Tuesday, February 18 7:30am – 7:00pm

Registration & Information Desk

Tuesday, February 18 8:00am – 9:00am

Continental Networking Breakfast

Tuesday, February 18 9:00am – 10:45am

Opening General Session

State of the Industry: New Decade, New Dynamics, New Directions

As 2020 kicks off, the convenience industry is navigating fast-evolving economic, consumer, market and category dynamics that will define growth opportunities in the new decade. Join Technomic’s Donna Hood Crecca to explore what’s now and next for convenience operators.

Speakers:

Principal
Technomic

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.

Speakers:

former Head of Innovation and Creativity
Disney

Tuesday, February 18 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?

Speakers:

Associate Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

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.

Speakers:

Content Director, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

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.

Speakers:

Senior Manager, Consumer Insights
Technomic

Presented By:
Danone North America
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.

Speakers:

Marketing Director
iSee Store Innovations, LLC

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.

Speakers:

Associate Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

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.

Speakers:

Managing and Fuels Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

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.

Speakers:

Vice President, Retailer Relations
Winsight Media

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.

Speakers:

Senior Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

Tuesday, February 18 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Networking Lunch

Tuesday, February 18 1:00pm – 2:00pm

CMOY Finalist & Sponsor Panels (choose 1 of 8)

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Track: Foodservice

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Associate Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

Track: Packaged Beverages

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Content Director, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

Track: Behind the Counter

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Senior Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

Track: Dispensed Beverage

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Senior Manager, Consumer Insights
Technomic

Track: CBD

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Marketing Director
iSee Store Innovations, LLC

Track: Technology & Operations

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Associate Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

Track: Center Store

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Managing and Fuels Editor, Convenience Group
Winsight, LLC

Track: Loyalty & Delivery

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts sits down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Speakers:

Vice President, Retailer Relations
Winsight Media

Tuesday, February 18 2:00pm – 5:30pm

Special Events (choose 1 of 3)

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: French Quarter & Cemetery Walking Tour

Led by a professional tour guide, enjoy a historical exploration of one of America's most interesting neighorhoods. Learn the authentic history of world-famous pirates, voodoo, Creole culture, cuisine and European architecture on this tour, ending with a stop at the famous Cafe Du Monde for a beignet and coffee.

2:00pm - 2:30pm - Check-in

2:30pm - Departure

5:30pm - Arrive at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Option 2: Store Tours

What better way to see the latest innovations in c-store design and merchandising than to visit the stores themselves? CRU’s Store Tours Program takes attendees along on a curated agenda of store visits to see what some of the area’s top operators are doing. Participants will view strategies in action within key categories and experience signature features of each location. The consumer and retail space is evolving rapidly, and you can’t afford to miss out on this competitive learning opportunity.

2:15pm - 2:45pm - Check-in

2:45pm - Bus departure

3:00pm - 5:00pm - Store Tours

5:00pm - Arrive at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Option 3: Marketing Insights Program
Tuesday, February 18 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!

Tuesday, February 18 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Dinner on your Own

Tuesday, February 18 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Haunted Walking Tour

Accounts of paranormal activity in the French Quarter date back to the city's inception. Register to attend and you'll hear about some of America's most infamous mass murders and ghost stories.

8:00pm - 8:15pm - Check-in

8:15pm - Departure

10:00pm - Tour ends in French Quarter

10:15pm - Arrive at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Wednesday, February 19 7:15am – 8:00pm

Registration & Information Desk

Wednesday, February 19 7:30am – 8:30am

Networking Continental Breakfast

Wednesday, February 19 8:00am – 12:00pm

Speed Networking

Spend some quality time this morning in structured networking opportunities that will connect you and CRU's supplier partners to provide the solutions and partnerships you need!

Wednesday, February 19 12:15pm – 1:00pm

Networking Lunch

Wednesday, February 19 1:00pm – 2:00pm

General Session

The Future of Authority and the Rise of AI

Who we listen to and who we trust is changing. Smarter systems and machines are emerging – ready and willing to make decisions on our behalf. AI and machine learning are having a transformative effect on every sector and industry. In some areas, automation is increasing capacity and capability, while in others, it will lead to dramatic consolidation and disruption, especially with regard to employment. Jesse will explore the significant ethical issues to consider as we embrace these smart systems. Jesse discusses the ongoing role humans will play in an era of autonomous and intelligent machines. His insights will help individuals and organizations not only survive this turbulent era, but more importantly, to thrive in the age of entanglement.

Speakers:

Owner
Metaviews Media Management Ltd.

Wednesday, February 19 2:15pm – 3:00pm

Innovation Forums (choose 1 of 8)

The essence of CRU is the educational curriculum available to all attendees, providing insight, key trends and data, and valuable ideas to implement in stores. Regardless of your sphere of responsibility within the convenience industry, you will find the workshops informative, enlightening and engaging.

Option 1:
Option 2:
Option 3:
Option 4:
Option 5:
Option 6:
Option 7:
Option 8:
Wednesday, February 19 3:00pm – 3:30pm

Refreshment Break/Transition

Wednesday, February 19 3:30pm – 5:15pm

Category Expert & Exercise

Track: Foodservice - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

Our category expert speaker will talk about ways new flavors and products can be introduced, whether the retailer has traditional, aspirational or exceptional foodservice at their stores.

Speakers:

Managing Editor
Technomic

Senior Editor
Restaurant Business Magazine and FoodService Director Magazine

Track: Packaged Beverages - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

This packaged beverage expert will discuss category management techniques, especially around assortment selections in limited vault space, and retailers with a variety of store shapes and sizes.

Speakers:

Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer
BMC Research, Beverage Marketing Corp.

Track: Behind the Counter - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

Behind the counter expert speaker will talk about the myriad new products; IQOS, ON, CBD vape and wraps, new leaf cigars, etc., and how to assess what should be added to the set, what can come out.

Speakers:

Managing Director
RBC Capital Markets

Track: Dispensed Beverage - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

Dispensed Beverage expert speaker will talk about equipment (bean to cup) and other innovations in dispensed beverages.

Track: CBD - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

Navigate the maze of federal, state and local laws around CBD and cannabis for a clearer understanding of what you can and cannot do in your stores.

Speakers:

Partner
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Track: Technology & Operations - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

This expert presenter will talk about what’s new in technology, why is it critical to get into mobile payment and what’s needed to assure security.

Speakers:

President
StrasGlobal

Track: Center Store - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

Here we will discuss merchandising. As products proliferate, more extensions of products and more flavors evolve… how does a retailer display with so many options? What’s the rationale? What are the “must haves”... and what are the products that might vary by region or store locations?

Speakers:

Executive Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Marketing
IRI

Track: Loyalty & Delivery - Category Expert Presentation & Exercise

Expert speaker to speak on the psychology of loyalty and will touch on the questions; is delivery more about convenience? Does good delivery increase loyalty? Which comes first in the mind of the consumer?

Speakers:

Chief Executive Officer
Hanifin Loyalty

Wednesday, February 19 5:15pm – 5:45pm

Personal Time

Wednesday, February 19 5:45pm – 6:15pm

Cocktail Reception

Join us and the CRU attendees for a reception with exceptional drinks and appetizers.

Wednesday, February 19 6:15pm – 8:00pm

CMOY Awards Presentation and Dinner

Join CRU in a salute to each of the 2020 CMOY Winners and Finalists.

Presented By:
Altria Group Distribution Company
Wednesday, February 19 8:00pm – 10:00pm

Post-Awards Parade Watch Party

Celebrate new friendships and the conclusion of a terrific CRU at the official Mardi Gras Kick-off festivities - the viewing party for the Krewe of Druids followed by the Krewe of Nyx