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    CSNews Honors Six With 2015 Foodservice Innovators Awards

    Kwik Trip is Foodservice Innovator of the Year.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News

    NATIONAL REPORT — For the fourth consecutive year, Convenience Store News is honoring best-in-class retailers who are leading the way in the convenience foodservice category.

    Presented in partnership with Tyson Convenience, the Convenience Store News Foodservice Innovators Awards recognize convenience retail chains who are raising the bar on quality, service and innovation in this fast-growing and critically important product category for c-stores.

    This year’s winners  chosen by CSNews’ How To Crew panel of foodservice experts from the retailer, supplier, research and consulting fields  are led by La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc., which earned the esteemed title of Foodservice Innovator of Year.

    Kwik Trip’s strength in all aspects of the foodservice category was proven by how it was ranked by this year’s judges among the top retailers in almost every award category, from Best Prepared Foods Innovator to Best Cold & Frozen Beverages Innovator, to Best Foodservice Promotion.

    The chain with 14,000-plus coworkers serving guests in more than 475 Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Hearty Platter restaurants and Tobacco Outlet Plus stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. In the past half-century, Kwik Trip has become one of the c-store industry leaders in foodservice  noted for owning and operating its own food commissary, dairy, bakery and other food manufacturing facilities, as well as its own trucking fleet. The retailer also has a stellar reputation for its extreme focus on food safety and its aggressive limited-time offers.

    Kwik Trip has also been a leader in bringing healthier foods to the c-store consumer. It was one of the first c-store retailers to introduce a low-calorie, healthy menu and last year was the first c-store chain to join the Partnership for a Healthier America, implementing a new EATSmart program and other policies to promote healthy eating habits.

    The other 2015 Foodservice Innovators Awards winners are:

    • Best Prepared Foods Innovator: QuikTrip Corp., Tulsa, Okla.
    • Best Hot Beverages Innovator: Sheetz Inc., Altoona, Pa.
    • Best Cold & Frozen Beverages Innovator: RaceTrac Petroleum Inc., Atlanta
    • Best New Foodservice Program (introduced in past year): Rutter’s Farm Stores, York, Pa.
    • Best Foodservice Limited-Time Offer/Promotion: CST Brands Inc. (Nice N Easy), Canastota, N.Y.

    This year’s winners are recognized at our specially created Foodservice Innovators Awards microsite at http://foodserviceinnovators.csnews.com.

    The microsite spotlights all the winning companies and includes video profiles that explain how and why each retailer won its award.

    The winners will also be featured in the January issue of Convenience Store News.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News
    • About Don Longo Don Longo is editorial director of Stagnito Business Information's Convenience Store News, Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner and Hispanic Retail 360 media brands. He has covered retailing for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and publisher. Previously, he spearheaded the editorial efforts at a variety of business publications focused on mass, drug, grocery and specialty store retailing. Convenience Store News won American Business Media’s Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Issue of the Year in 2008 and 2012. Longo has won numerous other editorial awards over his career and is frequently quoted in the national and local news media on the subjects of retailing and consumer trends.

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