Dave Grimes, vice president of foodservice at Huck's Market, accepted the 2022 Innovator to Watch award. This award recognizes an up-and-coming leader in convenience foodservice. Previous winners have included such innovators as Pilot Flying J, Dash In, Choice Market, Enmarket and last year's winner, Family Express.
"As they grow, they continue to look at new ways to expand foodservice options," said one judge. "Adding kitchens to their new stores and giving customers more reason to shop their stores is a big win for them. Great job!"
Led by Chief Merchandising Officer Tom Brennen, a contingent of Casey's leaders accepted the 2022 Foodservice Innovator of the Year award. Ashenafi Tekeste, Carrie Stojack, Richard Guidry, Kylie Kieffer and Andrew Kintigh, from Casey's foodservice and guest insights teams, joined Brennen on stage to accept the grand prize award — a first for the giant Ankeny, Iowa-based convenient retailer noted for its pizza offering.
"For a company their size, they continue to show that they won't rest on their laurels," one judge remarked on Casey's foodservice program. "We all know breakfast is our busiest food time, so innovating that menu is key. Utilizing their homemade dough to make sandwiches, along with adding breakfast bowls, was a great idea."
Wawa was recognized as the 2022 Hot Beverages Innovator of the Year. The Pennsylvania-based c-store retailer was named Foodservice Innovator of the Year in 2013 and in 2017.
The Foodservice Innovators of the Year winners will be profiled in Convenience Store News' October "Innovation" issue.
Sponsors of the 2022 Convenience Foodservice Exchange included gold sponsors BOHA!, Core-Mark, Cuhaci Peterson, Finlays, Hoshizaki, Sugar Foods Corp. and UNO Foods; and silver sponsors Supplyit and Southern Visions.