Industry Roundup: The Top 10 Most-Read Stories of May 2019

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NATIONAL REPORT — Various convenience store chains' plans for growth were among the stories most important to CSNews Online readers last month.

In the latest Industry Roundup, we present the top 10 most-read stories for the month of May, based on reader views:

1) Introducing the 2019 Convenience Store News Top Women in Convenience
Convenience Store News will welcome 41 more female leaders into its Top Women in Convenience family this fall. Now in its sixth year, the program recognizes the integral role women play in convenience retailing and encompasses four different award categories honoring the full retail spectrum, from the C-suite to the store level to the independent entrepreneur.

2) EG Group Makes Another Acquisition in Rapid U.S. Expansion
EG Group reached a definitive agreement to acquire 69 Certified Oil-branded convenience stores and gas stations. The stores are located in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. In total, they employ 650-plus associates.

3) Couche-Tard's Brian Hannasch Is Convenience Store News' 2019 Retailer Executive of the Year
Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., has been selected the 2019 Retailer Executive of the Year by Convenience Store News' blue-chip panel of c-store industry leaders. Now in its sixth year, the Retailer Executive of the Year award recognizes a retailer executive who exemplifies leadership, business acumen, dedication to the industry and commitment to community service.

4) 7-Eleven & Glacéau Team Up for New Slurpee Variety
7-Eleven partnered with glacéau to create the first glacéau vitaminwater Chill, a Slurpee Lite frozen beverage. Blueberry-Lavender is the featured flavor for the product launch. The periwinkle blue drink is naturally flavored, contains no sugar and has just 20 calories per eight-ounce serving.

5) RaceTrac Offers Free Fuel for Atlanta-Area Teachers
On May 7, National Teacher Appreciation Day, all Cobb County School District teachers could visit one of two RaceTrac locations from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to receive a free $20 gift card to fuel up upon presentation of their Cobb County school ID.

6) Are Today's Convenience Foodservice Offerings Satiating C-store Shoppers?
Convenience store retailers can rest easy when it comes to evaluating the long-term prospects of their foodservice customers. Not only is the number of c-store shoppers who don't purchase prepared food a minority, but those who do buy it tend to make a habit of doing so.

7) FDA Sets Course for New CBD & Cannabis Task Force
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public hearing on cannabidiol (CBD) products on May 31, and while no regulations were expected to come at the end of the hearing, the testimony is expected to help shape the agency's approach to CBD going forward. The FDA did, however, form a task force on CBD and marijuana products that will focus on legislative proposals for CBD. It will be co-chaired by FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy and Principal Associate Commissioner for Policy Lowell Schiller, according to Cowen & Co.

8) Casey's Is Among the World's 20 Fastest-Growing Retailers
While some retailers are downsizing, growth is not only physical and top retailers are seeing increased sales. In a recent report by 24/7 Wall St., Casey's General Stores Inc. was named among the fastest growing retailers. In compiling the grouping, 24/7 Wall St. identified the publicly traded companies with the highest annual sales growth as of the 2018 fiscal year.

9) Walmart Changes Up Tobacco Sales Policy
On July 1, the retailer's U.S. business — comprised of Walmart and Sam's Club locations — will raise the minimum age to purchase all tobacco products to 21. In addition, Walmart is in the process of discontinuing the sale of fruit- and dessert-flavored electronic cigarettes and vapor products.

10) FDA Approves Philip Morris' Heat-Not-Burn IQOS for U.S. Market
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale of Philip Morris Products S.A.'s IQOS heated tobacco system in the U.S. market. Under and exclusive licensing agreement with PMI, Philip Morris USA will commercialize IQOS in the U.S. with three HeatStick variants: Marlboro Heatsticks, Marlboro Smooth Menthol Heatsticks and Marlboro Fresh Menthol Heatsticks.