Habor Wholesale Foods

Menu

News. Blog. Announcements.

Foodservice Spotlight: River Rock Tobacco and Fuel

February 1, 2019

River Rock Tobacco and Fuel has cornered the fried chicken market.  With two Henny Penny  pressure fryers and a dedicated team they have built a private label convenience foodservice operation that is cooking all day long.  With the help of Foodservice Developer Drew Rochon the fried chicken focused menu is supplemented with side dishes and convenience classics such as corn dogs and deep fried burritos.

Even with the heavy chicken focus, all day parts are represented.  They do feature breakfast burritos and sandwiches in the morning and having these breakfast standards available is very important for the customer base.  Located just off of I-5 in an area where on-the-go meals and snacks are incredibly important, River Rock has maximized their ability to meet these needs.

Private label is very important to them as their brand is very recognizable in the community.  They have worked with Drew to create their own coffee brand as well as the hand breaded chicken program from the ground up.

Working directly with Harbor Wholesale Foods to build the menu has been a key to their success.  Partnering with their Foodservice developer has opened new opportunities for River Rock to take advantage of everything from menu boards to private label branding.  This partnership has set the store up to continue to support the community that has given them so much.

Exciting New Products From General Mills

January 31, 2019

Introducing Gardetto’s Crisps

The Gardetto’s flavor you know and love now in bite-sized crisps! New, single form poppable bites with a crunch texture. Gardetto’s sales have grown +5% over the last 5 years. Original delivers on the much loved flavor of Gardetto’s Original Snack Mix and Peppercorn Ranch offers a new mashup that consumers will

yearn for. C-store shoppers crave different salty snacks depending on their mood. Sometimes it’s about eating snacks that provide a mix on flavors, and other times it’s about mindlessly eating crave-worthy snacks. Gardetto’s checks all these boxes!

Gardettos’ Crisps Original Recipe | Harbor Item Number: 5870031

Gardetto’s Crisps Peppercorn Ranch | Harbor Item Number: 5870032

 

EPIC: A brand that can surround your store!

EPIC’s innovation is driven by its commitment to utilizing the whole animal and minimizing waste, and also greater influence Supply Chains toward regenerative practices. EPIC isn’t an item, it is a brand that can surround your store and build incremental consumer offerings! Consumer are seeking out responsibility sourced foods and animal welfare plays a significant role in the decision making process. 80% of consumer are seeking out natural or organic products and 71% believe sustainable sourcing is important. EPIC bars are non-GMO and cage free. Now available in four great flavors.

 

EPIC Almond Butter Chocolate | Harbor Item Number 0910202

EPIC Lemon | Harbor Item Number 0910199

EPIC Peanut Butter | Harbor Item Number 0910201

EPIC Peanut Butter Chocolate | Harbor Item Number 0910203

Hot Dispensed Evolves with Times

January 30, 2019

With the abundance of ready-to-drink, cold brew and nitro varieties of coffee and tea trending today, and consumers looking for more varieties and customization, convenience store operators must continually adjust their hot dispensed beverage programs to maintain maximum profitability.

While the motivators for beverage consumption remain the same as always—a boost of energy in the morning and a pick-me-up in the afternoon—consumers, especially younger ones, are always looking for new products to satisfy their needs, according to Mark DiDomenico, director, client services for Datassential research firm.

For some, that could be switching from hot dispensed beverages to ready-to-drink (RTD) from the cooler. For others it might be a new exotic brew or limited time offer (LTO) creamer to add a different flavor to their coffee.

As Millennials and Gen Z consumers take over the primary age demographics, their preferences in food and drink are increasingly driving sales, DiDomenico pointed out.

“These younger consumers are looking for beverage options that combine flavor, authenticity, functionality and a sense of adventure,” DiDomenico said. “That could be anything from kombucha to herbal teas.”

When it comes to coffee, 100% Colombian has been around for a long time, but now a growing number of retailers are becoming more specific, highlighting different geo-specific regions of counties or even specific farms, he explained.

 

“There’s a mystique about taste and quality that goes along with these coffees similar to wines,” DiDomenico added.

At the same time, some things have stayed the same. For example, French vanilla has been the No. 1 favorite coffee flavor, and hazelnut No. 2, for at least 20 to 30 years. And, people like to experiment with flavors through LTOs. DiDomenico said that as a nod to the preferences of younger consumers, operators may want to add some plant-based milks and natural sugars such as turbinado sugar and Stevia to their coffee bars.

SERVING UP PROMOTIONS
Special deals on coffee can also increase customer awareness and sales of hot dispensed beverages.

At Big 10 Mart, which has 15 locations in Iowa and Illinois, hot dispensed beverage sales were down 14% during the first three quarters of 2018 versus 2017, reported Jacque Hager, director of retail operations for the chain.

“We attributed this to more competition and a hotter summer,” she explained.

To try and combat those declining sales, the company implemented a 99-cent price point on any size coffee on Mondays. As a result, Big 10 Mart saw a 15% increase in hot dispensed beverage sales during the fourth quarter versus the previous year.

Read Full Article

Get Ready To Get Healthy: Harbor Wholesale Foods and Partnership For A Healthier America

January 29, 2019

We are excited to announce that Harbor Wholesale Foods is now working with Partnership For a Healthier America (PHA) to promote healthier foods to our customers and team members in the Pacific
Northwest. PHA was founded in 2010 in conjunction with Let’s Move! by the nation’s health and obesity advocates like former First Lady Michelle Obama, and US Senator Cory A. Bookter (D-NJ). PHA brings together companies to establish meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity and promote healthy eating. They also ensure that commitments are kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress their partners are making to show what can be achieved when several companies work together. Everyone deserves a chance to be healthy, and PHA works to make healthy food options more readily available in areas
they previously may not have been.

Beginning in 2019, Harbor will be working to update some of our programs to meet PHA’s health standards. PHA has partnered with NACS to create a healthier product calculator that allows distributors, like Harbor, to easily identify packaged foods and beverages that meet PHA’s Healthier Food and Beverage Product Criteria. The calculator considers the product’s nutrient quality (like fat and sodium content) and the product’s primary ingredients (such as whole grains or fruits and vegetables) to
determine if it is healthy or not. The programs being updated include our Snack Right Rack as well as our Fresh Zone Cooler. Currently, about 35% of items on the Snack Right Rack meet the PHA health standards, and in 2019 we are going to be updating the rack so that 50% of items fit PHA’s health standards. The Fresh Zone Cooler currently has 60% of items that meet the criteria, and Harbor will be working to maintain and improve that.

According to NACS, from 2017 to 2018 more than 61% of convenience retailers said that sales of better-for-you items (fruits/vegetables, yogurts,  nuts, health bars) experienced sales gains.

In addition to updating programs and racks, Harbor will be participating in PHA’s campaign, Drink Up. Drink Up was established between PHA and former First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage people to drink more water and more often. You are what you drink, so drink up! Harbor will be creating point of sale materials to promote water consumption as well as begin promoting water consumption around our office.

According to a 2016 report from NACS, bottled water outshined soda in sales for the first time in U.S. history. Bottled water producers pointed to American’s desiring portable, calorie-free beverages for the increase in bottled water sales. This trend is predicted to continue in the coming years.

While you’re flipping through this month’s Retail Solutions, be on the lookout for the PHA Proud Partner Logo. The items designated with this logo meet the PHA Healthier Food and Beverage Product Criteria. The New Year is a great time to start offering more healthy products as customers will be seeking these items out. We also will be adding the Proud Partner logo to items in our Foodservice Solutions book and our monthly
e-newsletters, Fresh Ideas and Popular Products.
Harbor is excited to grow the offering of healthy products that we supply and make them more available for our customers around the Pacific Northwest. Here’s to a healthier 2019 and beyond!

2019 Tradeshow Registration Is Now Open!

January 9, 2019

Registration for Harbor’s 2019 Tradeshow is now open! The 2019 Harbor tradeshow is the can’t miss event of the year. The show will provide the ammunition you need to defeat the challenges in the business and create a winning strategy for 2019 and beyond. The C-Store industry is evolving quickly and this is your opportunity to meet with vendor partners and network with other like-minded retailers who are all focused on building their business.  Still not sure if you should attend? Here are 10 reasons why you should:

1. New vendors for Harbor with exciting new products

2. Great networking opportunities with other Harbor customers and Vendors

3. Customer dinner, entertainment and customer appreciation

4. Awesome prizes based on purchases or raffle drawings at vendor booths

5. Foodservice booth where you can sample products and get great new ideas for foodservice programs

6. See our Zone Programs in person and sign up for them at the show!

7. Try loads and loads of tasty new food items!

8. Best deals of the year!

9. Dress up, and have fun with the sports theme!

10. Meet local vendor Partners and learn about their products

Register today for the show by clicking here

What’s On Trend For 2019? Meat Snacks.

January 9, 2019

Meat Snacks continue their explosive growth, averaging 7+% growth per year for the past 5 years, and is projected to hit $3 Billion in 2018. Meat Snack growth is in the top 5% of all food category growth in retail stores. Meat Snacks remain the top seller in c-store alternative snacks, with sales racking up more than double that of health, energy and protein bars. In the 52 weeks ending on September 22nd, 2018 meat snacks sales in convenience stores totaled over $1.5 billion, a 3.6% increase from the same period in 2017, according to Nielsen.

Meat Snacks are up 30% in sales growth over the last 5 years.

Consumer lifestyle changes are one reason for Meat Snack growth. High protein, paleo, keto and mediterranean diets are popular. There are 35 million

households with at least one person on a diet. Claims fueling the growth are all natural preservatives, and clean label ingredients.

Meat Snacks are growing +1.1% in Northwest convenience store market this year. Harbor Wholesale Meat Snacks growth is +6.0%, six times the growth of NW
Convenience. Most notably, consumers are switching to larger sized packages. For example, standard (3-5 oz.) size jerky sales declined ($783,555) in the Northwest, while large and extra-large (>5.0 oz.) jerky/sticks grew +$1.2 million! Large and extra-large sizes now represent 28% of jerky sales, which is double from a few years ago. Popular large size products on the Harbor schematic include Oberto 9 oz. jerky and Old Trapper 10 oz. jerky. These items are a great way to increase basket ring in the store.

American households spend an average of $25.81 per year on meat snacks. Their pre-trip spend on sticks and jerky at $7.42 is also twice as much as it is on staples like potato chips, which are at $3.61, and popcorn, which totals $4.01, according to Nielsen. In terms of age groups, baby boomers are the biggest buyers, spending $28.48 per year, making them 10% more likely to buy meat snacks than the average shopper.

Meat Sticks grew +0.7% in the Northwest this year. Oberto Cocktail Pep and Smok-A-Roni are the top two selling stick items which can be merchandised either in a caddy or pegged, and have the highest dollar growth within Harbor Wholesale Meat Stick products. Slim Jim Monster 1.94 oz. items are highly ranked items that are growing in the Northwest and in the Harbor portfolio.

Bulk products account for 22% of sales dollars.

Bulk, or unwrapped jerky represents 22% of total meat snack sales. The Tillamook bulk program is the most popular modular floor display.
The Oberto Cocktail Pep acrylic counter top display is the highest volume at Harbor.

What’s On Trend For Foodservice In 2019? Green and Healthy Options.

December 10, 2018

Many of the industry publications are predicting that “green” and “better for you” options will trend through the year.  When broken down these are driven by individual needs and tastes of customers, meaning that what customers are looking for are customizable options, something that meets their individual tastes or desires in the moment.  Snacks and small meal items continue to grow in popularity because they are easy to manage and provide smaller portions, satisfying that immediate need.

Delivery will start to be a bigger and bigger opportunity.  As c-stores begin creating signature tastes and options to compete with small restaurants and fast casual food, getting food directly into the mouths of customers will be of utmost importance.  The easiest way to do this is to leverage current technologies and participate with Uber Eats and other food delivery services.  Customers looking for local options will see that convenience as a category has exactly what they need in that customized eating experience they are demanding.

Technology will also be used to drive customer dedication and brand development.  Fast casual locations are already using apps, games and coupon codes to drive business through their doors and to compete with these digital innovations c-stores will need to invest in development of technology on many levels.

The good news is that implementation of the solutions which let c-stores take advantage of these trends is becoming easier.  Many vendors are well aware of these trends and are creating products to fill these needs.  From Tyson’s Nothing Added Ever (NAE) line to smaller portions being packed.  On the technology side there are many firms, including NCR, that are developing digital menu systems and providing platforms to allow customers to place and customize orders.

Customer Feature: Holiday Market

December 10, 2018

Not many stores close and then reopen ten years later, but that’s exactly what Holiday Market did. The original Holiday Market store, located in Burlington, WA, first opened in the 1980’s when unemployment and demand for fishing in the area were in high demand. The original store was built around feeding those fishermen and employing some of the local community.

Unfortunately, the store was forced to close in 2008 due to the Interstate 5 expansion, but they recently reopened with a bigger and better operation. The current store has been open for three months and is 6000 sq/ft. When they reopened, they didn’t think twice about working with Harbor once again. ‘We had a great working relationship with our Harbor Rep from our previous business, and we never considered another wholesaler. We appreciate all the expertise and the benefits we get from working with a fellow family-owned business and from our rep Teresa and Foodservice Rep Drew. We also enjoy the benefits such as merchandising by the Store Solutions Team and Graphics from the Marketing team,’ said owner Diane Steen.

Everything about Holiday Market is a family affair. The store is run by Diane Steen, her daughter, Carrie Holmes, her son, Gary Steen, and granddaughter Rachel Holmes. Diane and Carrie run the day-to-day operations of Holiday Market convenience store, while Rachel operates the espresso stand on the property, and Gary operates Skagit Arms and Holiday Sports located next door.

Holiday Market is a destination in the Burlington community. They have a strong deli program, with Chester’s Chicken and a made-to-order sandwich station. Their deli is ever evolving with adding new items that their customers are seeking out. The store was designed to have the cooking area open to the public view, so the customers can see how their food is being prepared.

When you step foot in Holiday Market, there’s no mistaking that you’ve stepped into a destination. With their high
ceilings, open deli area, and unique branding, everything about this store is one of a kind. Their product selection,
customer service, and community driven mindset keeps customers coming back.

Thank you, Holiday Market, for being a great Harbor partner!

Get To Know Split Shift Coffee Company

November 12, 2018

We recently sat down with Stephen Zirschky, Coffee Program Manager at Harbor, to learn more about our new coffee brand, Split Shift.

Tell us a little about the development of Split Shift.

I always like to say “your brand is your promise” – it’s a platform for you to create an opinion in someone’s mind about what you’re about. Whatever a person’s opinion of you…they’re right in their mind. Split Shift is about putting your nose to the grindstone and getting [it] done – a coffee for the working class, those that work a split shift and do what it takes to accomplish their dreams. We want to showcase the classic Americana mindset & entrepreneurial spirit in every avenue: in our customers and the end coffee drinker both.

Who is the target audience of this new brand?

I think I partly answered this in the question above, but we are putting a lot of focus on the American working class – we take a lot of pride in getting our hands dirty to do whatever it takes to meet our goals, and want to recognize those that do the same. That being said, we want this brand to stand in any circle of life…the first phrase we used to describe Split Shift was “everyone’s cup of joe”. Whether you’re working that split shift, have yet to enter the work force, or flying a private jet to your next big venture – we want this to be the coffee for you.

How do I know if a store is a good fit for the new coffee brand?

I would first ask what do you want to get from your coffee bar? Split Shift was built with the goal of sustainability & profitability in mind. We want to grow the bottom line through increasing the amount of people drinking your coffee. The industry itself is in a state of flux. Starbucks is invading the convenience space more than ever & major chains are all moving in the direction to imitate Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and McDonalds in terms of quality, customization and variety. The old adage is going to ring true – “if you’re not first, you’re last”. If you’ve been serving the same thing for the last 3-5 years, it’s time to take a look at what’s new with us.

What are you most excited about in regards to Split Shift?

We’re extremely passionate about coffee (as you can tell). What I’m most excited about is that we are able to express that passion through Split Shift. Everything from the brand imagery to the origin & roasting was handled by us & tailor made to our specifications. What that means is that not only can you see our obsession, but that if anything doesn’t jive with what we want this brand to be…we can change it. That’s what’s so cool about the entrepreneurial spirit, right? Taking your destiny into your own hands?

Tell us about the Coffee Blends for Split Shift, what are the different options?

We have a small army of single origin & blends in our lineup as of today:

  • Two types of “house blends” one for use with milk & one that tastes best black
  • Two dark roasts, one meant for putting hair on your chest and the other as a dessert coffee
  • A light roast that showcases all the elements of a bright/light bodied coffee
  • Two single origins (for now) – a Costa Rican and a Sumatran
  • Three “flavored” coffees for some of our markets that show an affinity to specific flavors (i.e. vanilla or hazelnut)
  • While not caffeinated, we can’t forget about our decaf! We took the best elements of our “original” house blend and replicated the flavor profile

Why should someone add Split Shift to their store?

To touch on what I said a few moments ago – Split Shift was created to help grow business & give the end consumer the kind of quality they pay $3 more for in a drive-thru. We obsessed over the construction of this brand. With all the time, energy and passion it took, we did not want to do so just to add another notch to our portfolio, but to make a major difference in the industry. Now is the time to rebrand the term “gas station coffee”, as I like to say.

 

Spotlight Foodservice: Nisqually Markets

November 12, 2018

From the moment you walk into Nisqually Market you see their dedication to providing quality products and innovative solutions to their customers.  Beyond their modern and eye-catching displays and the cleanliness of the location, they have a bustling Quick Service Restaurant business and a full coffee bar serving Watertown premium coffees.

The push for innovation goes beyond the displays and ensuring that their customers have everything that they need.  A few years ago they were using a standard four ounce breakfast burrito at the center of their breakfast program.  Alongside our Foodservice Developer Fritz Haberland, Deli Manager Jackie used key ingredients to put together a breakfast burrito that cut cost, increased margin and provided customers a full 12 ounce burrito for their morning commute.

Moving to making burritos themselves has helped them build this signature item, drive traffic through their store and differentiate themselves from other stores in the area.  Our Foodservice team works diligently with our customers every day to build solutions like the breakfast burrito at Nisqually Market.

Jackie says that the burritos are easy to make and are a key item in their hot case every day, becoming a staple alongside their coffee for the morning commute.

From the moment you walk into Nisqually Market you see their dedication to providing quality products and innovative solutions to their customers.  Beyond their modern and eye-catching displays and the cleanliness of the location, they have a bustling Quick Service Restaurant business and a full coffee bar serving Watertown premium coffees.

The push for innovation goes beyond the displays and ensuring that their customers have everything that they need.  A few years ago they were using a standard four ounce breakfast burrito at the center of their breakfast program.  Alongside our Foodservice Developer Fritz Haberland, Deli Manager Jackie used key ingredients to put together a breakfast burrito that cut cost, increased margin and provided customers a full 12 ounce burrito for their morning commute.

Over the course of a few years this burrito has become a staple at Nisqually Market with customers stopping in every morning to get them before they sell out.  Preparation is easy with all of the work done the night before.  Tortillas are spread with sausage gravy, topped with hashbrowns, eggs, cheese and bacon or ham.  They make 40 burritos which are wrapped, placed on baking sheets and stored overnight in the cooler.  The morning crew takes the burritos out and cooks them up, one tray at a time only using 15 minutes of their time to be set for the rush.

Moving to making burritos themselves has helped them build this signature item, drive traffic through their store and differentiate themselves from other stores in the area.  Our Foodservice team works diligently with our customers every day to build solutions like the breakfast burrito at Nisqually Market.

Jackie says that the burritos are easy to make and are a key item in their hot case every day, becoming a staple alongside their coffee for the morning commute.