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Posted on: April 13, 2021
On March 4th, WB kicked off their marketing efforts for Space Jam: A New Legacy with an exclusive article & cover story on Entertainment Weekly, setting this up to be the hit movie of the Summer!  This is also the first time LeBron is speaking out about this previously top-secret project.  Lastly, the article confirms the previously communicated release date of July 16, 2021! • Entertainment Weekly article In the month of May, you can get your store ready for the Space Jam release with exclusive Ferrara products.
Posted on: March 11, 2021
Now available Oberto Snacks is upsizing the meat snack category with three profitable extra-large extra offerings. Since 1918, Oberto has been making specialty meats the same way founder Constantino Oberto did -with an emphasis on quality, flavor, and a relentless desire to be better every day.  The recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, producing the best tasting jerky and sausages. The most significant trend in meat snacks is the sales explosion of larger packages.  Consumers who used to spend $4-$7.00 for a meat snack are gladly spending $14-$16.00 for extra-large meat snacks – if it is high quality and at a good value for the money.  Capitalizing on this trend means more dollars in your cash register with larger transaction sizes.  The 3-ounce Oberto Cocktail Pep is the number one selling meat snack in the Northwest[1]  Oberto responded to the Consumer upsizing trend by launching its extra-large 12-ounce Cocktail Pep.  This is four times the goodness of the incredibly tasty Cocktail Pep.  In fact, stores that currently carry the 12 oz Cocktail Pep report that it is their number one selling item[2]. Oberto Thin Style jerky is also a top seller in the Northwest.  Real steak is thinly sliced, seasoned with salt and is slow dried in the smoke house.  This simple recipe produces a jerky that “purist” jerky connoisseurs love best.  The texture is tougher than most jerky – but that’s what makes it special.  It lasts longer and delivers the beefiest flavor of any jerky in the market.  Oberto now makes an extra-large 7.2-ounce Thin Style jerky in two popular flavors – Original and Peppered. These new items part of an overall commitment from Oberto Snacks Inc. to stay close to the consumer and produce high-end products aimed at discerning meat snack consumers. [1] Nielsen 52 weeks ending 1 23 2021 [2] Nielsen 52 weeks ending 1 23 2021
Posted on: March 11, 2021
A Shift in Shopping If there is one key trend to come out of the convenience channel through the COVID-19 crisis, it is that consumers are seeking out more take-home options than ever. This is a significant shift from the trends we have seen over the past five years. Where retailers had been focused on reducing the size of their grocery sets and number of large pack options in favor of a broader assortment of single serve snacking and grab-and-go options, we are now seeing space intentionally set aside for take home sizes. Retailers who had been growing their foodservice offerings are now challenged to offer meal solutions in ways that are compatible with carry-out, curbside pickup, or delivery services. Safety Found in Convenience But why exactly are we seeing this shift in consumer habits? Convenience stores by nature are set up for speed. It is easy to get in an out quickly without coming into close contact with other customers. In the current climate this means safety. Many consumers feel that fill-in trips to their local corner store or gas station are a safer choice than venturing to the ever-busy grocery store. Those looking to cut down the number of overall trips are opting for larger pack sizes to get them through. Similarly, consumers are finding solace in preparing meals in the safety and comfort of their own homes. However, busy lifestyles have prevailed through the pandemic causing consumers to continue to seek out time-saving solutions at mealtime. As a result, easy, prepackaged, and prepared options are more important than ever. Convenience stores are primed to be the perfect solution for many consumers by offering the fill-in trip essentials and grab-and-go meal solutions in one location. Mountain Fresh Delivers The Mountain Fresh Brand has always been focused on providing fresh, quality products made with ingredients you love for people on the go. We’re made for adventure, but sometimes navigating that busy pandemic lifestyle is more of an adventure than your favorite weekend hike. Either way, we’ve got you covered. We’re excited to introduce two new product lines designed to fit the needs of today’s c-store consumer. Better for you Snacks in Sharing Sizes We’ve taken six top selling varieties of our Mountain Fresh Snacks and packaged them in resealable stand-up pouches. With twice the product as our car cups consumers can eat a little now and a little later or pass the pouch to the kids in the backseat of the car. Take N’ Bake Pizzas The perfect mealtime solution for busy families on the go, our Mountain Fresh Pizzas never sacrifice quality for convenience. Made with all natural, fresh dough and premium meats, cheeses and vegetables we pack on the ingredients you love. While designed to provide an easy grab-and-go meal solution, retailers can also bake any unsold pizzas in-store to sell by the slice. With three classic varieties – Pepperoni, Cheese, and Supreme – there’s something for everyone. The Mountain Fresh brand is owned and distributed exclusively by Harbor Wholesale
Posted on: February 12, 2021
With this weekends snowfall throughout the NW, Harbor wants to make sure all CDL drivers out there are safe.  #wegotyourback
Posted on: February 11, 2021
This year has been extremely challenging with the pandemic and hurdles that it has created. A big percentage of the Northern sales team success is Canadian traffic, colleges, and seasonal vacationing in the northern Seattle area. The borders have been shut down, college campuses closed, and ferries empty which has created a big challenge for the team. The LDC-North team worked hard with their accounts on Harbor’s initiatives that were created to help out customers in every way possible to get through these uncharted waters. They maximized on the following initiatives during Covid the lockdowns: CSI (Customer Support Initiative)The team helped educate stores on curbside pick up, call in ordering and creating social media pages for their locations. This was proven to be very successful for the northern territories. Clean Store InitiativeThey helped provide cleaning products, tools, advertising, and education to their customers to help promote a clean and safe shopping experience for the consumers. Teresa Nixon got up early every day, checking what was in stock to let her customers know what options were hard to get items. She also focused on Harbor’s social media initiative, assisting customers in getting pages created so they could reach their customers through social media and their websites. She sent customers images of Harbor’s coffee programs and Mountain Fresh products so customers had content to post. She has worked hard to make suggestions for stores so they can be more COVID-19 compliant and supplied cleaning products to help stores follow through on the clean store initiative. John Gasche helped customers put together curb side pickup programs. He also helped his customers get on social media to advertise their businesses, and new programs. This also helped customers alert consumers when hard to get items were in stock. He brought a sense of normalcy to his customers during a very difficult time, always bringing a positive attitude to work each day. Dan Rochon worked with his customers to find replacements for items that were out of stock, ensuring that customers could continue through foodservice programs through the pandemic. Jennifer Radvanyi also worked on getting substitute products to her customers. She stayed in close contact socially with all her accounts during the lockdown to provide support and service where possible. Matthew Childs saw how people can come together in hard times, and always reminded customers we will get through this. Each store had different protocols that aligned with state mandates, and he worked with each of his customers to ensure all precautions were being taken. Thank you to the LDC-North Sales Team for ensuring our customers are taken care of each and every day! *Please note some photos were taken pre-covid.
Posted on: February 9, 2021
Visibility. Popularity. Profits. These are just three of the reasons that 5-hour ENERGY has come to be a favorite of independent convenience store owners. No other front-end product offers the margins of 5-hour ENERGY shots.* Since 2004, 5-hour ENERGY has offered adult consumers a way to get a boost in an easy-to-take package. The pioneering energy shot, today 5-hour ENERGY is available in most U.S. convenience stores. The brand is synonymous with the billion-dollar energy shot category, thanks to its national advertising campaigns and major sports sponsorships. 5-hour ENERGY is the only energy shot to offer this market presence. For 2021, Living Essentials LLC is launching a new shot and a major promotion — both designed to boost in-store traffic and help store owners sell more 5-hour ENERGY products. The 5-hour ENERGY Official Sponsor of Getting Stuff Done promotion, which starts Feb. 1, gives consumers a chance to win a share of $100,000. Specially marked countertop and floor displays feature the promotion. These displays come pre-stocked with Watermelon Extra Strength, the latest 5-hour ENERGY shot flavor. Independent C-stores have been critical to the success of 5-hour ENERGY products, which is why Living Essentials is always working on new products and promotions like these to help increase sales. It’s also why the company created the 5-hour ENERGY Retailer Rewards Program — an initiative designed just for small-business owners. Through regular, targeted communications, program members learn about the best ways to sell 5-hour ENERGY, and make more money doing it. A recent communication, “Fix the Mix,” taught owners about the importance of carrying the right 5-hour ENERGY shot flavors, tailoring product selection to each size display rack. By ensuring that every rack is stocked with the correct flavor assortment, store owners maximize their sale and profit potential. Other topics recently covered in member-only emails include the pitfalls of selling bargain-brand energy shots and why it pays to know the people who live and work near your store.  Retailer Rewards program participants also set themselves apart by having the opportunity to promote 5-hour ENERGY sales through free in-store advertising and point-of-sale displays, and branded merchandise available only to members. Interested in learning more about the 5-hour ENERGY Retailer Rewards Program or becoming a member? Visit *Source: Convenience A IRI retail audit, Nielsen 52 weeks ending 5/18/19 and 2018 NACS margin report. Learn more at Content provided by Living Essentials LLC.
Posted on: January 29, 2021
The Northwest’s top two independent convenience distributors are exploring a merger between their successful family-owned companies.  Justin Erickson, CEO of Harbor Foods Group states, “After several discussions with Robert Krupp (Chairman at Rich & Rhine), we realized that our vision for the convenience industry and strong values-based leadership were well aligned towards common future goals and opportunities.  We share a common passion for building an organization where our team members can be successful while being 100% focused on our customers’ success.”  Harbor Wholesale operates distribution centers in Lacey, WA and Roseburg, OR.  The partnership with Rich & Rhine would provide Harbor with an opportunity to establish a Portland, OR “hub” to service the more densely populated markets in NW Oregon and SW Washington.  Robert Krupp states, “As we continued down the path of successfully growing our business, we realized that substantial capital investment would be necessary to support our customers’ expansion into foodservice, fresh foods, branded programs, and new technologies.  Our partnership with Harbor would allow us to accomplish these goals by leveraging Harbor’s existing infrastructure in a number of these areas.”  Rich & Rhine and Harbor would conduct business as usual with Rich & Rhine operated independently and led by the current leadership team, including Ron Squires as President.  Erickson states, “In our 98 years of doing business, we’ve found only one true competitive advantage in this industry: our people.  We look forward to collaborating with the Rich & Rhine team so our collective knowledge, experience, and creativity can explore new and innovative ways to serve our customers better than ever.”  The combined companies would serve nearly 4,000 independent retailers throughout the Northwest.  The collective buying power of the combined businesses would bring new opportunities for customers to enhance their profitability while enjoying the service they’ve come to expect from the excellent people representing Rich & Rhine and Harbor. 
Posted on: December 15, 2020
The Category Management team at Harbor Wholesale is a dynamic group of leaders committed to supporting merchandising solutions in the independent c-store world. It’s not just about a robust assortment – it’s about the right assortment. Using region specific data and industry knowledge, our Category Management team works with our Vendor Partners to ensure you have the best products available in your store. To be a successful Category Manager here is the secret recipe;- A passion for creating winning solutions for independent retailers.- Category expertise and an understanding of current consumer trends.- Tremendous negotiating skills combined with strong Vendor partnerships.- Understanding of where regulations and taxation fit into each category.- Strong merchandising skills to design the best schematics and displays for retail. Let’s meet Harbor’s world-class Category Managers! Chelsea GarrowCategory Manager - Beverage, Grab & Go, SnacksChelsea considers her categories to be a lot of fun. Snacks and Grab & Go especially always have new and exciting things to offer and it has beeninteresting for Chelsea to see how dramatically consumer trends in these categories have changed over the past nine years. It’s not just about chips and burgers anymore. Finding the right balance between classic c-store fare that still sells, and better-for-you options that meet increasing demand can be a real challenge. That’s the fun part. Chelsea likes to look at it like a giant puzzle and put the pieces together, so they fit just right to make the big picture make sense. She also takes a lot of pride in helping Harbor’s independent retailers stand out from the crowd with private label brands specifically tailored to Pacific Northwest consumers, such as our Mountain Fresh Sandwiches, Salads, and Snacks. Jan HicknerCategory Manager - GroceryJan Hickner is the newest member of our Category Management team. She comes to us with an extensive grocery wholesale background and manages our Grocery, Grocery Nonedible, Cooler, and Frozen categories. Jan has a passion for helping the independent retailer and thrives on their success. She is excited to bring her passion, knowledge, and ideas to the conveniencechannel. Jaime McLeanCategory Manager - Tobacco & OTP, Auto, HABA,General MerchandiseJaime manages Tobacco, Health & Beauty, General Merchandise andAutomotive products for Harbor. Her favorite thing about her role is being able to fully utilize her initiative and problem-solving skills to improve productivity and add value to the categories that she manages for the company. She loves working with the Harbor Sales Team and helping them drive their goals in the field while offering the best solutions and product mixes for our customers.She has extensive experience navigating the ever-changing state and Federal tobacco regulation landscape, and enjoys working with the Harbor Sales Team to help them. Theo PorterCategory Manager - FoodserviceTheo’s favorite thing about being a Category Manager for Harbor Wholesale’s Convenience Foodservice is that he gets to develop programs for our customers that are innovative and unique. Whether it’s bringing a vendor program to Harbor’s Sales Team or building one from scratch, he gets to be creative and make something that hasn’t existed before. Helping our customers stay relevant and building relationships keeps him engaged and excited to work every day. Angela WallerCategory Manager - Candy, Meat SnacksAngela is our Category Management Team Lead and she also manages Candy, Meat Snacks & WAM program. It is easy to be passionate about what you do when you are surrounded by great people. Servicing c-stores is fun, fast-paced and ever-changing; there is never a dull moment! Angela loves interacting with vendors, team members and retail partners. What’s not fun about candy! She gets a great deal of satisfaction when she goes out into retail and sees new items Harbor set up or programs Harbor has put together out in the field. Angela has worked closely with theMarketing team to help design our proprietary rack programs several years ago, and she still gets excited when she sees our “Fuel” racks out at retails (formerly Meat Snack Zone). Angela works hard to ensure our Sales Team and retail customers have all the tools they need to maximize rebates on WAM programs. Seeing total payouts to retail grow year-over-year, by driving core items to the shelves and increasing sales lets Angela know we are doing it right. Harbor paid over a million in rebates to our retailers in 2019. Harbor is an open-minded nimble company that supports new ideas and creativity which is what keeps us all moving forward. Angela measures her own success by the success of our partners, it is what keeps her motivated to come to work every day with a smile on her face.