourites Menu, contact The Distributors.

With its ultra-hydrating properties, its immunity boosting benefits, and its crisp, refreshing taste, Alka Power leads the charge in the better for you bottled water space. Alka Power, which is ranged through a variety of channels including grocery, health, and wellness, and at WHSmith nationally, has recently expanded through the convenience channel including at Ampol and will soon be available in Ezymart stores. Managing Director Steve Pettaras said Alka Power is channelling into the mainstream bottled water segment as they believe Alka Power is the best tasting and better for you bottled spring water on the market.

Energy Drinks

Winner: V Energy unveils first full sugar launch since 2020 V Energy has added a taste of the tropics to its portfolio with the launch of its first full sugar NPD since 2020 – V Tropical Tang. The colourful new addition to the V Energy line-up meets consumers’ love for fresh tropical flavours with a sweet explosion of guava, pineapple, and berries. V Tropical Tang has been available in New Zealand in a single 500ml can and in Australia in both a single 500ml can and four-pack (4 x 500ml). 32

December 2023/January 2024



Winner: Mars Wrigley’s Snickers Butterscotch flavour

Gadgets & Accessories

Winner: Tiko breath of the dragon This new slim Tiko lighter has seized the attention of social media worldwide, receiving raging reviews and praise for its impressively unique design. This masterpiece is the only dual flame lighter ever created and the metallic dragon blueprint just takes things to a whole new level. One press of the switch button ignites the blue windproof jet flame that works at any angle and once the switch is released, magic happens. The soft open flame comes direct from the dragon’s mouth, which looks fierce and stunning. This brand-new Tiko lighter is available in four colours – Black, White, Gold and Blue and will RRP at $13.95, which means it’s a great margin for the retailer. Distributed exclusively by Peleguy Distribution. For more information, please contact your Peleguy Representative on 1300 377 341, orders@peleguy.com.au or visit peleguy.com.au.

Mars Wrigley has unveiled a new Snickers Butterscotch flavour, packed with roasted peanuts, chewy caramel, and a slab of butterscotch nougat. The recipe was formulated and manufactured in Australia, at the company’s Ballarat-based Innovation Hub, marking the second locally developed Snickers flavour variant since Mars Wrigley returned the production of Snickers to Australia last year. Richard Weisinger, Snickers Portfolio Director, said the new variant combines the flavour-powerhouse combo of chocolate and caramel with butterscotch. “Butterscotch is proving to be incredibly popular with consumers, particularly when paired with chocolate and caramel. This makes it a decadently sweet and irresistible flavour variant for the Snickers brand and the perfect little indulgence.” Snickers Butterscotch is available now via leading supermarkets, independent retailers, and convenience stores for RRP $2.


Winner: Earth’s Bounty provides P&C treasure with healthier snacking As consumers look for a healthier snacking alternative, Earth’s Bounty has the perfect option for those wanting a quick snack without damaging the belt line. Earth’s Bounty Snacks to Go feature quality ingredients, tamper-proof packaging that is resealable and fits snuggly in the cup holder in the car or even the golf buggy and come in eight variants with a RRP of $4.95 to $5.50 and can be bought by retailers in shelf-ready cartons of 12 units. The second offering is Earth Bounty’s Convenience packs. The smaller pack formats were designed specifically for the route trade where a larger pantry pack might be seen as a price inhibitive. They have eight variants in the range with a varying RRP and can be bought by retailers in cartons of 10 units. To stock either of the products contact The Distributors or Soren Madsen at smadsen@trumps.com.au. www.c-store.com.au


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Gourmet ready-made meals from the market leaders With the rise of ready-made-meals, consumers are continuously looking for a diverse range of fast-meal options that offer flavour, nutrition, and modern convenience. Coco Earth Meals brings you the essence of trending cuisines from around the world. Just heat and serve; the meals provide no-fuss feasting solutions for time-poor consumers seeking quality ingredients and authentic flavours. Coco Earth is redefining the culinary experience with its

Guilt-free snacking for your health-conscious consumer

globally inspired meals and delectable creations. The ready

Frisp Fruit Crisps are the ultimate snacking experience

seeking more affordable dining-out choices that deliver on

where taste meets nutrition.

quality and taste. Coco Earth is the #1 selling brand in ready

These light weight, flavoursome crisps provide guilt-free

meals are made with real chicken meat and provide a good source of protein, fibre, and essential nutrients. As the cost of living continues to rise, consumers are

meals within grocery.

on-the-go snacking while also providing a valuable source of minerals, fruit fibre and vitamins.

For more information on our products check out the webpage at cocoearth.com.au. For personalised assistance,

One hundred per cent natural, no bad stuff, just pure goodness and only 56 calories per serve, these tantalising

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crisps are the perfect in-store companion for health-conscious consumers searching for healthier snack alternatives. Available in two mouth-watering flavours - Mango and Strawberry. The Mango crisps contain nothing but mango. An opportunity to grow the snacking segment by delivering more variety and excellence in the ‘better for you’ snacking category. For more information on the products check out the webpage at frisp.com.au. For personalised assistance, contact sales and customer service at info@healthier-tastier.com or call 02 43076847 today.

Tiko Lighters – welcome to the future of lighter technology Tiko USB Lighters with cutting-edge Dual

indicators to keep an eye on the battery

the market. This innovative and convenient

level and can be easily charged using a

solution redefines the traditional lighter

standard USB cable.

experience and delivers effortless ignition in any weather conditions. The sleek look and user-friendly features

are designed with safety in mind making sure they are child-proof, providing peace of

way we light up. One of the latest models to

mind for families with young children. Tiko USB Lighters are a game-changer

with built in, three-mode powerful LED

in the market. It is also a perfect gift idea

flashlight and a unique waterproof casing.

for Christmas as it comes in a beautiful,

The TK2505 model, also the first of its kind, with both Dual ARC and JET flame that can be operated separately giving you

December 2023/January 2024

Safety is never compromised with Tiko Lighters. As with other models, USB Lighters

of the ARC family are set to revolutionise the hit the market is TK2504 Dual ARC model


Both models feature LED power

Arc technology are the latest addition to

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LeVeL Beverages’ can-do attitude LeVeL Beverages is setting itself up for the future with the introduction of LeVeL Lemonade in a can. LeVeL Lemonade is again shaking up the

a sports supplement, but it comes across as a

beverage market with its latest release of LeVeL

great looking and refreshing soft drink. With all

Lemonade in a can.

the big hitters in the market, no one has thought

The benefits of now providing the sports

of taking the supplementary sports foods

supplementary drink in a can include a longer

category and turning that into a fun drink.”

shelf life, sustainability, as well as the ability to

LeVeL Lemonade in a can has maintained its

break into new markets such as vending machines.

warranted perception as a premium product

While LeVeL Lemonade in a can may be new

while also having the added benefit of a much

to market, it is something that Chrish Graebner,

longer shelf life than its bottle counterpart, with

Founder of LeVeL Beverages, has been thinking

over 15 months shelf life.

about for a long time. “The original concept for LeVeL Lemonade

Whilst the PET bottle was fully recyclable, Graebner explained he wanted to create a

started in a can, then in our consumer research

product that was even easier for consumers to

in 2018, we found that with new products,

dispose of sustainably.

consumers like to see what it looks like before

“The large corporations nowadays all have

they drink it. As our product was a little bit

waste reduction guidelines and visions and

exploratory being a sports supplement drink, we

targets in place, and I knew that there would be

decided to go with the bottle to start with. But I

even more pressure on me to find a product that

never forgot about the can.”

is very easy to recycle and from that point of

After selling their fourth million bottle earlier

view the aluminium can was the obvious choice.”

this year, Graebner decided now was the time to

LeVeL Beverages plans to use recently raised

introduce the can.

crowdfund capital to boost awareness over

“LeVeL Lemonade in a can will sell because it

summer before the can’s launch into EG in January.

has a unique proposition – it’s better for you, it’s

To find out more visit www.level-lemonade.com.

“LeVeL Lemonade in a can will sell because it has a unique proposition – it’s better for you, it’s a sports supplement, but it comes across as a great looking and refreshing soft drink.” – Chrish Graebner, Founder, LeVeL Beverages




Cygnett helps Australians (magnetically) power every moment with new ecosystem Cygnett, Australia’s #1 tech tools

For road warriors, commuters, and road-trippers alike, the MagDrive In-Car range helps keep your

brand is launching a

phone securely in view, and eyes safely on the

revolutionary range of

road. The MagDrive range comes in window, vent

portable power products

and extendable mount options, with extra-strong

called the MagFamily

magnetic heads to securely attach your phone. For

ecosystem. This range will allow Australians to keep their most important tech product, their

power on-the-go, simply attach the MagMove to the MagDrive mount’s magnetic head and the attach

phones, powered wherever their day takes them.

your phone to the Power Bank.

The central point of the ecosystem is the MagMove 5K

This modular ecosystem is a total game-changer

Power Bank which has been designed with extra-strong

in the widely growing magnetic charging category.

magnets on both sides. One side magnetically mounts

Never-again lose power on a night out, a work call,

and charges your phone, while the other side securely

or even just around the house.

attaches to the rest of the MagFamily ecosystem. The

Retailers should contact Evonic Group to stock the

MagMove 5K Power Bank is compatible with MagSafe

Cygnett MagFamily ecosystem of products, to help

technology, as well as being compact and lightweight

Australians power every moment. Ph: 07 5661 9092

for use anytime, anywhere.

Email: info@evonic.com.au

Embracing the surging and cost-effective ready-made The popularity of ready-made-meals is surging as consumers look for cost-effective and convenient meal solutions. Coco Earth offers mouth-watering ready meals for one to fulfil even the fussiest tastebuds. Meals are prepared with the freshest and finest ingredients, providing nutrition, convenience, and flavour all in one! All meals come in a compositable bowl and bamboo spork offering fast convenience for on-the-go eating. Simply microwave for 90 seconds and eat! Coco Earth meals offer the latest trending cuisines from all around the world guaranteed to win over even the most discerning eaters. Coco Earth is the #1 selling brand in ready meals within

Coco Earth unveils innovative health and wellness Bio-active Shots In today’s fast-paced world, consumers are increasingly

grocery. Its meals contain real chicken meat, providing a good

looking for quick health solutions. The Coco Earth Bio-active

source of protein, fibre, and essential nutrients.

range offers on-the-go functional shots that provide fast

For more information on the products check out the webpage at cocoearth.com.au. For personalised assistance,

health benefits. The new range includes Immunity, Energy, Gut, Hydrate,

contact sales and customer service on 02 43076847 or email

Focus and Marine Collagen + Hair Skin & Nails shots, in a

info@healthier-tastier.com today.

convenient 60mL format. Each shot contains a concentrated dose of specific vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that address daily common health concerns. Whether your customer is seeking immediate gut relief, rapid mood enhancement or a boost in productivity, these shots are a perfect fit for the C&I channel — shots are shelf stable but suitable for ambient or chiller display. All made with natural ingredients and proudly Australian owned and operated. For more information on the products check out the webpage at cocoearth.com.au. For personalised assistance, contact sales and customer service at info@healthier-tastier.com or call 02 43076847 today.


December 2023/January 2024


Tonik releases Australian made readyto-drink Choc Honeycomb protein shake When first developed by the R&D team in 2019, Tonik’s RTD Choc Honeycomb flavour was modelled on the iconic Australian confectionery bar, Crunchie, a combination of smooth creamy chocolate and honeycomb. So, what better way to honour

Bonne Maman launches new Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Australians than to create and manufacture a true Aussie favourite, a Choc Honeycomb

International jam and spreads brand Bonne Maman has

Ready to Drink Protein Shake.

launched Bonne Maman Hazelnut Chocolate Spread in its Australian range.

The R&D team created its own proprietary protein blend, this

Made with all-natural ingredients, including 20 per cent

very special blending is the key

hazelnuts that are gently roasted and combined with

to a creamy smooth texture and

cocoa to produce a velvety smooth, glossy spread full of

exquisite, delicious taste.

chocolate flavour with delicate hints of hazelnut.

This RTD has all natural flavours

Bonne Maman Hazelnut Chocolate Spread can be used

and colours, with added vitamins

to spread over foods such as toast, croissants, or brioche,

A, D, E, magnesium, iron, zinc and

and once gently warmed, can be used as a pouring

calcium. They are high in natural

sauce over desserts, crèmes, ice creams, spread between

fibre, low in carbs and sugar, and

sponges or biscuits.

are gluten free.

The new Bonne Maman Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

If you’re interested in stocking

is now available in independent grocers, Coles, and

this product, please call Lisa on

Woolworths across Australia for RRP $8 for a 250g jar.

0425 858 064.

Fueling convenience: Four’N Twenty’s top four branded SKUs revealed As Australia’s number one and

Australian meat in delicious gravy

most-loved savoury brand in both

wrapped in golden flaky pastry.

grocery and convenience channels,

3. Four’N Twenty Cheese & Bacon

Four’N Twenty continues its strong

Sausage Roll King Size 180g:

sales growth offering the perfect on-

Elevating the traditional sausage

the-go snack solution. The following

roll, this has the classic taste of

are its top selling products:

100 per cent Australian beef with

1. Four’N Twenty Sausage Roll

cheese and bacon wrapped in

King Size 180g: The number one

golden flaky pastry.

branded SKU in convenience,

4. Four’N Twenty Classic Meat Pie

containing the classic taste of

175g: A timeless favourite, with

100 per cent Australian meat with

the classic taste of 100 per cent

special seasoning wrapped in

Australian meat in delicious gravy

golden pastry. 2. Four’N Twenty Traveller Beef Pie

wrapped in golden flaky pastry. Four’N Twenty – the perfect

160g: An increasingly popular

snack to enjoy anytime anywhere!

product designed for convenient

Drive your pie warmer sales this

consumption, containing the

summer with these top branded

classic taste of 100 per cent

SKUs in convenience. www.c-store.com.au



Purina delivers value for retailers Retailers looking to increase value should look no further than the pet care category and Purina’s extensive range of products. With 63 per cent of convenience channel shoppers owning either a dog or a cat, 95 per cent of these are forced to spend their entire pet care budget elsewhere as their local “won’t have my pet care products”. With such a large number of convenience shoppers owning a pet, it makes sense for the P&C market to tap into this category and with 45 per cent of owners stating they had less than a week of pet food in their house, there is a massive impulse opportunity to build basket spend while shoppers are in store. By stocking Friskies Indoor Delights 1kg, retailers are giving themselves the chance to capitalise on a market in a country which has the highest rate of pet ownership in the world with pet care shoppers also spending on average 30 per cent more than non-pet shoppers. Friskies Indoor Delights 1kg, along with Purina’s other range of pet care products, are available through The Distributors and Campbells.

How to build your food offer with Meris Want to expand your food menu, but not sure where to start? Food is one of the fastest growing revenue streams for petrol and convenience. However, it can be daunting, particularly if you don’t have a kitchen, skilled hospitality staff or the infrastructure to support it. This is where Meris can help. Meris has partnered with petrol and convenience outlets for more than 25 years, helping them build their food-to-go offer, increasing sales and foot traffic. Unlike other food equipment providers, Meris has a strong focus on consultation and collaboration. Upon meeting, they will discuss your current food offering, what you would like to offer, your business goals, your customer base, and resources available, such as staff and store layout. From here, the team will put together a proposal that covers equipment solutions, recommended menus and food suppliers, packaging and merchandising options, staff training and process development. This is created in partnership with a highly knowledgeable in-house Development Chef and expert team. In addition, Meris offers a full test kitchen in Melbourne, which operators can utilise to test out the equipment and their menu. To book a complimentary consultation or for more information, contact Meris today on 1800 265 771 and visit meris.com.au. 40

December 2023/January 2024





Made with real meat as #1 ingredient No added artificial colours or flavours

22 essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for immune protection

Supplying high-quality nutrition for over 30 years

Omega 3 & 6

Natural fibres


A step towards sustainability Introducing Hussmann’s new range of self-contained merchandising solutions. HUSSMANN, A GLOBAL leader in refrigeration and merchandising solutions,

contained merchandisers that not only meet

proudly presents its new self-contained

our customers’ requirements but also align

merchandising range: Multideck H1T and

with market trends and sustainability goals.

Semi-Vertical SGN. These solutions are

Our agility and commitment to innovation

designed to meet the changing needs of

allow us to provide solutions that drive success

smaller stores and align with market trends.

for our customers while minimising their

A significant highlight of this range is its focus on sustainability. Hussmann is

“We are proud to offer a suite of self-contained merchandisers that not only meet our customers’ requirements but also align with market trends and sustainability goals.” – Nathan Hevesy, National Commercial Manager, Hussmann Australia

“We are proud to offer a suite of self-

environmental impact.” The Multideck H1T range is a versatile solution,

transitioning all self-contained products to

offering maximum visibility and accessibility

natural refrigerants like R290, in line with its

for products. It includes solutions for chilled,

sustainability targets, as natural refrigerants

frozen, ambient, hot/cold combinations, open

significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions

merchandising, or doored solutions, catering to

compared to their synthetic alternatives with a

different trading conditions.

high global warming potential. This transition and alignment to natural

Its unified design allows retailers to merchandise effectively and provides a

refrigerants is an essential step towards global

seamless shopping experience for their

sustainability and demonstrates Hussmann’s

end consumers.

commitment to environmental responsibility. Nathan Hevesy, National Commercial

The Semi-Vertical SGN range optimises space utilization in smaller stores with a

Manager of Hussmann Australia, highlights

compact footprint and flexible configurations.

Hussmann’s agility in providing flexible self-

It incorporates advanced refrigeration

contained merchandisers. He notes that

technology for optimal temperature control

the retail landscape constantly evolves, and

and food safety. Both the Multideck H1T and

customers need adaptable solutions. The new

Semi-Vertical SGN ranges offer the option

range offers various options to suit different

to include Hussmann Digital Solutions like

store formats and effectively provides the

Electronic Shelf Labels, Dynamic Video Rails,

solutions the end consumers are requesting.

and Motion Displays. These innovations optimise in-store labour efficiencies and elevate marketing campaigns. As the retail industry evolves, Hussmann provides cutting-edge solutions that cater to changing customer needs while prioritising sustainability. The new self-contained merchandising range solves retailer opportunities, enhances store layouts, improves product visibility, provides customisations geared to sales productivity and contributes to a greener future. With this new range, Hussmann is setting a new standard for sustainable refrigeration in the retail industry. For more information, contact Gregory Heath on 0438 268 7273 or gregory.heath@hussmann.com. ■


December 2023/January 2024

New Range of Self Contained Merchandisers

Full Suite of Multideck - H1T Chilled (Open/Door), Frozen, Hot, Ambient and Combination

Full Suite of Semi Vertical - 3M1 Suitable for Food and Beverage (Open/Door)



Semi vertical grab and go cabinet

Semi vertical grab and go cabinet

SGND153S Semi vertical sliding glass door cabinet

SGND153S Semi vertical hinged glass door cabinet

For more details contact

Gregory Heath Hussmann National Key Account Manager 0438 268 305 gregory.heath@hussmann.com




Will the Government’s proposed double ban on vaping work? New laws banning all vaping products are set to be introduced in 2024 but will these laws stifle or fuel the thriving black market. Words Theo Foukkare, CEO, Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS)

“Double banning these products is not the answer. Regulating and controlling access to these products through a licensed retail framework for adults, coupled with significant enforcement by the correct authorities is what is required.” – Theo Foukkare


December 2023/January 2024

VAPING IN AUSTRALIA has been a topic of discussion for several years now. For the last two years, the Australian Federal Government has adopted a world first prescription only approach to accessing nicotine vaping products. The intent of this approach was sound; however, the realworld experience is very different. Unfortunately, this approach has been rejected by doctors, pharmacists, and adult consumers. The direct result of this has seen the development of a black market that is selling dangerous unregulated products to more than 1.6 million adults and unfortunately providing open access to children. The black market supply is estimated to now be worth more than $3 billion per annum in retail sales, almost exclusively being supplied by a very sophisticated black market model. Minister Butler has recently announced that under new laws to be introduced in 2024, all vaping products and accessories, both zero nicotine and nicotine will be banned, along with disposable vaping products. In these announcements, he has also confirmed that additional funding will be allocated to the Australian Border Force and Therapeutic Goods Administration to try and address the illegal importation under the new regulations. As the head of a peak retail body representing retailers that sell legal taxable tobacco products across more than 6,500 outlets in Australia, 2023 has been an alarming year as the black market has significantly affected legitimate responsible retailers. At the same time, it has created alarm throughout communities right across the country. I fully support all moves by Federal and State Governments to tackle the illegal supply of black market illegal vaping products, especially when it comes to under 18 access. I fully support strict product standards, bans on marketing and

advertising, bans on flavours that target children, and all efforts to address the illegal retail sale of these dangerous products that are flooding into the country. I will continue to work with governments to ensure retailers comply with the law in every way. What I do not support is the outright ban on these products. Double banning these products is not the answer. Regulating and controlling access to these products through a licensed retail framework for adults, coupled with significant enforcement by the correct authorities is what is required to address the black market and keep these products out of the hands of children. Eighty-eight per cent of Australians want to see vaping products regulated like tobacco and alcohol. The simple reason for this is that they understand when markets are regulated and controlled, there are standards in place and access to under 18s is restricted – it’s a model that has operated in Australia for decades with great success. Many Members of Parliament and Senators across all sides of government agree with my thoughts above, however Minister Butler is persisting with his double ban. On behalf of all retailers and the broader Australian community, I really do hope that 2024 is finally the year that governments can stop the illegal importation, supply, and retailing of these illegal products. In my opinion, the worst possible outcome of this new legislation is that the black market adapts to the new laws and continues to supply dangerous illegal unregulated products to all Australians including children, undermining the government’s overarching Tobacco Strategy of reducing the number of Australian smokers and protecting our youth. All eyes will be on Minister Butler. ■



MEMBERSHIP INCLUSIONS: All AACS Members receive these exclusive benefits: Exclusive AACS State of the Industry Report and Presentation (annual & mid-year) Comprehensive networking opportunities throughout the year Government lobbying on issues impacting the convenience retail industry Invitation to International and local study tours Industry Awards Retailers & Suppliers Access to the Women in Convenience Program Participation in the Peter Jowett Future Leaders Competition Access to local & international research and presentations Weekly Convenience e-newsletter Attendance at AACS online webinars Supplier & Retailer training opportunities Retailer Workplace Advisory Hotline available for unlimited, non-complex advice on workplace relations matters. IRI Australian FMCG Market Review focused on Grocery and the wider industry.



Avoiding disputes in commercial leases Expert advice on how to avoid leasing disputes. Words Marianna Idas, Principal, eLease Lawyers

AVOIDING DISPUTES IN commercial leases involves careful planning, effective communication, and a thorough understanding of the terms and conditions outlined in the lease agreement. Here are some steps that a tenant can take to minimise the chances of disputes:

1. Review and understand the lease agreement:

“Avoiding disputes in commercial leases involves careful planning, effective communication, and a thorough understanding of the terms and conditions outlined in the lease agreement.” – Marianna Idas

Understand all the terms, conditions, and obligations. Ensure that you either read the lease agreement thoroughly or obtain legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in commercial leases. A good lawyer can save you more than you spend on them.

2. Negotiate clear terms: During the negotiation process, strive for clear and precise language in the lease agreement. Ambiguities in the contract can lead to misunderstandings and disputes down the road.

3. Document everything: Keep records of all communication with the landlord or property manager, especially any changes, promises, or agreements made verbally. Written communication is preferred for clarity. If you have a written lease, then any amendments must be made in writing otherwise the lease will override any verbal agreements.

4. Maintain open communication: Establish a positive working relationship with the landlord or property manager. Regularly communicate about any issues, repairs, or changes you’d like to make to the property.

5. Conduct due diligence: Before signing the lease, conduct due diligence on the property and the landlord. Research the property’s history, previous tenants, and reviews. Understand the landlord’s reputation and history with previous tenants. 46

December 2023/January 2024

6. Comply with lease terms: Adhere to all terms of the lease, including rent payments, maintenance responsibilities, and property usage. Failure to do so can lead to disputes.

7. Keep the property well-maintained: Properly maintain the property according to the terms of the lease. Regular upkeep can prevent disputes over issues like property damage and repairs.

8. Understand rent escalations: If the lease includes rent escalations, understand how they are calculated and when they will occur.

9. Know your rights and responsibilities: Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Know what you are entitled to and what the landlord is responsible for under the lease agreement and local laws.

10. Document property condition: Document the condition of the property with photographs or a video walkthrough before moving in. This can help avoid disputes over pre-existing damages when it’s time to move out.

11. Get written approvals: If you plan to make any modifications to the property, obtain written approval from the landlord before proceeding. This could include signage, renovations, or structural changes.

12. Renew lease in advance: If you plan to renew the lease, start the process well in advance to ensure there’s time for negotiation and any changes. Your lease will document the period when you must renew so, please ensure you document the dates to avoid failure to comply.

13. Consider legal assistance: If a dispute does arise, consider legal advice before taking action. A lawyer experienced in commercial leases can provide guidance and help resolve the issue. ■




Evolution’s challenges and opportunities As the global retail environment evolves, we are both challenged by it, but are also provided with opportunities. Andrew Poore looks at how the convenience channel can adapt. Words Andrew Poore, General Manager Sales ANZ, Pacific Optics

“The use of AI will deliver significant time improving processes that we probably don’t enjoy completing ourselves.” – Andrew Poore


December 2023/January 2024

AS WE ARE all aware, the global retail environment is moving at such a fast pace, that we are all challenged to keep up. Consumers are having to adapt to new retail offers, 24/7 shopping availability whilst Google is bombarding them with adverts, environmental packaging improvements that they may or may not be seeking. Our convenience channel is playing a big part in this evolution, and it needs to continually be at the forefront of consumer place to shop – convenience is convenient. One of the noticeable improvements that we are seeing taking a bigger role in this evolution, is AI (artificial intelligence), this is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent being (us, the humans). The use of AI will deliver significant time improving processes that we probably don’t enjoy completing ourselves. As an example, I asked AI to write an article for me. This is what I asked – “What are the best parts of Australian convenience channel. What could it do better?” - below is its response that took two seconds to create. Australia’s convenience channel boasts several strengths that contribute to its appeal. Firstly, the extensive range of products available in these stores caters to diverse consumer needs, providing a onestop shopping solution. From snacks and beverages to basic household items, the convenience channel excels in offering a wide variety. Additionally, the accessibility of these stores is a key advantage. They are strategically located in neighbourhoods and high-traffic areas, ensuring that consumers can easily access them for their immediate requirements. The extended operating hours of convenience stores further enhance their convenience, allowing customers to shop outside regular business hours.

The integration of technology into the convenience channel has also been a positive development. Many stores now offer online ordering and delivery services, adapting to the evolving preferences of modern consumers. This technological integration not only enhances convenience but also provides an avenue for the convenience channel to stay competitive in a rapidly changing retail landscape. However, there are areas where the Australian convenience channel could improve. One notable aspect is the need for enhanced sustainability practices. While some convenience stores have taken steps to reduce single-use plastic, there is room for the industry as a whole to adopt more eco-friendly initiatives, such as promoting reusable packaging and reducing overall environmental impact. To stay competitive in the retail landscape, the Australian convenience channel needs to continually adapt to changing consumer preferences. Embracing trends such as contactless payments, augmented reality shopping experiences, and personalized promotions can set convenience stores apart in an increasingly digital world. In conclusion, the Australian convenience channel excels in providing a diverse range of products with convenient accessibility. However, there is room for improvement in sustainability practices, the inclusion of healthier options, and the enhancement of digital customer experiences. By addressing these areas, the convenience channel can not only meet current consumer expectations but also position itself for continued success in the future. Can you imagine the endless number of tasks that we currently conduct in our working day that could be performed by AI. ■


A ROARING SUCCESS The 2023 C&I Expo and Symposium lived up to expectations, with 121 exhibitors taking part and hundreds more guests looking to wheel, deal, and network.

Future-proofing convenience retail panel

Matt Dodson, General Manager of OOH, Patties Foods

Lou Jardin, Managing Director, SPAR Australia

Adam Jacka, Brand, Communications, and Loyalty, 7-Eleven 50

December 2023/January 2024

Tushar Menon, Co-Founder and CEO, My Muscle Chef

Steve Pettaras (R), Managing Director, Alka Power, discussing the benefits of the water


Sanitarium's impressive Toatl stand

Deals were being made across the floor

The Distributors stand in full swing

“We had retailers who travelled from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and of course New Zealand, as well as right across Australia, looking for new products and insights.” – Safa de Valois, Group Publisher, C&I Media

THE 2023 C&I EXPO has beaten all previous

other’s business and unlock further opportunities

shows to be the largest event held in Sydney in

to grow.

the event’s history. Over two days on 19-20 October, hundreds

“The C&I Expo is a great opportunity to connect with businesses – you might know the brand, but

upon hundreds of visitors took to the halls of ICC

you might not know the people who can take

Sydney to discover new products, meet suppliers,

it from a transactional relationship more into a

and make new and valuable connections.

partnership level.

Safa de Valois, Group Publisher of C&I Media, said

“We have come to look at new products and

that with over 121 exhibitors on display the show

our goal is to come away from the show with

floor was constantly buzzing with conversation.

a couple of nuggets and opportunities that we

“The show was only open for a couple of hours,

hadn’t thought of before. There are certainly a

and I had already the feedback from several

couple of new products that we will range in our

exhibitors that event was excellent and our best

business because of being here at the show.”

ever. We had retailers who travelled from Fiji,

Wayne Miller from U-Haul Australia said that

Papua New Guinea, and of course New Zealand,

over the course of the Expo they have seen

as well as right across Australia, looking for new

everyone from the corporates, right through to

products and insights. There were lots of quality

the single-site operators.

buyers around with strong representation from both fuel and non-fuel retailers.” Lisa Reid from Sodexo said the Expo provided a good chance to connect and understand each

“We have exhibited at the C&I Expo for the last 10 years and it is the place to be to capture all of the buyers in one spot, so for us it is a one-stop shop.” → www.c-store.com.au



The panel fielding questions from the audience

“We have come to look at new products and our goal is to come away from the show with a couple of nuggets and opportunities that we hadn’t thought of before. There are certainly a couple of new products that we will range in our business because of being here at the show.” – Lisa Reid, Sodexo

L-R: Ryan Price and James Manafas 52

December 2023/January 2024


L-R: Jack Beaumont in discussion with Matt Dodson

L-R: Jake Calabrese and Ty Fenwick from Hunt and Brew

Bonnie McCoy, General Manager, Customology

A sold-out symposium

retail environment and how so much has changed,

Each morning before the Expo, the sold-out C&I

but at the same time, the fundamentals remain

Symposium offered attendees sessions filled with

the same.

insights and data, future trends, and innovations relating to the P&C industry.

Finally, keynote speaker Tushar Menon, CoFounder and CEO of My Muscle Chef, shared the

Opened each day by Safa de Valois and

story of the brand’s evolution from a Potts Point

emceed by Matt Dodson, General Manager of

kitchen to today’s $200 million per year healthy

OOH at Patties Foods, the first day commenced

food empire.

with Theo Foukkare, CEO of the Australian

Menon shared 10 key lessons he’s learned in the

Association of Convenience Stores (AACS),

10 years of growing his business, from mistakes

reviewing the recent AACS International

he’s made, lessons he’s learned, and advice he

Study Tour and sharing the latest trends and

would give to anyone starting up a new business.

developments in European convenience. Foukkare then participated in a panel

The second day’s symposium saw Fred Harrison, CEO of Ritchies, Bonnie McCoy, General

discussion with Lou Jardin, Managing Director of

Manager of Customology, and Adam Jacka,

SPAR Australia, Joanna Graham, Senior Manager

Brand, Communications, and Loyalty at 7-Eleven

of Convenience Trading ANZ at bp, and Michael

provide insights and data, future trends, and

Brick, Partner and Managing Director of Meris

innovations in the P&C industry.

Food Equipment. The panel discussed future-proofing

The keynote speaker for the day was Jack Beaumont, a French spy turned author and

convenience retail and the pain points facing

CEO, who shared his experiences from his

store owners in the face of relentless evolution,

extraordinarily dangerous life with France’s

as well as how retailers can adopt and implement

secret service. Beaumont touched on themes

new technologies most effectively.

such as courage, resilience, and leadership, with

Jardin then presented insights and learnings from his decades of experience working in the

everyone in attendance receiving a copy of his book The Frenchman. → www.c-store.com.au



The $50,000 pallet winner Tariq Kufoof from QuikStop Minimart & Cafe Bondi Junction was the lucky winner of the pallet giveaway at the 2023 C&I Expo in Sydney last week. Kufoof said the store will gladly receive the stock from the prize that is also likely to be used across the remainder of the multi-site operator’s buinesses. “We only just opened the store in September 2023 located at Bondi Junction Railway Station. It is a mixed business between a convenience store and cafe and providing customer with a one stop shop with all grab and go products as well as beverages L-R: Pallet winner Tariq Kufoof with Safa de Valois, Group Publisher, C&I Media

and confectionery. “As a cafe we open at 5am in the morning, serving customers with barista coffee and breakfasts and we are also open late until the last train at the station – until 11.30pm during weekdays and 1.30am on weekends. “We also have a series of convenience and newsagency stores that we call QuikStop Minimart & News at Liverpool Hospital, Campbelltown Hospital, Maroubra Beach as well as two stores in Queensland at Gold Coast University Hospital and Burleigh Heads. “We are looking to open another five sites in the next two months before Christmas. The locations will be two stores in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, one in Manly on the Northern Beaches and two in Queensland – one in Southport and one in Surfers Paradise. “As a small business owner, winning this prize means a lot to me as it will help support my business. Winning that much stock is a very good start and

Get involved!

I would love to thank everyone who organised this event including Safa de Valois.” ■

To find out how to take part in the

L-R: Daniel Kitay and Matti Samarzija from Funday Natural Sweets

C&I Expos to be held in Melbourne and Auckland throughout 2024 – please email: safa@c-store.com.au or phone: 0405 517 115.

The Patties Foods team


December 2023/January 2024

Chrish Graebner, Owner, LeVeL Beverages

All for use in Australia. Fair Go Policy applies. Activate within 30 days of purchase or by date advertised on the promotion, whichever is earlier, to receive advertised inclusions. $12 SIM Starter Kit: Includes $12 recharge. 7 day expiry. After 3rd recharge $12 gives you 3GB. $35 SIM Starter Kit: Includes $35 recharge. 28 day expiry. After 3rd recharge $35 gives you 20GB. Speed caps apply. New services only. Ongoing recharges revert to standard price. Data Rollover: Accrue up to 200GB when you recharge before expiry or have an active AutoRecharge. Double Margin: Offer ends 30/1/23. Limit of 10 SIMs per retailer. No rainchecks. Only available to stores who have a signed and valid retailer agreement in place with PPS. Items will be delivered to your store as per the terms of your retailer agreement. Returns policy: please visit prepaidservices.com.au/pps-returns-policy or contact customer support 1300 555 002. Coverage: Coverage varies, see optus.com.au/coverage Compatibility: To use SIM, device must be compatible with the Optus Network, see optus.com.au/compatibility YESRET6148 OMC301455 (11/23)

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Fair Go Policy applies. All for use in Australia. Activate within 30 days of purchase or by the date advertised on a promotion, whichever is earlier, to receive advertised inclusions. Data: New services only. After 3rd recharge, $12 recharge gives you 3GB standard data. Data Rollover: You must recharge before expiry or have an active AutoRecharge. Data accumulated over 200GB will be forfeited. Network: 5G compatible phone and coverage required for 5G (available in selected areas, excl. NT). 4G and 5G coverage varies, check optus.com.au/coverage Speed cap: Max. potential network speed is 150Mbps. Actual speeds will vary and may be slower. General: To use SIM, device must be compatible with the Optus Network, see optus.com.au/compatibility

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From strength to strength Ten years ago, My Muscle Chef had just opened in a three-person kitchen in Potts Point, now the company generates over $200 million in revenue a year. Tushar Menon, co-founder of My Muscle Chef tells us how he did it… WHILE STUDYING AT University and working full-time, Tushar Menon still wanted to find time to meal prep and take care of his fitness. After reaching out to his brother Nish, a quick Google search of ‘how to start a business’, and a few months of research, My Muscle Chef was born in 2013. “Given I was so time poor, meal prep frequently fell off my to do list and when I tried to source a highprotein, ready meal option, I realised there was a massive gap in the market. At the time, many ready meal offerings were targeted towards weight loss, not muscle gain. “I thought this could be a strong business idea, so I contacted my brother, Nish, who was working in Silicon Valley at the time, pitched the idea to him, and asked if he’d come home to help me start this business,” explained Menon.

C&I: How has My Muscle Chef evolved since its inception?

Menon: “We started My Muscle Chef in a threeperson kitchen in Potts Point, and in our first week we delivered four orders. Now we employ more than 500 people, producing and distributing over 2.2 million meals, snacks, and drinks per month direct to consumers and to a network of 6,000+ retail stockists. Even reflecting on the retail side of our business, five years ago we didn’t have one. Now our retail arm is just as profitable as online. “I often think back to that first year as well, we generated approximately $827,000 in revenue. This increased substantially to $26 million in 2018, and then in 2022 we generated a total revenue of $200 million. Our business growth has been exponential since launching.” 56

December 2023/January 2024

C&I: What have been some notable highlights for My Muscle Chef over the past 10 years?

Menon: “The transition from frozen to fresh in 2019 was a stressful period, but looking back now, it was one of the best business decisions we made and was based on extensive research. It helped us broaden our offering and allowed us to speak to a more mainstream market. “Entering the protein snack category and launching our Protein Cookies in 2021 is another one for me. The protein snack category is an interesting one, and I see a lot of growth opportunities here too. It broadened our online offering to support our customers’ goals more holistically, but it also gave us an offering to expand into convenience retail channels leveraging consumer trends towards healthier, higher protein offerings. “Last November, we opened our $55 million manufacturing and logistics facility in Yennora. Not only does the site provide additional capabilities across food manufacturing, technology, and logistics, but it demonstrates our commitment to Western Sydney, boosting employment opportunities in the community and contributing to economic growth.”

C&I: Is My Muscle Chef doing anything special to celebrate its anniversary?

Menon: “The tenth year of My Muscle Chef has been one of the biggest, most exciting years. And when it comes to birthday celebrations, I’d say this whole year feels like a celebration. We’ve hit massive milestones, made incredible announcements, launched top tier products, really developed as a team, and we’re not done yet.” ■

“We’ve hit massive milestones, made incredible announcements, launched top tier products, really developed as a team, and even though the end of the year is right around the corner, we’re not done yet.” – Tushar Menon, co-founder, My Muscle Chef

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AACS Convenience Retail Industry Awards – established in 2012 FOR OVER 11 years now, the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has been at the forefront in recognising and honouring excellence within the convenience retail industry. The AACS Industry Awards are now entrenched as the gold standard of awards, setting the bar for best practice, innovation, and retail format development in the Australian convenience retail landscape. The AACS Convenience Retail Industry Awards serve as an annual celebration of our industry, spotlighting outstanding achievements. Each year, these awards acknowledge and honour businesses, individuals and initiatives that demonstrate exceptional performance. At the core of these awards lies a multifaceted approach, encompassing various categories that reflect the diverse aspects of convenience retail. Since its inception in 2012, the AACS Convenience Retail Awards have continually evolved to stay abreast of the industry’s dynamic landscape. The inclusion of new categories, adjustments in evaluation criteria, and adaptations to industry trends ensure that these awards remain relevant and reflective of the everchanging nature of convenience retail. One of the key strengths of the AACS Convenience Retail Industry Awards is its comprehensive nature, ensuring that all areas of excellence within the industry receive recognition. The awards not only applaud national and major retail chains and suppliers but also acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of independent retailers, franchisees, and smaller suppliers, promoting inclusivity and diversity within the industry. The AACS Convenience Retail Industry Awards provide a platform to showcase and share best practice and innovative 58

December 2023/January 2024

approaches that drive success in the convenience retail landscape. By highlighting best in class strategies and initiatives, these awards inspire and motivate industry stakeholders to strive for excellence. The comprehensive process of the AACS Convenience Retail Industry Awards ensures credibility and integrity in the recognition of winners. For the Retailer Group of the Year and all Supplier of the Year Awards, the Convenience Pulse program provides the detailed platform for retailers and suppliers to complete a 360-degree review of performance over a 12-month period, with a

“The AACS Industry Awards are now entrenched as the gold standard of awards, setting the bar for best practices, innovation, and retail format development in the Australian convenience retail landscape.” mid-year progress check also in place. This review is undertaken by all retailers and over 70 supplier partners to determine how the supplier and key retailer awards are won. Key performance criteria include: 1. ESG Strategy 2. Business Practices 3. Personnel 4. Category Management 5. Marketing (Supplier) & Execution (Retailer) 6. Supply Chain & Processes As there are different types of ownership structures and sizes of retailers across the industry, the AACS Store of the Year Awards are designed to allow all retailers across major corporate, major independent, state based, and multi-

site operators to compete against other businesses within their own category. The Store of the Year Awards are open to all AACS retail members to participate in. The detailed award criteria assesses performance in the following seven key areas: 1. Store Format and Innovation 2. Technology, Loyalty, Payment 3. Product Range 4. People Development 5. Customer Service Initiatives 6. Results / Performance 7. General Impression/Relevance A panel of industry leaders and experts with a deep understanding of the retail industry evaluate all nominations against the award criteria. This meticulous assessment is completed anonymously and guarantees that only the best of the best receives these prestigious awards. These awards also play a crucial role in fostering a sense of community and collaboration within the convenience retail industry. They provide a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and learning opportunities, facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences among industry peers. The AACS Convenience Retail Industry Awards stand as a beacon of excellence within the industry. These awards not only recognise outstanding achievements but also inspire innovation, promote best practices, and foster a sense of community among convenience retail stakeholders. As the industry continues to evolve, the AACS Convenience Retail Industry Awards remain a testament to the dedication, innovation, and excellence showcased within the convenience retail sector. If you have any questions, please contact Zan Lewarn, Member Engagement Manager, at zan.lewarn@aacs.org.au or 0412 935 731. ■





STORE OF THE YEAR Independent Corporate Overall Store



2 - 10 Stores 11 - 20 Stores 21 - 70 Stores


Grocery & General Merch Snacking Telecommunications Tobacco Foodservice

Beverages Confectionary Distributors New Product Launch of Year Supplier of the Year


Retail Format Development Community Engagement Digital Innovation

Sustainability Coffee * Food Offer Development *

2 x Excellence awards each year on rotation * denotes 2024 awards



Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse opens with a World Record claim TOM’S CONFECTIONERY WAREHOUSE has opened at the Highpoint Shopping Centre in Maribyrnong, Melbourne. The store boasts a massive range of treats and sweets, including what owner Adiel Ben-Karmona believes will soon be certified as the Guinness World Record’s largest Pick ‘N’ Mix aisle, with over 1000 sweets to choose from. Ben-Karmona said they wanted to create an experience that is like no other here in Australia or the world. “Tom’s is more than just a lolly store; we want to be a place that inspires anyone who walks through our doors to bring some fun to their lives. Tom’s motto will always be to come for the experience we offer – the candy is a bonus.” The 1200 m2 store is full of epic photo opportunities throughout, including the incredible centrpiece of the store,

Customers can take a photo with The Simpsons family

a giant human claw machine in which daring customers are strapped in and lowered into a pit of candy where they can keep what they can carry.

Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse goal is simple: to provide a massive range of confectionery and provide ‘retailtainment’

There is also a talking tree with AI built-in, a massive T-Rex

where customers are treated to an immersive experience.

dinosaur that moves and roars, as well as the Simpsons Family

Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse is located at Highpoint

sitting on a couch that prompts customers to take a photo and

Shopping Centre, Level 2, 120-200 Rosamond Rd, Maribyrnong,

post it to their socials for a free gift.

and is open Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, Sat: 8am-8pm, Sun: 8am-6pm.

PM visits unveiling of new $120 million Bundaberg Brewed Drinks brewery PRIME MINISTER ANTHONY Albanese was a special guest at the unveiling of Bundaberg’s multi-million-dollar Mastery Brewery. The new 22,000 sqm brewery, which is located at Kay McDuff Drive in Bundaberg’s south, cost over $120 million, including a $19 million grant from the Australian Government. John McLean, CEO of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, said the brewery means production of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks will remain in the town where its journey began and continue to benefit local suppliers, farmers, and other direct and indirect partners.

L-R: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Cliff Fleming, Founder of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks 60

December 2023/January 2024

“This is just phase one of the development, with multiple further phases to be rolled out as needed, reinforcing our commitment to investing in global infrastructure to meet customer demand long into the future. “From humble beginnings in 1968, we have built an iconic Australian brand that now exports to more than 60 countries and the opening of our new Master Brewery means the business is future-proofed for the next generations.” The brewery has a bottling line speed of 850 bottles per minute and 51,000 bottles per hour and can produce 33,000 cases each day on a single bottling line and hold 48,000 litres of brew in a single tank, double the processing capacity of the current Ginger Beer Brewhouse. The facility is more than triple the footprint of the company’s existing brewery and has been designed to enable future expansion without impacting operations. The existing Bargara Road brewery will continue to operate and remain home to popular Bundaberg Barrel, which hosts tastings and tours. The brewery supported almost 900 jobs during delivery and will further benefit local employment by helping keep production in Bundaberg. “Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is always adapting, and this project is no different. Across more than five decades, we have developed a unique brewing process that delivers a product that is loved by our customers and our new Master Brewery adds another layer to that rich history,” said McLean.


ALDI opens first North Queensland store in Townsville ALDI HAS OPENED a new store at Willows Shopping Centre, Townsville, making it the first ALDI store in North Queensland. The 1379sqm custom-designed storefront will have fresh

Bronwyn Post, Managing Director, Queensland, ALDI Australia, said they know how much North Queenslanders have been looking forward to ALDI coming to the region.

produce delivered daily, 100 per cent Australian meat, as well

“We know for many customers visiting ALDI Townsville, it

as a range of innovations, including self-checkouts, a modern

will be their first time ever shopping in an ALDI store. There

interior design, and a simple layout so customers can easily

are a few small differences they may notice that separate us

navigate the store.

from other supermarkets such as our curated range of exclusive brands, streamlined operations, and our coin deposit trolleys. “These differences allow us to cut out unnecessary costs and pass these savings on to customers. Last year alone, we delivered $3.1 billion in savings directly to customers. That’s real money back in the pockets of Australian families.” Customers will be treated to ALDI’s iconic Special Buys aisle, with new products going on sale every Wednesday and Saturday, as well as an exclusive range of Special Buys for the grand opening, including a 10kg front load washing machine for $399 and a 32” Philips HD LED Android TV for $189. “Our Price Promise remains the same from the day we opened our first store over 20 years ago – we won’t be beaten on the cost of your weekly shop. We look forward to welcoming the residents of Townsville to the store so they

The team at ALDI's first North Queensland store

can discover the savings that can be made for themselves,” said Post.

New frictionless convenience store launches in Canberra A NEW FRICTIONLESS convenience store, using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, has launched at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). The store, YalaPlus, is located on the CIT Bruce Campus and makes CIT the first education institute in the southern hemisphere to deploy Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology. Andrew Scotford, CEO of the Canberra Institute of Technology Student Association (CITSA), said Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology will benefit all students, especially those studying outside of regular business hours. “Many CIT students are balancing work, study, and training, so flexibility and accessibility are important to them. There are also 48 students who live on the CIT Bruce Campus that don’t have easy access to nearby shopping. YalaPlus now offers convenient access to products such as food, beverages, and other essential items. In early 2024, we plan to open two more stores at CIT campuses, at Fyshwick and at Bruce.” The technology uses AI-like computer vision and deep learning techniques to accurately determine what shoppers take or return to shelves and simplifies the shopping experience by removing checkout lines. At YalaPlus, students will enter the store using their credit card or mobile wallet at the entry gate. Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology then detects what they take from or return to the shelves, and when they leave the store, their credit card gets charged for the items they take. 62

December 2023/January 2024

Jon Jenkins, Vice President of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, said they congratulate CITSA on their pursuit to improve the student experience on campus with the latest in checkout-free technology. “We’re delighted to collaborate with the Student Association to introduce Just Walk Out technology at YalaPlus convenience store, a first-of-its-kind implementation in a higher education institution in Australia. Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology will deliver a new level of convenience to students, enabling them to access refreshments and food day and night with minimal wait times.”

The new store uses Amazon's Just Walk Out technology

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Ampol teams up with Toyota, Hyundai to develop hydrogen refuelling stations AMPOL, HYUNDAI, PACIFIC Energy, and Toyota have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly develop hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Australia. The goal of the MOU is to combine the expertise and capabilities of each of the partners to develop hydrogen refuelling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in Canberra. Hyundai and Toyota both have FCEV fleets operating in Australia, while Ampol and Pacific Energy are heavily investing in energy solutions to support customers through the energy transition. Matthew Halliday, CEO and Managing Director of Ampol, said hydrogen can play an important role in delivering decarbonisation benefits for transport and developing the right infrastructure to support a successful rollout is key.

“The MOU establishes a collaborative working relationship between the parties, who are all required to develop the necessary hydrogen ecosystem to make hydrogen use as a transport fuel feasible.” Ted Lee, CEO of Hyundai Australia, said their consortium partners have a great track record of deploying energy and refuelling infrastructure, along with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. “Hyundai looks forward to working with our experienced partner companies and the broader government and business community in the ACT to help the transition to a cleaner and greener transport future.” Jamie Cullen, CEO of Pacific Energy, said the company was pleased to be a part of the consortium of like-minded organisations, which he said is driven to decarbonise the transport sector.

BP on track for EV fast charging target BP PULSE, BP’S EV charging network, has added over 100

Matt Elliott, Vice President of BP pulse Asia Pacific,

fast charge points since November last year, with a goal to

said the team has turned strategy into action by rolling

roll out 600 by the end of 2025.

out charge points rapidly this year, and they’re on the road

Over the year, BP pulse has announced partnerships with Uber and AGL Energy to provide charging and incentives to participating drivers and households.

toward their 2025 target. “By providing fast, reliable chargers across the country we hope to support Australia’s transition to EVs and break down barriers that may be preventing prospective EV owners to make the switch.” Frédéric Baudry, President of BP Australia and Senior Vice President of Mobility, Convenience, and Midstream, Asia Pacific, said they’re on the road to net zero and are bringing their customers along for the ride. “Putting EV chargers at the most convenient bp-branded locations across the country demonstrates our commitment to leading the evolution of mobility in Australia.” BP has committed to becoming a net zero company

BP plans to roll out 600 fast charge points by 2025


December 2023/January 2024

by 2050 and the electrification of mobility is a part of that commitment.


BP’s renewable hydrogen project hits major milestone BP’S KWINANA ENERGY Hub in Western Australia has reached a major milestone as the H2Kwinana project enters front-end engineering and design (FEED). The project, which is supported by $70 million from the Australian Government, plans to install 100MW of electrolyser capacity at the site, with the potential to expand to a total of 1.5GW production in subsequent phases. Frédéric Baudry, President of BP Australia and SVP Fuels and Low Carbon Solutions, Asia Pacific, said BP is strengthening the energy system of today while building the energy system of tomorrow, leveraging existing infrastructure, and strengthening its unique relationships with customers. “H2K at Kwinana is BP’s strategy in action, leading from the Production from H2Kwinana is expected from 2026

front in decarbonisation in the region and providing energy security through diversity. “Going into FEED, with the support and belief of the state and federal governments, is a major milestone for this project.

“The Kwinana Energy Hub shows this strategy in action.

Hydrogen produced from water and renewable power has

We are repurposing existing process units, tanks, pipelines,

the potential to decarbonise BP’s planned biorefinery where

and utilities from the former refinery as the starting point for

hydrogen is made from natural gas and biogas, and at other

Kwinana Renewable Fuels and H2Kwinana.

industrial facilities in the Kwinana industrial area where hydrogen is also made from natural gas.” Lucy Nation, VP Hydrogen, Australia and Asia Pacific, said part of BP’s strategy is leaning into the energy transition through its five transition growth engines: biofuels, mobility and convenience, EV charging, renewable power, and hydrogen.

“Both of these projects will allow us to supply ourselves and our customers with products that allow them to meet their own emissions targets while also contributing to Australia’s decarbonisation targets.” Subject to approvals and public policy and business decisions, production from H2Kwinana is anticipated from 2026.

Viva’s c-store sales decline, margin improves, in third quarter update

Crude oil intake was down 39 per cent due to extended maintenance

VIVA ENERGY’S CONVENIENCE sales have declined by 2.5 per cent versus the same period last year, its latest operating update revealed. Despite the decline in sales, gross margin improved by 1.5 percentage points to 33.7 per cent due to continued growth in all categories excluding tobacco. Looking at fuel sales, the group delivered comparatively strong sales during Q3 2023, up 4.7 per cent over the same period last year and in line with sales achieved in the previous quarter this year, which Viva stated was a good performance in the context of rising oil prices and generally softer seasonal and economic conditions that persisted through the quarter. Crude oil intake was down 39 per cent to 6.1 million barrels due to extended maintenance. Viva stated that processing capability has been progressively restored, with focus now on normalising operations and reducing shipping and operating costs which were elevated through the maintenance period. Despite this, an unaudited third quarter refining EBITDA is expected to be a loss of approximately $20 million. www.c-store.com.au




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