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    Supplier Briefs

    News from the convenience store and petroleum industry's leading suppliers including Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Oberto and more.

    Oberto Sausage Co. said it has initiated nationwide distribution of its new genuine authentic Pepperoni Sticks. President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Campanile said the company's ongoing distribution agreement with Frito-Lay makes it possible for Oberto Pepperoni Sticks to reach consumers everywhere Frito-Lay products are sold.

    Meat sticks are the second largest growing segment within the meat snack category, accounting for $203 million in annual sales, according to data from AC Nielson, a sister company of Convenience Store News for the 52 weeks ending Sept. 2001.

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    Pepsi-Cola North America (PCNA) has named Auburn, Maine's Seltzer & Rydholm, Inc. its 2001 Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year, honoring the company for its enduring contributions to the Pepsi-Cola system.

    Seltzer & Rydholm is recognized for its sustained volume growth, impeccable product quality and inspiring commitment to the community. Named for PepsiCo's former Chairman and founder, the Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year Award is the highest honor reserved for the company's bottling partners.

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    Pete's Brewing Co. struck gold at the 2002 Brewing Industry International Awards presentation in London. Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde and Pete's Wicked Helles Lager received high honors with two gold medals, making Pete's the only U.S. brewery to take home the gold twice.

    A BIIA medal is one of the brewing industry's most coveted awards, and competition was intense: Pete's Wicked brews duked it out with 685 entries from more than 30 countries.

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    Anheuser-Busch Inc., the world's largest brewer, today announced the company has renewed its marketing relationship with the PGA Tour through 2004. As part of the agreement, Michelob Light will continue as the "official beer sponsor" and O'Doul's as the "official non-alcohol brew" of the PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour.

    "In its eight years as a marketing partner of the PGA Tour, Anheuser-Busch consistently has demonstrated how a relationship with the PGA Tour can be leveraged into creative consumer campaigns," said Tom Wade, PGA Tour chief marketing officer.

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    In the first major change to its ubiquitous 12-pack box in over 25 years, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world's biggest bottler of Coke, is switching to a slimmer, deeper format designed to fit better in refrigerators. The 2-can by 6-can boxes will debut in Chicago and Georgia first.

    "If you get the consumer in the mindset of saying, 'Oh, I'm supposed to put 12-packs of Coke in my refrigerator instead of in my pantry,' that's very exciting," said Skip Carpenter, a beverage analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners LLC. He explained that with more chilled soda on-hand, consumers are likely to drink the product more often.

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    PerformanceRetail Inc., a leading provider of Web-architected software applications and business management services for the convenience retail industry, announced the addition of Tom Frederick, of Venrock Associates, and Steve Krausz, of U.S. Venture Partners, to the PerformanceRetail Board of Directors.

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    Radiant Systems Inc. inked a new agreement with Conoco Central and Eastern Europe, an affiliate of Houston-based Conoco Inc., to deploy the Radiant 6e point-of-sale (POS), site-level management systems, and centralized pricebook in the retailer's network of JET and Jiffy-convenience stores Hungary.

    Radiant's 6e POS system was awarded the 2002 Microsoft Corp. European Retail Application Developer Award in the "Retail In-store Application/ Food-Convenience" category. "This award is a powerful endorsement of the innovation and operational efficiencies that Radiant's solutions deliver to retailers," said Mark Schoen, managing director of Radiant's International Business Unit.

    At the NACS.Tech conference in Dallas, Radiant Systems launched its new point-of-sale hardware -- the Radiant P400 Series Point-of-Sale. The company's latest hardware solution adopts embedded Intel technology and the Microsoft Windows XP family of operating systems. The speed, reliability and return to service programs of the P400 help retailers increase revenues and reduce costs through maximizing uptime and leveraging open design standards, the company said. Because its design adheres to global standards, the P400 easily integrates with other technology systems thereby reducing service costs.

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    The Pinnacle Corp. announced the successful installation of the Pinnacle Palm POS touch screen system at Prima Marketing LLC of Denver. This installation includes an interface into the PDI back-office RMS computer that provides the transfer of all sales related information from the POS. As a result Prima is benefiting from a more efficient and accurate recording of daily information.

    In addition to the benefits of the interface between the POS and the PDI RMS, Greg Durbin, manager of information systems for Prima, said, "Pinnacle's support and response has been fantastic and the time savings in training on the POS is exceptional. We're also seeing the accuracy of the ringing of sales improving from our previous registers."

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    The Tobacco Merchants Association (TMA), the largest and oldest information provider to suppliers, manufacturers and others in the global tobacco industry announced the agenda for its Annual Meeting and Luncheon to be held May 16th at Tavern on the Green in New York, NY.

    The event commences at 10:00 AM with a roundtable discussion with Wall Street tobacco analysts including Bonnie Herzog from Salomon Smith Barney, David Adelman, of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and Robert Campagnino, of Prudential Financial.

    The keynote presentation is a joint address dealing with the "Future of Tobacco at Retail in the United States" focusing on tobacco in convenience stores and in tobacco outlets. David Dresser, vice president of merchandising at Core-Mark, will discuss convenience stores while Terry Gallagher, President of Smoker Friendly, the second largest chain of tobacco outlets will discuss the outlook for these dedicated tobacco retail stores.

    For reservations to attend TMA's Annual Meeting & Luncheon contact Jenny Workman at (609) 275-4900.

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    Hagan Ice Cream, a venerable Pittsburgh brand and a division of Crowley Foods Inc., plans to shake up the Pittsburgh market this summer with the release of 22 new Hagan Premium flavors. The Hagan Premium line is designed to build consumer excitement for the brand and increase Hagan sales throughout the tri-state Pennsylvania area, said Tim Rice, Hagan's regional sales manager.

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    The Daydots Foundation for Food Safety, the non-profit foundation created by Daydots, has awarded a $5,000 research grant to Purdue University to perform a study on food safety management practices in U.S. restaurants and institutions. The study will evaluate the food safety practices used by the top 400 American restaurant chains and define recommended food safety operating practices common to most restaurants, and determine what food safety tools are commonly used or recommended by multi-unit foodservice operations.

    Daydots also has introduced the HandyPack glove line to encourage glove use, while making a successful glove program more affordable. This system allows foodservice operations to have gloves available and convenient at various workstations to help encourage frequent changes of gloves, which reduces the risk of contamination, the company said.

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    Deli Express has been given an Award of Excellence by the American Tasting Institute. The blind judging was conducted by a panel of professional chefs in San Francisco. A variety of sandwiches sold in convenience stores were judged on appearance, freshness, and most importantly, taste. Deli Express sandwiches received marks of "excellent" in all categories.

    "We are thrilled to receive this honor," said Deli Express CEO Tom Sween. "Deli Express sandwiches are a great choice for people on the go. Our research tells us that people who try our sandwiches are very happy with how good our sandwiches taste, and this award confirms it."

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    William Trefethen announced the formation of Trefethen & Co. LLC, an investment banking and advisory company focused exclusively on the multi-unit retail industry. The firm will provide advisory services to companies and their shareholders related to mergers and acquisitions, private debt and equity placements, restructuring and strategic planning.

    Trefethen & Co. currently represents numerous c-store companies nationwide including Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Kwik Trip Inc. and Uni-Marts Inc. Prior to forming Trefethen & Co., Trefethen was a co-founder of American Commercial Capital, a commercial finance company, and Coronado Advisors an investment banking firm.

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    Morningstar Foods Inc., a subsidiary of Dallas-based Dean Foods Co., introduced its new Folgers Jakada ready-to-drink coffee beverage. The brand will be sold nationally in convenience stores and supermarkets.

    The new product is the first chilled coffee drink made from Folgers coffee and low-fat milk and is sold in convenient plastic bottles. Folgers Jakada is available in three flavors including traditional French Roast, Vanilla and Mocha.

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    Retek Inc. has acquired the assets of Chelsea Market Systems LLC, a developer and marketer of a flexible point-of-sale solution. The acquisition of Chelsea enhances Retek's store systems offering with a mission-critical point-of-sale application. Retek will market the Chelsea product as Retek Point-of-Service (RPOS).

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    Hypercom Corp. introduced two new quick-service payment applications for retailers who want to speed transactions, increase customer satisfaction and generate repeat business. The application, HyperPASS, is a contactless system that allows consumers to quickly pay for purchases by simply waving a miniature key fob in front of Hypercom's new ICE 5500Plus and ICE 5700Plus card payment terminals.

    HyperPASS is compatible with ExxonMobil's Speedpass and leverages that and other technologies, which are used in the petroleum industry. Using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, Hypercom's card payment terminals read a unique number and security code from the key fob, then instantly transmit the information to a host processor. The processor verifies the customer's identity and payment preference, and automatically charges the purchase to the customer's pre-designated credit card.

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    The Horizon Group introduced a standalone gift card and loyalty card application designed for Hypercom's high performance, touchscreen-based ICE card payment terminals. The program, which is available immediately, will be sold and supported by The Horizon Group.

    The new standalone gift card and loyalty application provides everything needed for small to medium-sized chains to implement gift or loyalty card marketing programs they can operate themselves. The application runs on standalone Hypercom ICE 5500 and 5700 card payment terminals, does not require a phone line or network connection and uses smart card technology for the gift and loyalty cards.

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    Chicago-based eMac Digital LLC announced the acquisition of Apigent Solutions, a provider of site and enterprise operations management technologies for the foodservice and retail industries. eMac Digital will support Apigent's existing customer base, while offering Apigent-branded products and services to multi-unit restaurant and retail operators.

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    TNT Marketing Inc., an independent national convenience store broker, has added Old World Industries, marketer of Peak Antifreeze products, to its roster of principals. TNT Marketing will represent Peak Performance products such as: Peak Premium Antifreeze and Coolant; and Peak 50/50 Antifreeze and Coolant nationally.

    Also, TNT Marketing will sell Old World Industries' "blue water" windshield wash -- New All Weather Windshield Wash nationwide. This is the first nationwide windshield wash program to be implemented by TNT.

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