What’s Hot for 2017

Not every craze is meant for the c-store channel, but it is important to be aware of what the up-and-coming, trendy items are and consider them for your store. The verdict is still out on whether the products below will make it into mainstream c-store sales, but at the very least, they need to be considered.


With the success and continued growth of heath and protein bars, it seems only natural that “meat bars” will be the next transition for c-stores. Speaking of natural... that is one of the reasons these bars are expected to be the next big thing.
Low-calorie, high-protein and somewhat fascinating, you can expect this new style of snack to stare popping up on more and more c-store shelves. Hershey Co. is even jumping on this bandwagon, having introduced their new Krave meat bars in the summer of 2016.


 Nitro cold brew coffee is different from other iced coffees because it is dispensed from  a tap, similar to beer. There are also packaged ready to drink cold brew coffees  available for sale. With growth of 115% in 2014-15, and Dunkin’ Donuts and  Starbucks joining the category in 2016, it has officially become mainstream.
 Cold brew coffee typically has 33% more caffeine, but with 66% less acidity than  regular coffee, giving drinkers the extra jolt they are looking for, without the bitterness  of caffeine shots.


  Vaping has become huge, especially with the millennial customer, and while c-stores currently only supplement their existing tobacco sales with vaping (and are not used as a means to draw in customers) that may be changing.Currently vape sales come from three different sources, each pulling in about a third of sales; vape shops, the Internet, and “other retailers”, which includes c-stores.

The potential for vape category growth for c-stores is there because, by nature, c-stores are accessible locations and consumers are willing to pay for the convenience, however, new regulation may have an impact on this potential. It is estimated that vape sales could exceed e-cig sales by $500 million this year, hitting the $2 billion mark, time will tell what impact this new regulation has on the category.


You may have heard of Kombucha, or if you are not a health enthusiast or tea fanatic, it may be a new word for you. Kombucha is a fizzy, non-alcoholic fermented beverage made from tea and touts major health benefits including probiotics.

Kombucha has been gaining steam in the health food channel for years, but is becoming more mainstream, with some convenience stores across the country even offering Kombucha growler filling stations. With soft drink sales declining and ready to drink teas filling the void with strong growth in convenience over the past several years, Kombucha may be just the thing to keep the momentum going.

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