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    C-store Industry Enjoys April Fool's Day

    QuickChek, GasBuddy among those sharing imaginary product launches.

    NATIONAL REPORT — Businesses all over took part in April Fool's Day this year, with companies announcing new products, apps and strategic plans, and the convenience store industry was just as eager to join the fun.

    GasBuddy announced that motorists who long for more company on road trips are in luck, as it is launching a new dating app, GasBuddyWith Benefits. The app matches up budget-conscious consumers hoping to fill the open shotgun seat beside them.

    "What is more romantic than finding love at a gas station?" said Helen Johnson, expert relationship advisor for GasBuddyWithBenefits. "GasBuddy has been outstanding at matching users with the perfect gas station, and with such passionate users, there were sure to be some lovebirds that shared more than just their love for gas. GasBuddyWithBenefits will help these users connect both digitally and physically."

    The app allows users to take a selfie of themselves in front of their favorite gas station or vehicle. Matchmaking software algorithms will scan the user's photo and suggest matches based on location and gas station brand or vehicle model. Users can also make personal profiles to include information such as name, age, sex and desired level of ethanol blend.

    QuickChek Corp. announced the introduction of the world's first 3D-printed sub sandwiches, exclusively available with Mobile Ordering on the QC mobile app.

    "This technological breakthrough was created to enhance our app-based Mobile Ordering platform," said John Schaninger, vice president, sales and marketing. "Mobile Ordering allows app-users to order subs, salads and breakfasts on-the-go, for fast and easy pick-ups from QuickChek. 3D-printed subs are the perfect addition to this convenient service when your hunger really can't wait!"

    "This project was first imagined when our inkjet printer ran out of yellow toner," added Eric Rush, digital marketing manager at QuickChek. "An intern jokingly suggested refilling the empty cartridge with a tasty new mustard we were testing, and that's when it hit us!"

    The Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based c-store chain's chefs worked alongside the team responsible for Mobile Ordering and developed the sub-printing prototype in less than one month.

    "We were very hungry, and that's what motivated us to complete the prototype at such an accelerated pace," explained Jen Vespole, senior director of foodservice and the chef-mastermind behind the integration of 3D printers and all-natural ingredient replication technology. "The first edible sample was fully printed — and consumed — in less than 10 minutes."

    Like all QuickChek fresh food offerings, the 3D-printed subs underwent rigorous testing for quality, freshness and overall taste. The results exceeded expectations, the company said.

    "To our delight, we found that the printed subs were just as delicious as those created through our traditional sub preparation process," says Schaninger, who admitted to printing and eating multiple subs during each day of testing, before adding, "thank goodness for healthy options like the Turkey Ham Florentine Sub!"

    The first of their kind, auto-assembling subs can be made to order in all varieties. App users are encouraged to tap the "print" button when placing mobile orders, and lucky readers of the announcement can use the code "FoolsDay" to get an extra 1,000 bubble pop game credits. As always, those who place their first mobile order will receive a free bag of Deep River kettle cooked potato chips.

    Finally, NACS Daily reported on the bi-partisan call from presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for a ban on convenience stores, only to wish its readers a happy holiday when they clicked on the headline.

    Convenience Store News hopes that its readers enjoyed a fun April Fool's Day despite the fact that these new products are not real.

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