C&I Retailing Magazine August September 2020

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MARCH 2021 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 Platinum Sponsor

Symposium & Networking Drinks Sponsor

REGISTER NOW For Australia’s largest and most important trade event for Convenience retailers

ORGANISED BY: Interpoint Events Pty Ltd for C&I Media Pty Ltd

Media pty. LTd.

41 Bridge Road Glebe NSW 2037 Ph: 1300 789 845 | Fax: 02 9660 4419 Email: exhibition@c-store.com.au www.c-store.com.au




20 What a ride the first half of this year has been




Paul Slaughter, Mrs Mac's


NightOwl, New Farm


The industry says it’s time to legalise and regulate e-cigarettes


How ice cream continues to perform well through all seasons

24 CATEGORY FEATURE: PROTEIN SNACKS The trend to protein bars, drinks and balls is as hot as the bodies they fuel


We examine the impacts of the pandemic across the industry and how we’ll recover


fter enduring months of restrictions and lockdown measures, we tentatively began to emerge as the country started to reopen and we were able to once again taste some small preCOVID freedoms. However the second outbreak in Victoria and the growing clusters in Sydney have many of us on edge. As we’ve watched metro Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire enter a second lockdown, those in other states are nervously asking what if the same happens there. The precarious financial position the pandemic has left many small businesses have many bracing for the blow a second, widespread lockdown would deliver. Which is why it’s more important than ever for us all to remain vigilant, to continue to practice and enforce social distancing measures, to regularly wash and sanitise hands. It’s also critically important we all keep an eye out on those around us, to check in and to ensure everyone is coping ok. It’s a new and unfolding situation for all, and we will all emerge far better with a little support. Which is something we talk about in our special feature on COVID-19 and the impact

on our industry. Here, we take a look back at the panic buying and asses the fragilities it exposed in our supply chains and how it may permanently change consumer behaviour. We also ask what practical government support is needed to help the industry recover. We also take a look at the government’s proposed ban on liquid nicotine imports and look at the argument for legalizing vaping in Australia. Not to be missed, too, is our new Product Ranging section, which provides an easy to read, detailed overview of NPDs and the value their ranging could bring to stores. Dan Armes and Nic Moulis also share their insights on the hit petrol has taken during the pandemic and we look at how ice cream continues to deliver in C-stores through winter and why protein is the next big thing in on-the-go snacking. Stay safe, stay strong and wash your hands. Kind regards, Naomi White

Our brand new section aims to answer all your questions on ranging NPDs


Darren Park, Jeff Rogut


Mondelez, Bega, Metcash, Unilever, Bega Cheese and more


Dan Armes, Nic Moulis


Safa de Valois

James Wells

Keith Berg

Ben Curtis

Jeremy Gough


Coffee Bags – roasted and packed in Australia

Pine O Cleen plant-based disinfectants range

At the House of Robert Timms, we know that a good coffee starts with premium coffee beans. That’s why we source only the highest quality beans and every batch is tested and approved by our Coffee Technologists before it hits the shelves. The House of Robert Timms Coffee Bags (8 pack) have a range to suit everyone’s needs. The bags offer convenience, quality and great taste: they are the perfect cup, from our house to yours. They are individually sealed for freshness and are available in all major supermarkets and RRP for $5.49.

Pine O Cleen’s has launched Simply, a new range of 100% plant based disinfectants aimed at eco-conscious consumers. The range includes multipurpose cleaning sprays and biodegradable disinfectant wipes made from natural fibres and comes in three flavours: apple, grapefruit and meadow flowers. Pine O Cleen at RB Hygiene (ANZ) Senior Brand Manager Leo Rempe said the new range was in response to increasing consumer demand for natural cleaning solutions. And retains the disinfectant power the brand is known for. The Simply range are available now in major supermarkets and RRP is from $5.

Ferrero’s Cool Tic Tac X-Freeze MasterFoods Squeeze-On range MasterFoods Squeeze-On portions conveniently and hygienically dispense a perfect single serve of your favourite condiments. The unique squeeze on format is mess free and great for people on the move. Masterfoods is quality, recognised and trusted brand and this unique product eliminates hygiene and food safety concerns. It’s also cost effective, as it reduces labour and wastage. It’s also Australian Made and is produced on the Central Coast of NSW. This permanent product is available for purchase through foodservice distributors including Bidfood, PFD, NAFDA, Countrywide and other independent partners. Published by C&I Media Pty Ltd (A division of The Intermedia Group) 41 Bridge Road (PO Box 55) Glebe NSW 2037 Tel: 02 8586 6292 Fax: 02 9660 4419 E: magazine@c-store.com.au

Publisher: C&I Media Pty Ltd Safa de Valois Commercial Director: Safa de Valois Editorial Director: James Wells

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

Ferrero has launched its latest innovation in the Tic Tac range: Tic Tac X-Freeze, an intense, long-lasting mint that is 99.8% sugar-free. Now available in major supermarkets, general retailers and convenience stores, the Tic Tac X-Freeze taste experience is driven by unique cooling crystals which provides the intense cooling sensation. The Tic Tac X-Freeze mint is bigger than a standard-sized Tic Tac and comes in a newly designed, convenient packet. Tic Tac X-Freeze is available in Eucalyptus Mint and Spearmint which, coupled with cooling crystals, provides more intense flavours while the bigger pill size adds long-lasting refreshment. Tic Tac X-Freeze is a permanent extension to the Australian Tic Tac product range.

Editor at Large: Keith Berg

Features Editor: Jeremy Gough

Editor: Naomi White

Graphic Designer: Adrian Tipper

Account Manager: Ben Curtis

Contributor: Simon King

The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2020 - C&I Media Pty Ltd.

Average Total Distribution: 21,108 AMAA/CAB Publisher Statement Period ending 31 March 2019 PROUD MEMBERS OF:


August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 7


HARD WORK A RECIPE FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS A strong work ethic and a passion for innovation drives success for Mrs Mac’s CEO Paul Slaughter 8  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Paul Slaughter has always believed hard work brings success.



grew up as the youngest of three kids in a close family, south of the river in a suburb of Perth called Kardinya where I went to a local primary and high school.

I loved school and was a keen learner, however my passion at that early age was sport. At the age of just six I started sailing and by seven my love of the sport saw me racing single-person catamarans and dinghies at every available opportunity. My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me and I worked three jobs whilst in upper school and university: as a coaching co-ordinator and sailing instructor at various WA yacht clubs and selling suits in a men’s clothing retailer. It was partly because I enjoyed what I was doing and partly to fund my way through my studies. I attended the University of Western Australia and combined my interest in business with my love of sport, undertaking and completing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in marketing and physical education. I also added a fourth job to my schedule during this time as an instructor at the university gym — admittedly to fund my sailing habit by which point included national and international competitions. It was during his time as the gym instructor I met my wife Fiona with whom I have now been married to for 22 years and have two beautiful daughters with. I’m still very active in sports. Most of my time away from work is spent either with family, cycling or pursuing a recently renewed interest in laser (dinghy) sailing. I have always had an interest in business, brands and getting the best out of people. I had to choose between a career path of business or sailing. In the 1990s the sport didn’t have the profile or opportunities it does now, so I chose business! My first job after university was with Procter & Gamble as a sales representative selling hair-care, health-care and cosmetics products. This is where my interest in product based businesses started. P&G invest heavily in their people and in training development and they really taught me to know ‘what good looks like’. It was a great start to my career in the industry. My six years with P&G took me to Melbourne where I managed the Coles supermarkets account. From there it was a move to Sydney for a role at Arnott’s/Campbell’s managing the national Woolworths account. Following this I moved back to Perth for family reasons to join Metcash as the General Manager of Food and Grocery. This provided a role that was autonomous and offered even greater opportunity to learn and grow. After four years leading the West Australian business, I was picked to lead the transformation program (Project Diamond) in Sydney. This included attending INSEAD Business School in Fontainebleau, France in preparation for the role. I became CEO of Mrs Mac’s five years ago. I was drawn to the company because I believed I could make a significant difference with my recent experience in business transformation and would bring a refreshed strategy and direction. Being a family owned business, I also saw an opportunity to work in a different environment to a large corporation and the Board was keen to support innovation and growth via heavy investment.

I have two pieces of advice I have carried through from my early days at Procter & Gamble. The first being: ‘keep things simple’ and ‘it’s all about people — find good people, invest in them and look after them’. We are like every other business out there; we make great pies, rolls and other products, but it is all about our people. It’s a very rewarding role. As you would expect with a CEO role, most days are filled with a variety of activities, such as continued communication with staff, customers and other stakeholders, through to factory visits to view production and equipment installations. There’s no typical day. Some days can begin with extensive product sampling of both Mrs Mac’s and competitors’ products and may end with cheering on my AFL team, the Fremantle Dockers, at our wonderful partnership venue OPTUS Stadium. Mrs Mac’s has partnered with WA’s OPTUS Stadium as their official pie and roll supplier and fans can now enjoy a range of Mrs Mac’s products at branded retail sites at the venue, including the Dardanup Pie, developed exclusively for the stadium. It’s increased the profile of Mrs Mac’s not just in WA, but across the country and allowed us to work with even more local growers and suppliers.

We are like every other business out there; we make great pies, rolls and other products, but it is all about our people.” - Paul Slaughter, Mrs Mac’s Chief Executive Officer

Another area I’ve found particularly rewarding has been seeing the progression of our people and the recent period of growth over the past few years. This has been driven both by meeting the ever-changing needs of consumers and by driving existing or new business harder. It has also been very satisfying seeing the investment in recent projects coming to fruition, which is driving further growth and increased cooking capabilities all as a highly sustainable business. These investments will see significant reductions in waste with increased focus on recyclable packaging and clean recipes. It has been really great to watch these developments come together. Mrs Mac’s has a fantastic brand and incredible distribution reach across Australia and New Zealand for a company of our size. We also have a lot of innovation and market development work in the pipeline that I am excited about.

A keen sports lover, he spends his downtime cycling and sailing.

One of those has been the New Zealand market. We have been fortunate enough to get a range of Mrs Mac’s products in Foodstuffs and Countdown stores, which has been particularly exciting for us. There are massive growth opportunities for the business across the Tasman with that market and this has been working incredibly well for us so far. Mrs Mac’s has a fantastic name in New Zealand and we’re looking forward to seeing that grow further. Watch this space, . C&I August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 9





Source: Neilsen MAT to 05/07/2020.

FANCY FEAST CLASSIC RANGE The variety of recipes in the Fancy Feast® range are proven favourites made from a delicious combination of gourmet flavours and mouth-watering textures. No wonder cats love them so much.


Source: Neilsen MAT to 05/07/2020.



Operations manager at NightOwl Ian McLauchlan in the new store.

It’s very bright and brand new. Everything in there is new, the store looks fantastic, I’m very happy with it”, he said.” - Ian McLauhlan

A TRIUMPHANT RETURN A new NightOwl store rises from the ashes at New Farm in Brisbane


wo years after a fire left the New Farm NightOwl building in Brisbane’s inner-east little more than an empty shell, the convenience store has reopened.

In April, 2018, a fire in the restaurant next door quickly spread to the store, destroying the roof and gutting the interior before fire crews were able to contain it. The store was badly damaged and it was effectively razed. Although a heartbreaking and harrowing experience, the store was triumphantly reopened in June and is back bigger and better than ever. New Farm was one of the first NightOwl stores to be franchised and had successfully served the local community in the leafy suburb, close to Fortitude Valley, since it first opened in the late 1980s. Ian McLauchlan has fond memories of the store. The now Operations Manager for NightOwl got his start with the company at the store, where he worked as an employee at the then company run site, before taking it on as the franchisee in 1988, overseeing its operations until he sold the franchise in 2014. Mr McLauchlan said he saw the demographic of the suburb, located close to Brisbane’s CBD, shift markedly during his time 12  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

at the store. Where once its central location drew partygoers, the now quieter suburb is home to families and young professionals. “New Farm changed a lot in that period. The whole valley was very much the party area in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. There was almost a shift from the city to the Valley in terms of the nightlife. We were one of the only 24-hour stores at the time, there weren’t very many of them around at all. I think there was only one 7-Eleven around when we were there,” Mr McLauchlan said. “It was a very different suburb. It still had the amazing rich homes around the river, but there was a real variation of people who lived there. It has changed a bit, but it’s still got that same New Farm vibe to it I think.” One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to understand this demographic in order to best tailor the store’s offerings to the local community. This has been at the heart of the rebuild. Perhaps the only bright spot to come out of the fire’s devastation has been the ability to completely shape the store to show how it could best service New Farm’s needs. The 160sqm store sits on the same corner site as when Mr McLauchlan, who was involved with the refit, first started and features a similar set up, but its offers are all brand new.

STOREFEATURE REVIEW “It’s very bright and modern. Everything in there is new, the store looks fantastic, I’m very happy with it,” he said. “Understanding what the people in New Farm would want we put in a large dairy fresh fridge right at the front door and we’ve got a range of fruit and veg as well as grocery offers.” “We’ve got coffee and the normal convenience lines of confectionery and drinks, but we’ve got a good grocery offer and a good fresh offer and we’ve deliberately priced these competitively.” What sets the store apart, Mr McLauchlan said, is that they don’t only offer convenience lines you’d find in their competitors, but also top grocery offers. “You can buy fruit and veg, you can buy fresh dairy, you can buy a great range of groceries. And we are ranging competitive pricing on our groceries to encourage people to shop that part of the store. That’s the point of difference for us.” “Other than the normal convenience store items that you would expect like confectionery, chips, drinks, having that large range and even some speciality ranges, such as our local New Farm range of dips and crackers, as well as some deli lines that you wouldn’t expect to find in a small convenience store­— ­­ we’re stocking them.” They also have a strong coffee offer, selling Tiger brand coffee in store, which is proving a popular addition.

While opening a new store-during a global pandemic is far from ideal, effectively ruling out any traditional promotional activities, the local community has already taken to the revamped store. “We had a really good first few weeks, but essentially we need to rebuild our local customers. The people who shopped with us years ago, there’s still plenty of them around and people are just starting to realised that we’ve reopened,” he said. “Normally when we open a new site, we would organise promotional activity and do anything from a sausage sizzle to handing out free vouchers and really we didn’t do that because of COVID. Obviously that’s changing, but it was very different. We probably will have a later than originally planned grand opening at some stage, but we simply weren’t able to do anything large scale that would cause a large number of people to congregate at the front of the store.”

People are happy to shop in their local area rather than to travel to larger shopping centres.” - Ian McLauhlan

While the pandemic may have dampened the store's opening celebrations, it has had the upside of drawing in a strong local customer base, as consumers avoid large supermarkets and stick close to home. “COVID-19 is a terrible thing but it really has encouraged people to shop more locally. I certainly have, and everyone else. People are happy to shop in their local area rather than to travel to larger shopping centres.”C&I

It boasts a great coffee offer.

The new store is popular with locals.

The NightOwl mascot celebrating the store's opening.

The new store is bright and inviting.

August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 13

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Is it time to fully legalise vaping in Australia? The industry thinks so.

E-cigarettes should be legalised and regulated, argue many in the industry

Health Minister Greg Hunt was accused of putting profit before health and condemning Australia’s 300,000 vapers to a possible return to smoking.”

- Imperial Tobacco spokesperson


aping is proving among the most controversial products in tobacco. It’s touted as a safe, smoking-cessation tool on one side, whose advocates argue it causes significantly less harm than leaf tobacco products.

Equally vocal, however, are anti-vaping campaigners who say not enough is yet known about the long-term effects and claim it’s a gateway to smoking for teenagers. In Australia, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes containing liquid nicotine or nicotine refills. However, it has been legal to import these. In June, the Department of Health announced The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) planned to impose a ban on imports, which was to be effective from July 1. Under the ban, the only way to access these products would be via a GP issued prescription. Hefty fines of up to $220,000 were also to be introduced. Following an outcry, including parliamentary pressure from 28 MPs, among them former deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, health minister Greg Hunt delayed the ban until January 2021. The delay, according to Mr Hunt, was made to assist those who were using the products to help them quit smoking.

16  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

The Department of Health’s official stance is that e-cigarettes “cannot be considered safe". They argue that hazardous substances have been found in e-cigarette liquids and in the aerosol produced by products, including formaldhyde, a known carcinogen. Other concerns include ‘dual users’ — those who consume both tobacco and e-cigarettes, who therefore gain few harm reduction benefits. Additionally, they hold concerns over the volume of products available, making it difficult to assess their safety; incomplete or incorrect labeling on select products; and product modification by users. However, a spokesperson for Imperial Tobacco argues the department fails to acknowledge the role these products play in aiding smokers to transition away from tobacco products. Adding the condemnation of the ban highlights the wider community demand for these to be legalized in Australia. “Health Minister Greg Hunt was accused of putting profit before health and condemning Australia’s 300,000 vapers to a possible return to smoking. It is hoped the six month consultation

VAPING and review period will allow the government to receive and acknowledge the global research supporting next generation products as an effective choice for those wanting to reduce or quit smoking,” the spokesperson said. CEO of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores Jeff Rogut believes the policy should be abandoned altogether, agreeing it would make it harder for people to quit tobacco smoking. Mr Rogut said there are 400,000 ex-smokers in Australia who now use vaping and that it is legal, regulated and taxed in the majority of OECD nations. He argues that e-cigarettes should be legalised, regulated and be able to be sold through responsible retail outlets, including convenience stores. “Public Health England has stated that e-cigarettes are 95% safer for users than traditional tobacco products. Over 50 progressive countries have regulated the legal sale of these products to assist in lowering traditional smoking rates. Many Australian experts agree that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco and should be widely available,” Mr Rogut said. “Internationally, these products have assisted many people quit smoking, but Australians are being denied these potential health benefits. Likewise, Australian retailers are being denied the opportunity to offer adult consumers a safer alternative at the source.” He argues failure to regulate the sale of legal e-cigarettes fuels black market sales, which puts users at greater risk. Unregulated products may contain unknown ingredients from unknown sources of manufacture. Sales to minors were also rife in black markets, he added. “The Select Committee on Personal Choice and Community Safety, in its Final Report, has urged the government to require

the Therapeutic Goods Administration to review the scheduling of liquid nicotine.” “But the wheels are turning too slowly. Australians are being denied safer alternatives, small businesses are missing out on economic opportunities, criminals are profiting and products of unknown origin and ingredients are being widely used. A legal framework regulating the sale of e-cigarettes is urgently required.” Philip Morris International (PMI) too hopes to see e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products taken more seriously as a smoking cessation tool, saying it aids their company goal to stop selling (leaf tobacco) cigarettes. A PMI spokesman said ignoring the role of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco in helping to quit smoking was to the detriment of consumers and they hope to see policy makers acknowledge this.

We support risk-appropriate regulations for smoke-free alternatives like heated tobacco products.” - A Philip Morris spokesman

“Unlike cigarettes, the heated tobacco products developed by PMI heat rather than burn the tobacco to produce a vapour instead of smoke. Burning tobacco generates the vast majority of toxicants found in cigarette smoke that are associated with smoking-related diseases,” the spokesman said. “Numerous scientific studies, including our own, demonstrate that heated tobacco, while not risk free, offers a better alternative to smoking by producing significantly fewer and lower levels of harmful chemicals than cigarettes. Smokers who switch to scientifically substantiated heated tobacco products can significantly reduce their exposure to many of the toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke.” PMI estimates there are close to three million smokers in Australia whose only option is to continue to smoke combustible cigarettes. >>

Tobacco companies argue vaping is an important smoking cessation tool. August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 17

VAPING If legalized, the sale of these products in P&C would make sense, given the current tobacco sales in the sector. PMI cited figures from IRI, stating that to May 31 this year, P&C accounts for 12.6% of the total industry share for factory made cigarettes, an increase of 0.6% vs the same time in 2019. Roll Your Own tobacco has also increased its industry share to 6.5%, up 0.4%. “P&C’s increasing relevance as a destination for adult smokers seeking to purchase their tobacco products is evidenced by its industry share growth in both the FMC & RYO segments and underscores the importance of making heated tobacco products available within this channel,” a PMI spokesperson said. The P&C channel is also important for Imperial Tobacco, proving quick and easy access to products for consumers. "The P&C channel is very important to tobacco and to the tobacco shopper. Tobacco purchases are made on average two or three times per week with 45% of purchases being described as ‘urgent’ or ‘extremely urgent’. Many shoppers often wait until they have almost run out before repurchasing,” the spokesperson said. “The ability for a shopper to be able to stop at a P&C outlet to meet this need and the convenience this offers is a strong driver among tobacco shoppers. This channel has enjoyed a steady growth in share of trade in the last 5 years and continues to grow in the latest MAT (WE 14/06/20) with a share of 11.3%, which has increased by 0.1% vs SPLY. At the height of the COVID pandemic, the P&C channel with its offer of closer to home shopping and longer opening hours has further increased its SOT to 11.6% (quarter 14/06/20) at the expense of the grocery organised channel.” Banning vaping imports would push people back to tobacco products, says critics of the proposed ban

Internationally, these products have assisted many people quit smoking, but Australians are being denied these potential health benefits.” - Jeff Rogut, AACS

“We support risk-appropriate regulations for smoke-free alternatives like heated tobacco products that establish product standards and prohibit their sale to under-18s, while allowing adult smokers to access them in locations where cigarettes are currently sold.” While Australia has had past success in reducing smoking rates, they added, this has stagnated in recent years and they felt the government’s rationale for not legalizing and for banning imports — citing the risk of youth uptake and lack of long-term evidence, did not adequately take into account the needs of adult smokers. “However, it is important to be able to balance these concerns with the needs of adult smokers who want to continue to use nicotine. Rather than banning their sale, smoke-free products such as nicotine vaping products and heated tobacco products should be regulated in a way that allows adult smokers access as well as accurate information so they are informed on alternatives to combustible cigarettes, while also preventing youth initiation.” Earlier this year, PMI submitted an application to the Scheduling Committee of the TGA requesting that heated tobacco products be provided the same exemption as combustible cigarettes. An interim decision was made in June 2020 not to support the sale. A final decision is expected this month.

18  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

And while an emerging black market for e-cigarettes is a concern, Mr Rogut added the existing black market for tobacco products remains especially problematic for the industry. Citing a KPMG report into illicit tobacco in Australia for 2019 (released May 26), Mr Rogut said illicit tobacco now accounts for 20.7% of total tobacco consumption, up from 14.1% last year. Mr Rogut would like to see this addressed via a moratorium on further legal tobacco excise increases and greater law enforcement at street level on the illicit tobacco trade. “The steady growth of illicit tobacco sales in our country is well established and this crime has reached crisis point. While criminal gangs and smugglers profit, sales of legal tobacco by responsible retailers and suppliers are lost, while the Australian Government is robbed of excise. Certainly, the excellent work that Border Force is doing in making seizures of large quantities of illegal tobacco products is commendable. However, illegal products are still making it to street level in droves, to be sold at prices far cheaper than legitimate products, given there is no excise payable by the criminals who supply these products," he said. “As counterproductive Government excise hikes raises the cost of legal tobacco, consumers increasingly shift to the illicit market and products which are sold to people of all ages. It’s time to recognise this real problem, and to bring some reality back to the pricing of legal tobacco.” C&I C&I would like to thank Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Jeff Rogut for supplying information for this article.

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FROZEN BLISS There’s nothing cold about ice cream sales in convenience

Ice cream sales perform strongly in convenience throughout the year.

20  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au



ce cream is a treat few could pass up. The delicious indulgence is as ubiquitous to the long, hot days of Australian summers as to accompanying a warm dessert on a cold winter night.

The category is worth $106 million to the Australian convenience channel, according to market research company IRI Australia. The category has seen modest value growth of 2.8%, above the total channel growth of 0.2% for the same period (MAT ending May 31, 2020). Unilever, the company behind Streets and premium brand Ben & Jerry’s agrees convenience is an important channel for the category. OOH Ice Cream Category Assistant Maxine Townley said while P&C represents 9 per cent of scan dollar value of those in grocery, convenience remains a key priority for ice cream manufacturers as it captures the number one shopper mission for the number of ‘needs for now’ trips. “Consumers are living more fluid lives, which has resulted in fragmented consumption occasions and a shift from the traditionally rigid breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. Consumers are increasingly favouring quicker shopping trips in nearby convenience channels to instantly satisfy their hunger or craving,” Ms Townley said. Consumers also have clear shopping patterns in the channel. While sales occur at all hours, the key time for impulse buys, Ms Townley said, is the afternoon between 2pm-5pm, which accounts for 46% of C-store sales. Impulse sales also peak towards the end of the week and significantly over-trade on weekends. Take home ice cream sales are more evenly spread across the day, Ms Townley said, and were also supported by last-mile delivery services. “The spike in take home ice cream sales in the late evening is particularly driven by convenience outlets who partner with online delivery apps such as Uber Eats. Indeed, the Ben & Jerry’s highest volume hour on Uber Eats is 8pm and Ben & Jerry’s purchases over-index versus all restaurants on the Uber Eats app between 10pm and 2am,” Ms Townley added. Premium and super premium tubs are also experiencing growth – the latter was the largest take home segment in the

The take home segment is growing +12.7%, and Peters take home is growing +63.1% (value growth, MAT). This has been aided by the emergence of home delivery.” Marylyn Navarro, Peters Ice Cream

convenience channel in terms of dollar sale, accounting for 62 per cent of take home tubs value, Ms Townley said. Premium tubs 500ml-1.5L were the third fastest growing ice cream segment in the channel. “Super Premium tub brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Premium tub offerings like Magnum Pints not only delight consumers with high quality ice cream, but also stand out due to their decadent inclusions like cookie dough and brownie pieces, rich chocolate and indulgent sauces.” “These additional benefits provide shoppers with a real, tangible reason to trade up to the Premium and Super Premium segments, which in turn drives category growth through increased APP. These premium ice cream segments are also at the forefront of shifting consumer behaviour, with more and more consumers opting to order premium ice cream from convenience outlets via online delivery apps.” Take home tubs are also an important way for brands to tackle the semi-seasonal nature of the product, as is NPD. While 30’C plus days can see sales of water ice-based products such as Paddle Pop Cyclone, Paddle Pop Icy Twist and Calippo spiking by 300 per cent, in winter, take home packs, particularly in premium brands are a way to drive sales through the cooler months. It’s a successful strategy according to Unilever, who reported a 53.2% increase in take home tubs in P&C in a four week period between April/May this year. Ice cream is also a category that is seeing a lot of investment in NPD. Where once the choices were between vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, the plethora of options filling the freezer chest now caters to just about every taste preference and dietary requirement. And there have been some exciting and innovative brand collaborations, mash-ups and adventurous flavours. One trend identified by IRI as having huge growth potential and which has seen a lot of NPD in the last two years is vegan and dairy free ice creams, which are proving popular with consumers both for health perceptions and dietary requirements. IRI found Magnum Dairy Free, launched in February last year, has seen an incredible 97% value growth compared to a year ago. Cornetto Vegan is also a strong performer. The recently released line has already generated more than $90,000 in just the convenience channel since launching, according to IRI. Another trend IRI says we may see more of is ice creams that are specially formulated with less sugar, fat and calories and increased August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 21


Super Cubes Superfood Purees are looking to shake up the freezer aisle with their healthy offerings.

Interestingly, when shoppers do know that they want to purchase ice cream, 70 per cent know exactly what they want to purchase.” - Maxine Townley, Unilever

protein and fibre. As well as those developed to aid sleep, through added minerals, amino acids and digestive enzymes. NPD typically makes up 10-15% of dollar sales in the channel each year and the category is reliant on NPD to generate excitement and to attract new consumers, said Unilever’s Ice Cream Marketing Director Lilian Geijsen. “This summer we are celebrating Streets’ 100th Birthday and have invited a whole host of exciting innovation to the party to cater to different consumer demographics and need states in the convenience channel,” Ms Geijsen said. “We have created a multi-coloured Birthday Cake-flavoured Golden Gaytime, a Koala-shaped Paddle Pop with proceeds of sales supporting WIRES and we have partnered with everyone’s favourite friends the Minions on Paddle Pop Minions Icy Blast Off, just to name a few. By activating these new and exciting innovations in store, we will drive new consumers to the freezer.”

AT A GLANCE • 70% of consumers on an ice cream shopping mission know exactly what product they want to purchase. • The take home ice cream category is growing +12.7%. • Premium brands are especially popular take home options. • Ice cream sales peak in the afternoon between 2pm-5pm, which accounts for 46% of C-store sales. • NPD is an important way for brands to maintain consumer interest through cooler months.

Bundle buys are also important for driving sales. Close to 20 per cent of ice cream purchases include another product, such as coffee and cola, chips and chocolate. Impulse too is important, as an estimated 54% of ice cream sales in stores are unplanned. Close to a third of consumers on a shopping mission make their choice in store, making the impulse zone crucial for ice cream placement. “Interestingly, when shoppers do know that they want to purchase ice cream, 70 per cent know exactly what they want to purchase. Therefore, it is critical that we work with retailers to ensure that they have availability, assortment and adequate stock weight of both core and NPD to maximise satisfaction of their customers,” Ms Towley adds. Peters Ice Cream Category Manager, Convenience and Specialty, Marylyn Navarro agrees encouraging impulse behaviour is crucial to driving sales in convenience channels. Sales of impulse ice cream lines make up 77% of value sales for the category and are growing +1% compared to a year ago, Ms Navarro said. “Most recently, the P&C channel has also become a place where shoppers are looking to purchase items ‘for later’, which has seen a lot of growth coming from our Take Home tub offers,” Ms Navarro added.

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“The Take Home segment is growing +12.7%, and Peters Take Home is growing +63.1% (value growth, MAT). This has been aided by the emergence of home delivery within some retailers that sees products delivered straight to people’s homes, many of which are adding ice cream tubs, sticks and cones to their order.” Maxibon, Drumstick and Connoisseur and the Milo cup are particularly strong performers for Peters in the P&C channel. The Snacking segment is performing very well in the channel with major brands Drumstick and Maxibon in growth — Maxibon is up +6.3% and Drumstick +11.6% in the latest quarter. Core flavours such as Drumstick Vanilla and Super Choc, as well as Maxibon Vanilla and Monster Cookie are SKUs that constantly rank high in the list of SKUs purchased in store, Ms Navarro said. Maxibon has a highly engaged consumer base that frequently purchase in the P&C channel. The introduction of the Cadbury range into the channel has also added more exciting options in the freezer to accommodate that snacking occasion. NPD is also important for the category and recent launches of brand-collaborations such as Maxi-Dare and Cadbury Cherry Ripe have been very successful. Another brand looking to shake things up in the freezer aisle is Super Cubes. The brand, part of Omni Brands, has introduced a Superfood Puree range of frozen fruit that can be scooped straight from the tub and added to smoothies, juices or enjoyed on their own, just like ice cream and offers an alternative to health conscious consumers, said Head of Sales at Omni Brands, Ash McMillan. The Super Cubes Superfood Purees went from concept to store in under four months. Three of their 1L flavours are now ranged nationally in Woolworths and the brand are working closely with Drakes, Romeo’s, Ritchies, Karrellas Group, The Hopper Group, Ryans and other independent groups to expand their stockists. “I think the lovers of traditional recipe ice cream will continue to consume them and the sweet spot for us will be those that are looking for an all-natural, dairy free, gluten free guilt free alternative to the traditional (offerings),” Mr McMillan added. C&I * C&I would like to thank Unilever, Peters Ice Cream and Omni Brands for supplying information for this article.


Protein products have become mainstream snacks for on-the-go consumers


rotein: it’s a buzzword in health conscious circles. We all know we should consume more, but busy lives and eating on the go can make it a hard task at times to get enough protein in our day.

The Ministry of Health’s guidelines for protein consumption for adults state the recommended intake of protein for men aged 1970 is 64g per day. For men aged 70 plus this increases to 81g per day. Women (non-pregnant/lactating) should aim for 46g per day or 57g for those aged over 70. However many of us likely fall short of these targets, either through a lack of time to prepare meals full of healthy protein sources such us lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs or plant based protein (think legumes or soy), or due to diets heavy in processed, fast or snack foods with low nutritional content. The benefits of protein-rich diets are well evidenced. According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, adding more high-protein foods could increase the metabolism by as much as 15-30 per cent. Other known benefits include better appetite control, fewer food cravings and improved body composition. The latter has been a particular driver of protein powder consumption among those looking to bulk up through weight training and heavy exercise regimes. However, while they’re a 24  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au


Protein snacks are fuelling healthy profits alongside healthy bodies

If tradies are switching to healthier alternatives, we know we’re seeing a key pivot in traditional snacking habits.” - Hamish Thomson, Freedom Foods

convenient way to get a high protein fix, additional ingredients such as caffeine or other stimulants can mean these aren’t the right fit for everyone. Which is one of the reasons the mainstream market for proteinrich bars, drinks and balls is growing rapidly in Australia. According to market research company IRI Australia, the nutritional snack food category is worth $29 million (for the MAT ending May 31, 2020). While the convenience channel showed a slight value decline (-3.2%) versus the same time last year, performance nutrition products continue to do well, maintaining a steady growth value of 2.8%. IRI analyst Justin Finney said they expect protein products to continue to see strong sales in the channel. “We will expect to see these products to continue to do well as they innovate to meet growing consumers’ needs around alternative protein sources such as hemp, pea and other plant based dairy alternatives as well as catering to new diets like Keto as seen by the Quest Keto range of products.” Purabon are a leading brand in the market, making consumerfriendly plant-based, gluten, dairy and no added sugar snacks, which sales director Kerin O’Brien said is an important consideration for consumers. Their balls come in eye-catching packaging and enticing flavours, such as Coconut Cacoa, Choc

PROTEIN PRODUCTS Brownie, Matcha Cocao and more. All Purabon products are also endorsed gluten-free by Coeliac Australia, which is an important distinction for the brand.

The impulsive nature of these purchase patterns make it especially important to have products front and centre at the point of sale, to disrupt shopper missions and drive sales.

“We find consumers of protein based snacks are looking for products which have an all-round health focus,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is really important to have your impulse-purchases front and centre at point of sale -– you could basically triple or quadruple sales by using POS positioning and build loyal consumers who repeat purchase Purabon products from your store,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Vegan and plant-based food is a fast-growing category, with even major supermarkets creating two dedicated areas for this purpose. All Purabon products are vegan and plant-based and feature a healthy profile of protein, fibre and nutrients.” “Consumers are always seeking gluten-free options but these are limited amongst baked goods like donuts or muffins, so this is where Purabon really shines.” Mr O’Brien said consumer demand for protein-rich products has been steadily increasing over the last few years and that interestingly, the demand has reached rural and regional areas too, suggesting the trend towards better-for-you is not just city-centric. Another trend Mr O’Brien is seeing in the category is the desire for Australian made products, particularly since the onset of COVID-19.

Freedom Foods is another strong performer in the category. Marketing Manager, Cereals, Snacks, Beverages — ­ Plant based and Dairy, Hamish Thomson, said protein was attractive to consumers because of the additional nutritional benefits.

We find consumers of protein based snacks are looking for products which have an all-round health focus.” - Kerin O’Brien, Purabon

Protein also helped satisfy hunger and as new diet trends emerge, such as Keto, plant-based eating and collagen rich foods, the category continues to win as the key macro-nutrient offering, Mr Thomson said, adding he anticipated strong long-term growth for the category. Freedom Foods has also seen mainstream consumer demand for protein snacks grow sharply, as brands deliver great-tasting innovation in new protein categories, such as yoghurts, cookies and chips, while also driving consistent innovation in protein bars and drinks.

“Consumers are demonstrating they are willing to pay a premium for Purabon’s locally-made vegan protein balls with outstanding flavour profiles rather than compromising on imported snacks,” he said.

Mr Thomson said Freedom’s Crankt brand has been one of the leading lifestyle protein brands for more than two years and has seen growth upwards of 132% in grocery and 15% in P&C*.

The consumer profile for Purabon’s convenience customers tend to be young men and tradies picking up multiple balls for breakfast, often combining these with a beverage purchase. Women are also a big market, however these sales tend to be less time specific and are purchased as a healthy on-the-go snack. Purabon’s pro-biotic products have been particularly popular among women.

Crankt is also riding the increased demand in protein snacking, extending its core range of five high protein and energy snacking bars into a step-up premium offering. The new larger sized Crankt Max Protein bars, launched in July, contain 20g of protein and feature premium native whey protein and come in great flavours: Salted Caramel, Choc Fudge and Raspberry & Coconut. >>

August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 25


“We’ve seen significant growth in our high protein dairy-based beverages over the last 12 months as mainstream consumers such as tradies, switch from traditional flavoured milks which are high in sugar, to healthier alternatives like our high protein dairy beverages, which are low in sugar, deliver high protein, energy and taste great.” Mr Thomson said. “If tradies are switching to healthier alternatives, we know we’re seeing a key pivot in traditional snacking habits and there’s a need to adjust snacking offers to accommodate this growing integration of functional health with everyday snacks.”

AT A GLANCE • Many people fall short of the recommended daily protein intake of 64g for men and 46g for women. • Protein snacks have shifted from muscle building aids to mainstream options for on-the-go consumers. • Impulse is critical for driving sales in the category and POS positioning can triple sales. • There is a lot of innovation happening in protein based NPD in new categories such as yoghurts, chips and cookies.

Omni Brands’ Tonik Nutrition is a new product range looking to fuel the market. The premium functional beverage brand has recently launched Tonik Pro primarily aimed at Millennials, who have a high consumption rate of protein drinks, driven by active lifestyles and a high nutritional awareness. Among the brand’s products is Tonik Pro – a high protein shake loaded with vitamins and minerals which is lower in fat and sugar. Head of Sales at Omni Brands, Ash McMillan said the market had shifted to align with global trends and in line with people living busier lives. "We believe the market has experienced a positive shift primarily due to consumer health trends shaking things up, shifting demand away from the sugar-filed products to healthier alternatives, coupled with those living an active lifestyle looking for a proteinrich supplement to get them through the day,” Mr McMillan said. "More recently there have been increased numbers of vegetarian and vegan consumers seeking plant-based protein solutions which is expected to be a source of continued growth for the category

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and the reason behind Omni Brands launching Tonik Plant Australia’s 1st plant based RTD protein shake this month.” Luke Driver of Better Brands Group and co-founder and director of newly launched plant-based brand Greenback agreed consumers were looking to protein snacks for better-for-you options on-the-go and as meal replacements. Greenback’s bars have a broad appeal, but target the health-conscious consumer — they are dairy free, gluten free, preservative free, high in fibre, low in sugar and low in carb and offer a good source of protein. Mr Driver said Greenback’s biggest selling point was the taste, which he said was one thing he wouldn’t compromise on. “Everyone who tastes a Greenback bar is genuinely surprised. We’ve been applauded for developing a range that nails the taste and texture profile in a category that so often misses the mark. Vegan protein bars often have an unpalatable dry and chalky tasteless texture. This is not the case with Greenback,” he said. “Each of our four flavours – Hazelnut, Choc-Mint, Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel has a delicious taste that consumers will go back for! In fact, our customers believe our bars rival the most popular chocolate confectionery bars, and with less than a third of the sugar, it is a guilt-free indulgence.” Mr Driver said he sees a huge growth potential for the category in convenience channels and would like to see more better-for-you snacking options front and centre in stores. He believes retailers who are doing this well out-perform the market. Others, he said, have the potential to develop healthy snacking destination areas and tap into the better for you platform that consumers are seeking out. Sampling campaigns, better category education, promotions and POS are also important elements that drive strong store growth. C&I * C&I would like to thank Freedom Foods, Purabon, Greenback and Omni Brands for supplying information to this article.














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How panic buying has changed consumer behaviour and the steps that will help the industry recover from the economic hit of COVID-19.

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Panic buying may permanently change consumer behaviours.

Like so many in our industry, we’ve had to adapt our supply chains and service deliveries to meet the changing protocols as a result of COVID-19.” - Darryn Wallace, LD&D


s Victoria remains in lockdown battling a second wave of COVID-19 and cases in Sydney continue to concern health authorities, it’s safe to say Australia is a while off eliminating community transmissions.

The resulting lockdowns in metro Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire and the tightening of operating guidelines for hospitality venues in NSW has many feeling nervous. The first wave of lockdowns proved the resilience and dependability of the convenience industry. But as the economy begins to lurch back into recovery mode and as parts of Australia begin to enjoy a return to some pre-COVID freedoms, we’re able to take a deeper look at the impacts the pandemic has had across P&C. In recognition of the incredible efforts across the industry to steer through the many and complex challenges throughout the pandemic, C&I spoke with industry leaders about how they negotiated the operational challenges and pain points, the long term industry changes that may result and the regulatory changes that would aid recovery. Undoubtedly one of the biggest impacts was panic buying. While dwindling toilet paper stock may have been a sore point for consumers, it posed far greater challenges for businesses left scrambling to secure bulk stock.

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Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show just how manic the situation was, with the March peak a record-breaking month for grocery. Seasonally adjusted figures show turnover rose 8.5% — the biggest rise ever recorded by the ABS and higher than pre-GST panic buying in June, 2000, which saw a spike of 8.1%. Food retailing rose an incredible 24.1% for the month. Not surprisingly, sales of toilet paper, tissue paper, rice and pasta were the most sought items, each product recording a doubling in monthly turnover. This sudden spike in demand exposed the weak points in Australian supply chains and the disruptions experienced were enough to warrant the government’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee to hold a public hearing into the resilience of these and the impact of the virus on the ‘global rules based order’. Among those to speak were consultancy groups, experts on Australia policy and representatives from a geopolitical and economic think tanks, who spoke on how existing operational measures such as off-shore processing and ‘just in time’ replenishment may no longer be looked to as sustainable options. CEO of Buying Group UCB Stores, Darren Park, said the experience highlighted some fragilities in the chain. “What has been evident for a long period now, is the industry wide focus on supply chain optimisation, seeking to reduce or

VIRAL PANIC eliminate costs, reduce inventories and other cost out initiatives, which has reduced flexibility to absorb disruption. I hope this experience will highlight that many of our industry supply chains (both for raw materials and finished goods) are vulnerable to shocks,” Mr Park said. “Panic buying is not logical, it’s almost an instinct. There’s that shopper question about toilet paper, flour or rice, “what if I miss out”? So rather than miss out, they buy two. So we add unpredictable human behaviour, with supply chains that work well when the sun is shining, but are open to shock and we get difficulties.” Head of Merchandise Planning at Caltex, Skye Jackson, said it also threw significant challenges to petrol retailers, as they grappled with product demands on a scale never before seen. “It was pretty crazy, toilet paper was an obvious one, but what we watched play out in the supermarkets eventually cascaded to our stores. Key grocery lines that had never been strong performers in our channel previously were now selling out,” Ms Jackson said. “As things went back to ‘normal’ we all reflected, ‘that was a little crazy’, thinking most people had realised it was completely unnecessary, yet here we are again! Off the back of the recent outbreaks in Victoria, again we are seeing the same customer behaviours. I’m surprised people need toilet paper again already?!” The second wave has left Caltex, like many companies, bracing for more swiftly imposed changes. “I think much like what we’ve seen in Victoria, further outbreaks will require us to be agile and respond quickly to shut downs. In addition to this, I think customers will continue to be more discerning in relation to cleanliness, so for our channel ensuring we are creating an environment that makes the customer feel comfortable to be in our stores will be critical,” she added. The bare shelves prompted the ACCC to grant approval for major supermarket operators Coles, Woolworths, Metcash and ALDI to co-ordinate when working with suppliers, manufacturers and transport and logistics companies, which has now been extended until March, 2021. However Mr Park, said this may have some positives for C-stores. “Whether we like it or not, large retailers do count Independent Retailers from not just our Industry, but from all industries as shopping targets. When through regulatory changes for example, you slant the competitive landscape one way, it by definition delivers unequal competition. Now, I don’t think this scenario has played out fully yet and whilst there’s a range of downsides to consider, there could be positives too,” he said. “For example, FMCG manufacturers will nearly always look to build balanced channel portfolios. It’s an irony but could convenience end up being a net beneficiary of too much grocery concentration? For example, a challenge is to keep our eyes open to what grocers can do well and learn. Take UCB’s confectionery category, where we have two global trade partners in Mondelez and Mars Confectionery, driving substantial year on year growth. Both have doubled down on their focus on UCB,

Consumers have come to view C-stores as safe alternatives to crowded supermarkets.

through optimising NPD supply chain to our retailer members, supporting programs such as Speed2Shelf.” According to market research company Nielsen, the experience, combined with the financial fallout of restrictions and rising unemployment may have long-term effects on consumer behaviour. A Nielsen article, ‘Recalibrated consumption dynamics in a COVID-19 altered world’, identified two types of consumers to emerge from COVID-19. The first was one largely unaffected by unemployment and under employment or health issues looking to spend, the other was consumers who had been financially impacted and unable or hesitant to spend. Nielsen further identified major areas of consumption affected by COVID-19. One that is of particular relevance to P&C is ‘rebalanced FMCG baskets'. Nielsen anticipates the move towards more at-home consumption of goods and experiences will see people tighten their spending, opt for private label or cheaper line purchases and cut out discretionary spending, either to cope with or in fear of losing finances.

I hope this experience will highlight that many of our industry supply chains (both for raw materials and finished goods) are vulnerable to shocks.” - Darren Park, United Convenience Buyers

The disruption to supply chains and low stock will also see consumers less swayed by promotions – though Nielsen state that out-of-home, on-the-go, confectionery and soft drinks may be immune to this. They suggest rather than specials, every day low prices and bonus packs may instead be a way to drive sales, especially if consumers continue to opt for less frequent shopping trips with larger basket sizes. They also predict consumers will be looking for hyper-local goods, considering these more trustworthy and as a way to support their local communities. And retailers who managed to keep stock on shelves for consumers during the peak of panic buying in March are now seeing the benefits of a newly converted, returning customer base. As one of the largest dairy and juice companies in Australia, Lion Dairy & Drinks had to quickly adapt to the challenges to meet demand, while upholding evolving government guidelines. August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 29

VIRAL PANIC partnered with Channel 9 to sponsor The Voice and the Saturday Night movie on 9Go!” Petrol too has hit hard. The sudden travel restrictions and shift to work-from-home practices and lock-downs took huge numbers of people out of the air and off the roads, resulting in a global 30% drop in demand. In April, when the restrictions were at their peak, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Petrol Monitoring Report, released last month, found prices dropped to their lowest inflation-adjusted monthly price on record. Prices hit an average low of $0.92 cpl.

Businesses need practical government support as they recover from the economic hit.

I think much like what we’ve seen in Victoria, further outbreaks will require us to be agile and respond quickly to shut downs.” - Skye Jackson, Caltex

Marketing and Innovation Director at LD&D, Darryn Wallace, said a lot of work has been taking place behind the scenes to ensure companies could keep pace with the unfolding situation. “Like so many in our industry, we’ve had to adapt our supply chains and service deliveries to meet the changing protocols as a result of COVID-19 and to ensure we can service our customer demand. During the past few months, our key priority has been adapting our processes and protocols swiftly to suit the changing landscape to ensure the safety of our people, our supplier partners, customers and consumers,” Mr Wallace said. “Internally, we’ve implemented new government guidelines in our processes and procedures and worked with our people and partners to ensure clarity through clear communication and education. As a company, we’re pleased with how we’ve responded to these challenges. We’ve worked closely with our people, our farmer and grower partners, our supply chain partners and customers to allow an uninterrupted product supply to the Australian market.” LD&D has also been smart with promotional activities. Restrictions disrupted many of the traditional activations brands would have run around new NPDs. Product shortages, too, affected in-store sales promotions. But by maintaining visibility in prominent locations in stores and stocking product in fast lane/ impulse fridges has continued to drive sales. “We tailor a unique marketing plan to each of our launches, developed with the core audience in mind. We are also adapting these plans because of COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Wallace said. “For the Maxi-Dare editions (a recently launched collaboration between Peters Maxibon and Dare Iced Coffee), we used Out of Home panels in proximity to convenience outlets, targeted social media, in-store point of sale, and public relations to drive hype.” “For our Dairy Farmers Classic and Masters new No Sugar Added ranges we used outdoor advertising, creative point of sale displays, and public relations to support sales. We also used social media. For our new Dairy Farmers A2 Goodness range we

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Lower prices weren’t confined to metropolitan areas, either. The ACCC found weekly retail petrol prices dropped by a minimum of 40cpl in half of the 190 regional locations included in their fuel monitoring between January and May. In the road to recovery, CEO of The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, Jeff Rogut, said key areas must be addressed and a focus on ensuring employees and customer safety was paramount. AACS has developed a detailed plan for industry operators to refer to as a minimum standard to operate through the pandemic and beyond. Among their recommendations are for members and their teams to download the COVIDSafe app and receive flu vaccinations. “We are doing what we can to ensure government guidance and health advice is practically implemented at an industry level to create a safe place for our people to work and our customers to visit. To continue to do this, we require detailed, clear guidance when it comes to new measures, changes and other advice. AACS is developing separate health and safety plans for members to assist them in this regard,” Mr Rogut said. To this end, he would like to see greater clarity and consistency in the guidance provided to businesses and individuals, including on operational procedures related to social distancing and hygiene that can be easily implemented and followed. “Bureaucracy leads to a loss of productivity, red and green tape, confused messages and inertia. This is the time for consistent messages across various levels of Government— federal, state and local — to allow businesses to get on with what they do best – serving their customers in the most efficient manner.” Other practical ways to help businesses through the challenges include tax reforms, including an extension to tax relief that reduces the corporate tax rate and the removal or significant reduction in payroll tax, he said. “As the Government looks to kick start the economy in the wake of COVID-19, tax reform has the potential to spur investment, incentivise businesses and provide employment opportunities. The days of penalising businesses, particularly small businesses, for giving people meaningful employment must be left behind,” Mr Rogut said. Mr Rogut added that a temporary suspension of non-essential regulatory reviews during the crisis would also bring relief to the industry. C&I

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32  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au


Dear Valued Readers, Welcome to our new Product Ranging section! Here at C&I we have been working away on an exciting new section, aimed at maximizing the exposure of leading products and tailoring these write ups to the most relevant of audiences — our hardworking store owners, operators and category managers. While our Product News gave an overview of what made a product great and was an easy way for consumers to get a taste of new product releases, we felt a new approach would allow us to provide greater industry specific insights. It’s been a great opportunity to take both an in-depth look at who our readership are and how best we can inform them. The result is a refreshed offering, that aims to answer any and all questions store owners and category managers may have about ranging a product.

While it’s important to highlight what makes a product great and what its selling point is, we know you wanted more. And we feel we have delivered. Here, our Q&A style features will give a comprehensive overview of the practical details: pack sizes, RRP, what promotional activities will be run to help drive sales and what demographic of shopper will the product bring into stores. We’re proud of the new section and believe it offers valuable insights to the P&C channel. And we hope you find the same. We’d like to thank all the brands who contributed to our inaugural section and look forward to expanding this for future issues. We are always on the hunt for new products to share with our readers. If you have a new or upcoming launch, you’d like to share with our more than 21,000 readers, please do reach out. I am extremely happy to discuss how we could help spread the word. Please email our editor Naomi White at naomi@c-store.com.au or phone (02) 8586 6145 or myself at Safa@cstore.com.au or phone 0405 517 115 to discuss further. Keep safe and I hope you enjoy this issue of C&I.

Regards, Safa de Valois Publisher & Commercial Director C&I Media

August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 33


C&I Choice: LOUX Sour Cherry

What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

LOUX Sour Cherry Drink is sweet, cool and a favourite flavour from childhood, containing natural juice from plump sour cherries. The traditional recipe, deep scarlet colour, rich fruity taste, its intoxicating aroma and the ideal balance of soda makes it extremely palatable and refreshing.

How many products in the range?

LOUX Sour Cherry is one of five SKUs in the LOUX Classic range. Other flavours include Orange, Lemon, Cola and Gazoza.

What are the pack options? 12 x 250ml What is the product size/are multiple sizes available? It’s available in 250ml glass bottles.

RRP? $1.90 for 12 pack for $19.99 Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

LOUX Soury Cherry has a broad appeal and will be a hit with all segments.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Yes. Once people try LOUX Sour Cherry they’ll understand why LOUX is one of the leading carbonated soft drinks in Europe.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

Olympian Products and Distribution, SFD (Sydney Freezers), Mosman Futures, WholeFoods, Miloway.

Australia’s Violet Crumble Chocolate Honeycomb Flavoured Milk 500ml What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Robern Menz and Bickford’s Australia, both 100% independently owned South Australian companies, have collaborated to bring together Bickford’s state of the art production technology and the iconic Violet Crumble brand to deliver a decedent Chocolate Honeycomb flavoured milk beverage. Inspired by the shattering success of Violet Crumble, this taste sensation uses 95% Australian ingredients, accounts for 50% Calcium RDI per 500ml serve, has a 9-month shelf life and contains no preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours.

How many products in the range?

One Violet Crumble Chocolate Honeycomb Flavoured Milk in 500ml.

RRP? $4.50 What drove this NPD?

This has been a cross category collaboration that we have wanted to bring to market since we acquired the Violet Crumble brand in 2018. Consumers are always looking for delicious new ways to enjoy their favourite treats and have told us overwhelmingly a ready-to-drink Violet Crumble was a nobrainer. The opportunity to work with Bickford’s production team allowed us to combine our brand heritage with their state of the art manufacturing and expertise in RTD beverages.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

Flavoured dairy beverage drinkers looking for a decadent treat. 36  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Absolutely, there is a definite market gap for a Chocolate Honeycomb flavoured drink!

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

Bickford’s Group will commence presell in August 2020, with availability from October 1. For ranging enquiries contact Bickford’s Group directly on 1800 816 769.

Will there be any promotion in store? And if so, what will this be?

We will focus on driving trial through key in-store activity and strong POS.

Will there be any consumer marketing?

Omnichannel - social/digital (programmatic), PR, Influencer, OOH and in-store POS.


Australia’s Violet Crumble DARK

What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Australia’s Violet Crumble as you know it, just with a new dark choc twist! Capitalising on the growing popularity of dark chocolate variations, this new bar is the first to pair a cocoa-rich choc coating with honeycomb. The smooth dark choc complements the sweetness of the ‘shattering’ honeycomb centre. It’s also 100% Australian Owned and Made.

How many products in the range?

chocolate is a growing market and the combination of the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate with the sweetness of the shattering honeycomb centre is a match made in heaven!

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

Choccy lovers looking to shatter their cravings! The 50g bar is perfect for an on-the-go sweet hit, whereas the 180g bag is perfect for sharing with family or friends or for someone looking for portion control pieces.

There are two new SKUs: a 50g bar and 180g bag of cubes. The existing range includes a 50g bar, 100g and 180g bags of the original (milk choc) Violet Crumble, plus the 135g Violet Crumble Nuggets.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

What are the pack options? 50g bar and 180g bag (cubes)

Will there be any consumer marketing?

RRP? 50g Bar $2.70, 180g Bag $4.99

The Distributors and Hollier Dicksons PFD

We will have Omnichannel, social/digital (programmatic), PR, Influencer, OOH/Instore and POS.

What drove this NPD?

It was created in direct response to growing consumer trends for differing formats, portion control and finding fun ways to share favourite snacks. Dark

August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 37


HiGeen Hand Sanitiser What drove this NPD?

The company HiGeen was founded in 1988, 61 years after its products were first produced. This company still researches the products being manufactured and continues to produce products to meet consumers’ needs. This product was developed with customer satisfaction as the top priority, whilst maintaining a clean and hygienic vision for everyone alike. Although the market has been flooded with a wide variety of hand sanitisers, the arrival of this product in the market boasts great competition across the board among even the leading brands.

How many products in the range?

We currently have hand sanitiser in stock, which is available in a wide range of fragrances, such as jasmine, lemon, kiwi, green tea, cucumber and more.

What pack sizes are available?

Available sizes include 50ml, 50ml with silicone case, 110ml, 500ml and 1L.


$4/50ml; $5/50ml with silicone case; $6/110ml; $10/500ml; $15/1L.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

It’s aimed at all consumers seeking a top quality hand sanitiser, which has been formulated to kill bacteria and germs, without irritating skin. It is also rich in vitamin beads and contains the optimal amount of glycerine that keeps skin moisturised. HiGeen hand sanitisers are purchased by the general public and by businesses such as restaurants and offices overseas.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Even though this product might not bring a new segment of customers into stores, it is guaranteed to appeal to customers seeking these products. And a soon to be launched product that HiGreen is bringing to Australia — a mouthwash specifically formulated for smoker’s breath, will definitely attract a new segment of customers. 38  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Who is the best contact for this product?

Contact Hamza Alber (Managing Director of E&H Partners) on 0404 269 280 or via email hamza@ehpartners.co or Sleiman Naja (Sales Manager) on 0449 955 466 or via email sleiman@ehpartners.co. Visit www.higeen.co/en/ for more information.







+61 7402 9635 | +61 449 955 466 sales@ehpartners.co www.higeen.com.au


Sanitarium UP&GO No Added Sugar What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Convenience, nutrition and taste are key drivers of UP&GO and this product ticks all of the boxes: no added sugar offers potential to attract new buyers by overcoming the key barrier to entry of sugar. Source: Barriers and Triggers Poll, The Good Food Lounge, April 2019.

What is the product size/are multiple sizes available?

In the petrol and convenience channel, we have two No Added Sugar SKUs available in 350mL Choc and Vanilla flavours.

RRP? $3.60 What drove this NPD?

This NPD was consumer insight driven with ‘no added sugar’ being identified as the most appealing claim to improve purchase intent among current and non-buyer user groups. Source: Sanitarium Morning Occasions U&A, 2018

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

Consumers seeking a healthy and convenient on the go liquid breakfast.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Since its launch in grocery channel in only 15 weeks, UP&GO No Added Sugar has achieved incremental household penetration equating to 78,000 new households, which is expected to grow throughout the year. Source: UP&GO NAS NPD Review, Nielsen Homescan May 2020

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s (so retailers know who to contact/where to buy from) Frucor.

Maximus Game On Sports Drink What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Maximus sports drink is launching the first Australian sports drink for gamers! Crafted specifically for gamers of all types, it includes Magnesium and B Vitamins to reduce tiredness & fatigue to help you get your GAME ON! It also has 18% less sugar than the core Maximus flavours. It will be priced alongside the rest of the Maximus range.

How many products in the range?

Maximus Game On launches this August with two delicious flavours: Lime and Blackcurrant.

What is the product size?

Maximus sports drinks are available in 1L.


It will be priced alongside the rest of the Maximus range.

What drove this NPD?

The gaming industry is taking the world by storm, worth over $143 billion in 2020*. Sports drinks are known to be predominately consumed outside of the sport occasion, with gaming being a huge untapped opportunity.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

There is a mass crossover with gaming and sports, with 61% of males 18-39yo engaging in both activities**. Maximus is giving these consumers what they need by providing them a hydrating sport drink for all their gaming sessions! 40  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

For more information, contact your Frucor Suntory representative or customer service on 1800 237 727.

Will there be any promotion in store? And if so, what will this be? Maximus Game On is launching with an epic on pack promotion: the first brand in the world to give away the new Xbox Series X console. Supported by a massive in-store support plan, all consumers need to do is purchase a Maximus Game On and they have a chance to win the NEW Xbox Series X daily. They are also giving away 5000 Monthly Xbox Ultimate Game passes. Running from August 3 to October 31, be sure to range this product in your store to capitalise on this awesome promotion. There will also be an above the line campaign in October to help introduce the new product to consumers, with over $1 million in media spend. *NewZoo 2020. ** Roy Morgan 2019

Glycaemic Index (GI) value = 44


LOUX Soft Drinks

What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

LOUX has been one of the most popular soft drink brands in Europe since the 1950s. The terrain and general growing conditions in Greece give the fruit so much depth of flavour that it’s unlike anything you’d find in a supermarket here. The simple combination of intensely flavoured fruit and pure mountain spring water with light carbonation is a winning formula that’s been a firm favourite overseas for decades. In fact LOUX Orange has been the number 1 soft drink in Greece for years. Now LOUX has launched the Plus N Light range —a long name for a healthier option —where they’ve taken the three most popular varieties from the classic range, tweaked the recipe a little and come up with a certified LOW GI soft drink that is suitable for diabetics and anyone else concerned about kilojoules, plus it has added Vitamin C! It maintains all the characteristic sweet and sour appeal of the original range, without any artificial sweeteners. PNL has 60% less calories than the classic style, so now there’s a soft drink for everyone.

How many products in the range?

There are two products, LOUX Classic and LOUX Plus N Light.

How many SKUs per product?

LOUX Classic has five SKUs here in Australia: Orange, Lemon, Cola, Sour Cherry and Gazoza LOUX PNL has three: Orange, Lemon and Cola.

What are the pack options? 12 x 250ml

What is the product size/are multiple sizes available? All LOUX sodas come in 250ml glass bottles.

42  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

RRP? $1.90 for 12 pack for $19.99 What drove this NPD?

Olympian Products was established to bring the best of healthy convenience food and beverage from overseas to Australia. Greece offers some of the best products in Europe which, apart from fetta cheese, haven’t been given the recognition they deserve in Australia, so it made sense to me to start there. LOUX is such a standout product there was already strong demand for it here.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

LOUX Classic appeals to all segments, while LOUX PNL is especially for those with health or dietary considerations who’d still like to enjoy a refreshing fizzy drink now and then.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Definitely. Once people try LOUX they’ll understand why it is so popular overseas. We struggle to keep up with demand sometimes but supply is constant. LOUX is one of the leading carbonated soft drinks in Europe where it is valued for being a healthier option and for its delicious taste.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s (so retailers know who to contact/where to buy from)

Olympian Products and Distribution, SFD (Sydney Freezers), Mosman Futures, WholeFoods, Miloway

Any trade marketing?

We’re focusing on Trade for now. C&I has been working well for us in generating awareness among the buyers.

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.

NEW LOUX Plus N Light is a diabetic-friendly, certified LOW GI soft drink. Perfect for consumers seeking a healthy lifestyle. LOUX Plus N Light maintains all the sweet and sour appeal of the classic soda, with 60% less calories.

Packaging Type


Units Per Case

Cases Per Pallet

Glass Bottles




Glass Bottles




Distributed by Olympian Products & Distribution Call: 1800 413 711 | email: sales@olympianproducts.com

E H T G N I T F I L E R ’ E ! W E M A G R U O V A FL



Ne w

Inspired by Four’N Twenty ambassador and Philadelphia 76ers 6ers basketball superstar Ben Simmons, it’s the classic taste of 100% 00% Australian beef and onion, topped with a delicious Philly cheesesteak style cheese sauce, wrapped in golden pastry.

Chicken is one of the most popular Australian meal choices, with most Australians eating chicken twice or more each week week.1 Four’N Twenty introduces the new Traveller Chicken & Vegetable to the fastest growing format within hot on-the-go savouries,2 making it the perfect addition to the core range in the warmer. Launches in-market October 2020.








24 x 160G





24 x 160G



Sources 1Official statistics from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE), supplemented by a nationally-representative survey of 1,000 people to ascertain buying habits, and preferences October 2019 2National Convenience data dollar growth Vs YA to May 2020

N I s e l a s G N I V I R . . D . r S e U b PL o t c O & t s u g u a



Conditions apply, see fourntwenty.com.au/fntmerch. Starts: 1/10/20. Ends: 11:59pm AEST 31/10/20, or when 1,500 valid claims are received, whichever is first to occur. Limit 1 entry p/transaction; Retain receipt/s. Gift: Four N Twenty mini plush footy valued at $9.99. Promoter: Patties Foods Pty Ltd of Level 2, 1 Joseph Avenue, Mentone, VIC 3194. ABN 62 007 157 182. Permit: XXXXXXX









DURING THE MONTHS OF AUGUST & OCTOBER, CONSUMERS PURCHASE ANY TWO FOUR’N TWENTY PRODUCTS FROM ANY P&C OUTLET AND REDEEM AT FOURNTWENTY.COM.AU/FNTMERCH Conditions apply, see fourntwenty.com.au/fntmerch. Starts: 1/8/20. Ends: 11:59pm AEST 31/8/20, or when 1,500 valid claims are received, whichever is first to occur. Limit 1 entry p/transaction; Retain receipt/s. Gift: Four N Twenty socks valued at $9.99. Promoter: Patties Foods Pty Ltd of Level 2, 1 Joseph Avenue, Mentone, VIC 3194. ABN 62 007 157 182. Permit: SA T20/715.


Four’N Twenty Meat Free Pie What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

The plant-based trend continues to grow in Australia, with more Aussies than ever reducing their meat intake. Consumers are also increasingly looking for more vegetarian options. The introduction of our first-ever Meat Free pie, made from high quality plant-based ingredients, means that even more Australians can enjoy the great Four’N Twenty taste, and marks an exciting milestone for the brand.

How many products in the range?

Four’N Twenty’s first ever Meat Free Pie joins beloved options including the Classic Meat Pie, our Traveller range and premium products, such as the Chunky Angus pies.

How many SKUs per product?

Our Four’N Twenty Meat Free Pie is the first in the range and we’re looking to expand in the coming months!

What are the pack options?

Our Meat Free Pie is available as a 175g single-serve product, or in a pack of four. Petrol and convenience stores stock Four’N Twenty Meat Free pies hot and ready to eat for a delicious on-the-go meal option.

What is the product size/are multiple sizes available?

Single serve pies are available at petrol and convenience stores and Coles supermarkets. Four-packs are available at Woolworths and selected independent supermarkets.


Our single serve Meat Free Pie RRP ranges from $3.50 in supermarket freezers to $5.00 as a ready to eat offer in P&C outlets. The RRP for the 4-pack is $9.50. 46  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

What drove this NPD?

We invest in consumer insights to ensure we’re delivering insight-led innovation and evolving with cultural trends and consumer behaviours. We’ve seen the plant-based trend continue to gain momentum in the frozen category, as more consumers look to expand their choices. We ensure that the much-loved Australian pie continues to evolve, reflecting changing cultural trends and consumer needs. With the launch of our Meat Free Pie, there’s now a Four’N Twenty for all Australians to enjoy, whether you are vegetarian or simply looking to reduce your meat intake without compromising on taste.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

Meat eaters, meat reducers, vegetarians, flexitarians and pie lovers – the Meat Free Pie is delicious and will cater to all tastes.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Yes – we are continually developing our products to appeal to even more Australians. Four’N Twenty’s Meat Free pies have already exceeded sales expectations and generated great excitement from customers purchasing in store and discussing them on social media.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s

Four’N Twenty Meat Free pies are available through major distributors.

Will there be any promotion in store? And if so, what will this be?

Four’N Twenty will be running exciting promotions through August and October, giving consumers a chance to get their hands on limited edition Four’N Twenty merchandise. This will be supported with point of sale instore and a strong social media campaign. We’re also continuing to support the launch of Four’N Twenty’s Meat Free pie with point of sale and promotions to drive awareness of the new range.


Snack Brands Tasty Delights NEW KETTLE FLAT BREAD CRACKERS What makes it such a great product?

Kettle Flat Bread Crackers are 100% natural and have no artificial colours or flavours.

How many products are in the range?

They are available in two popular flavours: Burnt Fig and Sea Salt.


At the Natural Cracker Co., we use absolutely nothing artificial – no artificial colours, flavours or added preservatives. They are 100% natural with no added MSG, are Non GMO and vegetarian friendly.

NEW LIMITED EDITION CHEEZELS CHILLI CHEESE What makes it such a great product?

They are irresistible. After just one bite you remember that the big Cheeze always knows how to bring the chilli cheese – flavoured fun to the party. They are baked not fried, have no added colours of preservatives, are gluten free and made with corn and rice and proudly Australian made.


The Chipotle Salsa has a little bit of heat from the Chipotle’s Chilli, combined

with tomato salsa flavour to delight your taste buds. They are proudly Australian made, vegan and vegetarian friendly, gluten free and have no artificial colours or flavours.

NEW TYRRELL'S CRINKLY CRISPS RANGE What makes it such a great product?

They are made with the finest Australian potatoes, complete with jackets, sliced with deep ridges and slow-cooked three times over for a very crunchy, crinkly crisp.

What flavours are available in the range?

Mature Cheddar & Chives, Sea Salt & Vinegar and Sea Salt & Vinegar, which are Vegan Friendly (cooked in sunflower oil). Both flavours are gluten free and endorsed by Coeliac Australia, have no artificial colours, flavours, GMO ingredients, added preservatives or MSG and are made in a nut-free facility. They are also Australian made.


Safetouch Anti-Pathogenic Tape

What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Safe+Touch is an antipathogenic adhesive, a bit similar in form to Contact, which applies to surfaces to provide a barrier against infection. The tape is effective against 99.9% of bacteria and rejuvenates under light. It’s non-toxic and removes easily without leaving residue. Safe+Touch can be applied to mobile phones, desks, light switches, trolleys… any surface really, to protect against the transmission of bacteria. For example, it has recently been installed on every touchscreen kiosk in all of Korea’s 14 airports.

How many products in the range?

The initial range includes rolls, light switch covers, mobile phone and touchscreen protectors and desk mats.

How many SKUs per product?

Eight SKUs currently, with more being developed. However the roll can be cut to size for most surfaces.

What are the pack options?

Three tape length rolls and light switch covers.

What product sizes are available? Multiple sizes are available.

48  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au


Varies depending on pack option.

What drove this NPD?

An increasing awareness of our exposure to communicable bacteria from touching surfaces. It’s estimated 60% of infections are transmitted by hand.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

The applications are so broad that Safe+Touch is relevant to all segments.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Yes, because it provides an alternative to cleaning solutions. Safe+Touch has excellent durability and doesn’t require disinfection as it renews under exposure to light, so installing Safe+Touch will eliminate a great deal of ongoing labour and materials expense.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

It’s brand new to market and available directly through VCM, who is our distributor.

Any trade marketing?

We’re focusing on trade promotion through our socials and print advertising for now, with other ATL to follow.

SafeTouch Anti-Pathogenic Tape prevents transmission of bacteria. The unique sterilisation process kills microbes on contact and returns to its original state, so it can be used over and over again without loss of efficacy. The non-toxic patented Tape is easily applied and prevents cross infection against 99.9% of bacteria. Applies to all surfaces

Prevents cross-infection by killing 99.99% of bacteria


Easy to use


Made from 100% natural antimicrobial material

Self-adhesive and removed without leaving residue

Excellent durability and persistency

The endless applications include door/drawer handles, table tops, hand rails, light switches, mobile phone and computer screens, touch screens, etc. making it ideal for retail, hospitality, health, aged care, educational and child minding environments. SafeTouch Anti-Pathogenic products include desk shields, desk mats, light switch covers, face mask cases, and rolls in transparent, non-transparent and child-friendly designs.

Imported by Olympian Products and distributed by VCM E: enquiries@vcmedia.net.au or call 0405 517 115


Mrs Mac's Plant Based Range

What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Mrs Mac’s is excited to launch a plant-based range designed to offer health conscious consumers tasty and convenient hot food options. The range includes exciting plant based flavours and targets the growing segment of consumers seeking meat alternatives across on the go and retail channels.

How many products in the range?

There are two products in the range: a Smokey BBQ Jackfruit Pie and a Black Bean & Chipotle Burrito Roll.

How many SKUs per product?

The Smokey BBQ Jackfruit Pie and Black Bean and Chipotle Burrito Roll are available in heat-in-bag and unbaked formats.

What are the pack options?

The pie filling includes jackfruit that has been slow cooked in a delicious smokey BBQ sauce. Jackfruit is gaining huge popularity amongst plant-based consumers. The reason for its appeal is when it’s slow cooked, jackfruit flakes just like meat and it also infuses the flavours of the sauce, just like meat. We are seeing more and more chefs and a number of QSRs utilising jackfruit as a plant-based alternative to pulled pork in tacos and curry dishes. Besides being a tasty plant based option, jackfruit has significant nutritional benefits, making it an appealing option to health conscious consumers. The other product in the Mrs Mac’s range is the Mexican inspired Burrito Roll. This product capitalises on the growing trend in Mexican cuisine and combines black bean, sweet potato, capsicum, corn and a sprinkle of chipotle chilli to give it an authentic flavour. The Burrito Roll is an exciting addition to the hot food category and ideal for on the go consumers looking for tasty plant-based options.

What is the product size/are multiple sizes available?

Baked options are: Smokey BBQ Jackfruit Pie 175g and Black Bean & Chipotle Burrito Roll 140g. The Unbaked options are Smokey BBQ Jackfruit Pie 200g and Black Bean & Chipotle Burrito 160g.


$5-$6. Research shows plant based consumers are premium shoppers. Insights show if the plant-based offer is appealing and meets their needs in terms of taste and health, their basket size value is above that of a traditional shopper.

50  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

What drove this NPD?

Consumer insights show health conscious consumers believe the hot food category isn’t serving their needs in terms of taste and health requirements. Recent innovation in the category has failed to engage these consumers and this has led the Mrs Mac’s team to design a plantbased offer that fills this gap with an innovative range designed to recruit new shoppers into the category. The R&D team at Mrs Mac’s has undertaken extensive research to identify the emerging trends in plant-based and through the product development stage the Smokey BBQ Jackfruit Pie and Black Bean & Chipotle Burrito Roll emerged as the perfect offer to excite plant-based consumers.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

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.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

The plant-based range developed by Mrs Mac’s is aimed at engaging a new shopper into the hot food category. At the moment, these consumers are not engaged in the category because of their belief it’s filled with unhealthy options. However, the offer developed by Mrs Mac’s is about breaking down those barriers to engage a new shopper with a range that connects to their key needs of taste and health. This represents a great opportunity for retailers who can leverage the unique offer to recruit health conscious consumers and deliver incremental growth by increasing the basket size of these shoppers.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

These products are available from all major food distributors.

Will there be any promotion in store?

The Mrs Mac’s plant-based range will be supported with a significant above the line campaign and in-store support. The media campaign will commence in October, in line with the launch in store. The team have also developed point of sale materials that can be activated pre and in-store to build awareness and drive conversion with shoppers.


August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 51


Mrs Mac's Special Batch Range What makes it such a great product?

Mrs Mac’s is excited to launch our Special Batch range. It's a premium range of gourmet pies and sausage rolls that have been developed with clean recipes containing no artificial flavours or colours.

How many products are in the range?

There are five products in the range. They include: • Slow Cooked Beef Pie • Chicken Leek & Mushroom Pie • Butter Chicken Pie • Gourmet Beef Roll • Spinach & Feta Roll

How many SKUs per product?

The range includes three gourmet pies and two gourmet sausage rolls.

What are the pack options?

The entire range is heat in bag format, making it ideal for the hot food category. The range includes lunch and snacking options.

What product sizes are available?

• Slow Cooked Beef Pie 175g • Chicken Leek & Mushroom Pie 175g • Butter Chicken Pie 175g

52  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

• Gourmet Beef Roll 160g • Spinach & Feta Roll 100g

RRP? $4-$5 What drove this NPD?

Consumers’ food expectations have increased, with a growing demand for high quality ingredients, gourmet flavours and clean recipes containing no artificial flavours or colours. Mrs Mac’s has developed the Special Batch range to capitalise on this growing trend and provide customers with hot food options that meet these needs.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

Targeting on-the-go consumers who are seeking tasty lunch and snacking options, who are mindful of avoiding foods with nasties such as artificial flavours or colours.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

The new range is aimed at trading up existing category shoppers with this new premium offer. Mrs Mac’s Special Batch is unique within the hot food category and an appealing option for on-the-go consumers.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s ?

These products are available from all major food distributors.


Give in to your fillings! What makes it such a great product/ what’s the key selling point?

Australia’s number one chocolate bar brand in Australian convenience*, KitKat, has two new bars set to excite fans. Both flavours also feature new look vertical packaging and are available nationwide.

How many products in the range?

The delicious multi-texture creations feature two mainstream flavours with a twist. The first KitKat Mint Cookie Fudge, features crispy wafer fingers topped with mint fudge and cookie pieces covered in smooth milk chocolate. The second, KitKat Gooey Caramel, has crispy wafer fingers topped with gooey caramel, covered in deliciously smooth milk chocolate.

RRP? Both bars retail for RRP $2. *AC Nielsen Australia Convenience Year 2019

Gold just got Chunky! What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Capitalising on the success of KitKat Gold that consumers know and love, introducing new KitKat Chunky Gold Krisp. 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.

Pack size? It comes in a 45g bar. RRP? $2 Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

KitKat Gold has played a very important role for KitKat, by bringing new users into the brand and category, as it appeals to a different demographic versus other core SKUs.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

KitKat is the #1 chocolate brand in the Australian convenience market* and the Chunky sub brand has been critical to this, growing +12.5%*. New lines 54  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

play a crucial role in driving growth of core SKUs, with the 2019 NPD KitKat Chunky Cookie Dough being the 11th largest medium bar in terms of value*, while KitKat Chunky 50g grew +26.0%*.

What drove this NPD?

KitKat Gold four finger bar played a very important role in our strategy through bringing new users into the brand and category and appealing to a different demographic vs. our other core SKUs.

What activations do you have planned?

Available nationally, the product will be available mid-July with activation kicking off in convenience from August 2020.

Will there be any in store promotion and/or trade marketing?

Yes. The launch is supported by an extensive out of home campaign to drive awareness through mass reach, while a compelling social campaign will further drive excitement of the NPD. PR will also help to drive engagement and talkability.


Best of both Whirls!

What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Enjoy the best of both worlds with Milkybar Whirl; a deliciously creamy bar from the leading white choco brand in Australia*, now with a swirl of smooth milk chocolate. New Milkybar Whirl is the perfect balance between milk and white chocolate; providing a twist on the original white chocolate your shoppers know and love!

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

It generates incremental growth by increasing current milk chocolate shoppers’ repertoire to trial white chocolate.

Pack size? It comes in a 45g bar. RRP? It retails for $2. *AC Nielsen Australian Combined Grocery/Convenience database MAT 26/01/2020

Allen’s Flavoured Milk Bottles What makes it such a great product?

What do you get when you bring together Australia’s #1 lolly brand* with one of Australia’s favourite flavoured milk brands? ALLEN’S is very excited about our latest collaboration with OAK milk. Brand partnerships help differentiate and modernise brands, and ALLEN’S has a strong record of stretching fun with exciting collaborations; including the popular Inspired by Peter’s Frosty Fruit and Drumstick ranges.

How many products in the range?

Launching in two Inspired by Oak flavours, ALLEN’S Flavoured Milk Bottles (OAK strawberry, OAK malt and OAK chocolate), as well ALLEN’S Iced

Coffee Milk Bottles, we are sure this will be a hit with convenience shoppers given the strength of the brands in the channel. Both will be available nationally in store from August 2020.

Pack size? Both flavours come in 170g packs. Will there be any marketing and promotion in store?

The launch will be supported with above the line media support to drive awareness with high engaging comms. A strong digital campaign will drive engagement as well as in store activation to drive visibility. *Source: AC Nielsen Australia Convenience MAT to 21/06/2020

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The Outback Pie Co's new Mega Brekky Pie in the convenience channel What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

The new Mega Brekky Pie from The Outback Pie Co. is a massive 310g eat that — hands down, beats every other hot grab-and-go breakfast offer on the market. When comparing it to other breakfast pie offers, there just simply isn’t anything like it. The Outback Pie Co. has done something special here by using ingredients that tower over competitors. Rather than simply trying to dress up a quiche and claim it as a breakfast offer, the Mega Brekky Pie is actually made with authentic breakfast ingredients including a large farm fresh, hand cracked egg, real bacon pieces, crunchy mini hash browns and melted cheddar cheese. This all sits on top of a delicious high quality beef filling. This combination of real ingredients gives customers a genuine on the go breakfast experience, which until now hasn’t been attainable through P&C pie offers. This means convenience store owners can now confidently deliver a truly compelling breakfast offer to rival the major drive through fast food chains.

What drove this NPD?

Milo Gaffney, Managing Director of The Outback Pie Co., explained that pie manufacturers have been trying to get the all important breakfast offer right in the convenience channel for a long time, but acknowledges that every company has fallen short. “I think the larger manufacturers are constrained in how they’re able to physically manufacture products. We’re not. So, developing the product was actually very easy. We had the capability to simply put together genuine breakfast ingredients that consumers like to eat. By focussing on what we should make, rather than what’s simply easy to make, we’ve created a genuine convenience breakfast offer that stands head and shoulders above the rest.”

How many products in the range?

Presently, there is only one flavour variant of the Mega Brekky Pie. The early success of this line has given rise to a second variant due for introduction later in the year.

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What are the pack options?

The Mega Brekky Pie comes as a fully wrapped, pre-baked product that simply requires oven reheating or pre-hold baking. This provides operators with ease of handling and a product that will last several hours in a pie warmer. To improve their hot food displays, some operators opt to remove the product from its wrap, displaying it in a naked format. When this is done, the product looks amazing. It’s visibly both striking and considerably larger that all other pies in the display. The product’s visual appeal is unparalleled and generates immediate interest and trial.

What is the product size/are multiple sizes available?

The product is 310g net and comes in a carton of eight. Being considerably larger than standard pies and manufactured from high quality ingredients, convenience retailers are able to charge a premium, driving more profit in what has become a challenging economic period.

Who is/are the major wholesalers?

The product is currently being rolled out to major food service distributors, with in-store marketing material being available to all stores who sell the Mega Brekky Pie. All supply enquires should be directed to The Outback Pie Co. via email or phone. For information and sales enquiries contact The Outback Pie Co. at info@outbackpieco.com.au, (07) 4774 6889 or visit www.outbackpieco.com.au.


Fuse Audio and Power Accessories What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

Fuse is more than just a brand, it’s an experience. Ignite your ears with the Fuse lifestyle range of audio and power accessories designed for the 9-5 commuters, tradies, the nomad travelers, the busy students and everyone in between. Ignited back in 2014, Fuse has evolved with the technology as quickly as the younger generations adopt it. Offering a range of wireless Bluetooth accessories including speakers, power banks, inner-ear and over-ear headphones, Fuse will make sure you take the music wherever you go. The Audio category has grown by +46%* on in the six months ending June 2020. Source: IRI Australia, 6 months ending June 2020.

How many products in the range?

The Fuse range is made up of audio accessories, with a total of 18 SKUs. This summer, we are launching some new SKUs, which will continue to drive this high growth category. These include: • Brand new Android style True Wireless Headphones at $40 RRP. • Addition of rose gold and space grey to the best selling white Airbudz. • A dual Bluetooth speaker set at $30 RRP, where you link both speakers to your device for a surround sound experience.

What are the pack options?

Audio is a very personal thing, so the Fuse range caters to all consumer types. The options include traditional wired headphones – both in-ear and over head, Bluetooth headphones, True Wireless style Pods and portable Bluetooth speakers.


A consumer can buy a basic in-ear set of headphones for $10, while a set of True Wireless AirBudz is $40. The Airbudz offer is still relatively new, which delivered over $4 million in retail sales in the first six months of launch. This was the number one NPD item and is still trending the number one performing SKU in the range.

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Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

Working from home? Fuse can help you work productively at home and stay in touch with all of team online all while sounding crystal clear. Heading to work? The city can be a busy place, hustling and bustling with the sounds of transit, construction and everyday city life. Ignite your ears and escape to your audio destination of choice with our selection of Fuse audio accessories, designed for the ultimate aural experience while commuting on-the-go. Off to School? Take a break from academic focus and transport your thoughts through sound to your destination of choice. Enjoy a little Hip Hop to help you relax? With Fuse audio accessories whatever your sound of choice, Fuse will ignite your ears and keep you powered. Gearing up to travel? It’s definitely not as fun when you can’t take the music with you… keep yourself occupied on those lengthy layovers, long flights and tedious transit stops with Fuse Audio accessories, your perfect travel companion.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

Pacific Optics is the manufacturer and brand owner of Fuse Accessories. This is one of the many market leading brands supplied by Pacific Optics, so it’s as easy as talking to us to organize a personalized in-store visit to help tailor a range to your needs. Simply call 1300 237 425 or email orders@ pacificoptics.com.

Will there be any in-store marketing?

Promotion in store will be focused on showcasing innovation over the traditional summer travel period. This will be executed through a combination of high impulse display units, targeted at both the front counter to capitalise on the impulsive purchase behavior in this category, as well as in pre-packed off location offers aimed at maximizing the potential upsell opportunities. Want to know more about the Fuse brand, check it out online at https:// www.fuseaudio.com.au/.


Big Rig Outfitters and HeatMax lead workwear safety in P&C What makes it such a great product/what’s the key selling point?

The importance of workplace safety and hazard management in Australia is paramount. Accessibility to worksafe wear, safety products and apparel to get your customers refreshed and on their way, provides you with a great opportunity to add incremental sales into your shop offer. Convenience comes into its own where there is 24/7 accessibility for consumers. Having products like these available at midnight or 4am is what satisfies consumer demand when they need it now.

How many products in the range?

There are over 100 products in the complete range, however understanding your customers’ needs is the first step in developing the offer you need for your store. The best approach is to talk with your local representative who will be able to share tailored planogram examples for you based on what type of store and consumer profile you have. It could be as small as half a bay to two full bays.

What drove this NPD?

This range was developed to cater for the increasing consumer need to have access to high-vis wear, safety products and undergarments available 24/7. The Big Rig Outfitters brand was designed with the modern tradie in mind, whilst the HeatMax sock range was built to provide the ultimate warmth or coolness for your feet.

Which customer segment is this product aimed at?

Customer segment is on the go tradies, truck drivers, delivery drivers across all industries – so the audience is significant.

Will it bring a new customer base into the store?

Once this customer segment knows that you range this type of product that can help them out in any situation, it will absolutely deliver repeat sales for you.

Who is/are the major wholesaler/s?

In each of the sub segments within workwear, the most popular size options are available, so there is choice for everyone. Within the socks segment, there are both mens and ladies ranges available.

Pacific Optics is the exclusive distributor of this range in petrol and convenience. This is one of the many market leading offers supplied by Pacific Optics, so it’s as easy as talking to us to organize a personalized in-store visit so they can help you tailor a range to your needs. Simply call 1300 237 425 or email orders@pacificoptics.com.


Will there be any promotion in store? And if so, what will this be?

What is the product size/are multiple sizes available?

Workwear items available in the range start from as little as $9.99 for everyday items, up to $21.99. 64  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

This range is being marketed in store through high impact point of sale material to create a category home.


DARREN PARK CEO United Convenience Buyers

Whether you’re a single site or multi-site operator, one thing is certain, convenience retailing is complex.” – Darren Park



t seems like each week, we read a story about a wellknown or much-loved business finding today’s trading conditions difficult. It’s sad for those businesses and the people they employ. It can sometimes feel like Retail is under fire. Our convenience industry through hard work, perseverance and responding rapidly to changing shopper needs, look to be weathering the storms of 2020. My thoughts and admiration go out to all retailers across our Industry. Whether you’re a single site or multi-site operator, one thing is certain, convenience retailing is complex. In the daily battles for shopper loyalty, cross channel competitors and challenging trading margins, we have to use every tool we can to maintain and build competitive advantage. One of the tools we have are big brands. Our Industry is a reliable and shopper safe conduit to consumers who purchase big brands. Often when times get difficult, fearful of declining revenue, some big brand manufacturers begin to cut back in various areas, including their promotion and brand building investments. Ironically, shoppers tend to move back to big brands under these same conditions. Although the natural inclination for some big brand manufacturers is to cut back on promoting and innovating during challenging economic conditions, those brands that maintain or enhance their investment wisely, can generate a boost in sales and market share, which can last well into the future. There’s a popular saying that might very well be true: ‘when times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise’. I went searching for some examples to support the above comment and whilst they are from another market, I believe they offer food for thought:

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It’s 1991 in the North American Market. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell took advantage of McDonald’s decision to drop its advertising and promotion budget. As a result, Pizza Hut increased sales by 61%, Taco Bell sales grew by 40% and McDonald’s sales declined by 28%. (source: Better Marketing April 2020) Amazon USA sales grew by 28% in 2009, which many of us will remember as being a very difficult period economically. Amazon continued to innovate and promote new products, most notably the (then) new Kindle products, which helped to grow market share. As a result on Christmas Day 2009, Amazon USA customers bought more e-books than physical books. Amazon USA became increasingly known as an innovative company by introducing a lower cost alternative for cash-strapped consumers. And the rest as they say, is history. The Australian Convenience Industry has in its own way invested in itself in 2020, with much of that investment being about making our shoppers and team members remain safe. That’s brand building for our industry, which has driven convenience stores to be ranked as one of the most trusted and safe retail environments across Australia. With shoppers spending more time in our stores and feeling safe to do so, there are plenty of opportunities for big brand manufacturers’ promotions and innovations to thrive. For shoppers who move back to big brands in tough times, the reassurance of continuity is top of their mind. Let’s keep giving them what they want: sensible value through promoting big brands and innovation. Maintaining convenience channel investment now, could give big brand manufacturers a sustained base to grow from, when economic times again turn for the better. Until next time, Darren Park C&I

Sure, Australia is a thriving market, but have you thought about expanding into New Zealand? Our fair cousin across the Tasman is a country that thrives on new products. And if you have NPD to share, we’re the perfect way to help you share the news. There are more than 6,700 FMCG retail stores in New Zealand and we can help you get an ear in and your products front and centre at each and every one. How, you ask? Our NZ magazine — FMCG Business Magazine goes into every store across NZ, giving you direct access to the very people seeking the next big thing in NPD. We also have the country’s largest audience of key FMCG decision makers and we are the only title within this sector with a print circulation audited and verified by the Audit Bureau of Circulation. The numbers speak for themselves: we a readership of 1,265 in petrol, which is forecast to grow to 1,300 within the next two years. We are sent to more than 4,000 dairies, including independent grocery stores. And we go to more than 1,450 of NZ’s major grocery chains Foodstuffs, Pak’nSave, New World, Four Square and Countdown.

Keen to learn more? Contact Safa de Valois, Publisher & Commercial Director, C&I Media at safa@c-store.com.au or (02) 8586 6172.


JEFF ROGUT CEO Australasian Association of Convenience Stores

It is critical that when a sense of normality returns, that those small businesses willing to dust themselves off and compete again are provided the proper support.” – Jeff Rogut

SMALL BUSINESSES NEED SUPPORT THROUGH EVERY STAGE OF THE PANDEMIC I t is often said that small business is the backbone of the economy. We agree. And when the COVID-19 crisis passes – and it will – small businesses such as those in our industry, will be the backbone again. But they will need support. From Government, consumers and representative associations like AACS. Just as the convenience industry has endeavoured to stay open and serve local communities, so are many thousands of other small businesses. In many cases, these businesses are part of the social fabric of the local area. They are the coffee shops, florists, gift shops, homewares stores and other local fixtures that give their communities a unique identity. Many have closed, hoping to re-open and of course, not all will. The Government’s support package will ideally help some of these businesses remain connected to their loyal staff. Some may be able to ride out the storm but others have already served their last customers. It is critical that when a sense of normality returns, that those small businesses willing to dust themselves off and compete again are provided the proper support. Sales of grocery and associated items [beverages cold and hot, milk, bread etc] account for 44 per cent of a typical store’s turnover, with the remainder being a combination of general merchandise, auto needs, communications and tobacco. Importantly, our members also sell newspapers, which are a vital source of trusted, factual information, including from Government, at this very difficult time, particularly for older Australians in their communities. In response to COVID-19 our members have developed a comprehensive package of actions to ensure our stores maintain the highest standards of hygiene, as well as steps to ensure we can stock and staff our outlets throughout these challenging times. These steps were taken when there were ‘no rules’ but the industry acted quickly, and responsibly. There were numerous products shortages initially and AACS participated in a number of government working

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groups to ensure that the voice of our industry was heard. We were dismayed to see stocks of hard-to-get products such as cleaning and sanitising supplies, canned foods, paper goods, among other essential items, appearing in major supermarkets, yet many of our stores remained without stock. We were assured by distributors that smaller stores were being treated fairly in terms of stock deliveries. Anecdotally there were comments about a few manufacturers who were treating larger stores with priority over smaller ones and independents. Obviously some of these categories received unusually high customer demand, though traditionally they were not major sellers in our channel. Even mainstay categories such as bread and milk increased in sales quite noticeably as consumers ‘rediscovered’ the convenience of our stores as they sought to avoid crowds in larger stores. In the main our regular suppliers did take care of our retailers and kept supply up during a very challenging period and we do acknowledge and thank them for that. For the future we see a number of areas of focus as our industry seeks to rebuild. These include: a temporary suspension of non-essential regulatory reviews. A moratorium on further legal tobacco excise increases and greater law enforcements at street-level on the illicit tobacco trade. Tax reform, including an extension to tax relief, which reduces the corporate tax rate, and the removal or significant reduction in payroll tax. Clarity and consistency in the guidance provided to business and individuals. The re-opening of our internal borders as soon as it’s safe to do so. Bringing Australia into line with the rest of the world by permitting the convenience industry to sell packaged alcohol. Regulating the legal sale of e-cigarettes from retail outlets including convenience stores. Defining a safe trading convenience environment through COVID-19 and beyond. And least-cost routing for electronic-payments to be implemented and made available to convenience stores. Jeff Rogut C&I

Find the best news in store at

www.c-store.com.au Convenience and impulse retailing is fast paced and exciting, and staying up to date with the latest news, trends and products is crucial for the success of your business.

Subscribe to C&I’s free eNewsletter to have the latest news delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.


The petrol industry is cut-throat and operators are working on slim fuel margins.” - Tal Avrahami, Smooth Wholesales

Smooth Wholesales Brothers Daniel and Tal Avrahami

HELPING INDEPENDENTS STAY INDEPENDENT Providing independents with competitive pricing is at the heart of Smooth Wholesales ethos


nyone who operates a service station or convenience store knows how vital in-store sales are to sustaining a profitable business. However, finding a reliable wholesale supplier can be challenging, especially one that understands the needs of your industry. One business that’s trying to change that is Melbourne based Smooth Wholesales. Hailing from the service station industry and online retail, Smooth Wholesales’ founders have first-hand experience in sourcing high-margin, fast moving products that successfully sell in their own stores. “With a combined experience of over 60 years in the petrol and convenience store industry, coupled with our extensive knowledge of consumer behaviour, we have a distinct advantage over other industry suppliers,” said Managing Director, Tal Avrahami. “The petrol industry is cut-throat and operators are working on slim fuel margins. That’s why it’s so important to make solid profits on the products they’re selling in-store.” By hacking the supply chain, Smooth Wholesales has been able to source big name brands at a fraction of their cost from leading Australian manufacturers and distributors. Their catalogue of over 1500+ products includes phone accessories, giftware, books, toys and games, cleaning products, PPE, and a wide-range of countertop impulse products. 70  August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au

“We aren’t your average wholesaler. Many of the products we source are over-stock or clearance and we pass those rock-bottom prices onto our customers.” Working closely with the Liberty service station network and other independent operators, Smooth Wholesales is trying to change the perception that service station stores are just filled with chips and drinks. “Consumers are interested, now more than ever, in finding a bargain. Stores like ALDI have normalised the idea of going to the supermarket and walking out with memory foam pillow or a pram. We’ve seen from our own service stations that if priced right, there’s a buyer for everything.” In addition to service stations, Smooth Wholesales has also made in-roads into the wholesale supply of Licensed Post Offices (LPOs), which total more than 3,500 locations nationally. “We see the LPO network as a forgotten market. Many of them are ‘mum and pop’ operations and they do not have big buying power, meaning most wholesalers do not want to deal with them due to their low order values. “With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on our economy, people are doing it tough. We want to help open doors for smaller retailers and provide an avenue for them to compete within their industry.” Visit www.smoothwholesales.com.au and register now for access to their full product catalogue. C&I

Are you looking to make more in-store? Start selling products that actually make money for your business. TOYS, BOOKS, GADGETS, PERSONAL CARE, GIFTS, & MORE!!!




Coca-Cola Amatil has brought vending machines into the digital age The company has signed an agreement with Centrapay (a digital assets company) to enable consumers to use cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to make purchases from their Australian and New Zealand machines. Payments will be made via a Sylo Smart Wallet at vending machines with a QR code payment sticker and will significantly reduce how often a consumer is required to physically touch the machine, an important consideration in the post-COVID-19 world. CEO of Centrapay Jerome Faury said the company had worked at solving issues around integration complexity and poor user experience and that this system would benefit both consumers and CCA. “At Centrapay, we’re working to create a future where individuals are in control of their own data and digital identity. Brands can connect directly and ethically with people, empowering them to make the right purchasing decision, whilst also supporting their retail and other distribution partners,” Mr Faury said. “Now we’ve shown how it can work in Australia and New Zealand, we’re looking to grow the business globally. We’ve established a presence in North America and will be targeting the US market next with some worldfirst innovations.”

Mondelez to go green at Melbourne factories

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Mondelez International has announced it will switch to using 100% renewable electricity at two of its Melbourne factories. The confectionery company has said the factories, which produces some of Australia’s favourite treats from The Natural Confectionery Company, Cadbury and Pascall, will begin using local renewables next year. The achievement was facilitated by the City of Melbourne and will see Mondelez partner with Victorian businesses such as RMIT University, CBUS Property, ISPT, Fulton Hogan, Citywide Asphalt and Deakin University, to establish a power purchasing agreement to invest in local renewables. The move means Cadbury Cherry Ripe, Crunchie and Picnic bars, Cadbury Easter eggs and bunnies and The Natural Confectionery Company jellies and Pascall lollies, such as fan-favourite Pineapple Lumps will all be made in a green factory. Mondelez Director of Integrated Supply Chain for Australia and New Zealand, Shalaby Mohamed, said the shift to renewables would significantly reduce their domestic carbon footprint. “Our investment in renewables will prevent almost 40,000 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year, and reduce the carbon footprint from electricity used across our five Australian factories by more than 80%,” he said. “We’re committed to making our products the right way and reducing the impact of our operations on the planet, and using 100% renewable electricity for the two Melbourne factories that make so many of our popular Cadbury, The Natural Confectionery Company and Pascall treats will play a significant part in reducing our carbon footprint. By investing in renewables, the total carbon footprint of our business across Australia and New Zealand will be halved.”


Unilever sets ambitious net zero emissions target for 2039

Unilever has called on the Australian government to do more to address climate change. Setting out a raft of measures the company is taking to reduce their own emissions, the company behind beauty, personal and home care and food and drinks brands such as Rexona, Dove and Ben & Jerry’s, set a bold goal of achieving net zero emissions from all products by 2039, 11 years ahead of the Paris Agreement target. The pledge covers everything from sourcing materials to the point of sale. The company has already switched to using 100% renewable electricity to power its operations. Unilever announced its brands will collectively invest AUD$1.89 billion into a dedicated Climate and Nature Fund, which will drive action and help the company honour its commitment to halving their greenhouse footprint by 2030. The fund will build on existing initiatives, such as Ben & Jerry’s commitment to reducing GHC emissions in dairy farms and Continental’s sustainable farming practices. The company is working with suppliers across its value chain to cut emissions and plan to ‘prioritise’ partnerships with suppliers already working towards more sustainable practices. Suppliers will also be asked to declare their own carbon footprint for the goods provided on their invoices. Unilever Australia and New Zealand CEO Nicky Sparshott said climate change was a serious threat to economic stability. That businesses were independently addressing the issue should send a clear message to governments that it is possible to transition to clean energy, she added, and a collective effort was now required across all sectors to fully address the issue. “Businesses and governments across Australia have demonstrated their ability and willingness to step up at this critical moment and pull together to protect our communities. We need to continue working together to tackle the impacts of the coronavirus, whilst also setting our economy on a course to a more resilient, zero-carbon future that leaves no-one behind,” Mr Sparshott said. Nicole Sparshott, Unilever ANZ CEO

Bega Cheese announces job cuts amid declining demand for processed cheese Bega Cheese has announced it will cut 74 jobs at its Bega Valley factory in south-eastern New South Wales. The cheese manufacturer produces processed and packaged cheese at the factory for both own-brand products and to supply others. The company has attributed the cuts to a drop in domestic market demand for its products, as consumers instead look to fresh cut cheese. Production will now be shifted to the company’s factory in Strathmerton, in regional Victoria. It’s understood Bega will try to meet the quota via voluntary redundancies and the workers will cease their employment by the end of the year. It is a blow to the community of roughly 35,000 already hit hard recently by bushfires. Bega Cheese last year flagged it was anticipating a tough financial year for 2020, largely driven by supply and competition constraints for milk, including increasing the price paid to farmers to secure dairy supplies. The company shut its Coburg factory in Melbourne in 2018, where it produced cheddar and mozzarella cheese, also citing drops in demand. August/September 2020 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au 73

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Instead of going into shock, successful retailers innovated, looked for opportunities and took swift action.” – Dan Armes


uring the COVID-19 pandemic many Australian businesses suffered terribly and saw sales drop dramatically, while others thrived and experienced a surge in new business and revenue. This is also the case for petrol stations around Australia. While some retailers experienced huge drops in fuel volume and declining shop sales, others thrived in difficult trading conditions. As restrictions are slowly lifted in most states and territories, more cars have begun to return to the road. However some retailers are still struggling to attract customers to their stores. Others are seeing regular customers return and new customers visiting their stores. Petrol station operators are reporting customers have money to spend and they are looking for value and opportunities to support local Australian owned businesses. So, how were some fuel retailers able to grow their business or at least see very little impact on their business during the pandemic, while others have suffered large

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declines in revenue? Was it just luck? Was it because their petrol station is in a geat location? Were they in a location with very few infections? I’d suggest it had nothing to do with these things. Let’s take a closer look at the strategies petrol station operators are using to turn a hopeless situation into an opportunity for growth. By adopting these strategies you can give yourself the best chance to make your business stronger as we come out the other side of COVID-19. If you have struggled through the peak of the pandemic and are looking for strategies to grow your business, the good news is that it isn’t too late. In general, those retailers who have grown their business through COVID-19 have had a positive mindset. It is really that simple. A negative attitude produces failure and a positive attitude produces success. They have reimagined their business, shown leadership, remained strong, persistent and shown resilience. They haven’t gone into shock or damage control, but have instead invested in their

PETROL NEWS people and their business. They made quick decisions to reduce costs where possible, then quickly focused on new opportunities. Instead of going into shock, successful retailers innovated, looked for opportunities and took swift action. They confronted challenges head on and overcame them with strength, responding rapidly to the ‘new normal’. During the crisis, they thought about how they could position themselves as a pillar of their community, serving their regular customers and providing a safe place to shop. They heavily promoted their strengths, which included customers being able to quickly enter and exit the store in a safe environment. They removed any perceived friction areas to allow customers to do business with them safely. Opportunities to bring in additional revenue were actioned swiftly. Customers’ immediate needs were understood and met with new products and services which were trialed, tested and implemented and had their success reviewed frequently by the number of sales. These retailers acted with urgency to make sure they were ahead of their competitors. During a crisis customers quickly pick up on those businesses that are failing to adapt to their rapidly changing needs. Successful operations were agile, quickly changing the way things were usually done to ensure new responsibilities were undertaken and expectations from customers and staff were met. For example, procedures were put in place to ensure bowser nozzles were cleaned on the hour, every hour. Fragile supply chains were exposed. Successful retailers had a variety of suppliers on hand to source alternatives, ensuring they had stock on the shelves. Planning had been made in the previous years to ensure that products could be sourced elsewhere, if supply was ever hindered. Successful retailers always have a plan B and even a plan C; they have a plan for worst case scenarios. Planning was a daily and weekly undertaking for successful retailers. Scenarios were planned if the unexpected was to happen so that there were very little surprises. This way retailers could quickly seek alternatives, as the planning had already been done.

During the COVID-19 crisis, business owners had to quickly work out who they were and the role they played in their community. This needed to be clearly communicated to customers. As the community banded together to support each other, the local petrol station became the gathering point for essential products and services. Successful business owners built their brand on this. They offered their customers a safe place to shop where they could access the essentials without risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. How do your customers perceive your petrol station? Many businesses focused less on transactional relationships with customers and more on engaging customers, with the long term goal being to build an enduring relationship. They wanted the customer to see their petrol station as the solution provider to their everyday needs. In return for the customer supporting them, they were giving back to the community. Digital platforms such as social media were used to convey to customers that they wanted to serve their community and be seen as a valuable resource, to provide goods and services so everyone could get through an exceptionally difficult time together! Successful retailers quickly saw that consumers were turning to social media for updates about a rapidly changing scenario. If they could be seen to be up to date with the latest guidelines in combating the virus, trust could be built and customers would support them. The lessons we have learned as retailers through this pandemic are invaluable. We have learned what makes a successful petrol station. We have realised the role we play in our communities is significant and indentified potential opportunities to become even more active and visible within that community. As business owners, we need to be proactive to ensure success. We still have a long way to go before life gets back to normal, whatever that may look like. To survive the next 12 months, petrol station operators need to use these strategies if they are to grow and succeed in this new business environment. C&I

Petrol station operators are reporting customers have money to spend and they are looking for value.” – Dan Armes

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NIC MOULIS Director, Customer Relationship Data

Prices, both wholesale and retail, have had massive falls” – Nic Moulis



he lowest of lows is where the Australian downstream petroleum industry has found itself of late. A time when citizens were in lockdown, governments were at loggerheads with operators over Board Prices, and demand was almost non-existent. Prices, both wholesale and retail, have had massive falls. However, demand continued to fall with them, leaving refiners to question their operations and retailers taking different approaches to win customers. As Australia emerges from this enforced COVID-19 hibernation, majors and independents have reacted differently to these changed conditions. At their height, TGP to Retail differentials were up 56.43% on 2019. While the margin before costs looked to be higher on the surface, these rates need to be calculated against transaction volumes. At their lowest, during Easter, transaction volumes were down -79.19% on the day before the start of COVID-19 lockdown in mid-March. Transaction counts have averaged to be down -33.16% on pre-COVID-19 volumes. Currently, the industry appears to be two thirds back to where it was last year. Any further improvement will depend on level of second wave lockdowns. Australian independent operators have discounted their board prices quicker and deeper during this time. In niche markets this may have changed the landscape; however, the sheer weight of the majors’ network still has them in control. Long-term trends look to be operating as normal. BP, Caltex, Coles Express and EG (Woolworths) hold the largest number of sites. 7-Eleven have nudged themselves into that group, more so when we compare transaction volume market share. Market share accumulated by the volume of transactions, indicates that BP, 7-Eleven and Coles perform best in this group, sites above 500. Caltex and EG have some work to do, as they most often price higher than their local competition. Not that other majors do not price higher. Coles Express remains the premium priced network nationally, on average

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1.5 cent/ltr higher than their nearest competition. Outside the majors, there is a scrap for market share. Competitors, ‘mini majors’ – United, Puma, OTR, Liberty and Metro, and large MSO groups – X-Convenience, APCO, Enhance, Budget, Speedway, Endeavour (to name a few), fight hard for volume. For these operators, market share is about the price difference from your competitor. When comparing the January to June period between 2019 and 2020, branded majors took a different market approach to independents. 7-Eleven on average priced 1.08cpl above the Sydney average ULP price in 2019. During the 2020 period, 7-Eleven had increased the average to 2.57cpl above. Conversely, the independent Speedway, priced -4.12cpl below the market average during 2019. In 2020, Speedway had increased the discount to -6.55cpl below average. This change in tactic by operators also changed their share of transaction volumes. Coles Express, in the week ending 3 May 2020, was selling ULP 7.03cpl above the Sydney average. In that week Coles Express market share was -6% below the average of the previous 12 weeks. They have still not recovered long-term market share remaining -1% below the six-month average. Independent, Budget Petroleum, acted in reverse. In May, Budget board price was -7.61cpl below the Sydney ULP average. Increasing its market share 8.3% over the previous 12 weeks. Budget have since held their market share 0.5% above their six-month average. This might indicate that the post COVID-19 customer is searching for price. For industry, it might be that recovery right now is cashflow, spurred on by lower prices to attract customers. Though for others, it looks to be higher margins on lower sales volumes. Recently, the shoots of recovery look to be under extreme pressure. The fundamentals of the industry have stabilised. However, with second wave of COVID-19 lockdowns commencing, the economic concerns look anything but under control. C&I


Chevron completes acquisition of Puma Energy Australia Chevron has completed the acquisition of Puma Energy Australia. The $425 million deal boosts Chevron’s Australian portfolio by 360 company and retailer owned service stations, owned or leased seaboard import terminals and fuel distribution depots, as well as a commercial and industrial fuel business. Chevron will use the Puma Energy brand under licence in the near term. Chevron has had an Australian presence for more than 60 years, through its Australian subsidiaries and operates the Gorgon and Wheatstone nature gas facilities, has a one-sixth share in the North West Shelf Venture and operates the largest on-shore oilfield in Australia at Barrow Island. Executive Vice President for Downstream and Chemicals at Chevron, Mark Nelson, said the acquisition further strengthened the company’s presence in Australia. “This strategic acquisition further integrates our value chain in the Asia Pacific region by providing a well-developed infrastructure for products from our Asian refining joint ventures in an attractive market,” Mr Nelson said. “We are excited to welcome Puma Energy’s employees into the Chevron family. Once we satisfy current licensing commitments in Australia, we look forward to extending the Caltex family of brands across the continent.” Puma’s Australian bitumen business was not included in the sale. Puma has said it will use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt and CEO Emma FiztGerald described the sale as a “significant milestone” for the company, adding it reflected their commitment to optimising their global portfolio and creating sustainable and profitable growth in their priority markets.

“Despite the uncertainties and difficulties of operating during the pandemic emergency and market uncertainties it was completed on time, demonstrating the commitment of both parties and underlining the determined approach that Puma Energy is taking to strengthen and protect the Company’s balance sheet in line with our deleveraging commitments,” Ms FitzGerald said. “We are pleased that the Puma Energy brand will continue under Chevron’s new ownership in Australia for the near-term. I would also like to thank Chevron for their part in successfully closing this transaction and allowing for a seamless transfer of assets that will ensure continuity of service for all our customers.”

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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 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: derek.hjelm@gallagher.com Web: www.gallagher.com

Contact: Diann Melas Phone: (02) 9564 2355 Email: fuels@gascorp.com.au 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: sales@shipmanking.com.au Web: www.shipmanking.com.au

Phone: 1300 652 003 Email: swapngo@elgas.com.au Web: www.elgas.com.au/swapngo

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Other suppliers

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

Safa de Valois

Ben Curtis

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

0415 404 264 bcurtis@c-store.com.au

Abacus Stocktaking Services Pty Ltd Accor Action Installation & Services Pty Ltd Active Eye Advanced Lighting Technologies Australia Inc Aitken Rowe Testing Laboritories PtyLtd Augusta Properties AusSport Pty Ltd Australian Enviro Services B&B Industrial Benchmark Business Sales & Valuations BP Australia Caltex Australia Capricorn Society Ltd Cavvanba Consulting Pty Ltd Coffey Environmental Services Commercial Indemnity Pty Ltd Compac Sales Pty Ltd Conservelec Pty Ltd Douglas Partners Earth Air Water Consulting & Monitoring P/L

Energy Action Environmental Monitoring Solutions Pty Ltd Envirotank Pty Ltd Envirowest Consulting Pty Ltd EquipCo ETP International Pte Ltd F&M Supplies Fuel Data Solutions Fuelgear Geo-Logix Pty Ltd Gilbarco Australia HMC Pty Ltd Intertek Testing Services Jeffery & Katauskas Pty Ltd Jon Jen Trading Pty Ltd Leighton O'Brien Pty Ltd Liberty Oil Liquip International Pty Limited Metro Petroleum Mobil Oil Australia MPHP Architects Pty Ltd MTAA Superannuation Fund Pty Limited North Cross Australia Pty Ltd

Northern Petroleum Equipment Services Pacific Guage Park Pty Ltd Perich Constructions Pty Ltd Perisale Australia Pty. Ltd. Petroleum Tank Technology Precision Stocktaking Services Puma Energy RCA Australia Pty Ltd SGS Australia Pty Ltd Spill Station Australia Pty Ltd Tank Solutions Pty Ltd Tennco Pty Ltd The Remediation Group Trans Tasman Energy Group Trax Retail Solutions Unigas Pty Ltd United Petroleum Urth Energy Valvoline Wayne Fuelling Systems

Vodafone Prepaid deals

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