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NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.
Here are the latest supplier spotlights:
The World Packaging Organization presented Anchor Packaging with a 2016 WorldStar Award for its Embraceable packaging in the food category. This marks Anchor's second WorldStar Award and third award overall for Embraceable.
Embraceable is an 11-inch-by-8-inch black, oval platter designed with a locator ring in the bottom to hold a standard 8-ounce squat paper food container. Its clear, anti-fog, vented PP lid contains an integral sealing flange that forms a lid over the paper container at the same time that it forms a leak-resistant seal on the platter. This eliminates the need for a lid for the paper container, saving expense, reducing the amount of packaging and improving consumer convenience.
WorldStar Award judges reviewed 293 entries from 35 countries for all types of packaging, including food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and health and beauty. All entries were required to be previous winners of a recognized packaging award — Anchor won the AmeriStar Package Award in June.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Anheuser-Busch (A-B) announced a four-year extension of their long-term marketing partnership, which has existed since 1998.
A-B will continue to serve as Official Beer Partner of the NBA, Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and NBA Development League (NBA D-League) and expand the partnership to include USA Basketball and the league's Hispanic marketing initiative, Noches éne-bé-a.
For the first time, A-B and the league will work together to produce an original digital content media series to bring its brand messages to life through basketball. The videos will appear on NBA-owned properties and be shared on A-B-owned properties this season.
The partnership also includes enhanced packaging and marketing rights, and A-B can now feature select NBA and team logos collectively on a national basis on cans, bottles and other packaging and in promotional campaigns.
Additionally, a number of A-B's flagship brands will activate as part of the partnership. Starting this season, Budweiser and Bud Light will run NBA marketing activations at the same time, with each brand owning year-round platforms and different marquee league events, including NBA All-Star, NBA Playoffs, The Finals, NBA Draft and WNBA All-Star.
"We've expanded this longstanding partnership in key areas that matter to our consumers, like content, packaging and our new affiliation with USA Basketball," stated Lucas Herscovici, vice president, consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch. "The new agreement will allow us to connect our brands with the league, its teams and its fans through authentic campaigns that shape the industry."
A-B will promote its brands through the NBA's broadcast partners as well, and engage fans locally through its 22 team deals.
Louisville Business First honored CandyRific as the winner of the 2015 Large Company Award in its 11th annual Business of the Year program. The award was presented during a Dec. 10 gala.
Outstanding businesses and nonprofit organizations were honored in six categories: very large company, large company, medium company, small company, emerging company and nonprofit organization. Readers and Business First staff nominated organizations that made their mark within the past year, and a panel of judges determined the winners.
"We are honored to have been given this award from Business First and to continue to be recognized for our growth and involvement in our community," stated CandyRific President Rob Auerbach.
CandyRific supplies candy and novelty product combinations utilizing popular licensed brands, such as Disney, Warner Bros., Scooby-Doo, Minions, Dreamworks, M&M'S, Skittles and Starburst.
The company was also named one of Louisville's Businesses of the Year in 2011.
Newcastle Brown Ale's portfolio of English ales won three medals at the 2015 World Beer Championships, hosted by the Beverage Testing Institute and Tastings.com. Newcastle "Foreign Extra" IPA and Newcastle Scotch Ale were awarded gold medals, while Newcastle Brown Ale took home a silver medal.
The World Beer Championships is hosted in collaboration with the World Cider Championships, and the two serve as the nation's oldest international beer and cider competition. All commercially produced beers and ciders can enter and are scored with a blind-tasting methodology developed by the Beverage Testing Institute's Tastings.com.
Based on a 100-point quality scale, products achieving a score from 90-95 are gold medal winners and considered "exceptional" choices, while products achieving a score from 85-89 are deemed silver medal winners and considered "highly recommended" options.
"It is a true honor to receive this recognition from The World Beer Championships, one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world," said Priscilla Dohnert, brand director for Newcastle. "These medals further underscore the quality and craftsmanship of the Newcastle Brown Ale portfolio and reinforce the brand's commitment to producing a range of sessionable, authentic British beers that deliver exceptional experiences to our customers and consumers."
Beverage equipment and parts supplier Advanced Beverage Solutions changed its name to Lancer Direct due to its operations becoming more global in nature and its product lines expanding beyond where they began in January 2000.
The new name reflects its global presence as a full-fledged subsidiary of Lancer Corp. and allows the company to incorporate Lancer's name recognition into its business activities.
Lancer Direct markets and distributes more than 12,000 products for all types of cold, frozen and hot beverage dispensing and blending applications, and offers a portfolio of managed services for its customers.
Butterfinger kicked off its "Bolder Than Bold" campaign while free-falling from 12,000 feet above the earth on Dec. 15. Broadcast via Periscope, professional skydiver Carson Schram of NorCal Skydiving delivered a high-flying announcement that Butterfinger will return as an advertiser in the Big Game with a new commercial that will air during the Super Bowl third quarter on Feb. 7.
In 2014, the brand used the game to introduce its Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups. This year, it will use the event to launch a new brand message that is inspired by "the inherent boldness of its crispety, crunchety, unapologetically in-your-face candy bar," according to maker Nestlé USA.
"Butterfinger delivers a truly bold trifecta — a bold yellow wrapper, a bold brand personality and a bold, gets-stuck-in-your-teeth eating experience. Butterfinger has always strived to live life to the fullest — full of laughs and not taking itself too seriously," said Kristen Mandel, Butterfinger brand manager. "[The] Big Game is the perfect platform to let Butterfinger's funny, bolder than bold attitude shine. Butterfinger will be ready to celebrate boldness — in bold moves, bold people and bold events."
The 20-second ad is being created by Santo and directed by Armando Bo, co-writer of the Academy Award-winning film "Birdman."