In just three days, CRU delivers years of insights you won't get anywhere else
7:30am – 7:00pm

Registration & Information Desk

8:00am – 9:00am

Continental Networking Breakfast

9:00am – 10:45am

Opening General Session

Think Different

A 25-year veteran of Disney, widely recognized as one of the world’s most creative companies, Duncan Wardle helps companies make innovation part of their DNA. Duncan’s shares insights from his time as Head of Innovation & Creativity at Disney, providing a unique set of Innovation Tools and Techniques that everyone can use to Think Different. He offers strategies on how to improve customer experience, embrace calculated risk and helps teams work collaboratively. In his quest to unleash the magic within each individual and organization, Duncan helps people overcome their expertise and get out of their own way, enabling them to think differently and creatively about solutions to challenges big and small.

11:00am – 12:00pm

Category Breakouts (choose 1 of 8)

Convenience is under siege – and everyone knows it. Online retailing, third-party foodservice delivery and declining fuel fill-ups are challenging c-store retailers’ in-store performance. So maximizing category success has never been more important.

To help retailers grow sales amid this retail revolution, we’re providing Category Breakouts. Each forum will feature experts to inspire fresh ideas and new ways to engage customers. We also want to hear from retailers, which is why we’ll spend part of the time brainstorming together. Whether you’re a one-store operator or work for a chain of 5,000 units, you are guaranteed to go home with new insights and actionable solutions.

The presentation tracks will include Foodservice, Packaged Beverages, Behind the Counter, Dispensed Beverages, CBD, Technology & Operations, Center Store, Loyalty & Delivery.

Track: Foodservice

Trends & Data: Finding Balance: How plant-based options in c-stores can boost traffic and drive the foodservice category

Offering craveable plant- and meat-based items is crucial for retailers that are looking to boost their foodservice programs in 2020. Plant-based ingredients snuck onto c-store foodservice menus in 2019, appearing as cauliflower pizza crusts, vegetarian sausages, corn and pepper-based burritos and more. But how can retailers push new, innovative, plant-based offerings while maintaining some of the more indulgent, meat-based and popular c-store staples?

Track: Packaged Beverages

Trends & Data: Drive Traffic: Understanding more about how the cold vault can boost inside store sales

Packaged beverages remain a key traffic driver for convenience stores, and today’s consumer is looking at a lot more than price and brand when making their choice. In this session, we will dig into the consumer trends—from concerns about sugar to enhanced ingredients (CoQ10, CBD), to the growth of the sparkling category—that are forcing changes in the cold vault. We’ll also look at challenges to the beer category and ways to keep that segment growing.

Track: Hot & Cold Dispensed Beverages

Trends & Data: Treat Yourself: How craveable hot and cold offerings can help grow foodservice sales

Hot and cold dispensed beverages have become challenged in recent years as consumers increasingly look for healthier options to quench their thirst. Meanwhile, frozen dispensed is a bright spot in the foodservice category, suggesting the “treat” mentality can play a significant role in what draws customers in the doors of a c-store. We’ll take a look at recent sales data and what consumers are looking for when considering where to stop for a fast and fresh drink.

Track: CBD

Trends & Data: Get There First: How jumping on the CBD bandwagon now can increases sales in the future

Cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive component of cannabis, has become one of the hottest topics in retail. While CBD-infused oils, creams and tinctures have already hit c-stores in some states, food and beverages may yet be a long way off as the FDA consider how to regulate sales. This has left many retailers baffled about how to approach this potential business-altering ingredient. In this discussion, we will learn about the different types of CBD products and how to merchandise these items, while determining how to choose a trustworthy supplier, as well as the steps that ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

Track: Technology & Operations

Trends & Data: Find the Answer: Technology can be the solution to the labor crisis—but how will the new in-store experience change shopping habit

Is technology the answer to retail’s labor woes? How does the in-store experience change now that online and offline shopping is blurring? Is frictionless checkout the future or a fad? Today, convenience-store operators are surrounded by technology that promises more than ever. But separating substance from flash takes time.

Track: Center Store

Trends & Data: Taste the Trends: Innovate with flavor across the center store

Product innovation has erupted in the center store. Innovation has sprung up in snacks and candies such as ahi tuna jerky, beer-flavored pretzels, 2-in-1-flavored sour gummies, beverage-flavored chocolates and even cricket snacks. Retailers attending CRU will learn what new snacks, candies and general merchandise items consumers are looking for, and the trends behind why certain items are outpacing the rest of the category.

Track: Loyalty & Delivery

Trends & Data: Earn Loyalty: Use loyalty perks to learn more about customers, while encouraging them to spend

Gone are the days when a loyalty program was as simple as a punch-card for a free sandwich after ten purchases. Today’s rewards schemes are marketing powerhouses meant to both give retailers more intelligence about their customers and encourage those customers to spend more. Meanwhile, the physical location of a store has become less important as more consumers opt to have food and other goods delivered straight to them—even when they’re not at home. Both of these trends offer pitfalls and opportunities for convenience stores.

Track: Behind the Counter

Trends & Data: Navigate Change: How understanding new product innovation, and the emerging threat of further regulation, can help retailers plan for the future

As the FDA continues its focus on flavors, e-cigarettes and cigars, this presentation will offer more background on new FDA leadership and objectives, and how that tenure with the regulatory body will shape the future of this vital category. This discussion will cover how retailers can grapple with that uncertainty, all while properly merchandising the bevy of new product innovation about to hit the market./As the FDA continues its focus on flavors, e-cigarettes and cigars, this presentation will offer more background on new FDA leadership and objectives, and how that tenure with the regulatory body will shape the future of this vital category. This discussion will cover how retailers can grapple with that uncertainty, all while properly merchandising the bevy of new product innovation about to hit the market.

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Networking Lunch

1:00pm – 2:00pm

CMOY Finalist & Sponsor Panels (choose 1 of 8)

Track: Foodservice
Track: Packaged Beverages
Track: Behind the Counter
Track: Dispensed Beverage
Track: CBD
Track: Technology & Operations
Track: Center Store
Track: Loyalty & Delivery
2:15pm – 5:15pm

Special Events (choose 1 of 4)

Approximately 8-10 weeks prior to the conference, guests will receive an invitation to register for the outing of their choice. Please be aware that capacity is limited and excursions will be available on a first-come, first-served basis; pre-registration will be required for each activity.


You are also required to check-in for each special event at the special event desk the morning of your selected activity to secure your spot. If you do not check-in at least 10 minutes prior to bus departure time, you forfeit your place to an attendee on the wait list.

Option 1: Store Tours
Option 2: Foodservice Store Tours
Option 3: Walking Tour
Option 4: Marketing Insights
6:00pm – 7:00pm

Cocktail Hour

Finish off the first full day of CRU with appetizers and drinks while connecting with old industry friends and make new ones!

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Dinner on your Own

8:00pm – 10:00pm

Ghost Walk