DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021
CONTENTS DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021
Welcome to the December/January issue of C&I Retailing Magazine.
10 06 FACE TIME
Ben Dunn, The Dunn Group
10 STORE REVIEW
X Convenience, Anzac Highway Plympton, South Australia
14 HEALTHY SNACKS
As snacking increases so too does the focus on healthy ingredients
18 DAIRY-FREE BEVERAGES
One in six Australian adults identify as 100 per cent dairy free
22 OUR NEW WORLD
How COVID-19 has shaped the future of convenience retail
26 SPAR PUSHES LOCAL BOUNDARIES Simon King speaks to Tobias Wasmuht, Spar International’s Managing Director
30 C&I CHOICE OF THE YEAR
For the first time a 'better for you' snack has won the coveted C&I Choice of the Year award
36 PRODUCT RANGING
Our revamped section brings you the latest new product launches
38 THE HOUSE OF ROBERT TIMMS
A coffee brand that is richly steeped in Australian history celebrates its 70th anniversary
hat an exciting month it has been. Restrictions around the country are continuing to ease, state borders are reopening, and around the country we’re all enjoying the most social freedom that we’ve had all year. It’s also been an exciting month for me personally as I’ve had my first taste of life in the C&I Managing Editor’s chair. It’s been an incredible whirlwind and I’ve been spending my time speaking to as many people as possible to really immerse myself in this great industry. One of those people was Ben Dunn, Managing Director of The Dunn Group who you will learn all about on page six where he features as this edition’s Face Time spotlight. I had a really great chat with Ben about the prospect of selling liquor through the petrol and convenience channel and I believe it’s a conversation that more of us should be having. For convenience retailers, cigarette sales once made up around 35 per cent of total sales, and with Australia working
towards becoming a smoke-free nation, retailers need to find a new category that will be able to fill that void of lost sales. You can read more about this on page 58. In other news, I was interested to learn that one in six Australian adults identifies as 100 per cent dairy free, so in this issue we’ve taken a look at the growing dairy-free beverages category. There’s been a lot of movement within this segment as almond milk has taken over soy as the segment leader, and oat milk has also been flagged as one to watch. You can learn more on page 18. There has also been a huge increase in people looking to adopt plant-based or flexitarian diets so in this issue we’ve taken a look at the healthy snacks category and you can read all about it on page 14. And as we reach the end of the year, I think we’re all pretty ready to close the door of 2020 behind us and never look back. While 2020 presented convenience retailers with unprecedented challenges, it also showed us just how resilient we can be. Beginning on page 18, we talk to some of the country’s leading banner groups and learn how they adapted during COVID-19 and what they see as the future of convenience retail. Finally, as 2020 draws to a close we are honoured to present our 2020 C&I Choice of the Year award, which for the first time this year has been awarded to a ‘better for you’ snack. Turn to page 30 to find out what NPD took out the coveted award this year. There’s no doubt that 2020 has been an unforgettable year but let’s continue looking forward and embrace our continued return to normality. From the whole C&I team, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and thank you for your continued support in 2021. Cheers, Deb Jackson
Darren Park, CEO, United Convenience Buyers
54 INDUSTRY NEWS
NZACS Awards 2020, Freedom Foods, Bega, Ampol and more
60 PETROL NEWS
Dan Armes, Nic Moulis and the latest updates
64 SUPPLY FIND 4 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Safa de Valois
Scoop up your KitKat break KitKat is reinventing a much loved flavour with an ice cream twist with its new KitKat Caramel Crisp 65g share bar. The new ice cream inspired KitKat features crisp wafer fingers covered in golden caramel flavoured white choc, topped with French caramel flakes, all on a creamy white choc base. KitKat innovation continues to drive positive performance for the category, bringing new news and driving frequency within the segment. KitKat share bars are performing ahead of the category, growing 5.5 per cent while the segment declines 2.1 per cent (Source: AC Nielsen AUS Convenience YTD 27/09/2020). Driven by strength in innovation and positive performance on the core range, KitKat remains the leading chocolate bar brand in Australian convenience. KitKat Caramel Crisp is available to order in a 65g share bar from 30 November 2020. From January there will be an impactful in-store activation to drive visibility and trial.
Suntory Boss Coffee gets new flavour addition
One year after launching in Australia, Japan’s Suntory Boss Coffee has added a new flavour to its range, Iced Vanilla Latte. Suntory Boss Iced Vanilla Latte is targeted at young coffee drinkers between the ages of 18 and 24. It boasts a creamier coffee mixed with milk, a splash of vanilla and has about one and a half shots of coffee per can. It joins the already popular line-up of Suntory Boss Iced Long Black and Suntory Boss Vanilla Latte. Suntory Boss Coffee is created using the traditional Japanese flash-brew method. Coffee beans are brewed piping hot to release the rich aroma, and then chilled in a ‘flash’ to lock in flavour. While flash-brew has been a staple in Japan since the 1960s, it’s a relatively new concept in Australia and New Zealand. Suntory Boss Coffee is the only Japanese flash-brewed packaged coffee product available in ANZ.
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Monster Energy launches Superfuel sports drink
Monster Energy has branched out of the energy drinks space with the launch of Superfuel, a “hard-charging sports fuel drink”. Superfuel is a non-carbonated, lightly sweetened beverage packed with electrolytes, B3 and B6 vitamins. Monster Energy Vice President and General Manager Oceania, Sami Thiele, says Superfuel contains the health benefits of a sports drink, with just enough “Monster magic” to get you fired up. “By combining our popular Monster Energy blend with the benefits of electrolytes and key vitamins, we have created a unique beverage blend to fuel our consumers to charge harder for longer.” Superfuel is available in four flavours including, Purple Passion, Blue Ice, Tropical Thunder and Zero Sugar Fantasy Fruit.
Eskimo Pie rebrands as Polar Pie
Peters Ice Cream has changed the name of its Eskimo Pie in Australia to Polar Pie, acknowledging the term Eskimo is considered racially offensive. This follows the US subsidiary for Froneri, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, announcing in June that it would change the name to Edy’s Pie. The dark chocolate coated vanilla ice cream was created 100 years ago, and has been available for sale in Australia since 1923. In a statement, Peters acknowledged it was time for a change. “Peters Ice Cream is committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality and we acknowledge that now is the time for change. Eskimo Pie is a brand which has been within our portfolio for many decades and has a loyal consumer base who adores the product.”
Editor at Large: Keith Berg
Graphic Designer: Adrian Tipper
Managing Editor: Deb Jackson
Contributor: Simon King
Account Manager: Ben Curtis
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December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 5
Ben Dunn, Managing Director of The Dunn Group
IT’S IN THE BLOOD
Ben Dunn is the Managing Director of The Dunn Group and owner of several BP stations across Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Growing up, Ben’s parents owned and operated truck stops around Australia, so when it comes to his career choice you could definitely say that for Ben, it’s in the blood
was born at Diamond Valley Community Hospital in Greensborough, Victoria. But today I live in Balmain, Sydney with my wife, Renee and our three kids, Lily (15) Saskia (13) and Sam (11).
Mum and Dad met in the army and Dad went to Vietnam twice. When he got back they went halves with family friends in a service station in Euroa, which is a little country town about an hour and a half out of Melbourne. Mum and Dad had no retail experience and they had no idea what they were doing, but they invested in the service station anyway. We were there for about 12 months and then we moved to a town called West Wyalong, which is out near Forbes and Wagga, and that’s where I spent my formative years from the age of four to about 16. The funny story is that I actually lived at a truck stop for a couple of years! When we were in West Wyalong we had bought this old Shell truck stop and there was an old motel on the site that wasn’t being used, so as a family we lived in it. Because it was a motel, it had eight individual rooms so Dad had to knock a hole in the wall down the middle of the building so we could move between the rooms without having to go outside. I’ve actually got a paper clipping from around that time. It was in 1984, our truck stop was on the cover and the newspaper 6 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
article says ‘$850,000 Shell transport terminal takes shape’. If you know how expensive our industry is and how much it costs to build sites – that would be like putting $10 million on the cover these days! I’m going to get that clipping framed and hang it in my office.
My site at Botany has been the anchor that has helped me grow into all of my sites.” - Ben Dunn, Managing Director of The Dunn Group
Dad had the Shell truck stop out there for many years and we left there in about 1990. My parents moved to Adelaide and they had a BP truck stop at Wingfield for three or four years while my sister and I were at boarding school. I went to boarding school in Orange and when I finished my parents made the decision to move back to NSW. Mum and Dad did a deal to take over the BP truck stops down in Marulan on the highway between Sydney and Canberra, and we ran those from about 1994 to 2006. We lived in Bowral and ran those sites for quite a while – it is a great part of the world. I did all of the operational work for them during this time and then about a year later I had the opportunity to buy my first site at Botany. I was around 25 when I bought Botany and I borrowed every single cent to buy the site, back then the banks would give you a 100 per cent loan. I then spent the next three years putting every possible cent back into reducing that debt and then I began planning what a new store would look like. I went back to the bank and presented them with my plans and I took with me a couple of builders’ quotes so I could show exactly how much
FACE TIME FEATURE I needed. Luckily the bank agreed to give me another loan and since then it’s been really successful. My site at Botany has been the anchor that has helped me grow into all of my sites.
I always joke that I was roasting coffee beans in my shed in Balmain and that I was going down to the markets and selling them at Rozelle, but it’s nothing like that. I just got the idea from a beer tap.
Basically every site we’ve taken over has been an existing location and I guess that’s given me some sort of comfort that there is already a business there. But this year, we’re about to sign a contract on a block of dirt so we will do a new to industry site. We’ve taken a punt and we’re going to build on it in 2021 along with the complete rebuild of our site at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains.
Outside of work I am really into car racing. I race in the Touring Car Masters in a support category of the Supercars. We race 1965 to 1980 Australian and American muscle cars, so Mustangs, Toranas, Valiants etc. I’ve got a little 1975 Chevy Monza, which is a little American muscle car. It’s really good fun!
We’ve launched our own coffee brand and there’s actually a funny story around how I came up with the name for it. When we were building our site at Katoomba, we were also building our coffee offer and we had to give it a name. I initially went to BP and asked if I could use their Wild Bean brand and they said no. So I went and sat in a pub in Balmain with a piece of paper and a pen and was trying to think of all of these things that combine a café and a service station. But the more I thought about it, I realised that it really didn’t matter what we called it, all that mattered was the quality of the product and service. So, I was sitting there and I was looking at the beer taps and the one that caught my eye was Balmain Brewing Company, so I just thought ‘Balmain Coffee Company’.
The funny story is that I actually lived at a truck stop for a couple of years!” - Ben Dunn, Managing Director of The Dunn Group
Dad and I started it as a hobby years ago because we were working 60 or 70 hours a week, he had no hobby and all he was really doing was work, so we went halves in a car. I was always into it and we used to go to Bathurst together to watch the Supercars, so we just thought why not! Looking back, I think that every kid that’s grown up around service stations has worked for free filling drink fridges and stacking the chips for their parents. But I always enjoyed the industry and am really happy to still be working in it. My advice for retailers is to be consistent. Our industry is not complicated, what’s hard is to do it consistently everyday. It’s difficult to produce the same standard at the same level 365 days a year, but retail is detail so be consistent. C&I
In 1984, the Dunn family's truck stop was on the cover of a local newspaper and Ben still has the clippings, which he plans to frame and hang in his office
Ben Dunn (centre) with the team at BP Botany
December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 7
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre C&I Expo brings retailers and suppliers together over two big days of business. The retailer audience consists of owners and operators of convenience stores, service stations, independent supermarkets, corner stores, newsagents, mini marts and foodservice stores that have a convenience offer. Suppliers and wholesalers are also more than welcome to exhibit and attend. Visitors experience the latest in convenience products, services and merchandising.
For more information visit www.candiexpo.com.au
RESCHEDULED DATES For Australiaâ€™s largest and most important trade event for Convenience retailers
Media pty. LTd.
ORGANISED BY: Interpoint Events Pty Ltd in conjunction with C&I Media Pty Ltd and the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores 41 Bridge Road Glebe NSW 2037 Ph: 1300 789 845 | Fax: 02 9660 4419 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.c-store.com.au
X CONVENIENCE ENJOYS A YEAR OF STRONG GROWTH As X Convenience prepares to expand outside of South Australia we take a look inside its flagship Anzac Highway site
Convenience is a family-owned and operated banner that launched five years ago in Adelaide and has been enjoying significant growth ever since.
The banner, which currently has 30 sites operational across South Australia is in a period of growth, with four new sites set to open before Christmas and another 37 earmarked for opening beyond that across regional SA and interstate. Martin Gleeson, General Manager Retail, X Convenience, told C&I that the banner group was initially created to provide a distinction between their group of service stations and the rest of the competition within Adelaide. “We wanted a point of difference so that when you entered an X Convenience site you knew that the level of service, range and cleanliness would be to the highest standard,” he said. Under the X Convenience brand there are four store-in-store concepts; Coffee Station, Smokes Express, Burger X, and Down Dog. Coffee Station sells barista coffees and daily fresh offers of cakes, sandwiches, baguettes and focaccias. “The sandwiches, baguettes, focaccias and salads are made daily in our very own kitchen and then delivered fresh to the sites in our refrigerated vans,” says Gleeson. 10 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Smokes Express is a tobacconist, while Burger X is a fast food burger offer, currently operational at two X Convenience sites, and Down Dog sells steamed hotdogs in fresh buns and is currently operating at more than seven sites.
THE FLAGSHIP SITE
We wanted to show the industry that you don’t need the standard cookie cutter service station model to make it work.” – Martin Gleeson
X Convenience on Anzac Highway in Plympton, SA opened in 2017 as the flagship for the banner. The site is one of two that features a Burger X within the shop and it also includes a mezzanine level for in-store dining. “At Christmas time we set up a huge Christmas display within the shop so that children can post their letters to Santa,” says Gleeson. The Anzac Highway site offers in-store, take away and ondemand dining experiences in its modern facility, and it also boasts some of the most competitive fuel pricing in the area. “Most c-stores try to get the customer in and out as quick as possible – we want to encourage our customers to stay as long as they want and have designed the store to meet those needs. “We wanted to show the industry that you don’t need the standard cookie cutter service station model to make it work. We provided a space where our customers could spend time in the store and feel like they were in their local café and they could
STORE REVIEW catch up with friends for a coffee or a burger as this location saw the introduction of our Burger X concept.” Gleeson explains that X Convenience sets out to achieve a fivestar experience without shoppers having to pay a five-star price.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF 2020 While 2020 has brought with it all kinds of unprecedented challenges, for X Convenience it also gave the opportunity to focus on creating a new revenue stream through click and collect and delivery. “We have created a strong social media base and we can achieve high results through our promotions using this platform,” says Gleeson. “We’ve also ramped up click and collect and delivery services. We’ve increased sales and created new profit streams through Uber Eats grocery and X Desserts,” he said. The X Desserts offering delivers restaurant quality desserts straight to people at their homes and is currently available through 13 X Convenience sites. “People still want to indulge from time to time and feel a little special and our X Desserts really fills that gap.” Gleeson said that when COVID-19 hit, there was the initial challenge of putting COVID safety plans in place in a short amount of time, and the priority was on keeping staff,
customers and suppliers safe. But once these systems were put in place, the focus shifted back to continuing on their growth trajectory. “We wanted to make sure that we didn’t get distracted by COVID – we are on a great path and want that to continue,” he said. “With the help of our local councils and the local government we implemented COVID-19 plans into our stores and created safe work environments. “We have a great team who are all focused on creating the best environment at site and working around the clock to ensure new store rollouts are happening on time and as smooth as they can be.” That strong level of commitment and focus has led to 12 new store openings in 2020.
Most c-stores try to get the customer in and out as quick as possible – we want to encourage our customers to stay as long as they want and have designed the store to meet those needs.” – Martin Gleeson
Looking to the future, Gleeson says that X Convenience will perfect its drive-through model, which will require updating of behind the counter flows and staffing to accommodate the demand. It will also launch a Pay Pump App, and Gleeson says: “The trick is to ensure it is a marketing and promotions tool that enables pay at pump or pay in-store. This way you can still drive instore sales. “Stores are becoming more and more complex so the use of technology to automate as many tasks as possible is a must.” C&I
December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 11
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SNACKING WITH PURPOSE As snacking increases, so too does the focus on healthy products and ingredients
I think the opportunities will present themselves more as stores start to recognise that the growth in healthy snacking is a movement and not a fad.” – Steve Trinder, Tribeca Health
nacking around the world was already a rapidly increasing behaviour, but during the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in snacking as consumers are spending more time at home.
category, found that more than half of global adults (54 per cent) have relied on snacks for nourishment during the pandemic. And of those, 64 per cent said that snacks have been nourishing to their body, mind and soul during these strange times.
According to the most recent State of the Industry Report from the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), snack foods growth of 4.1 per cent was the strongest in the last three years after a slight increase of 0.7 per cent in 2018.
A majority are also more mindful when snacking at home, with 57 per cent saying they are more focused on the snacks that they eat, and 66 per cent highlighted that they have more control over the portions they eat because they are snacking at home.
Leading the growth were ‘better for you’ snacks, now accounting for more than half of the snacks category, growing from a share of 45 per cent to 51 per cent. Snacks are becoming more about purpose for consumers, who are thinking about how they can improve their health and wellbeing with the next bite. During the pandemic, consumers have seen snacking as an important source of comfort, connection and community. But as the trend towards smaller and more frequent snacks over eating regular larger meals increases, so too has the focus on healthy products and ingredients. Mondeléz International’s second annual global State of Snacking study, which looks into the $1.2 trillion total global snack
14 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
PLANTING THE SEED Australians have always been a fairly health-conscious market, so it’s no surprise that there’s a growing demand for high-quality, plant-based ‘superfood’ snacks. Purabon, which is riding the health and wellness wave with a range of popular snack products, says that visibility in such an on-trend category is critical. Purabon’s leading healthy snack products are its protein balls, which include salted caramel, peanut butter, and choc brownie flavours. “Purabon is the fastest growing healthy snack brand in Australia,” says Sales Director, Kerin O’Brien. “We have more than doubled our stockists over the last year and we are contacted daily by new retailers wanting to stock Purabon.”
HEALTHY SNACKS In terms of consumers, Purabon has noticed that it is the millennial and Gen Z shopper who is increasingly seeking out plant-based snacks. “Consumers are opting in to buy foods that contain healthy ingredients, which is exactly what Purabon stands for ‘pure and good’ deliciously healthy snacks.
CONVENIENCE IS STILL KING Combining food and traditional health products/benefits was not long ago an emerging functional food trend but is now well entrenched as a necessary retail offering having overtaken traditional snacking options. But while health is an increasingly important factor for consumers, convenience is still king.
“All Purabon products are plant-based and appeal to the new growing consumer group,” says O’Brien.
According to AACS; nuts, jerky and rice snacks delivered the highest percentage of growth at 8.5 per cent, however chips delivered the greatest value contribution with 80.4 per cent dollar share of the total snacking category.
Another Australian-made, plant-based snack that has been making waves in 2020 is Mt. Elephant, which launched in September and has already gained ranging in more than 400 independent grocery, health food and convenience stores nationally.
It’s for these reasons that it should come as no surprise to see that veggie chips have been gaining popularity.
Mt. Elephant has also just been ranged through 7-Eleven stores, a deal that is expecting annual sales volumes between $1m to $1.4m.
Steve Trinder, Director of Tribeca Health, has recently launched his X50 veggie chips and Veego protein snack range through the convenience and impulse channel, and has already seen a 700 per cent increase in year to date sales.
Neale Joseph, Managing Director and CEO of Australian Primary Hemp, a producer, manufacturer and distributor of premium plant-based health and wellness products including Mt. Elephant, says: “Consumers today are already educated about the benefits of plant-based nutrition and are seeking high-quality products that they can eat every day. “Like many superfoods, the average person may not know all the amazing benefits of hemp – but it’s a nutritionally dense source of Omega-3 and -6, Magnesium, and Gamma Linoleic acids. “Our product development team ensured that every Mt. Elephant product optimised the benefits of hemp while creating something extremely delicious. “There is still a huge opportunity to introduce many Australians to hemp as a superfood; making a seed-and-nut snack bar a simple and easy way to try it. “And while not new, consumers still seek out Australian made products and expect Australian made products to be of premium quality.”
“This channel is really embracing the need to offer snacks with benefits so consumers can make fast health conscious choices in their on-the-go lifestyles. Our X50 Broccoli Chip, Cauliflower and Mushroom Chips along with the Veego Plant Protein Bars are being so well received as they meet the needs of consumers in terms of taste, health and aesthetics,” says Trindal.
It’s a difficult balance for retailers as they are so used the old staple categories, but my advice is if you get the right products in and open up to healthy snacking, the customers and repeat business will be there.” - Steve Trinder, Tribeca Health
“I think the opportunities will present themselves more as stores start to recognise that the growth in healthy snacking is a movement and not a fad. They will open up more space on shelves, as healthy snacking is a double-digit growth area, where other categories like confectionery have been stagnant for years. “It’s all about changing the mindset of the buyers, that people are actually looking in their stores for these type of healthy products and that the market for healthy snacking is growing and sustainable.
December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 15
While convenience is still king when it comes to snacking, consumers are open to trying new, delicious products and are educating themselves on the benefits of plant-based ingredients.” – Neale Joseph, Australian Primary Hemp
“It’s a great opportunity for specialist brands like ourselves to gain market share before the larger corporates see the category as an opportunity to change their product offerings to capitalise on the growth in healthy snacking, and utilise their considerable C&I channel relationships to take market share. “But I think consumers are wise to that these days, they want to buy products from the experts that led the way, not from big brands that jump on the wagon to take a slice of the pie purely for profiting purposes and to add to their bottom line.”
GET ACTIVE Sports nutrition has seen higher current value growth in 2020 than was seen in 2019, despite the impact of COVID, and indeed is set to see the fastest growth within consumer health. Active lifestyles have long been extremely popular among the Australian population, and there remains a general focus in Australian society on remaining fit and active into middle age, and in many cases into old age. As such, there has been an increase in the consumption of sports nutrition, with protein and energy bars seeing the strongest growth in 2020. Ross Webb, Brand and Partnership Manager at Vitaco, says that growth in protein bars is expected to continue. “Sports protein bars are expected to remain the fastest growing category as such products continue to gain relevance and are now attracting younger consumers,” he said.
AT A GLANCE • The total Snack Foods category is worth $202m in Australia. • Snack Foods growth of 4.1 per cent was the strongest in the last three years after a slight 0.7 per cent increase in 2018. • Nuts, jerky and rice snacks delivered the highest percentage growth at 8.3 per cent, however chips delivered the greatest value contribution. • The ‘better for you’ snacks segment has increased its share of Snack Foods from 45 per cent to 51 per cent.
“It is younger generations of Australians who are the keenest on regular intensive fitness training as part of a very active lifestyle. In recent years it has become even more common for young people to work even harder on developing their physique. Indeed, a recent study published in the journal BMC Paediatrics in February 2020, found that 50 per cent of Australian boys aged 14-16 are using muscle-building protein supplements. The research indicates that this age group is becoming more focused on body image, and in particular on achieving a slim, muscular and attractive physique. “Musashi brand continues to benefit from its rebranding and its partnership with different athletes, which have provided the brand with better visibility among a broader consumer audience. Previously the brand was very well established among gym-goers and serious body-builders, but with new brand ambassadors from basketball, football, AFL, NRL and mixed martial arts, the brand has been able to attract consumers across many sports with its range.”
HOW CAN RETAILERS INCREASE AWARENESS OF HEALTHY SNACKS? To answer this million dollar question, retailers need to be open to change and willing to create space for a relatively new but growing category. “It’s a difficult balance for retailers as they are so used to the old staple categories, but my advice is if you get the right products in and open up to healthy snacking, the customers and repeat business will be there,” says Trinder.
16 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
“Consumers are genuinely intrigued by innovation and new products in the healthy snack category. Packaging aesthetics play an important role too. Consumers want to not only look and feel good but eat amazing tasting food. We have so many new products in the pipeline and can’t wait until 2021. There is one new product in particular that may just revolutionise an all-time favourite high sugar snack – think guilt free indulgence, but we better keep that under wraps for now though.” Purabon’s O’Brien agrees, and says a key driver of growth would be to ensure retailers have a solid range of clearly labelled healthy snack options. “In order to increase the performance of the healthy snack category in-store, retailers should offer clean label healthy ingredient snacks such as Purabon,” says O’Brien. Trinder also suggests that retailers offer in-store tastings, as the age-old saying goes, the most important part of building a brand is getting the product in the mouths of consumers. “Once people touch, feel and taste our products and get a base knowledge of them we generally have that customer as part of the family for a long time,” he says. “Stores and brands should do more around in-store taste testing so consumers can see that the healthy snacks these days taste so much better than in the past and hopefully it blows away any pre-conceived notions they have and convert the customer over to healthier options. “The healthy snacking trend is not going away, it will only grow as more people realise the only real thing we have complete control over in our lives is our bodies and health and what we put into them. Healthy snacking will be the category that brings growth into convenience stores.” C&I *Convenience & Impulse Retailing would like to thank Purabon, Vitaco, Tribeca Health and Australian Primary Hemp for supplying information for this article.
A FAST GROWING TASTE FOR PLANT-BASED MILK Increasing health consciousness along with a stronger focus on brands with sustainability credentials has seen a boost in sales for dairy-free milk alternatives
rowing ethical, environmental and health concerns have seen an increase in the demand for dairy-free milk alternatives in Australia.
Consumers are broadening their horizons with plant-based milk varieties and in recent years, almond milk has overtaken soy as the most requested dairy alternative, and that growth is expected to continue. According to IRI data, almond milk has a 22 per cent penetration of total milk, and is up 1.5 per cent versus this time a year ago. While overall, the non-dairy segment has a 38 per cent penetration and is up 3.1 per cent versus this time last year.
GOOD FOR THE BODY, GOOD FOR THE EARTH People have long been attracted to the health benefits of plant-based milks, but a growing number of socially conscious consumers are now also seeking food and drinks with stronger sustainability credentials. Australian-owned and made brand, The Alternative Dairy Co, which has the backing of Sanitarium Health Food Company, saw its sales triple in the first quarter of FY21 compared to the last quarter of FY20.
Justin Nel, Lead Consultant at IRI, says non-dairy shoppers are a very valuable group as they spend on average 26 per cent more than the average shopper.
Steve Beams, General Manager – Sales at Sanitarium, says the reason people are increasingly turning to plant milks is twofold. Firstly, people view plant-based milks as being better for them but they also view them as being better for the environment.
Plant-based milks then represent a clear opportunity for convenience stores, particularly when these products have higher margins than cow’s milk and have significantly longer shelf life making them far easier to manage.
“The Alternative Dairy Co source Australian almonds from the Murray-Darling region. Our supplier Select Harvests is committed to sustainable agriculture and has implemented some innovative solutions at their orchards to minimise the use of
18 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
DAIRY-FREE Oat-based products are increasingly popular with consumers because they address common barriers to purchasing non-dairy alternatives, including sustainability, taste and texture. “We are really excited by the versatility of the oat base and the variety of other products that can be made from it, so there is plenty of opportunity for future innovations that push the boundaries and bring some excitement to the non-dairy category.” David Tyack, Managing Director, Vitasoy Australia, says: “The hyper growth in Oat Milk has been outstanding, doubling in size over the last 12 months and now is the third biggest segment, behind almond and soy.” Vitasoy remains one of the market leaders within plant-based milk, and enjoys market leadership in the segments of Soy, Oat and Rice as well as flavoured on-the-go plant-based milk via its Whole Almond Milk offer.
Using Australian ingredients is a win-win because we’re getting the best quality raw ingredients while supporting Australian agriculture” – Steve Beams, General Manager – Sales, Sanitarium
PUSHING BOUNDARIES Recently both Bickford’s and NuYu have tapped into a new category in the plant milk space, having both launched Australia’s first and second pistachio milks. water and energy and support bee health. All our oats are locally grown too,” says Beams. “Using Australian ingredients is a win-win because we’re getting the best quality raw ingredients while supporting Australian agriculture. Plus, we make all our milks on the New South Wales Central Coast. “What we have seen in the last few months is an increasing push in the marketplace for people wanting to support local – both in terms of the businesses in their neighbourhood, but also the products they sell. Our plant milks not only tick this box, but they’re as good as if not, better than – any other product on the market.”
The range from NuYu launched with five variants, including Almond, Oat, Cashew, Macadamia and Pistachio. They are made in South Australia and support 90 per cent Australian ingredients, with 100 per cent Australian oats, almond and macadamias used. Bickford’s launched with the same five varieties and are all made from more than 90 per cent Australian ingredients with no artificial sweeteners or GMOs.
OAT MILK IS ONE TO WATCH
Chris Illman, Bickford’s Group Sales and Marketing Manager, says the plant-based milk range is being launched in line with consumer demand, with sales for milk alternatives in Australia having grown 48 per cent to 132 million litres in the past four years.
While soy and almond milk have been the key drivers of growth in the dairy-free space, IRI’s Nel has highlighted that oat milk will be a segment to watch over the next five years.
“Our new range of Bickford’s Premium Plant Milks are a diverse collection of both established and emerging plant-based varieties
“This could be driven by consumer awareness of the negative impact that almond milk has on the environment due to the amount of water required in farming,” he says. In August this year, Chobani Australia ventured beyond the dairy category for the first time with the launch of Chobani Oat Barista Edition, made with organic oats. Lyn Radford, Managing Director, Chobani Australia, says that oat milk has taken the coffee world by storm. “Chobani Oat is a new player in the alternative dairy space, and we’re working with our great distributors to bring Chobani Oat to people all around Australia through the foodservice channel,” she says. “Following the launch of Chobani oat-based products in the US, we knew there would be high demand from our Aussie consumers. So, we’re really excited to be setting our sights beyond the yoghurt category for the first time in Australia.” December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 19
Chobani Oat is a new player in the alternative dairy space, and we’re working with our great distributors to bring Chobani Oat to people all around Australia through the foodservice channel”
beautifully creamy and it’s going to be a really nice solution for people who looking for a plant milk to have on or in coffee.” Lo also sees opportunity around ice cream, and says that there will be some Nutty Bruce ice creams launching in the not too distant future. “We have been able to get this incredible creamy product that is not in any way a sacrifice over dairy. I think a lot of the innovation is going to start filtering down into ice cream sticks and blocks, which would be great in a petrol and convenience environment.”
OPTIMISING DAIRY-FREE IN THE CONVENIENCE CHANNEL According to Sports Dieticians Australia, the number of people who are following a plant-based diet has grown to 2.5 million in Australia, and that number is growing.
– Lyn Radford, Managing Director, Chobani Australia
So how can retailers make the most of this growing category? Vitasoy’s Tyack says there are three key avenues.
using the best quality nuts and grains including Almond, Oat, Cashew, Macadamia and Pistachio and can be used for a range of different ‘milk’ needs throughout the day both hot or cold. From including the almond milk in your coffee to trying pistachio milk in a cake, there is a million ways for Aussies to discover the range,” he says.
AT A GLANCE • 2.5 million Australian consumers prefer a plantbased diet • One in six adults over the age of 18 identify as 100 per cent dairy free (Vegan Australia) • Five per cent of consumers exclusively purchase dairy alternatives (Dairy Australia) • Non-dairy shoppers spend on average 26 per cent more than the average shopper (IRI) • Sales for milk alternatives in Australia have grown 48 per cent to 132 million litres in the past four years
“One, plant-based milk in coffee – one in 10 coffees demand it. Two, provide category awareness of the flavoured plant-based milk segment via visibility of the RTD formats through breadth and positioning of SKUs in the fridge. Three, capitalise on the top-up shop for white milk consumers looking to trade up to plant-based milk via credible, trusted offers in the fridge that deliver on taste.” Illman from Bickford’s agrees and goes further saying that retailers and suppliers should combine their expertise to boost the category.
Illman says that innovation in the plant-based space is essential and that is something that Soulfresh Founder, Didi Lo agrees wholeheartedly with.
“From in-store execution to changing consumer perceptions on taste/quality and that the plant-based category is not a fad, but here to stay.”
In Australia, Soulfresh’s Nutty Bruce Almond Milk has more than 30 per cent market share, making it the leader in the category. And the brand has recently added to the Nutty Bruce family with the launch of All Mighty Bruce Future M*lk, a “first of its kind” milk substitute made with wholegrain oats, peas and seaweed.
Retailers should consider improving in-store visibility as a lot of shoppers might not expect to find a full plant milk offer in convenience, so it is important to interrupt the shopper on their journey.
But Lo thinks that there is still more room to innovate within the category, saying: “I think there’s innovation that consumers need, and there’s innovation that manufacturers would like consumers to need. “From a consumer point of view, one of the downfalls around some plant milks has been that they don’t necessarily give you the nutritional benefit that dairy milk does. While you get a lot of great things from plant milk when it comes down to protein and calcium a lot of products don’t actually contain that, and the ones that do have often put in ingredients that are not natural or nice.” It’s for that reason that they created the All Mighty Bruce Future M*lk, which they say, “gives you all the protein, all the calcium and all the macronutrients you get from dairy milk, but in 100 per cent plant-base form”. The brand is also soon to launch Oaty Bruce, an oat milk variety. And Lo says: “We are really excited to launch Oaty Bruce because it’s a great opportunity to get into the market with a product as
20 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Things like dual locating can be very effective, as can crosspromotion and inclusion in healthy meal combo offers. “Optimising space in-store to normalise, create awareness and drive consumer footfall into the category is important, as well as placing other plant-based products together. Keep it simple for the shopper with clear messaging and navigation cues,” says Illman. Lo says that retailers should dedicate a space as a beacon where they can show consumers where these products are located. “It might be that you’re taking these plant-based, dairy-free products from multiple categories and co-locating at the start. That really helps create some impact and obviously really helps with run rates in the sell through that a lot of convenience retailers will be focused on. Then, once you are seeing a very developed and consistent consumption you can then look to start to integrate that back into the mainstream categories.” C&I Convenience & Impulse Retailing would like to thank Chobani Australia, Sanitarium, Bickford's Group, Soulfresh and Lion Dairy & Drinks for supplying information for this article.
For sales enquiries contact email@example.com @chobaniau
OUR NEW WORLD
A RENEWED TRUST FOR CONVENIENCE
Convenience retailers need to work hard to retain the shoppers that they’ve won in 2020
22 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
OUR NEW WORLD
ivot’ has probably been the most used word of 2020. Well maybe the fourth most used word behind ‘pandemic,’ ‘lockdown’ and ‘COVID-19’.
The year has thrown all corners of the world into chaos and brought with it unprecedented challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes, including convenience retailers. The convenience sector has shown agility and flexibility throughout 2020. Across the country, people have been shopping in their own community, which has provided a boost to convenience stores. Dealing with ever-changing restrictions has been the biggest challenge for retailers, particularly for large banner groups with stores spread across all states of Australia, as often each geographic area was operating with different requirements. And with little government consultation and usually only a short warning time, retailers had to be quick to pivot and implement changes as they arose. But with Australia gradually making its way out of lockdown and state borders reopening, we’re all enjoying our first taste of freedom. And retailers are preparing to take their learnings from 2020 and prepare for a successful year ahead.
CONSUMER PREFERENCES HAVE CHANGED Skye Jackson, Head of Merchandise Planning at Ampol, said that keeping up with the changing customer demands has been a huge challenge this year.
Pete Hanson, Director Client Service at Crossmark, says that 2020 has been a real eye opener for both retailers and consumers who are discovering new convenience offerings in their local areas. “COVID-19 has educated consumers that convenience stores exist and that they offer a range of solutions. Now it will be about finding the balance between convenience, price, and the value people place on time, which has always been the challenge with convenience,” he says. “There is also a lot more understanding from the convenience sector itself, that there is an offer in it. We’re all so time poor and busy, and time saving solutions are now on people’s radar. We’re even seeing some convenience stores bringing in e-commerce platforms to help drive traffic to stores such as Australia Post setting up ‘parcel lockers’ for parcels to be collected from.” Steve Cardinale, Managing Director, New Sunrise, said that when restrictions first hit, New Sunrise quickly coined the phrase ‘Clean, Close and Frugal’. “It was clear that consumers looked to avoid crowded places, were looking to reduce travel where possible, and were concerned about their finances,” he says.
The key to success is remaining agile and being able to pivot your business to the changing external environment. We’ve done a great job of this operationally and commercially through 2020 so I’m confident we’re ready for whatever 2021 throws at us.” – Skye Jackson, Ampol
“Clean, Close and Frugal underpinned our marketing plan during this time. Price sensitivity, familiarity of offer, choice and simplicity were key areas of focus. We ran multiple webinars and a 12-week retail boot camp to support our retail members during this time.
“Our buying teams have done a great job of understanding these changing customer demands quickly and adapting the range of their forecasts to suit, such as sourcing additional toilet paper during that crazy panic buying period earlier this year,” she says.
“We acted with speed to tailor the program slightly to cater to the different occasions of customer transactions, including the exploding demand for ‘top up’, ‘sharing at home’, ‘refuel’ and ‘meals/coffee’.”
“Our supply chain teams supported this success by dealing with a significant uplift in volume and getting the stock to our stores.”
Ampol’s Jackson also highlighted that shoppers quickly turned to convenience stores for their groceries.
New Sunrise launched an 'Enjoy Local' campaign to reiterate the group's values as a local family business December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 23
OUR NEW WORLD
The big opportunity for convenience will continue to be around prepared meals. While lunch and dinner offerings are doing well, the sector is still working out how it can capitalise on breakfast so that’s an opportunity the sector will no doubt work on.” – Pete Hanson, Crossmark
The team at the Fast & Ezy site at Luddenham, NSW
“Consumer behaviour has definitely changed through 2020 – we’re seeing an uplift on non-traditional convenience categories, such as groceries as consumers look to avoid crowds in supermarkets. “I think what 2020 has taught us is to expect the unexpected. We have seen how quickly COVID-19 can significantly change our lives overnight. The key to success is remaining agile and being able to pivot your business to the changing external environment. We’ve done a great job of this operationally and commercially through 2020 so I’m confident we’re ready for whatever 2021 throws at us,” she says.
CUSTOMER RETENTION IS KEY As Australians rely more on convenience stores, operators have an opportunity to carve a niche share in the market that often has bigger margins than big-box retailers. “The big opportunity for convenience will continue to be around prepared meals. While lunch and dinner offerings are doing well, the sector is still working out how it can capitalise on breakfast so that’s an opportunity the sector will no doubt work on,” says Crossmark’s Hanson. CEO of Buying Group UCB Stores, Darren Park, said that convenience channel is experiencing a period of renewed trust from shoppers. “With shop transaction counts holding firm or rising, basket sizes growing and holding items from more categories and promotional item basket penetration growing, our channel is seen as a safe, credible and relatively speedy place to shop,” he says. Looking ahead to 2021, Park says that convenience retailers need to work hard to retain the shoppers. “We need to keep those shoppers that we have won in 2020 and give others compelling reasons to make us part of their shopping opportunities,” he says. 24 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
“I think we will see some of the online channel penetration success of 2020, give some of that opportunity back to physical stores. That’s why we need stores to look great, keep food offers appealing, offer safe shopping services and activate promotional activities. “Assuming we don’t see a repeat of 2020, I think we’ll see independent retailers invest again into their retail offers. There’s so much pent-up innovation in this part of the convenience channel, it will need just a glimpse of clear air.” Ampol will also turn its focus to customer retention. Jackson highlights that the Christmas period is a big opportunity for petrol and convenience retailers, and the real test will be retaining those customers after the festive season. “Australia is expected to have an additional one million people in the country this year due to COVID-19 restrictions impacting overseas travel,” says Jackson. “We know consumers don’t like crowded supermarkets, and with an additional one million people in the country this season, I think we can expect it to be very busy and that online sales and top-up shops will be a massive opportunity as people avoid the queues and crowds. “The opportunity for petrol and convenience retailers will be changing these consumer behaviours post-Christmas – give these customers a great experience and potentially you’ll win them over post-Christmas.” With a savvier bunch of shoppers now purchasing through convenience stores and with a renewed appetite to spend, there is plenty of opportunity for the convenience channel as we head into 2021 – the key is delivering a great customer experience to keep those shoppers coming back. C&I Convenience & Impulse Retailing would like to thank Ampol, New Sunrise, UCB Stores and Crossmark for supplying information for this article.
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SPECIAL FEATURE Spar in Eltendorf, Austria
Customers peruse the chilled aisle of a Spar store
SPAR PUSHES RETAIL BOUNDARIES
Spar operates in 48 countries around the world, and its total retail space exceeds 7.45 million square metres. Simon King speaks to Tobias Wasmuht, Spar International’s Managing Director, who is based in Amsterdam in The Netherlands
obias Wasmuht has been the Managing Director of Spar International since 2016, responsible for the strategic development and expansion of the Spar brand worldwide.
He has spent more than 25 years in the retail industry; having joined Spar in 2000, where he was responsible for the international retail and marketing activities of Spar. In this role, he implemented new retail concepts and drove brand and marketing development worldwide.
We use a strategy of continuous innovation.” - Tobias Wasmuht, Spar International
Since he has been in his current role, more than 1,000 additional stores have been added to Spar’s international network. Wasmuht said: “Over the last five years Spar internationally recorded sustained strong growth with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4 per cent. In 2019, Spar continued that growth drive with an increase of 4.35 per cent in total sales, achieving a global turnover of €37.1bn (A$60.9bn). “Growth was achieved by all five core geographic regions in which Spar operates, with Central and Eastern Europe recording the most significant increase in sales of 6.83 per cent.” In 2019 it marked the fourth year of Spar’s ‘Better Together’ strategy, which targets growth through maximising the economies of scale of Spar around the world. “With over 13,300 stores in 48 countries and global retail sales of €37.1bn, there are significant economies of scale that can be achieved by working better together across eight core strategic pillars of brand, expansion, retail, buying, procurement, supply chain, people and responsible retailing,” says Wasmuht. Spar’s multi-format strategy is becoming more diverse and currently encompasses hypermarkets, supermarkets, neighbourhood stores, convenience and online retail.
26 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
“Market force and change-driven, our global Spar Partner network is a rich mix of traditional wholesalers, established food service groups and buying unions, in addition to existing supermarket retailers, FMCG distributors, food manufacturers and petroleum companies.” Wasmuht added that prospective Spar partners are looking for expertise and best practice in retail operations, technology, digital and customer solutions. A recent example during the global COVID-19 outbreak showed the benefits of analysing purchasing data from a panel of Spar country operations to forecast the waves of demand and shifts in buying behaviour during and post-lockdown. “By reviewing this category market data, other markets could be advised about anticipated customer demands and spikes as the impact of the virus spreads internationally,” he said. “Lessons from those Spar countries that had to deal with the virus first such as China and Italy were accordingly transferred to others in advance allowing supply chain changes in anticipation of future demand.”
RANGING AND FOOTPRINT Proximity retail is key to growing Spar’s footprint and meeting the needs of the local communities it serves. Wasmuht said: “Spar is very much integrated in local communities; this provides a speed of response and agility that enables us to tailor assortments not only for store clusters but to add a personalised touch, ensuring the range and offer best meets our local customers’ needs. “As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the longer term, value is going to be at the forefront for consumers.
SPECIAL FEATURE Economic recession is already being felt in several markets where consumers are more price-conscious and, in some cases, postponing purchasing decisions.” Spar reacted quickly in many markets when these trends were first seen, including putting a price-freeze on Spar Own Brand and introducing an Everyday Low Price – a campaign for both own brand and known value items (KVIs). Now that COVID-19 lockdowns are gradually being lifted, these products continue to be sold, having seen positive uptake by consumers and suppliers delivering volumes which are needed. Specific examples of hard to secure products during the early part of the pandemic included pasta, rice and hand sanitiser, and these were procured through new suppliers using local expertise. Wasmuht added: “Larger format stores, particularly in shopping centres, experienced reduced footfall during lockdown, but were able to partly offset this through larger average baskets or by using these larger stores for replenishment and online ordering. “City centre stores, which rely on high levels of traffic, were also impacted, with many repurposing their stores to offer foodto-heat solutions for at-home consumption, which has proved popular. The shift to proximity shopping is a trend unlikely to change in the near future, resulting in Spar operators retaining some of the newly introduced assortment to retain customers.” He said that the ability to rapidly exchange information about product specifications, consumer reactions to different brands and assortment changes benefited Spar countries at a time when resources were stretched. “The advantages of this knowledge exchange and extension of local and regional sourcing networks is a strength that shall be built upon in the future,” he said.
INTERNATIONAL TRENDS IN CONVENIENCE RETAILING Wasmuht said that much of Spar’s global success has come from understanding customers and responding to their diverse needs with appropriate products, solutions and store formats.
Spar is very much integrated in local communities.”
- Tobias Wasmuht, Spar International
SPAR CONTINUES TO DEVELOP IN AUSTRALIA In 2019, Spar Australia opened five new stores in Queensland and New South Wales. The current portfolio of 126 Spar supermarkets has a total sales area of 44,038sqm, and achieved a retail turnover of €190.90 million (A$309.9m). Wasmuht said: “In 2020, one larger and two neighbourhood stores have been opened, and plans are in place to open another three before the end of the year.” During the past year, 51 new Spar products were introduced with a further five SKUs added under an exclusive brand arrangement with Spar International, bringing the total to 331 Spar SKUs. “Based on shopper responsiveness and desire for increased focus on value by customers, additional Spar Own Brand products will be introduced, also providing margin opportunities for independent retailers.” In 2019, Spar Australia introduced a pilot ‘Freight Subsidy’ incentive scheme to enhance growth and build volume for retailers located in more isolated regions. “The results of this trial showed an increase of 7.5 per cent in products being distributed to those stores. The company developed a mobile app for retailers to place special orders for new products, supplier funded sales, and distribution drives,” said Wasmuht.
He said: “Recent years have seen a significant shift towards the redefining of product ranges to suit customer needs, with increased demand from customers for ready-to-eat and food-togo solutions, prompting increased investment by Spar countries in this area. “The impact of COVID-19 has seen many convenience stores thrive and outpace the market, as communities choose to stay and shop locally. The longer term impact of the crisis will see consumer spend shifting towards three key areas of health, sanitation, and value, with the Spar brand very well positioned to respond.” With the impact on household incomes as a result of the current crisis, Wasmuht predicted that shoppers will seek even more value.
InterSpar, Frischenmarktplatz, Austria
Spar Enham Alamein Post Office, UK December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 27
SPECIAL FEATURE SPAR INTERNATIONAL IN NUMBERS (TO DECEMBER 31, 2019)
Spar, Glasgow, UK
The impact of COVID-19 has seen many convenience stores thrive.”
- Tobias Wasmuht, Spar International
Spar, meanwhile, has seen “considerable growth potential” in the health and wellness category, with macro trends pointing to the increased popularity of lifestyle choices, such as vegan, or dietary choices, such as gluten-free. “Our Spar Natural range offers health and wellness solutions for three specific customer needs: those who have special dietary requirements or food intolerances, those who have made lifestyle choices and changed their eating habits, such as vegetarians or vegans, and those who simply wish to eat more healthily,” he says. “Spar Australia recognised the same desire from their customers and sells selected items from this range in stores. First launched as a standalone store, more and more Spar partners across our network including South Africa, are implementing the concept in-store as a shop-in-shop category solution, recognising the opportunity that Spar Natural offers.”
CHALLENGES AFFECTING RETAIL Unsurprisingly, Wasmuht cites the ‘new norm’ prompted by the COVID-19 crisis as the most significant challenge for retailers and wholesalers alike. He said: “With an unprecedent focus on hygiene within retail, the expectation of customers that all legislative requirements are adhered to including social distancing throughout the supply chain, transparency in sourcing, and a growing recognition of local economies, retailers will continue incurring costs to meet all demands. “The economic impact of the pandemic, the drop in consumer confidence and the negative impact on household incomes from the pending recession will see additional pressure being put on consumer spending. Those retailers that are agile and responsive enough to respond to these issues will succeed in this new environment.”
INNOVATION DRIVING CHANGE The food retail sector is continuously evolving and innovation is a necessity to ensure businesses remain competitive and in tune with their customers’ present and future needs. Wasmuht said: “Within Spar, we use a strategy of continuous innovation that allows us to test and trial ideas and concepts in one market and then shift these successful innovations to another before scaling up internationally.” Technology has also been a significant enabler in the Spar sustainability journey too, 28 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Total sales: €37.1bn (A$60.9bn) Average annual sales per square metre: €4,969 (A$8,168) Number of countries traded in: 48 Number of stores: 13,320 stores New stores: 208 Average store size: 560sqm Number of staff: 370,000 Number of customers per day: 14 million
Wasmuht said: “As a growing global retailer, we are mindful of our impact on the environment and are dedicated to utilising technology to help minimise our footprint. For example, we are seeing the use of laser labelled fruit and vegetables being introduced by some Spar countries to replace significant volumes of plastic stickers. “The adoption of both store operations technology, as well as consumer facing apps, has also helped reduce food waste across many Spar countries. Providing Spar customers with this easy to use solution is just one example of how we are globally addressing food waste reduction.” Spar International’s key focus of IT investment has been digital, to enhance the shopper experience and automation to drive productivity in the supply chain. Wasmuht said: “Increasingly, IT developments transfer quickly across the Spar network – an example of this could be Spar in Gran Canaria, Spain, which has invested in the modernisation of two new distribution centres incorporating IT solutions in stock management. This has been successfully trialled in Spar markets as far afield as Norway. “In Europe, a shift to increased automation led Spar Netherlands to invest in a semi-automated warehouse, which particularly proved its worth during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in terms of capacity and low head count. Spar in China has invested in IT to improve order picking, in and outbound logistics as well as to support operations in its fresh production centres. The transfer of these technologies is enabled through a process of testing and trialling and the open sharing of successful solutions.” In online grocery retail, Spar has been active since the late 1990s, and by the end of 2019, it had a full online grocery operation in a quarter of the countries in which it operates worldwide, supported in the majority of markets with mobile solutions as well as loyalty apps. Wasmuht said: “In all Spar operations we utilise store picking, using the proximity of our stores to enable fast delivery as well as offering click-and-collect. The global COVID-19 outbreak has acted as an accelerator for the rapid roll-out of e-grocery solutions with the launch of online retail in an additional 13 countries in the space of 12 weeks. “Today, Spar provides some form of online retailing in over 25 markets, with more to follow as we take learnings from the existing operators and rapidly scale this up to suit new markets at speed.” C&I
LOUX, the best-selling soft drink in Greece, is made from crystal clear natural spring water and real juice. Flavours include Orange, Lemon, Sour Cherry, Gazoza (Soda) and Cola. Packaging Type
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WI N N E R
Uncle Tobys Oat Slice named C&I Choice of the Year! As the year draws to a close, the team at C&I has reflected on some of the biggest category trends from 2020, and without a doubt one of the most in demand segments has been ‘better for you’ snacks. Australians are continually seeking out local and trusted brands that represent great quality, while also being better for them. It’s with this in mind, and following much deliberation, that we are proud to announce Uncle Tobys Oat Slice as this year’s C&I Choice of the Year. The range of perfectly portioned 70g, single serve Oat Slices launched as a new and delicious way to enjoy the nutritious superfood while on the go. The ‘deliciously satisfying’ snack is available in two flavours, oven baked to perfection: Apple & Cinnamon and Choc Chip. Delightfully soft and crumbly and full of Uncle Tobys Oat goodness, they are hunger busting, guilt free snacks that pair perfectly with a coffee. 30 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Made with more than 50 per cent wholegrains, they are also high in fibre and contain no artificial colours or flavours. Even better, you can help support local and Australian manufacturing and farmers with every bite. Dominique Bielecke, Marketing Manager of Snacks, was delighted by the recognition for Uncle Tobys Oat Slice. “We are incredibly proud to be named C&I Choice of the Year,” she said. “It’s a great acknowledgement of the effort we’ve made in delivering snacks for our customers that are both tasty and nutritious in this highly competitive category. This is also the first time a nutritious snack has won this award, which is a great reflection of the ‘better for you’ snacking trends we’re seeing in the market.” The slices are available in 7-Eleven, Coles Express, BP, EG, Night Owl, Puma, NSG, IGA Express and through all major wholesalers, RRP $3.50.
C&I CHOICE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS! Each year the C&I team chooses its favourite new release product of the year. This year the accolade went to Uncle Tobys Oat Slice but there has been so much fantastic NPD that we’ve decided to also name our 2020 C&I Choice of the Year finalists across eight categories.
Loux Sour Cherry
Allen’s launched Sourz Tangy Randoms, a random mix of delicious and lightly sour fruit flavoured jellies offering a different mix in every bag. There are more than 80 different Sourz shapes, featuring everything from crocodiles, teapots, stars, echidnas and trains. With seven flavours and four different jelly textures thrown into the mix, fans never quite know what they’re going to get. Each and every bag is original. And while there are many combinations, what they don’t contain is any artificial colours or flavours. They are available now and RRP is $2.95.
Loux Sour Cherry launched earlier in 2020 and the team and C&I just love it because the flavour brings back childhood memories of sipping on a cold sweet fruity drink on a hot summer’s day. The Sour Cherry flavour is one of five SKUs in the Loux classic range and sits alongside Orange, Lemon, Cola and Gazoza. The authentic traditional recipe, the deep scarlet colour and the extremely fruity taste alongside an intoxicating aroma and an ideal balance of soda all combine to make it an extremely tasty beverage. Loux Sour Cherry has a broad appeal and will be a hit with all segments. We believe that once people try it they’ll understand why Loux is one of the leading carbonated soft drinks in Europe.
Better For You Beverages:
Level Lemonade & Raspberry
Suntory Boss Iced Vanilla Latte
Level Lemonade launched a new Lemonade & Raspberry addition and shook up the ‘better for you’ drinks space. The premium carbonated lemonade range, launched last year, has already sold more than 700,000 bottles and is proving popular thanks to its formula of boosted nutrients. Each bottle contains 160mg of magnesium and 100 per cent of the RDI of Vitamin C, while also being 97.5 per cent sugar free. Sports Dietitian and exercise physiologist Caitlin Read said: “As a dietitian, I wouldn’t normally recommend a carbonated drink to my clients but due to the ingredients and low sugar content, this is a ‘better’ option, and who doesn’t love a refreshing pink lemonade.”
Japan’s Suntory Boss Coffee added a new flavour variant to its successful range, and it just might be our favourite yet. The Iced Vanilla Latte launched in Australia in October and is targeted at a younger demographic of millennial coffee drinkers. Suntory Boss Coffee is created using the traditional Japanese flash-brew method. Coffee beans are brewed piping hot to release the rich aroma, then chilled in a ‘flash’ to lock in flavour. The new variant has a creamy coffee flavour mixed with milk, just a splash of vanilla and includes about one and a half shots of coffee per can.
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Dairy Free Beverages:
UP&GO Dairy Free
KitKat Gold Chunky Krisp
To help with the creation of its new UP&GO Dairy Free, the team at Sanitarium put together a ‘Brain's Trust’ of 3,500 passionate consumers to put the power into the hands of the people who would ultimately be purchasing the NPD. The Brain’s Trust helped to provide input on everything from the variant name to the pack design and colour palette, making it the first “peoplepowered dairy-free solution” from UP&GO and Sanitarium The launch of UP&GO Dairy Free comes at a time when Australians are increasingly looking for plant-based alternatives, says Trish Guy, Senior Dietitian, Sanitarium. “UP&GO Dairy Free has retained all the nutritional benefits in the original UP&GO and is packed with nutrients, including protein, fibre, 10 vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin B12, which are important nutrients for people following a dairy-free/plant-based diet. This makes it a great low GI option for busy mornings and active lifestyles. Plus, it’s also gluten free,” she says.
Capitalising on the success of KitKat Gold that consumers already know and love, KitKat launched the new Chunky Gold Krisp 45g. Designed for those that like to add a little excitement to their break, each bar contains three layers of crisp wafer topped with gold choc and waffle pieces, all on a gold choc base. KitKat Gold has played a very important role for the brand by bringing new users into the category as it appeals to a different demographic versus other core SKUs. The launch was supported by an extensive out of home campaign to drive awareness through mass reach, while a compelling social campaign drove further excitement of the NPD.
Dairy Flavoured Beverages:
Violet Crumble Chocolate Honeycomb Flavoured Milk
Mrs Mac’s Plant-Based Range
Robern Menz and Bickford’s teamed up for a tasty collaboration, releasing a Violet Crumble Chocolate Honeycomb flavoured milk. The 500ml milk is the only nationally available choc honeycomb milk. Produced in Bickford’s Salisbury South plant, it also uses locally sourced milk from South Australia. Robern Menz CEO Phil Sims said it was sure to be a hit with fans. “Violet Crumble is an iconic Australian brand and flavoured milk is part of Australian pastime, so we knew that chocolate, honeycomb and milk would make sense.” It’s available in Coles Express, Caltex stores, Drakes and IGA supermarkets nationally, as well as Romeo’s and Foodland supermarkets in SA.
Mrs Mac’s launched a new plant-based range designed to offer health conscious consumers tasty and convenient hot food options. The range features exciting plant-based flavours including a Smokey BBQ Jackfruit Pie and a Black Bean & Chipotle Burrito Roll. It targets the growing segment of consumers seeking meat alternatives across the on-the-go and retail channels. Research has shown that plant-based consumers are premium shoppers and that if the offer is appealing and meets their needs in terms of taste and health, their basket size value is expected to be above that of a traditional shopper. The plant-based range developed by Mrs Mac’s targets health conscious consumers, particularly those under 40 (Millennials and Gen Z) who place high importance on taste and health. Plant based consumption is growing quickly amongst these segments as they continue to increase plant-based foods in their diet and limit meat consumption.
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Each 350mL bottle contains the equivalent of at least 2.5 serves of fruit and 50% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C and 25% of Fibre. Furthermore, Supa Essentials is made from 'super ingredients' such as guava, lychee, cherry, blueberry and ginger! And now, Supa Essentials comes in two new delicious ﬂavours – Carrot Detox and Rainforest Fruits. Both taste great and are even better for you! Nourish your body as well as your taste buds with the essential goodness of Supa Essentials! To place an order or for further information, please contact Tru Blu Beverages on (02) 9912 6700.
HEALTH STAR RATING
Shine+ gives better energy a boost With a philosophy of “thinking, feeling and doing better” it was impossible for the team at C&I to go past selecting the new 330ml range of nootropics drinks from Shine+ as our C&I Choice. Shine+ CEO and Co-founder, Steve Chapman, told C&I about the newly launched range, its packaging redesign, and the growing popularity of the innovative nootropics drinks category. “Nootropics is a fast growing category and the Shine+ 330ml range provides a fantastic opportunity for retailers to engage shoppers who are looking for a healthy, better energy boost, not offered by traditional energy drinks,” explains Chapman. He says that the Shine+ team was looking to open the category up to a wider group of consumers by delivering a more accessible volume and price-
KitKat replaces its iconic logo KitKat is temporarily replacing the logo on its iconic four finger milk chocolate bar to help educate Australians about common recycling misconceptions. The limited edition packaging features a KitKat inspired recycling symbol along with a call to Australians to drop off wrappers at REDcycle bins, located in most major supermarkets. Research commissioned by KitKat shows that while 80 per cent of Australians have a desire to recycle correctly, almost half of us are getting it wrong. One quarter of people are unaware that they can recycle chocolate and candy wrappers, and a further 17 per cent are unaware that these soft plastics need to be recycled separately from other household recycling. The new limited edition packaging from KitKat aims to educate Australians to ‘Give the planet a break’ and help divert these soft plastics that, when recycled incorrectly, ultimately end up in landfill. Nestlé Head of Marketing Confectionery Joyce Tan said: “We know Australians have great intentions when it comes to recycling but our research shows that unfortunately over a third of us (37 per cent) either forget to drop off our soft plastics at the supermarket, say we can’t be bothered to take them back to store, or don’t have anywhere to store them at home. “In order to encourage everyone to recycle right and drop off their KitKat wrappers and other soft plastics at REDcycle collection bins, we’ve turned our iconic pack into a reminder Aussies can’t miss.” 36 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
point, so they developed the 330ml range, which comes in four flavours and has an RRP of $4.95. The messaging on the front panel of all of the bottles has been updated to highlight the key benefits of nootropics, which are “thinking, feeling and doing better”. Chapman says: “Most importantly we’re starting to call out the category ownership of being a nootropic drink – it’s a better energy. It’s for people who are looking for a mental pick me up but they want it healthy, they want it natural, they want it low sugar.” The Shine+ 330ml range is available in four flavours including Tropical Coconut, Blueberry Lemonade, Peach Passionfruit, Watermelon Mint, and Raspberry Soda.
THE HOUSE OF ROBERT TIMMS:
AN AUSTRALIAN ICON CELEBRATES 70 YEARS Even after 70 years in business, The House of Robert Timms remains true to its core philosophy of providing a quality cup of coffee consistently
A recent current affairs program had a world barista judge blind taste a selection of supermarket instant coffees and The House of Robert Timms Café Series 90g Freeze Dried Medium Roast was selected as Australia’s best instant coffee.”
he House of Robert Timms is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2021 and will mark the milestone by drawing on its strong Australian heritage to connect with consumers. Established in 1951, The House of Robert Timms is a brand that is richly steeped in Australian history. From being the major supplier of coffee to Australian and American soldiers during World War II, to developing a special blend for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To handing out millions of cups of Robert Timms coffees at not one, but two Olympic Games – it’s safe to say that the last 70 years have not been boring for the coffee brand built by a once humble 15-yearold grocery apprentice.
THE EARLY DAYS
In 1924, when Robert Timms Jnr was just 15 he went to work at Moran & Cato, with his father, Robert Timms Snr. Moran & Cato was the largest chain of grocery stores in Australia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Timms discovered that he had a particular affinity for the sale of tea and coffee, and by mid-1930 he was selling it so successfully that his commissions made him the highest paid employee. When he ultimately left Moran & Cato he sold his shares and used the profits to purchase the Associated Tea Company. Now, at this time World War II had broken out, and Timms and his employees played a very important role in supporting the needs of the Australian and American armed forces. You see, Timms had recently set up the first ever automated
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line for coffee production in Australia, and so during the war, Timms and his staff worked tirelessly to ensure that the soldiers were provided with adequate supplies of fresh coffee – a heroic effort some might say. At the conclusion of the war, Timms decided to focus on expanding the business, and with many migrants moving to Australia his focus turned to coffee production over tea.
A ROYAL CHANGE
In 1951, the name of the company changed to Robert Timms Pty Ltd and it began to rapidly expand across Australia. The business ramped up when Timms won two major contracts that would change the way coffee was sold in Australia, one of which was a contract to develop a special blend of coffee for Queen Elizabeth II on her royal visit to Australia. ‘Royal Special’ coffee was born and the popular blend still lives on today. During this time, fresh coffee sales dramatically increased and to meet the demand, Timms introduced fresh coffee selfservice grinders into supermarkets. By the end of the decade, Robert Timms coffee was in such high demand that additional roasting plants were set up in Brisbane and Hobart. Just two years later in 1956, Robert Timms became the official coffee supplier to the Melbourne Olympic Games. This is an honour that the brand enjoyed once again in 2000, as the official coffee supplier to the Sydney Olympic Games. During the Sydney Games, more than two million cups of Robert Timms coffee were handed out to spectators, officials, and athletes.
PRODUCT RANGING SEEKING NEW OPPORTUNITIES
In 1964, Timms went on an exploratory trip to New Guinea where the planting and production of coffee beans had started to develop since the end of World War II. Timms was impressed by the high quality of beans and formed a company, which became the largest exporter of green coffee beans from that country. This was a step change for the Robert Timms business, which resulted in the development and launch of the brand’s first gourmet instant coffee – New Guinea Gold – that became a best seller in Australia. By the 1970s, Robert Timms had become the largest privately owned tea and coffee company in Australia, representing more than 75 per cent of the pure coffee market.
THE HOUSE OF ROBERT TIMMS TODAY
Robert Timms Pty Ltd was sold to Unilever in the 1980s, which further invested and consolidated the business. It was during this time that coffee bags were first introduced to the Australian market, as an innovative way of delivering café quality coffee in a convenient and freshly sealed single serve format. Then, in 1998 family-owned business FreshFood acquired the brands and manufacturing of Robert Timms from Unilever and evolved it to be known as The House of Robert Timms. Today, FreshFood continues to build on the strengths of The House of Robert Timms, carrying forward the promise of Robert Timms Jnr, that if he could he would personally sign every bean roasted. Karen de Leeuw, Business Director, FreshFood, told C&I that the key strength of The House of Robert Timms is the consistency in quality that has been offered for the past 70 years. “It is a brand that has had longevity and successfully expanded into all spheres of coffee while being innovative and remaining relevant. “The ability to offer solutions across every segment of the coffee category is quite unique,” she says.
FreshFood continues to build on the strengths of the Robert Timms brand, carrying forward the promise of Robert Timms Jnr, that if he could he would personally sign every bean roasted.”
The House of Robert Timms has become known as the single serve expert, not only in terms of instant coffee, but also especially for coffee bags. “Coffee bags are a perfect innovation in that they are perfectly pre-portioned quality serves resulting in consistency in cup. Each is individually sealed for freshness and is very portable,” says de Leeuw. “It’s a no mess, no fuss solution in a complicated world.” There are four variants including Gold Colombia, Italian Espresso, Mocha Kenya and Decaffeinated. The bags are individually sealed, ensuring freshness to give a 100 per cent barista quality coffee experience no matter the situation. The House of Robert Timms has a range of roast and ground and soluble coffee to suit everyone’s needs. The blends are expertly crafted and roasted in Concord, an inner west suburb of Sydney. In fact, a recent current affairs program had a world barista judge blind taste a selection of supermarket instant coffees and The House of Robert Timms Café Series 90g Freeze Dried Medium Roast was selected as Australia’s best instant coffee. An honour that de Leeuw says is, “a true endorsement of our quality products”. So what is the key to building a coffee brand that will stand the test of time? According to de Leeuw, there are three key areas: “Consistency, authenticity and evolution”. “The key is to remain true to your core and to know what you stand for. In the case of The House of Robert Timms it is to provide a quality cup of coffee consistently. This ensures the ability to build a loyal consumer base. “Innovation is central to evolution, and bringing new ways to experience and consume coffee.” C&I December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 39
Nestlé Purina launches Felix As Good as it Looks singles range Nestlé Purina has launched its popular Felix wet cat food in a single serve format through the convenience channel. Purina conducted research with Kantar and discovered that 42 per cent of pet purchases are made as an impulse or top up shop. It’s for this reason that the brand decided to make its Felix As Good as it Looks range even more convenient by launching it in an 85g single pouch format. Coral Grace, Nestlé Senior Business Manager, told C&I that this is the first time shoppers can buy mainstream single serve wet cat food through the convenience channel and they’ve been launched in response to consumer demand. “Felix cat food is fast becoming Australia’s favourite wet cat pouch product and until now it could only be bought in a multi-pack format,” says Grace. “Until now you’ve not been able to buy a one-pack single serve format in the convenience channel for any wet cat food brand, so this will absolutely meet the needs of those shoppers that are looking for that impulse purchase on their favourite cat brand.” The Purina Felix As Good as it Looks singles range has launched in three flavours; Beef in Jelly, Tuna in Jelly and Chicken in Jelly, with the Chicken in Jelly variety being suitable for both cats and kittens. 40 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
“Pets are very sensitive and so they need to have the right brands and ingredients, so we’ve found that shoppers are very loyal to the brands that they know and trust,” says Grace. “What’s wonderful about Felix is the fact that the pouch format is becoming more and more popular. Once upon a time you could only buy wet cat food in a multi-serve tin, but we now know that cats have 12 times fewer taste buds than that of humans, so that’s why cats are not necessarily fussy but they do need variety. Now you will see on shelves that there are more single serve formats in multiple flavours and that’s why we are launching the Felix format in a singles variety in three different flavours. We also know that the pet population is growing and so we felt that it was important on launching these singles that we did have a kitten offer as well.” The Felix As Good as it Looks singles range has an RRP of $1.30 and offers a strong margin return for retailers. It’s available through Metcash and The Distributors. The launch will be supported on television for the next 12 months and the brand will also be pushed through the social space online. “What’s great about the Felix brand is that he’s a really cool, clever cat and the assets that we have are fantastic so we’re going to be driving them online.”
FASTEST GROWING MAINSTREAM WET CAT FOOD BRAND (30% MAT)
Source: Neilsen MAT to 01/11/2020.
Irresistibly Tasty CLEVER CATS KNOW FLAVOUR WHEN THEY SEE IT
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Chobani Oat Plain Barista Edition For the first time in Australia, Chobani has set its sights beyond the yoghurt category with the launch of Chobani Oat Barista Edition. Oat milk has taken the coffee world by storm, but for baristas it can come with its difficulties. With this in mind, Chobani set about creating an oat milk with all of the aspects needed to make a top-notch coffee, with a creamy texture, superior taste and amazing versatility. Chobani uses whole organic oats and crafts each batch individually for added richness and flavour. The result is not only a coffee that tastes amazing, but one that looks amazing too. Lyn Radford, Managing Director, Chobani Australia said: “We’ll never abandon our dairy roots – yoghurt is and always will be an important part of the Chobani story, but it’s only the first chapter. When we say better food for all people, that includes those looking for non-dairy options, and that’s exactly what Chobani Oat is all about. “People have great taste, they just need better options, and that’s exactly what we aim to deliver with Chobani Oat. Sure, Chobani Oat is plant-based and suitable for vegans, but most importantly, it’s delicious. “Chobani Oat has been specifically created with baristas in mind to deliver a rich, creamy and crave-worthy oat coffee every time.” Chobani Oat is currently exclusively available through the Foodservice channel. For all enquiries please contact email@example.com.
42 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Aerial breaks down barriers Aerial has launched a new digital strategy aimed at driving more consumers to the convenience channel to purchase its market leading eyewear. Creating category and product choice awareness, the strategy will raise the profile of Aerial’s extensive range of eyewear and make shoppers feel more comfortable with purchasing a fashion accessory via the convenience channel. Aerial has all convenience eyewear consumer requirements covered with an extensive range of styles in UV 400, polarised, safety, drivers and riders lens types. The eyewear is suitable for male and female consumers in a large age range from 16 to 80, covering the needs of every member of the family. Ryan Price, Channel Manager at Pacific Optics, says the brand continues to innovate to make sure that Aerial eyewear is always ahead of current trends. “Innovation is the key to success with the Aerial range updated constantly across the year with new on trend styles. “We take research from both overseas for upcoming trends and domestic popular styling; all this is executed by our award winning field team in every call. Our in-house product team travels far and wide to ensure our range is not only leading trends but is also built for purpose.” The digital strategy is targeted to bring new consumers into the convenience channel as the primary place of purchase for quality eyewear. “Being able to access practical but also on trend styles is instrumental to winning in the category,” says Price.
Using a mobile while driving: Walk n Talk put safety first There has been a large awakening in road safety and subsequently the associated fines for using a mobile phone while driving have increased as well. Walk n Talk has a range of products that are designed to fit a multitude of devices and make sure the driver is safe, can see their device as required but ultimately the device is secured during transit. The Walk n Talk cradles also offer multiple positions to mount, are flexible to different vehicle makes, and offer fast charge wireless With an evolving range of products to encourage safe behaviour, Walk n Talk has everything from cradles to headphones that will help reduce the risk of a fine. Ryan Price, Channel Manager at Pacific Optics, says that Walk n Talk will be supporting retail partners in the convenience channel with a digital campaign that will call out specific fines and demerit points in each state. The call out will encourage shoppers to stay safe and avoid the fine by purchasing a product at their local convenience store. “We are constantly innovating and scrutinising what is happening in the market and what consumers are asking for, and we try and focus on designs and products that deliver amazing and desired experiences. “Currently the fines by state are quite hefty (ranging from $250 to $1517) and we want road users safe and to avoid the fines. “We support our trade partners with digital campaigns that drive customers to store. We are launching new campaigns specific by state calling out the fines and safety messages to drive customers to store. We think this coupled with the desire of consumers will see new consumers shopping the offer in-store.”
December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 43
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UP&GO releases its first Dairy-Free solution Within two decades of its launch, UP&GO has gone from an emerging new player to arguably the biggest brand in the breakfast category – but until now it hasn’t offered a dairy-free solution. The launch of UP&GO Dairy Free comes at a time when Australians are increasingly looking for plant-based alternatives, and as such the brand engaged a passionate group of consumers to become the ‘Brains Trust’ in developing the NPD. Following months of discussions, 3,500 Brains Trust members were pivotal in the creation of UP&GO Dairy Free, providing input on everything from the variant name to the pack design and colour palette. Jaemes Tipple, Senior Brand Manager, Sanitarium said: “While it’s known that more and more Aussies are turning to dairy-free lifestyles either out of necessity or out of choice, our research brought to life some hard-hitting realities of what it means to be someone who follows a dairy-free lifestyle today. “With our new UP&GO Dairy Free, they don’t need to compromise; it contains all the goodness of original UP&GO and the same great taste.” UP&GO Dairy Free is available now in two flavours – Choc Ice and Vanilla Ice.
Nestlé introduces new Allen's re-brands Red Ripper and Cheekies Nestlé has confirmed the new names of its Allen’s Red Skins and Chicos, after announcing in June that they would be changed as they were “out of step with the company’s values”. The two Allen’s favourites will now be known as Red Ripper and Cheekies and they will appear on shelves in early 2021. Chris O’Donnell, General Manager Confectionery, said: “Nestlé has an unwavering commitment to upholding respect for our friends, neighbours and colleagues.” While the names are changing, Nestlé has assured fans the lollies themselves will remain unchanged. “We will keep pack changes simple to help lolly lovers find their favourites easily.” The rebrand is the latest in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter movement, which has highlighted racial inequalities and injustices, as well as commercial branding considered out of step with current sentiment. In October, Peters Ice Cream changed the name of its Eskimo Pie to Polar Pie, following criticism that the term ‘Eskimo’ was considered a racially offensive term for indigenous peoples of Alaska and Arctic regions. Before that, the Uncle Ben’s brand announced it would remove all imagery and be renamed Ben’s Original, following criticism it reinforced racial stereotypes. Earlier this year Saputo Dairy Australia also said it would be ‘retiring’ the branding of its Coon Cheese line.
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MILKLAB – designed by the industry, for the industry
MILKLAB is an Australian coLABoration between foodies, baristas and farmers to develop a range of barista milks that complement the intensity of espresso-based coffee and texture and stretch just like dairy milk. Designed and validated by the industry, for the industry with some of the world’s best coffee professionals including baristas, Q graders, coffee roasters, coffee quality technicians and café owners. Australia’s number one food service exclusive alternative milk-for-coffee brand, the MILKLAB range includes Almond, Soy, Coconut, Macadamia, Lactose Free and Dairy.
BARISTAS AND CONSUMERS LOVE MILKLAB BECAUSE IT:
• Complements the flavour of espresso coffee • Offers a rich and creamy mouthfeel • Textures and stretches like regular dairy milk, to produce the perfect pour • Is versatile for both hot and cold beverages • Is proudly Australian made and owned
MILKLAB is trusted by coffee professionals across Australia and around the world. It is distributed by Freedom Foods and available nationwide.
BelVita unveils two new healthy Australian-made breakfast snacks BelVita has added two new morning snack offerings to its portfolio, recognising that consumers are increasingly looking for healthier options. The two new products are Australian made Bakes and Coconut Bites. They have no artificial colours or flavours, and provide a source of fibre or prebiotic fibre. BelVita Bakes come in three flavour varieties, including Dark Choc, Fig & Pear, and Raspberry & Vanilla Bean. They are available in 180g multipacks and retail for $5.80. BelVita Coconut Bites are available in two flavours, Raspberry & Vanilla Bean and Dark Chocolate & Cranberry. They come in 90g packs and retail for $4.70. Constance Flegg, Senior Brand Manager, Mondelēz, says that Australian consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what they are consuming and are constantly seeking out new healthier alternatives. “Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of adults enjoy a morning snack. Australians also have high expectations of what they are consuming – they’re telling us it must be tasty and a better choice. “We’re thrilled to be expanding our range to include two ranges of delicious and wholesome snacks that cater to our increasingly busy lifestyles.” BelVita has also partnered with Spotify and three influencers, Pacha Light, Matty J and Liv Phyland, who have curated a series of exclusive Bright Morning playlists, to give consumers a morning mood lift. The new BelVita Bakes and Coconut Bites are available now through Coles and independent retailers.
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Soulfresh adds to plant portfolio with All Mighty Bruce Future M*lk Soulfresh has added to the Nutty Bruce range of plant milks with the launch of All Mighty Bruce Future M*lk, a “first of its kind” milk substitute made with wholegrain oats, peas and seaweed. Soulfresh Founder Didi Lo, says that while it sounds like a strange combination, they like to think of it as the future of milk. “Our team are always pushing boundaries and challenging the norm and All Mighty Bruce Future M*lk is the perfect example of this. We’re excited to bring the future of milk to the present and bring to life a milk that rivals all others on the market.” Nutritionist Rosie Mansfield, says the All Mighty Bruce Future M*lk has all of the same nutritional values as dairy milk. “Ticking all the boxes of what you like and need in a glass of the white stuff including protein, calcium and amino acids. Future M*lk is made from delicious real food ingredients that create a creamy alternative that is 100 per cent natural and safe for every single family member to enjoy.” One litre cartons of All Mighty Bruce Future M*lk are available in fridges for $5.50.
New Zealand's Tasti plant-based snacks have arrived in Australia New Zealand-owned snack food company Tasti has for the first time launched two new plant-based snacks in Australia. The two products – Fruit+Vege Wholefood Balls and Protein+ Bars cater to a growing number of Australians who are following a plant-based diet. According to Sports Dieticians Australia, that number has grown to 2.5 million Australians who are looking for new and easily accessible snacking options that cater to their plant-based lifestyle. The new Tasti products are backed by Australian nutritionist and wholefood cook, Jacqueline Alwill, who highlights the benefits they have to the Australian market. “There has been an incredible surge in the number of Aussies who are educating themselves, turning away from snacks loaded with highly refined sugars and diversifying their diet with more plant-based meals and snacks,” she said. Tasti’s plant-based approach places an emphasis on high quality ingredients including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds and nuts. While Protein+ is filled with plant protein, Fruit+Vege is Australia’s first ever apple-based bliss ball made from real fruit and vegetables that contains no added sugar. Tasti’s Fruit+Vege and Protein+ are available in-store now at Coles, Woolworths and independent grocers.
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Tru Blue Beverages leads functional category with Supa Essentials According to Euromonitor’s Passport Report on the Coronavirus Era (May 2020), functionality is a key driver in food and beverage consumption. In these uncertain times, consumers are looking to food and beverages to be their medicine. Functionality, whether it be in the form of unique ingredients or essential supplements can be more appealing to consumers especially if there is the promise of a product being better for you. Tru Blu Beverages has always been at the forefront of functional beverage development. Waterfords for example, which hit the market in the early 1980s, was the first low-joule flavoured sparkling mineral water to be launched in Australia. Tru Blu Beverages’ latest offering in the functional space is ‘Supa Essentials’ – a fruit juice made from all-natural ingredients and filled with essential ‘super goodness’. Each 350ml bottle contains the equivalent of at least 2.5 serves of fruit and 50 per cent of your daily requirement of vitamin C and 25 per cent of fibre. The benefits of vitamin C have been spruiked for years, but we are now getting a greater understanding regarding the benefits of fibre.
The fibre in Supa Essentials is derived from acacia, a natural plant-based source. Fibre feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut, which can assist in its overall health and wellbeing. As its name suggests, Supa Essentials is made from ‘super ingredients’ such as guava, lychee, cherry, blueberry and ginger. The result is a delicious range of flavours which include: Apple+, Orange+, Berry Oxidant and Mango Magic. And now, just in time for Christmas, Supa Essentials is launching two exciting new flavours – Carrot Detox and Rainforest Fruits. Carrot Detox contains the goodness of carrot, apple, pineapple and a zing of ginger. Rainforest Fruits is an exotic blend of apple, strawberry, guava and lychee. Both taste great and are even better for you. At a time when there’s little to celebrate, at least you can nourish your body as well as your taste buds with the essential goodness of Supa Essentials. To order Supa Essentials or for more information on any of Tru Blu Beverages’ products, please call (02) 9912 6700.
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The Alternative Dairy Co triples first quarter sales as plant-based soars The Alternative Dairy Co has tripled its first quarter sales fueled by a shift in consumer preference towards locally made products and a fast growing taste for plant-based milk. The Australian owned and made brand, which has the backing of Sanitarium Health Food Company, saw its sales triple in the first quarter of FY21 compared to the last quarter of FY20. The growth comes as consumers are broadening their horizons with plantbased milk varieties. In recent years, almond milk has overtaken soy as the most requested dairy alternative, and its growth is expected to continue. Oat milk has also been tipped as one to watch over the next five years. Steve Beams, General Manager – Sales at Sanitarium, says the reason people are increasingly turning to plant milks is two-fold. “People have long been attracted to the health benefits of plant milks, but a growing number of socially conscious consumers are now also seeking food and drinks with stronger sustainability credentials. “In coffee, the decision to switch from dairy to plant milk is now easy too, because it no longer represents a compromise on the coffee experience,” he says.
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Beams says that it is these reasons that give The Alternative Dairy Co a strong market advantage. “The Alternative Dairy Co sources Australian almonds from the Murray-Darling region. Our supplier Select Harvests is committed to sustainable agriculture and has implemented some innovative solutions at their orchards to minimise the use of water and energy and support bee health. All our oats are locally grown too. “Using Australian ingredients is a win-win because we’re getting the best quality raw ingredients while supporting Australian agriculture. Plus, we make all our milks on the New South Wales Central Coast. “What we have seen in the last few months is an increasing push in the marketplace for people wanting to support local – both in terms of the businesses in their neighbourhood, but also the products they sell. Our plant milks not only tick this box, but they’re as good as if not, better than – any other product on the market,” he said. Until recently, The Alternative Dairy Co’s primary focus has been on introducing baristas to their milks and building relationships at street-level between café owners and the brand’s field team. A nationwide distributor network has also been established.
Boost sales and reduce labour with AutoRoller AutoRoller is a gravity fed shelving system that will give your beverage fridges a lift and improve the overall look and performance of the category. It’s a simple add on to the existing shelving that works to always keep product at the shelf edge, which will save retailers on labour by eliminating the need for staff to be working the shelves and bringing stock forward. This also improves the return on investment in the beverage category, as we know that having product at the front of shelf is a key driver of consumer purchasing. The AutoRoller system is suitable for rear loaded cool rooms and front loaded fridges. It’s durable and easily maintained and is a great merchandising system designed to support efficient retailing. Systems like AutoRoller have become standard across Europe but are yet to be adopted en masse across the petrol and convenience sector in Australia. But as labour costs rise and retailers are becoming more interested in finding solutions to automate their retailing operations, the AutoRoller is a simple system that ticks all of the boxes. The AutoRoller provides retailers with proven sales growth. Installations to date have proven that AutoRoller can lead to a sales increase of up to 11 per cent (store level surveys). This is achieved by having beverages clearly visible and ready for sale, making selection for customers that much easier, with minimal effort required from the retailer. The gravity fed loading and dispensing shelving system helps to improve operating efficiency for retailers. It does this by reducing the amount
of work involved in manually bringing stock forward. The time saved is invaluable and frees up staff to focus on the more important tasks of providing excellent customer service. AutoRoller is suitable for a range of different shelf sizes. To order contact Louis George at Retail Works Unlimited on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0425 467 774.
AutoRoller Give your beverage category a lift with AutoRoller – a gravity fed shelving kit that will improve the overall look and performance of the category. A simple add on to the existing shelving that always keeps product at the shelf edge eliminating the need for staff to constantly work the shelves and bring the stock forward.
Sturdy aluminium construction for greater durability
Suitable for rear loaded cool rooms and frontloaded fridges. Durable and easily maintained, AutoRoller is a great merchandising system designed to support efficient retailing.
Suitable for a wide range of shelf sizes
AutoRoller is a system that will freshen up your beverage category delivering you a strong return on investment.
INSTALLATION E E FR for orders placed
PROVEN SALES GROWTH Installations to date have proven that AutoRoller can lead to a sales increase of 8-11% (store level surveys). This is always achieved by having product clearly visible and ready for sale making selection for your customer that much easier.
before the end January 2021
LAYOUT FLEXIBILITY With adjustable dividers and multiple placement slots you can alter the layout with a minimum of fuss making plan o gram changes a much simpler task for staff and vendors. IMPROVED OPERATING EFFICIENCY With gravity fed loading and dispensing, AutoRoller reduces work involved in manually bringing stock forward. The time saved is invaluable and freeing up staff to focus on the more important tasks of providing excellent customer service.
TO ORDER CONTACT: DIY installation – simply place on your existing shelving
Louis +61 425 467 774 email@example.com
DARREN PARK CEO United Convenience Buyers
We say people are our greatest asset – and they are.”
OUR INDUSTRY IS ABOUT PEOPLE
– Darren Park
Our industry is such a success because of its great people, and hopefully it won’t be long until we can all be face to face once again
y past few opinion pieces have been about our industry and more specifically the health of our industry. In this opinion piece I want to share my thoughts about what really makes our industry the success it is, and that’s our people. And the often discussed rush to working away from the office might not be the best solution for them or for our industry. Personally, I consider many of my colleagues, trade partners (and yes even some competitors) as friends. And for many trade partners this year, isolated work environments have made it harder to make strong impressions on customers and colleagues. Important human connections such as trust, empathy, humour, compassion and friendship are all built through shared experience and getting to know each other better or to connect regularly ultimately helps us work better together too. I read that Zoom or Teams will replace face to face, but not in my world it won’t. I hear so many people singing the praises of remote work, but they are significantly underestimating the opportunities that working directly with colleagues and others can deliver. As well as building relationships, people learn from shared experiences. It’s hard to do that over Teams. We are missing those hallway moments where you grab a coffee with a colleague and slip into a problem solving session or share your frustrations on a project not working the way you want it to. We miss out on those flashes of brilliance in a meeting that leads you to a great new idea. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want more meetings). We say people are our greatest asset – and they are. I’ve heard working from home stories about how longer work hours have started blurring the lines between work and home. I’ve also heard from some that there is a struggle to distinguish weekends from weekdays, when your home is also your workplace, with no real regular person to person contact.
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When we pursue offsite, working from home or online workplaces, how are we capturing the energy and commitment of those colleagues and trade partners that invest extra time, going beyond expectations to get the job done? How do we watch our people (and intervene when sensible) as they overcome obstacles? How do we see grit, determination and nuanced behaviours? When a team is getting the job done, how do you understand who is digging in and who among them are just going through the motions? Will we be making the right choices when reviewing performance, talking about capability development and career progression? What happens if many of our colleagues are unknowingly (or obviously) struggling with dealing, communicating and showing their work via the online environment? I don’t wish to be perceived as a caveman on this issue. I do see some real benefits being generated for example; many of the technological barriers that may have inhibited the adoption of more flexible working environments are being torn up and thrown away. This is a good thing. I have no doubt that for many the working from home novelty has worn off. I also believe though that in the main an office environment lends the perfect set up for colleagues and trade partners to work together, brainstorm, ideate and share information with each other more effortlessly. While working from home can be a desirable option from time to time, it cannot 100 per cent replace working face to face with colleagues, trade partners and customers. We miss seeing our trade partner friends and family. We want you back, healthy and happy, energised and face to face. Until next time, Darren Park C&I
Guava - Passion Fruit, Zero Calories Natural caffeine . No taurine . No preservatives Lactose free . Vegan
HIGH MAGNESIUM HIGH VITAMIN C LOW SUGAR LEMONADE
NZACS AWARDS 2020 All of the winners from the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores night of nights
he New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) Supplier Awards and the Peter Jowett Award for young industry leaders were presented on 27 October at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland.
More than 90 industry members were in attendance, including the teams from Bluebird, Coca-Cola Amatil, British American Tobacco (BAT), Frucor Suntory, and Tip Top. After the official welcome and a brief AGM, NZACS Executive Director Dave Hooker introduced four Peter Jowett scholarship finalists who presented on the topic: “In a world where fuel prices are on the rise, the cost of living is increasing, the call to look after our natural environment is getting louder, the biggest dollar sales c-store category (tobacco) is decreasing in sales, what does the c-store industry need to do – other than food-to-go and coffee – to have a sustainable future in New Zealand?”
THE PETER JOWETT SCHOLARSHIP Rowan Lowe, a 23-year-old Trade Marketing Representative from BAT suggested a new revenue stream, with an easily identifiable area in-store that allows consumers to browse sustainable local products.
Only one vote from each company could be submitted and at the end of the evening the runner up and winner were announced. In past years, the winner and runner up have won a trip to the annual NACS show, which rotates from Las Vegas, Chicago and Atlanta. This is an enormous trade show with more than 25,000 attendees each year. Dave Hooker explains: “The experience for young people of the convenience industry is often a sensory overload – at one of the biggest trade shows in the USA. It showcases new products to the market, equipment for c-stores and has education sessions and guest speakers daily. “Our winners can attend any session they wish and typically see world class speakers within the industry. There are cocktail events and international get togethers to meet industry members. “However, this year it has been very different. COVID has seen the cancellation of NACS and travel to the USA. So, our association had to adjust our winners’ prizes to $4,000 personal travel and professional development grants for both the winner and runner-up.”
Lowe was awarded the Peter Jowett Scholarship for her ECOCERY concept, which would offer a product range that is ethical and sustainable, made locally and is environmentally friendly with recyclable packaging. Runner-up was Tom Daglish from Frucor, who identified a gap in c-stores for a Health and Wellness offer. Daglish suggested charging stations for hybrid and e-vehicles, combined with a gym on the top floor of the store – a multipurpose ‘Power Hub’. NZACS has been running the Peter Jowett Scholarship competition annually for more than 10 years.
L-R from Tip Top Ice Cream Company Ltd Deborah Fahey, Aaron Wilson, Peter Glass, Tracey Fookes, Mel McKenzie, Aaron Wilson
Mike Luck (L) accepts the Best Regional Retail Group for Store Compliance Award for Nelson Petroleum from Dave Hooker
It is designed for up and coming young people within the convenience industry under the age of 35 to showcase their ideas in front of an audience and be judged. The topic can change from year to year and it’s designed to encourage new and trendsetting ideas to bring to market. The judging this year was on the following criteria: • Addresses the question • Innovative thinking • Could be implemented • Quality of presentation 54 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Rowan Lowe accepts the Peter Jowett Scholarship from Dave Hooker
The British American Tobacco team (L-R) Adam Brill, Nicola Cook, Ash Dearmer
Supplier Awards Networking drinks at the Cordis Hotel
Suppliers from all over New Zealand attended the NZACS Awards dinner, where they were celebrated for their outstanding achievements. The following awards were presented by Dave Hooker and MC Nick Rado:
BEST SERVICE TO C-STORES
We would like to thank all our finalists this year and we look forward to next year’s event” - Dave Hooker
Winner: Coca-Cola Amatil
CHILLED / FROZEN CATEGORY Winner: Tip Top
BEST ADMIN SUPPORT Winner: Bluebird
BEST DELIVERY SERVICE TO STORES Supreme Award winners Coca-Cola Amatil
Winner: Coca-Cola Amatil
BEST STOCK SUPPLY TO STORES Winner: British American Tobacco
BEST HEAD OFFICE SERVICE AND SUPPORT Winner: Coca-Cola Amatil
BEST HEAD OFFICE SERVICE AND SUPPORT FOR A MEDIUM SUPPLIER Winner: Signature Marketing L-R from Coca-Cola Amatil Dean Wallace, Bevan Woodgate, Carl Bringans, Steve Fielder, Jenn Allan, Drew Adams, Ella Johnston
With regards to the scholarship presentations, Hooker says: “We understand and appreciate the significant work, effort and time that goes into producing a presentation of this standard and it requires support from competing companies staff and management. “Once all the research and presentations are compiled, they then practice for weeks and often months to deliver a confident and thought-provoking presentation. This year our four finalists from a larger group of entrants were facing lengthy delays due to COVID and Level restrictions and our date was moved several times. This just adds another level of complexity that they all had to manage.
BEST NATIONAL RETAIL BRAND STORE COMPLIANCE Winner: Z Energy
BEST REGIONAL BRAND STORE COMPLIANCE Winner: Nelson Petroleum
BEST NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH 2019 Winner: A tie between Tip Top Ice Cream Company for Goody Goody Gum Drops and Frucor for Boss Coffee
SUPREME SUPPLIER AWARD Winner: Coca-Cola Amatil
“The day of the event is challenging for each person who has to deliver a confident presentation to 70-plus judges in 10 minutes. “It’s a great opportunity for young people in our industry to get front and centre and showcase their ideas and ability to a wide audience of convenience retailers and suppliers.” Hooker adds: “NZACS is proud to offer this opportunity to young members of our association and we see from past results that our entrants move quickly into or onto more challenging roles. We also enjoy the fact that it encourages new ideas and enthusiasm within our industry. We also welcome family, friends and colleagues to attend the evening to support and encourage contestants. “We would like to thank all our finalists this year and we look forward to next year’s event.” C&I
Carl Bringans accepts one of the many awards for Coca-Cola Amatil from NZACS Executive Director, Dave Hooker
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Freedom Foods looks towards a future of sustainable and profitable growth The full scale of Freedom Foods’ accounting scandal has been revealed in its full year results, with the business reporting a blowout of around $590 million in write-downs. To recoup losses and recapitalise the business, Freedom Foods will need to raise $280 million and is currently in talks with a new investor to support the capital raising. The fallout of the scandal has already seen former CEO Rory McLeod and former CFO Campbell Nicholas forced to step down. Now, Non-Executive Chairman Perry Gunner and Non-Executive Director Trevor Allen, who is also Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, have both indicated that they will retire from the Board at the time of the AGM on 29 January. Freedom Foods Group Interim CEO, Michael Perich, said the results are “deeply disappointing” for the group, its people and shareholders. “The results reflect the significant costs of past accounting and operational matters – matters we have identified with the assistance of independent experts and are taking steps to remedy. “The new executive team, with the support of the Board, is transforming Freedom Foods Group. “We have implemented a clear focus on operational accountability, improved cashflow reporting, reduced outstanding payables and improved customer and supplier terms. We have reviewed and improved many of the governance frameworks and policies, undertaken a culture review and improved engagement with employees. “Operationally, we are reviewing the economics of every product line, every site, every sales channel and every market segment to ensure we are focused on those brands with the greatest potential to deliver profitable sales. Perich said that the company would be undertaking a strategic product review that will see underperforming products offloaded. “Freedom Foods needs to become a simpler business – and that includes identifying parts of our business that may perform better under different ownership.” “We are confident the difficult decisions we have taken today – and further decisions to be made in coming months – will lay the foundations for a simplified but strengthened Freedom Foods Group with enormous growth potential in its key markets of Dairy and Nutritionals and Plant-Based Beverages. 56 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
“With the right capital structure, culture, people, systems and discipline across all components of the business – from manufacturing to marketing – we remain confident we can reclaim our standing as one of Australia’s most successful food and beverages businesses.” The beleaguered company behind brands such as MilkLab and Messy Monkeys, reported a net loss of $174.5 million for FY20. Net sales increased 26 per cent to $580.2 million, with domestic sales up 25 per cent to $470.2 million and export sales up 29 per cent to $109.8 million. EBITDA losses decreased slightly to $86.5 million from $88 million in FY19. “Despite the significant challenges of the past year and the impact of COVID-19, particularly on out-of-home sales, the potential of Freedom Foods Group can be seen in the sales growth in key segments delivered over the full year,” says Perich. “We are tapped into rapidly growing markets that provide strong tailwinds for Freedom Foods Group. These include the rise in demand for plant-based beverages and the growing recognition of the health benefits of lactoferrin. “We anticipate continued sales growth in Dairy and Nutritionals and Plantbased Beverages in FY21, with increased penetration of MilkLab in the outof-home market, growth of Vital Strength and other nutritionals brands and increasing inroads in Asian export markets. “We are committed to restoring the Group to sustainable and long-term profitable growth.”
Key impacts include: • $372.8 million from a reduction in asset values reflecting changes to accounting policies and practices related to the capitalisation of capital works costs; • $75.9 million in write-downs of goodwill and brands; • $60.1 million in write-downs of out-of-date, unsaleable and obsolete inventory; and • $38.9 million from a reduction in the value of capitalised new product costs reflecting changes to accounting policies and practices.
Bega acquires Lion Dairy & Drinks business for $560m Kirin Holdings and Lion have confirmed an agreement to sell the Dairy & Drinks business to Bega Cheese for $560 million. The sale is just shy of the $600m that was initially on the table from Chinese-owned Mengniu Dairy, in a deal that was announced last year but ultimately fell through. Lion’s decision to offload Dairy & Drinks is a part of its wider strategy to increase the focus in its adult drinks division. The sale is unconditional; including no further regulatory approvals required and is expected to be complete in early 2021. It includes all the white milk, milk-based beverages (MBB), yoghurt, juice and water ice brands and assets.
It also includes the Lion Dairy & Drinks International business, and Dairy & Drinks’ share of the joint ventures Vitasoy Australia Products (Vitasoy) and Capitol Chilled Foods Australia (CCFA), as well as its minority shareholding in Made by Cow. And it includes Dairy & Drinks’ licensing agreement for the Yoplait brand. Once completed, this sale, together with the sale of the specialty cheese business to Saputo Dairy Australia for A$280 million (finalised in October 2019), will represent a full divestment of the Dairy & Drinks business. Lion CEO Stuart Irvine said: “The sale will see Bega, well placed to drive the business forward given its deep dairy capabilities and strong commitment to iconic Australian brands and the local dairy industry.”
Ampol Woolworths Metro opens at Dee Why in Sydney Two iconic Australian brands have come together for the very first time with the opening of the first Ampol Woolworths Metro site. The opening in Dee Why, NSW is a milestone as it marks the return of the Ampol brand to Sydney’s northern beaches for the first time in 25 years. Ampol Woolworths Metro brings together the best of each brand’s offering – “high quality fuel, great customer service and fresh food”. Two Woolworths Metro pilot sites were opened in 2019 under Ampol’s former brand, Caltex. The past year has been spent studying their performance and fine-tuning the format with a focus on tailoring the offering to location and customer segments. Martine Cooper, General Manager, Merchandising and Supply Chain, said that the Dee Why site launch has been a great success. “The new store showcases everything you’d expect from an Ampol store and from a Woolworths Metro store, setting a new standard of service, product quality and range. “The site brings the Dee Why community and its visitors a localised, convenient and affordable offering where customers can get access to our
new Amplify premium fuels, as well as fresh food-for-now, food-for-later and even hats and thongs for the beach,” Cooper said. The launch forms part of the company’s revitalisation of the iconic Australian Ampol brand. Dee Why is one of the first sites in Australia to showcase the new brand, with the remaining 1,900 to be transitioned over the next two years.
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ALCOHOL IN CONVENIENCE STORES: RESTARTING THE CONVERSATION BP at Botany has installed a ‘zero alcohol zone’ in its retail outlet, as a first step towards restarting the conversation around convenience stores selling alcohol
The idea of doing the zero alcohol zone is that we can test and see if it will get some traction, and get some media. Then we can look to the next step... ” - Ben Dunn
at Botany has installed a ‘zero alcohol zone’ in its retail outlet, as a first step in what Managing Director Ben Dunn hopes will re-start the conversation around convenience stores selling alcohol. According to Dunn, who is MD of The Dunn Group and owner of BP Botany and several other petrol stations across Sydney and the nearby Blue Mountains, cigarette sales used to make up 35 per cent of total shop sales for some retailers. And while there is no disputing that Australia’s goal of becoming a smoke-free nation is an admirable cause, these convenience retailers are business people and need to find a way to fill that significant gap in their declining sales and profit margins. The conversation around selling alcohol in convenience stores has been ongoing for many years, and as recently as August this year, Jeff Rogut the CEO of Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), had restarted the conversation. “Convenience store operators are proven responsible retailers. We sell age-restricted products such as tobacco and lottery tickets and, with the appropriate training in place, we can safely and responsibly sell packaged alcohol too, as convenience stores around the world do,” said Rogut at the time. “We do not propose to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, and would instead observe the trading hours that other retailers in local areas follow. Our staff would be fully trained in accordance with the responsible service of alcohol. We have
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offered to make separate areas in our stores available for alcohol purchases,” he continued. Convenience stores and petrol stations already operate with compliance in the sale of cigarettes and with lottery. And Dunn says that his staff will also be conducting compulsory ID checks for anybody who looks under the age of 25 when it comes to the zero alcohol products he is selling. Dunn’s zero alcohol zones include Heineken Zero, Carlton Zero and five lines of McGuigan Zero Alcohol wines. The ultimate goal with regards to alcoholic drinks isn’t to sell spirits or cases of beer, just single bottles and four or sixpacks that a customer can conveniently grab when they’d otherwise be stopping just to grab petrol or bread and milk on the way home. ”It’s just about convenience and being in the right place at the right time,” says Dunn. “The government needs to step in and help convenience retailers when cigarette sales used to make up 35 per cent of their business. As that number declines, we need a new category that we can put in to fill that void. It needs to be the same as the rest of the world, and that is packaged alcohol,” he says. “The idea of doing the zero alcohol zone is that we can test and see if it will get some traction, and get some media. Then we can look to the next step, and the next step is that the big oil companies, like 7-Eleven, BP and Ampol can say, ‘you know what, it is time. Because we do it in Europe, why aren’t we doing it here?’ We’ve all been too scared to touch it. Now is the time we should be doing it.” C&I
Save The Dates Association Partner
Reconnect - Renew - Rebuild
8 - 9 SEPTEMBER 2021 Convenience & Impulse New Zealand Expo 2021 The Cloud, Auckland
The Convenience & Impulse New Zealand Expo brings together New Zealand convenience retailers and suppliers from all banners and brands to gather for two days of education, networking and business building.
For more information visit www.candiexpo.co.nz
PETROL NEWS ROUNDUP Just before Christmas last year, US Oil company Chevron terminated its licensing agreement with Caltex, rendering them unable to continue under the Caltex name. Because of this, they began the expensive process of rebranding as Ampol, a change which was effective for all service stations branded as Caltex.
DAN ARMES Founder of ServoPro
Like it or not, your petrol station is often only as successful as its branding..” – Dan Armes
GOOD BRANDING IS GOOD BUSINESS A
How brand recognition spells success for petrol stations, and what options exist?
ll successful businesses understand that branding is important. Your brand is what customers envision when they think of your business. It’s your calling card, so to speak, and the basis for most of your public perception or how you are thought of and conceptualised by your consumer base. Good branding is why massive businesses are household names, and is key to a small business’ ability to stake a successful foothold in the market. The importance of branding is true for petrol stations as well, though the conversation takes a unique turn when it comes to deciding exactly how to brand your petrol station. Unlike other businesses, petrol stations have the option to pair with big corporations such as Ampol, BP or Shell to brand their business, or try to carve out their own space in the market. Both options offer differing points of appeal, but before you make your decision, it’s important to understand exactly why branding, and brand recognition, is so crucial to success. 60 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Like it or not, your petrol station is often only as successful as its branding. A good brand equates to a good reputation, sets you apart from competition, and makes you memorable to your customer base. People want to visit places that they recognise, where they have a pretty good idea of what to expect in their visit. An effective brand guarantees that both of those things ring true for your customer base. Essentially, good branding directly results in brand recognition. But why exactly does brand recognition matter so much? And why should you be concerned with it as the owner of a petrol station? The answer is simple. As mentioned, people want to visit places that they recognise and are comfortable with. This is because brand recognition generates brand trust. Brand trust is what customers rely on when making choices about purchases, including where to refuel. Given an option between a petrol station with a brand they’ve never heard of and one with a name they’ve been hearing their entire life, customers are
PETROL NEWS far more likely to pull into the petrol station with which they have established brand trust. A quick look into the logistics of the rebranding of some of Australia’s largest fuel sellers reveals that this concept, brand trust, remains crucial even when major rebranding changes are made. In 2018, Woolworths sold its 540 service station locations to EG for $1.72 billion. This marked a huge change for customer bases who may have been loyally visiting Woolworths service stations for perks and aspects they closely associated with the Woolworths brand. Customers refueling at a Woolworths petrol station knew that the brand offered Woolworths Rewards points to be earned at the pump, as well as a 4¢ a litre fuel discount. These perks were part of the Woolworths service station brand. To make sure that they maintained brand trust, EG allowed for Woolworths to negotiate these perks into their sale, retaining what makes them attractive to customers who will now attribute these same service station benefits with the new EG branding. The message this sends is clear: even when you are at the top, maintaining consistent and clear branding is imperative to continued success and the trust of your customers. Keeping in mind the importance of brand trust and recognition, it’s unsurprising that the decision of how to brand your petrol station can easily become your top priority. Currently, two options are available for petrol station owners: partner with a larger fuel corporation, or carve yourself a place in the competitive market through commitment and hard work. The first option is attractive to many petrol station operators, and for good reason. When you pair with a massive cooperation such as BP, most of the legwork in developing your own brand is done. A name like BP is instantly recognisable to almost every prospective customer, associating your business with this kind of trustworthy reputation is instant where an independent brand may take years to establish. Most of the marketing for your petrol station has already been done, and this partnership gives you access to widespread marketing and advertising campaigns that would otherwise be financially difficult for independent owners. Additionally, you are protected should fuel shortages arise. Of course, this partnership isn’t always perfect. Big branded petrol retailers will charge more for their product to cover this inherent big budget marketing which results in their notoriety. You also lose the chance to mold your service station to your own specifications. There is less room to be creative with your brand, and you automatically adopt whatever brand recognition, trust, and reputation is already associated with your partner. You also are more or less at the mercy of branding changes made by your partner. For example, just before Christmas last year, US Oil company Chevron terminated its licensing agreement with Caltex, rendering them unable to continue under the Caltex name. Because of this, they began the expensive process of rebranding as Ampol, a change which was effective for all service stations branded as Caltex. These kinds of major branding changes are never completely out of the question, and choosing to partner with big brands means you agree to go along with them. Through our ServoPro membership I work with many Caltex distributors who have spent most of 2020
rebranding their entire business. This has been an enormous task and they have had to do this to comply with decisions made not by them but by larger corporations. For some operators, this loss of brand autonomy is enough incentive to try and carve a place in the market themselves. The ability to build your brand from the ground up, choose what you’d like to be known for, and develop a uniquely loyal customer base are all exciting perks of creating your own brand. Of course, this process is hard work and is often more challenging than a partnership but can be hugely rewarding when done successfully. If you intend on using your own brand at your petrol station, it’s important to understand how to brand yourself successfully. Identify your voice as a business, understand what key messages you want your customers to retain from their experience at your petrol station, and make sure they are emphasised. If you want to be associated with exemplary customer service, make sure your employees are trained and have all the tools necessary to excel in the work environment you’ve created. If you have unique ideas for promotions, or plan to carry products that will separate you from the competition, find a way to work this messaging into your branding. In the era of social media, small businesses can have broader reach than ever before, even without the massive funding available to bigger businesses. From Facebook to Instagram, generating a reliable social media presence can bring A name like BP is instantly awareness to your brand not recognisable to almost every prospective customer, just in your local community, associating your business but outside of your immediate with this kind of trustworthy reputation is instant where an area as well. This broader reach independent brand may take will establish brand recognition years to establish. outside of your immediate locale and bring people to your petrol station over your competition. Deciding to operate independently can be an exciting challenge, but it is a challenge nonetheless. Given the opportunity to build your own brand, it is crucial that you take the chance and really run with it. A well developed brand will be the difference between success and failure in a market that is saturated so heavily by big names. At the end of the day, whether you decide to partner with another company or use your own ideas, your service station will likely only be as successful as the brand it is built upon. Successful branding builds brand recognition. This brand recognition means brand trust, and brand trust translates to a loyal customer base. If you’re going to succeed in this market, that’s exactly what you need. C&I
Brand trust is what customers rely on when making choices about purchases, including where to refuel.” – Dan Armes
December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 61
RETAILERS SEE MORE TO DEMAND Service station owners have been feeling the effects of change brought on from a decline in fuel volumes since well before COVID hit
W NIC MOULIS Director, Customer Relationship Data
There is a long way to go before we recover fully.” – By Nic Moulis
hen it comes to retail fuel volumes in the last year there has been pain and gain for petrol convenience retailers depending on where they operate. However, there is one outcome that is common to all, things are not the same. Of course, COVID-19 has affected the outcomes for service station owners since March 2020. Though, if we look further back to October last year, we can see that certain states and cities were feeling the effects of change brought on by a decline in economic activity and not the pandemic. Fuel sales data supplied from Oil Price Information Services (OPIS) by IHS Markit for October 2019 to March 2020, when COVID lockdowns began, shows Western Australia and the Northern Territory were already seeing declines in fuel volumes due to decreased economic activity. By 1 March 2020, WA using October 2019 as the benchmark period, was 17.6 per cent down in volumes. For the same period, the NT was tracking at one per cent down. The other states were seeing growing fuel volumes, South Australia topped the charts with seven per cent growth, and Tasmania was up 5.3 per cent, Queensland 4.9 per cent and the ACT up 4.6 per cent. Australia’s two biggest economies New South Wales and Victoria had slight growth with each up by 0.6 per cent. Looking deeper into the WA numbers from OPIS, we can see that it was regional WA that was feeling the hit from subdued economic activity. Fuel volumes outside the greater metropolitan areas of Perth were down 29 per cent to 1 March. Perth itself was down 9.3 per cent during this time. At the other end of the scale, Adelaide was booming with 10.4 per cent growth in volumes. However, the SA regions, like WA, were feeling the pinch with sales down 1.7 per cent. Two other data points of note through this period was the performance of regional Victoria, up 1.3 per cent and regional Queensland, with growth of 3.8 per cent. This would highlight the positive nature of the growing regional cities in these states.
62 December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
How things have changed since then. The first national lockdown has been well documented as to its effect on the fuel economy. The key for the petrol convenience sector was that we were all in this together. The final days of the first lockdown were in the week of 12 April 2020. This was when fuel volumes across the states were between 30 to 40 per cent down. Tasmania had the deepest fall at 40.5 per cent. The NT the smallest fall, at what was still an eye watering 29 per cent down on October 2019 volumes. Australia’s second wave of COVID-19 put paid to that notion of togetherness. Undoubtedly, Victoria has been the hardest hit state. By the end of September 2020, Victorian had fuel sales were down 31.8 per cent on the same time last year. Digging deeper it can be seen that Melbourne service station operators have suffered the hardest. Their fall in volume at the deepest point of the Stage Four lockdown was down 43.4 per cent, while coming into October 2020 at a slightly better 36.5 per cent down. Regional Victoria has performed slightly better at 19.9 per cent down as October started. Remember WA and how it was the worst performing state prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic? As one of the first states to provide free movement to citizens, WA has shown strong growth in retail demand for fuel. Perth was up 1.4 per cent on October 2019 by the start of October 2020. However, the most stunning recovery was in regional WA where fuel demand was up 16.3 per cent on 2019 numbers. The city to perform best is Darwin. As October came to an end the Northern Territory capital was up 5.2 per cent. Of the regions, QLD continues to perform. Excluding Brisbane, regional QLD is up 1.9 per cent. Outside that bright light, many regional areas across all states are still down on volume. SA is down 4.3 per cent, NSW 4.9 per cent and TAS 14.7 per cent. This would indicate that cross border restrictions are biting hard, especially on the tourist volumes. In all, retail fuel demand across Australia is down 10.4 per cent on 2019, suggesting there is a long way to go before we recover fully. C&I
Australian motorists shun biofuels against global trend Australian motorists are continuing to shun biofuels against global trends, as local supply tightens and growth incentives fall short. Pre-COVID, Australia’s little changed biofuel production was at odds with the growing overseas experience where biofuel production (more so biodiesel) continued to increase in 2019, year on year. The latest findings from APAC Biofuel Consultants, a joint venture between EnergyQuest and Ecco Consulting, have found that the industry is at a point where it needs to “regroup and replace current policies with new initiatives delivering a biofuel future for Australia”. APAC found that while COVID impacts contributed to an easing in biofuel use, and all fuels generally, the drop in motorists’ buying confidence was underpinned in the main by continuing consumer aversion to ethanol blended fuel – also called E10 – a blend of 10 per cent ethanol with 90 per cent petrol. Queensland and NSW are the only states that have ethanol and biodiesel mandates, and they command about 85 per cent of the national E10 market. In both cases, motorists have a choice of fuel grades. Ethanol sales in NSW over the past few years have been around 2.6 per cent of its total petrol market, failing to reach its six per cent mandated target.
Queensland has also fallen short of its four per cent target, set in 2018. In 2019, ethanol sales sat between 2.5 to three per cent in the state. Exacerbating the domestic biofuel challenge mid this year was the closure of United Petroleum’s Dalby Bio-Refinery in Queensland, dealing a major blow to the country’s ethanol industry and regional development, despite considerable government assistance to stay open. This left national ethanol production capacity relying on two refinery sites – the same scenario as far back as 2008, albeit now each with higher capacities. The latest report did note, however, that biodiesel supply and demand picked up a little in 2019-20 following the recommissioning of Australia’s largest biodiesel plant in mid 2019. Overall, Australian biofuel (fuel ethanol and biodiesel) demand declined 3.8 per cent in 2019-20 year on year, to 249 Megalitres (ML), representing only about 0.4 per cent (by volume) of Australia’s transport liquid and gaseous fuel consumption. The 2020 statutory review of each the NSW and Queensland biofuel mandates acknowledged that both had failed to meet targets for ethanol and biodiesel and yet no major change has been recommended for either mandate.
BP Australia to cease production at Kwinana Refinery in Western Australia BP Australia announced it would cease fuel production at its Kwinana Refinery and convert it to an import terminal – a move that will come with the loss of hundreds of jobs. The refinery currently employs around 650 people – 400 permanent staff and 250 contractors. Once converted, the new import terminal is expected to support only 60 jobs. The Kwinana Refinery, near Fremantle, has provided fuels in Western Australia for 65 years. However, the continued growth of large-scale exportoriented refineries throughout Asia and the Middle East has structurally changed the Australian market and made it economically unviable to continue operating. Over the next six months refining operations will wind down and construction of the new terminal will commence, with expected completion in 2022. In addition to investing in an import terminal at Kwinana, BP is also exploring future options for the site including a potential clean energy hub to harness the existing and emerging technologies required for the decarbonisation of the Western Australian economy. In August, BP announced it had been hit with a $16.8 billion quarterly loss as it grappled with the fallout from COVID-19.
The drop is in contrast to the company’s $1.8 billion profit for the quarter in 2019 and reflects just how hard the global pandemic has hit fuel.
December 2020 /January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 63
Petroleum equipment and services
Gallagher Fuel Systems
Gascorp Pty Ltd – Budget Petrol
Gallagher Fuel Systems is a designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality fuel dispensing systems. The innovative PULSE fuel dispenser range combines advanced electronics, corrosion resistant metal work, the highly accurate Tatsuno meter and a modular design. All Gallagher PULSE dispensers are internet capable. With the Data Centre application, each dispenser's performance can become visible, via any internet enabled device. This powerful tool with its automated configurations and tools can fix issues remotely and reduce site visits. It brings pro-active servicing to the industry and significantly reduces overall servicing costs. Gallagher Vapour Recovery solutions fully comply with environmental regulations, provide comprehensive compliance reporting and reduce forecourt pollution, creating a healthier working environment and community. Gallagher’s latest edition to the PULSE range are the 5 product dispensers. The pressure only model offers one of the smallest footprints at only 2100mm. Mixed pressure and suction models are available with integrated LPG as an option.
Budget Petrol, established in 1985 is one of the oldest and largest groups of independent service stations in NSW, with over 60 locations in the Sydney Metropolitan area. Our Retail stores strive to provide our customers with Quality Fuel at Budget Prices. Our Wholesale arm – Gascorp Pty Ltd offers independent operators a business model which enables them to run their own business without interference, while utilising the backing of a competitive, professional and reliable brand. We offer competitive Mobil supplied fuel prices, Valvoline Oil, LPG Supply, In Store Programs, ATMs, Banking Partners and Environmental Regulation Support. We also operate our own fuel transport company which allows us to offer the highest levels of service for fuel deliveries and logistics. We can help independents looking to: • Lease their property to a reputable company • Sell their property freehold • Reimage and brand their site • Change fuel supplier and retain their independent brand
Contact: Derek Hjelm, Business Development Manager Australia Phone: 0424 164 814 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.gallagher.com
Contact: Diann Melas Phone: (02) 9564 2355 Email: email@example.com Web: budgetpetrol.com.au
Shipman King Pty Ltd
Shipman King Pty Ltd is an Australian designer, manufacturer and distributor of equipment for the service station forecourt industry. Under their ESKAY brand, Shipman King’s long history has enabled the company to become a major supplier of this equipment throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. With an extensive product range and ability to service the whole of Australia, Shipman King is truly your one stop shop. Australian owned, Shipman King’s product range includes: • Fill Adaptors and Caps, Dip • Monitoring Wells and Ground Boxes Cap Assemblies • Durapipe PLX Polyethylene • Upflow Vents, Pressure Piping System Vacuum Vents • Underpump Containment Sumps • Dip and Fill Product Markers and Browning Spill Safe Boxes • Vapour Recover Equipment, Stage • Adblue Equipment 1 and 2 • Sloan-LED Canopy Lights • Overfill Prevention Valves • Cim-Tek Spin-On Filters complete with aluminium tube • Husky Fuelling Products ready for retro fitting • Aboveground Tank Equipment For their complete product range, please visit Shipman King’s website.
Elgas SWAP’n’GO® is the leading BBQ gas exchange program brand in Australia. The program offers your business the opportunity to increase sales and profits with a very well-known and respected brand. SWAP’n’GO® also provides your customers with fast, safe and easy transactions. Out-of-date bottles are accepted at no extra charge. You can add to or replace your declining refill sales, and low margins, with a reliable, convenient and secure swap program that has low labour costs for you. SWAP’n’GO® maintains a record of excellence in safety, with comprehensive staff training in the safe handling of LPG. Elgas SWAP’n’GO® is backed by a national network of refilling plants and branches to ensure that your business receives quality service. SWAP’n’GO® also creates a massive summer stockpile to provide uninterrupted service during the seasonal peak periods. Contact Elgas today to become a SWAP’n’GO® dealer.
Contact: Nigel Howlett Phone: (03) 9459 9900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.shipmanking.com.au
Phone: 1300 652 003 Email: email@example.com Web: www.elgas.com.au/swapngo
64 December 2020/January 2021 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
Petroleum equipment and services
C&I Supply-Find is a detailed listing of suppliers of products for resale, business services, maintenance providers, and manufacturers and suppliers of capital equipment for shop and forecourt. It is included in every issue of C&I Retailing Magazine, six times per year to a circulation of around 22,795 businesses. The rate for posting in C&I Supply-Find is $2,950 + GST for one full year (six print issues and 12 months on our website). Bookings are a minimum of one year. For a 1/2 page, the rate is $5,900 + GST per year. For all advertising enquiries with C&I Media, please contact
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Ready? Data for use in Oz. 28 day expiry. Includes 30GB My Data + 20GB Bonus Data on first 3 recharges within 90 days of activation. Things you need to know: Personal use only. Bonus data available to new Prepaid Plus customers who purchase and activate a Prepaid $30 - $60 Prepaid Plus Starter Pack (‘Eligible Customers’). Bonus Data is available for first 3 recharges made within 90 days of activation (‘Eligible Recharges’). Data reverts to standard inclusion after 3rd recharge. All 3 Eligible Recharges must be on the same Prepaid Plus plan to receive the bonus data. Offer available until withdrawn. Bonus data on first 3 Eligible Recharges: 25GB with $30 Prepaid Plus (15GB included, total 40GB) Applied within 72 hours following successful activation of Starter Pack. Limit 2 per Eligible Customers. MV03566 11.20
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C&I Retailing Magazine and C&I Expo became a division of the Intermedia Group in July 2014. Australia’s impulse and convenience market inclu...
Published on Dec 13, 2020
C&I Retailing Magazine and C&I Expo became a division of the Intermedia Group in July 2014. Australia’s impulse and convenience market inclu...