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Customer Feature: Topp Stop

August 6, 2018

Topp Stop, located in Toppenish in Eastern Washington, has been in business since 2003 after owner Faron Young purchased the location, taking over a previous AMPM location. When the store first opened they sold mostly lottery tickets and beer, but over the years this has evolved, and has changed their sales to be mostly focused on tobacco and their deli.

Topp Stop has been a Harbor customer since 2017. Per the Store Manager, Val, the transition to Harbor was easy, and at a competitive price with great service, resulting in more retail profitability. When first signing on with Harbor, Topp Stop chose to take part in the Harbor Store Solutions program and have their store reset. During the store reset, a product matchup took place, ensuring that Topp Stop was set with the best products and in the right locations. Val said that the store reset helped their store flow better, helping their customers find items easily, resulting in increased sales.

Since teaming up with Harbor, Topp Stop has seen a 4% increase in floor sales. Harbor has also helped them to grow their deli program by 9%. Topp Stopp has dramatically increased their deli offerings, by adding BirdShack Chicken and Tyson/Windsor Asian food programs. Harbor has been able to successfully help Topp Stop implement new, innovative ideas in their deli to grow their business.

In December 2017, Topp Stop decided to replace their coffee program with Java Classics. They worked with their Territory Sales Manager, Adam Roll, Foodservice Sales Developer, James Caldwell, and Java Tech, Jeremiah Pavel, to reset their coffee program. Harbor’s Marketing and Graphics department were also able to help create graphics to make their coffee set stand out. The eye-catching branding on their coffee set helps to differentiate Topp Stopp from the competition, and customers love the change.

Topp Stop is a unique store, as they are located on the Yakima Indian Reservation with five other gas stations on their block, and a Safeway next door. They have separated themselves with competitive prices and a great staff that provides exceptional service. Their service keeps customers coming back, as well as their product selection, deli program and coffee set making their store a destination. Thank you Topp Stopp for being a loyal Harbor customer!

Coffee Set Before

Coffee Set After

New Items From General Mills Convenience & Foodservice!

August 6, 2018

General Mills Convenience is bringing one of America’s favorite snack items to the foodservice area of convenience stores! Totino’s™ Pizza Rolls, small bites of pepperoni pizza rolled in a snackable crust, allows retailers to offer their customers a hot, ready-to-eat snack option from a nostalgic brand. The packaging, exclusive to convenience stores, features two opening options for easy on-the-go eating.  Branded sleeves come in the master case, and hold 8 pizza rolls each!

Totino’s Pizza Rolls Item Number 8750090

   

Whole sausage patty, real egg omelet, and cheddar cheese sealed neatly in a crispy, sweet maple flavored Belgian-style waffle. High quality ingredients provide superior taste in a unique, innovative new format that meets the growing demand of hot n’ ready handheld breakfast items!  Branded sleeves come in the master case, and hold one stuffed waffle per sleeve!

Pillsbury Stuffed Waffles Item Number 8830010

       

It’s Grilling Season!

July 9, 2018

The sun is shining, the weather is warmer, and people are outside cooking up tasty meals on the grill! When it comes to grilling, nothing is more important than good charcoal, and Kingsford has you covered from lighter fluid, to flavored charcoal briquettes.

Kingsford Charcoal has been made in the USA, with North American ingredients, wince 1919. Kingsford is also the leading manufacturer of charcoal in the United States, converting more than one million tons of wood scraps into charcoal briquettes each year. Kingsford is the original taste of summer, and it’s been the gold standard of grilling for nearly 100 years. Each briquet is made with natural ingredients and real wood to ensure the smoky flavor barbecue lover crave.

Let your customer take their grilling to the next level by stocking your store with Kingsford charcoal products. Harbor carries a variety of Kingsford products, ensuring that you can bring in the best selection for your customers. Talk to your Harbor Rep or check out page 11 of the July promo book to learn more.

Breakfast breaking the morning meal mold

June 19, 2018

Breakfast is breaking free of its morning meal-only reputation. Consumers’ free-form dining habits are inspiring restaurants to create menus adaptable across mealtimes, according to Packaged Facts’ recent report, “Breakfast and breakfast foods all day: Culinary tracking series.”

A prominent example is McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu, which launched in late 2015. The chain now features typical breakfast-only offerings such as sausage and egg muffins, hash browns, pancakes and breakfast burritos throughout the day, along with its McCafé beverage menu, which includes espresso beverages and new cold-brew frozen coffee.

The all-day breakfast trend has also spurred the growth of “hipster-baiting cereal cafes,” Packaged Facts said, such as Kellogg Co.’s Kellogg’s NYC cereal café in New York. The menu features a do-it-

yourself cereal bar with more than 30 toppings, specialty cereal drinks and ice cream sandwiches made with Pop-Tarts. The location even offers an Instagram station where customers may design a set and style their bowl of cereal before photographing it and sharing it on social media.

As breakfast foods branch beyond the morning daypart, new incarnations of biscuits, donuts, waffles and pancakes have also arisen as “artisanal expressions of a new generation’s creativity” that may be eaten at any time of day, Packaged Facts said. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews, for example, previously served a limited-time chicken and waffles burger called The Bee’s Knees Chicken Finest. The sandwich featured tempura-fried chicken breast glazed in Angry Orchard honey, jalapeño relish, citrus-marinated tomatoes, onions and shredded romaine lettuce on a Belgian waffle bun.

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Upgrade Your Foodservice

June 6, 2018

The Harbor Foodservice team is bringing you an easy way to upgrade your foodservice game this month.  In partnership with Prairie City Bakery we are offering a brand-new item, the Maple Sandwich Waffle!  This is a buttery maple waffle that is made the traditional Liege way with rich, whole wheat brioche batter.  It’s deliciously sweet and perfect for the breakfast day part.

The key for this foodservice treat is to pair it with sausage and egg patties to create the perfect item that can be a signature taste on your menu.  Using just a microwave or oven this easy to make sandwich is ready in just minutes.  No fork, no syrup, no mess.

With chain restaurants introducing their own takes on this classic flavor, replace the sausage patty with a crispy chicken patty from Brakebush Chicken to capitalize on the trend and take advantage of the increased traffic looking for breakfast this summer.

This is not a grab and go sandwich and must be made from scratch ingredients, all available through Harbor.

-Upgrade your current breakfast offering

-Chicken and waffles is a trending breakfast flavor

-NOT a grab and go sandwich. This is something you make

-Using just a microwave and key ingredients all available through Harbor

 

             

Staying On Trend – Cold Brew Coffee

May 31, 2018

By Stephen Zirschky, Coffee Program Manager

Did you know the hottest drink trend in the market right now comes over ice? If you haven’t heard the news yet, Cold Brew is in – and it’s here to stay.

Cold Brew Coffee is the term given to ice coffee that has been brewed or steeped over 12-20 hours in cool/tepid water. This results in a richer, smoother taste with no bitterness and nearly double the caffeine content of other ice coffee options. Since 2010, the cold brew market has grown 338%, with a projected 2018 growth of +149%. This represents the fastest growing beverage trend out there!

To help address this exploding market, Harbor has launched a full Cold Brew Program with low entry cost, little labor, and a robust 62% profit margin!

If you’d like to get started, all you will need is 18” of counter space and access to dispensed ice. For more information on how you can ‘caffeinate’ your summer coffee sales, inquire about this program with your local Harbor Rep!

 

Sunscreen Sales & Summer

May 3, 2018

Sunscreens is one of the fastest growing categories of skin care due to the increasing global awareness regarding the impact and damage that the sun can have on unprotected skin. Consumers show increasing awareness that their skin needs all the helps it can get, not just by the application of the sunscreen, but also by helping the skin better deal with the sunlight in general.

UVA and UVB rays are ultraviolet radiation (part of the light spectrum) that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet rays are shorter than visible light, which is why you can’t see them with your naked eye. UVB rays hit your skin’s surface and can turn you lobster-red. Ouch! UVA rays have longer wavelengths than UVB and can penetrate deeper into your skin causing aging and long-term damange. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause cancer. Double ouch!

How can you and your customers protect yourselves from the sun’s harmful rays?

  1. Avoid the sun’s strongest rays and seek shade between 10AM and 4PM.
  2. Sunscreen doesn’t have seasonal preference; Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring rays are all the same. Wear sunscreen all year round.
  3. Listed and look; Don’t neglect your eyes, lips and nose. These facial areas are often overlooked and need coverage too.
  4. Watch our for tracker’s arms! Your left arm often rests on the door ledge by the window when you drive. Arm yourself with sunscreen.

 

Harbor Wholesale Foods carries Banana Boat products that offer a wide range of sunscreen options so your customers don’t have to worry about getting sunburn this summer. These products include:

284009 – Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel

2840016 – Banana Boat Kids FC Mist SPF50

284000 – Banana Boat Lip Balm F/B SPF45

2840871 – Banana Boat SPF 30 Bowl

2840003 – Banana Boat Sport SPF30 24ct

2840012 – Banana Boat Sprt Prf Ltn SPF30

Get Ready For The Holidays

May 3, 2018

By: Melissa Molnar, Digital Marketing Specialist

Have you thought about what products to carry for the 2018 holiday season? If not, it’s time to start! The May Harbor Retail Solutions book has fantastic impulse seasonal items to offer.  You don’t want to miss out on these incremental Holiday sales.

Per Candy & Snack Today, 2017 winter holiday sales total category sales equaled $3.9 billion dollars. The holidays are a key time of year to capture incremental sales. Also, premium chocolate saw a 17.1%-dollar gain during the 2017 winter holiday season.  This means people are looking to buy premium chocolate items for gifting purposes. Harbor has a wide variety of both premium chocolate, including a new premium chocolate suggested schematic, and holiday candy items for you to choose from.

          

In addition to items in the May Promo Book, be on the lookout in September for our seasonal book that will include holiday relative items that are available everyday in addition to more seasonal limited time offers.  With such strong sales opportunities coming your way in the 2018 during the Holiday season, you don’t want to miss out. Your customers will be seeking out these holiday and premium items, so make sure you have them stocked in your store.

                 

Sources

https://www.confectionerynews.com/Article/2016/09/08/National-Confectioners-Association-IRI-on-micro-holidays

Candy And Snacks Today, March/April 2018 Magazine, Seasonal Products Article

Building Your Brand With Social Media

April 3, 2018

By: Melissa Molnar, Digital Marketing Specialist

Do you use social media for your business? Have you ever considered using social media for your business? Why is social media worth it? Summed up, social media is the easiest way to connect with your customers, build awareness of your company, turn a prospective customer into a purchasing customer, and it’s free! Your customers are already on social media interacting with businesses, your company should be in that conversation too!

The main social media channels for businesses are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram LinkedIn and Yelp. However, when getting started it is best focus your efforts on just a few of those channels. If you are wanting to invest time in just one channel, Facebook is where you should be. Facebook has the most evenly distributed demographics, which means that your content will reach the most people. A Facebook business page is easy to set up, however you must have a personal Facebook profile to create a Facebook page.

After Facebook, Instagram is the channel that will create a great return on investment for your time. Instagram is used mostly by people ages 18-29*, so if you are located by a college campus or school, your customers are using Instagram even more than Facebook. It’s important to note that Instagram is best optimized for a mobile phone. You won’t be able to get the full range of features on a computer. Using hashtags on Instagram is key. Hashtags allow for people to find your content and follow you. For example, on a Harbor Instagram post we always include #HarborWholesaleFoods. We also will include hashtags relevant to the post like #Snacks #CStore #NewProducts so people outside of our organization can find the content too.

Yelp is another great channel to use- and chances are your business is already here. People can leave reviews for businesses on Yelp whether they have claimed their page or not. Therefore, it’s important to claim your page so you can respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Claiming your Yelp page is easy, you can start the process by visiting https://biz.yelp.com. After claiming your page, you can also add in store hours, location and photo.! If you have a foodservice or coffee program you can also add that information so when people are looking for lunch or breakfast your store pops up and they know to stop there.

Having an online presence is important and is a great way to make potential customers aware of your programs and services without having to invest a lot of money. So what content should you share? Here’s a great list for starting out:

Daily Foodservice item

Any deals or coupons

Coffee information

New items in your store

Customer appreciation

Employee spotlight

Items in your cold case & hot case

Bestselling items

Host a contest to gain followers

Ask customers to share photos of what they purchase from you

Local events you may be participating in

History about your store

It may take some time to figure out what posts really work well for your customer base, but spending time to create social media will help to create a loyal following for your store!

If you would like to learn more, talk to your Harbor Sales Rep and they will be able to provide the full Tradeshow Seminar presentation for you.

*Stats from wishpond.com

Brewing Success: Coffee As Cornerstone

April 3, 2018

By: Stephen Zirschky, Coffee Program Manager

Did you know that over 60% (200 million) Americans consume coffee on a daily basis? Of those 200 million people, only 14 million purchase their morning brew from a convenience store. With such a big discrepancy, we have to ask ourselves, “why”?

Today’s coffee consumers are much more discerning than in days past. As part of a NACS consumption survey, 51% of respondents stated the quality of their coffee was the deciding factor of where they would purchase on a daily basis. In addition to product quality, consumers are also inundated with choices – in terms of product variety AND customization.

I challenge you to answer these questions:

Is my average cups per day increasing or decreasing? Why?

What customization options do I offer my customers? (creamers, flavorings, syrups, dairy options)

Am I strengthening my offering with other programs? (cold brew, tea, slush, or espresso)

Our data indicates that higher quality blends such as single origin, organic, & high quality coffees are experiencing an average of +10% in growth year over year. Conversely, lower quality coffees & traditional blends are experiencing a (3%) dip. This does not even take into account the impact of offering variety to your customers –79% of whom indicated they choose their coffee destination before leaving home/work.

The big picture is this: coffee is the highest margin program in our stores, it is a traffic driver to our stores, and it is a complementary item. Gone are the days where a $0.99 cup of coffee will drive traffic into our doors. To keep up with not only coffeehouses and drive thru cafes, but major chains in the convenience industry as well – we need to adapt.

If you would like to learn more, talk to your Harbor Sales Rep and they will be able to provide the full Tradeshow Seminar presentation for you.