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05/18/2021

Supplier Spotlights: ADD Systems, The Hershey Co. & PAR Technology

Dover Fueling Solutions, E. & J. Gallo Winery and others also announce initiatives and acquisitions.
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Rumchata

NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.

Here are the latest supplier spotlights:

ADVANCED DIGITAL DATA

Advanced Digital Data Inc. (ADD Systems), supplier of back and home office software solutions for the convenience store industry, is partnering with Vroom Delivery to offer convenience stores an opportunity to expand into order-ahead pickup or delivery.

Vroom is the first e-commerce solution designed specifically for c-stores. It enables retailers to sell and market their food products online and be in control of delivery. Options include delivery, in-store and curbside pickup.

"We're excited to offer an integration that helps our clients provide a contactless experience for their customers, while maintaining their pricebook and inventory in ADD eStore," said Chris Kiernan, director of operations - retail/wholesale at ADD Systems.

Vroom helps chains manage the entire process to help maintain margins and enable delivery of age-restricted products and provide a contactless experience for their customers.

"We're excited to launch this service with ADD Systems. This integration will allow ADD clients to fully automate the pricebook maintenance of their e-commerce stores, offer more products to their online customers, and efficiently scale the program across their network of stores," said Vroom Delivery CEO John Nelson.

BIMBO BAKERIES

Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU), which operates more than 60 manufacturing locations in the United States, launched a new initiative to combat racial equity and injustice in order to create lasting change.

BBU, a member of the Grupo Bimbo family of companies, has committed $1 million to national and local organizations dedicated to furthering the education, financial well-being and health of Black and minority Americans. The commitment includes having $500,000 dedicated to the United Negro College Fund.

"Last year, the U.S. experienced a reckoning moment with racial equity and injustice," said BBU President Fred Penny. "BBU acknowledged our responsibility to do more within our organization and our communities. We have taken the last nine months to engage and learn from our diverse associates and thoughtfully consider how we could have the broadest impact."

The company also formed a Racial Equity Action Council and appointed Nikki Lang as its first Head of Diversity, Equity & Belonging. The council, which is made up of Black and ally associates from across the country, is assisting BBU as it examines and evaluates its internal practices.

The council's initial efforts include:

  • Enhancing the company's recruiting, hiring and talent development processes, including creating a dedicated position to work on these efforts;
  • Establishing and activating a Black Business Inclusion Group, Black Associates and Allies Standing Together (BAAST); and
  • Reviewing supplier relationships to identify opportunities to partner with Black-, minority- and female-owned organizations.

DOVER FUELING SOLUTIONS

Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS), a part of Dover Corp., which delivers advanced fuel dispensing equipment, electronic systems and payment, automatic tank gauging and wetstock management solutions worldwide, has entered into a commercial partnership agreement with EdgePetrol Ltd.

EdgePetrol is an innovative provider of cloud-based software for revenue and operating results management to the retail fueling industry. The strategic technology partnership allows DFS to enhance its offering of software solutions to the global convenience retail industry.

"We chose DFS as a strategic partner not only because of the alignment in products and SaaS service models, but because of their ability to reach a global market with established and growing customer relationships," said Gideon Carroll, CEO of Edge Petrol. "The investment enables us to expand our product suite with customer-driven solutions, whilst the commercial agreement will allow fuel station owners around the world the opportunity to use Edge Petrol's software through DFS's global network."

The investment allows Dover to expand its product suite with customer-driven solutions while the commercial agreement will allow fuel station owners around the world the opportunity to use Edge Petrol software through the DFS global network.

E. & J. GALLO WINERY

E. & J. Gallo Winery acquired RumChata, a leading cream liqueur brand, through its spirits division. The acquisition includes Agave Loco LLC, which owns the RumChata brand; Midwest Custom Bottling LLC (MCB), which produces RumChata at its facility in Pewaukee, Wis.; and The Tippy Cow and Holly Nog brands, owned by MCB.

E. & J. Gallo Winery is a family-owned company and global wine spirits industry leader, renowned for its commitment to quality, and consistently providing alcoholic beverages for every occasion.

Adding RumChata to its company shows potential for future innovation within the premium spirits business and allows Gallo to continuously add value to its wholesaler and consumer partners, expanding the availability in the U.S. and internationally.

"We have taken the growth of the brand as far as possible as a small supplier, and it was the right time to find a new brand steward. I know the RumChata brand will thrive under Gallo's guidance, and I am excited to watch the brand continue to grow and evolve in the future," said Tom Maas, founder and master blender of RumChata.

DRB SYSTEMS

DRB Systems LLC, provider of software and hardware innovations for the car wash industry, acquired Washify, an advanced car wash point-of-sale system and marketing solution. DRB and Washify are two fast-growing brands and offer car wash operators a wide set of technology solutions to grow and have a profitable business.

"Today, more than ever, we have assembled the best minds in the car wash industry," said DRB CEO and President Dan Pittman. "We have not only joined two of the best car wash technology lineups, but we have also joined two of the most talented teams."


"Our industry is rapidly transforming. Recent consolidations warranted a change," said Washify President Adam Korngold. "We wanted to be aligned with a best-in-class partner that supports our growth. I wanted to work with an organization that had the best interest of our employees at heart and that would allow us to remain in the industry doing what we love. DRB is that partner."

Washify's cutting-edge software and hardware products empower car washes to better attract and service customers while growing their businesses and increasing profits, while the DRB team works toward the goal of helping all car wash operators squeeze every ounce of profitability out of their investments.

Both companies will maintain their own brand entities and niches, leveraging synergies where possible to achieve the common goal of helping car wash operators sweat their assets, according to the announcement. Korngold will continue to serve as president of Washify while Pittman will continue to lead DRB as CEO.

THE HERSHEY CO.

Just 100 days ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Reese's brand announced its Ultimate Team, U.S. Olympic Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel. These Olympians will band together to support Big Orange and become the Ultimate Team Reese's this summer.

"As America's number one chocolate brand, we couldn't settle for anything other than the best and that's exactly why we've partnered with these legendary U.S. Olympians," said Margo Mcllvaine, Reese's brand manager. "These three know exactly what it takes to be the ultimate, and we welcome them to the Ultimate Team Reese's."

Throughout the summer, Reese's will use its social media pages and fanbase to support the Olympic Games and Team USA. And though Michael Phelps will not be competing this Summer, fans can catch him in the latest Reese's commercial featuring the limited-edition Reese's Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups.

For the first time in brand history, Reese's is releasing the most extreme peanut butter cup by removing the chocolate. For a limited time, fans can purchase the Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups in standard, king size and miniatures at retailers nationwide.

HUNT BROTHERS PIZZA

Hunt Brothers Pizza brought back its signature Chicken Alfredo Pizza back for a limited time at more than 7,800 convenience stores. Made on Hunt Brothers' original crust, it features a creamy Alfredo sauce, a blend of 100 percent natural part-skim mozzarella, natural white cheddar and aged Asiago cheese, and all-natural chicken chicken breast. The pizza is topped by the company's Just Rite Spice.

"Our Chicken Alfredo Pizza is our newest LTO that we introduced last year and received great feedback from our c-store owners. We're thrilled to bring it back so Chicken Alfredo fans can enjoy the flavors they crave on our signature pizza," said Dee Cleveland, Hunt Brothers Pizza director of marketing. "Introducing LTOs, like Chicken Alfredo Pizza, offers an effective way to generate consumer excitement and drive sales for our c-store partners, while ensuring we offer the best c-store pizza value in town."

The limited-time offer is available as a large, 12-inch whole pizza or a quarter-pie Hunk A Pizza while supplies last.

NICOPURE LABS

Nicopure Labs, a subsidiary of tobacco and menthol e-liquid manufacturer Pure Laboratories LLC, announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted all Halo products' premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) for the substantive scientific review phase.

"Halo's more than 12 years' of commitment to producing the highest quality vaping products available for adult consumers has been our organization's mission for more than a decade," said Jeffrey Stamler, co-founder of Nicopure Labs. "We believe in science and we believe in transparency, we are honored to continue to work with the FDA, and as always, in the best interest of the industry and the most important thing of them all, our loyal customers."

Just more than six months after submission, Nicopure Labs' PMTAs for Halo Turkish Tobacco E-liquid, Halo Triton II Starter Kit, Halo ZERO Starter Kit and all supporting consumable components have been accepted and advanced to the final phase, substantive scientific review by the FDA. Halo's first round of products was rapidly accepted and advanced three days after submission, the company said.

PAR TECHNOLOGY

PAR Technology, global provider of restaurant software, acquired Punchh Inc., a leader in loyalty and guest engagement solutions, for $500 million in cash and shares of PAR common stock to Punchh stockholders.

The acquisition makes PAR a unified commerce cloud platform for enterprise restaurants and positions PAR to lead the industry with integrated point-of-sale, back office, payment and guest engagement solutions, according to the company.

"Today there is a conflict between restaurants and technology. The quantity of new software applications is making it difficult for restaurants to navigate complex integration networks and taking away from focusing on their guests," said PAR Technology President and CEO Savneet Singh. "Meanwhile, online marketplaces are becoming intermediaries between restaurants and their guests.

"With the Punchh acquisition, we are building a platform that enables restaurants to scale quickly, own their path to innovation, and take back their guest relationship. This eliminates the need for juggling disjointed vendors, developing cumbersome point-to-point integrations, and relying on third-party dependencies," he added. "At the same time, Punchh advances our ability to provide customers with an end-to-end solution, from guest-to-kitchen, through one unified data source."


Singh touted Puncch's blue-chip roster of customers, industry-leading growth, 100 percent net dollar retention, and high customer NPS scores.

"With its Brink POS, PAR has been a Punchh partner for many years," said Shyam Rao, co-founder and president of Punchh. "We've gotten to know them while jointly servicing customers and have always been impressed with their focus on their customer's success. PAR's point-of-sale and back-office solutions combined with our loyalty and engagement platform give customers an end-to-end solution for top-line growth, profitable guest relationships and operational efficiencies. We're excited to join the PAR team and further our offerings to the hospitality industry."

TALKING RAIN BEVERAGE CO.

Sparkling Ice announced its new Purposeful Prizing Rewards Program where consumers have the chance to give back to four charities as they redeem rewards points.

With every qualifying purchase, consumers will be prompted to register and upload their receipts to the Sparkling Ice Rewards site at sparklingicerewards.com. The rewards points will be converted to dollars and contributed to a charitable gift for deserving children and families on behalf of the organizations.

"We're excited to offer a new opportunity for consumers to give back to those in need and to help make a difference for families and children across the country," said Sarah Gustat, executive vice president of marketing at Talking Rain, maker of Sparkling Ice. "Our team is committed to spreading a message of positivity and togetherness, and we're thrilled to be able to support these four charity partners through our new interactive rewards program."

The four nonprofit organizations include JDRF, Together We Rise, Terrapass, and Homes For Our Troops. The gifts that will be given to each organization include a "Bag of Hope" from JDRF for children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a "Sweet Case" duffle kit from Together We Rise for children entering foster care, individual and family annual carbon offset equivalents from Terrapass to neutralize carbon emissions and an American flag from Homes For Our Troops to welcome veterans in their new home.

UTZ BRANDS

Savory snack manufacturer Utz Brands Inc. announced an approximately $6-million profit sharing contribution for Utz associates. Started more than 40 years ago, the Utz 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan is committed to supporting Utz Associates and their families based on the company meeting a range of corporate and operational goals, the company said.

"In that spirit of can-do and as we begin to celebrate our 100-year anniversary, we're extremely proud to continue the tradition of sharing the company's success with associates," said Jim Sponaugle, senior vice-president, human resources.

This year's profit-sharing plan contribution is the realization of continued retail success and comes after multiple significant announcements from Utz in the past year, including the company going public in August 2020 and its acquisition of consumer brand favorites On the Border chips and dips and Vitner's snacks.

Since 2000, Utz's 401(k) profit sharing contributions for associates has exceeded $75 million. Full-time and part-time associates are eligible for the plan based on their tenure.