Opening General SessionLocation: Armstrong Ballroom, 8th Floor
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.
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.
Category Breakouts (choose 1 of 8)Location: Napoleon Ballrooms (A-D, 3rd floor) and 8th floor meeting rooms
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Trends & Data: Get There First: How jumping on the CBD bandwagon now can increases sales in the future
IRI, in partnership with BDS Analytics, will debut new data that reveal a great story on CBD sales in the c-store channel. Survey results also include top products, consumer adoption trends, and a comparison of CBD sales in other retail channels. Learn what c-store shoppers also buy when CBD is in the basket.
Trends & Data: Find the Answer: Technology can be the solution to the labor crisis—but how will the new in-store experience change shopping habits
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.
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.
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.
CMOY Finalist & Sponsor Panels (choose 1 of 8)Location: Napoleon Ballrooms (A-D, 3rd floor) and 8th floor meeting rooms
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.
General SessionLocation: Armstrong Ballroom, 8th Floor
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.
Innovation ForumsLocation: Napoleon Ballrooms (A-D, 3rd floor) and 8th floor meeting rooms
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.
When window clings, shelf talkers, and in-store signage are no longer effective, what’s next in your playbook?
The shift in restaurant online orders went from 10% to 50% in less than a decade and the same is projected for the convenience store industry. Forward-thinking category managers have already shifted their behavior to new ways of selling product through direct digital customer engagement.
In this session, you’ll learn how today’s category managers are updating their playbooks to include more dynamic ways to sell product.
You’ll walk away with new ideas to:
-Increase CPG funds to promote your products and drive sales.
-Use individual customer data to sell even more in your category.
-Drive sales and cross sell with digital ordering and delivery.
The retail landscape is having unprecedented shifts with new and historical age restricted products coming to the market. JUUL Labs invites you to learn about the strength of these categories, the potential risks to prepare for, and the necessary evolutions to responsibly lead these changes together.
Where Nestle will take bottled water packaging in the future
The Next Evolution of Payments in Retail
Category Expert & ExerciseLocation: Napoleon Ballrooms (A-D, 3rd floor) and 8th floor meeting rooms
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.
This packaged beverage expert will share data on product performance, with a look at top-selling beverages in competing channels, to help category managers better understand the challenges and opportunities to sell more beverages in their stores.
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.
Dispensed Beverage expert speaker will talk about equipment (bean to cup) and other innovations in dispensed beverages.
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.
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.
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?
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?
Special Events (choose 1 of 3)
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.
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
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
This three-part roundtable event will present exclusive data and insights, shedding light on different demographic consumer groups by age and market type as well as the trends impacting their buying habits. Our experts will discuss disruptions such as aging millennials, the evolution of delivery and other tech-driven advances that are shaking up business as we know it.
2:00pm – 2:30pm Consumer Trends by Demographic Group (Gen Z, Millennial, Boomer, etc.)
2:30pm – 2:45pm Roundtable discussions
2:45pm – 3:15pm Consumer Trends by Market Type (Urban, Rural, Mid-size, etc.)
3:15pm – 3:30pm Roundtable discussions
3:30pm – 3:45pm Break
3:45pm – 4:15pm The Evolution of Delivery and Where the Opportunity is Now
4:15pm – 4:30pm Roundtable discussions and close