The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) hit it big in Las Vegas this year. The association reports that the NACS show, which took place Oct. 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, reported that a record number of buyers fueled a 7.2 percent surge in attendance this year, as attendance hit 24,056 people, the second highest ever and only 309 attendees short of the record set in 2004.
Attendees came from a record 65 countries, and international attendance was a record 2,482 delegates, NACS reports.
The NACS Show featured a 381,050-plus net-square-foot exposition space with 1,176 exhibiting companies — including 200 companies that were new to the NACS Show, according to the association. Setting another record, the Cool New Products Preview Room featured 306 products, NACS adds.
In addition, the NACS Show featured three days of general sessions and 53 educational sessions. The educational sessions alone drew a cumulative 9,889 attendees, averaging nearly 190 attendees for each session, which is the highest average ever recorded, according to the association.
“Our record numbers reaffirm the value that the NACS Show delivers to our industry,” said NACS Vice Chairman of Convention Pat Lewis, partner of Twin Falls, Idaho-based Oasis Stop ’N Go LLC, in a statement. “The NACS Show is an annual must-attend event for retailers who see attendance as an investment in their businesses. With our theme of ‘One idea can change your business,’ ideas were everywhere, whether in sessions, networking opportunities or on the expo floor. As far as investments go, could there be any better one for your business?”
Exhibiting at the NACS Show was a number of beverage manufacturers. The following are some of the highlights from those companies:
Joining the battle against breast cancer, 5-hour Energy (5hourenergy.com), a brand of Living Essentials LLC, introduced its Pink Lemonade variety. Through Dec. 31, a portion of each sale of this new flavor will be donated to the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade. The company has committed to a minimum donation of $75,000, it says.
Anheuser-Busch North America (anheuser-busch.com) displayed how the convenience store can grow outside of the store with point-of-sale materials. The company also highlighted cross merchandise opportunities, its single-serve portfolio and its latest innovations including Bud Light Lime ‘Lime-a-Rita’ and Bud Light Platinum.
Arizona Beverages USA (drinkarizona.com) promoted its 20th anniversary flavor, Cherry Lime Rickey. The company also announced the launch of Joltin’ Joe, a lightly sparkling espresso drink created in honor of sports legend Joe DiMaggio. Packaged in 16-ounce aluminum cans, Joltin’ Joe contains 80 mg. of caffeine and 45 calories in each 8-ounce serving.
Showcasing its same-named bottled water, BLK Beverages (getblk.com) promoted its alkaline fulvic trace mineral infused water.
BodyArmor Nutrition LLC (drinkbodyarmor.com) showcased its same-named sports drink, which contains coconut water, antioxidants, amino acids, l-carnitine, fiber, B vitamins as well as vitamins A, C and E. The company also highlighted its Super Team of athletes featuring professional football players LeSean McCoy, Rob Gronkowski, Ray Rice and Jason Pierre Paul and professional baseball player Mike Trout.
Showcasing its flagship brand, Samuel Adams, The Boston Beer Co. (bostonbeer.com) sampled its Boston Lager and Octoberfest varieties. It also featured its Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea brand and its Angry Orchard Hard Cider varieties.
BSN (bsnonline.net) promoted its N.O. Xplode Igniter Shot as well as its Endorush and Syntha-6 products. Its ABB Pure Performance brand also highlighted its Pure Pro shakes.
Highlighting its full 2013 product line, C&C Cola (cccola.com) also noted the release of its Cotton-Candy-flavored carbonated soft drink (CSD).
Campbell Soup Co. (campbellsoupco.com) highlighted a number of products from its beverage portfolio including its V-8 V-Fusion + Energy brand and its recently acquired brand Bolthouse Farms juices and smoothies.
Celestial Seasonings Inc. (celestialshots.com) addressed both energy and relaxation with its latest introductions. Released earlier this year, the company promoted its all-natural Enerji Green Tea Energy Shots. Set for release this month, Celestial Seasonings also sampled its herbal supplement Sleepytime Snooz Natural Sleep Aid Shot. Both shots are available in 2.5-ounce bottles and are sold in 12-pack cartons, 2-pack cartons and single-serve bottles.
Showcasing its new 14-ounce glass packaging, Cintron Beverage Group (cintronbeveragegroup.com) promoted its juices, teas and energy products.
The Coca-Cola Co. (thecoca-colacompany.com) demonstrated how convenience retailers can engage their shoppers around the clock with its “Open Up the Opportunities” promotion. Coca-Cola highlighted its strategic approach for creating customer value by identifying the right brands and packages across key beverage occasions. Elements featured at the show included Inside the Cold Vault, which is committed to promoting ice-cold transactions. The company also showcased its 12.5-ounce package, which has a price point of less than $1 and is designed to drive recruitment, traffic and transaction growth. The Coca-Cola Co. also laid out plans for accelerating foodservice and driving fill-in/future consumption and impulse zone purchases by investing in new merchandise solutions.
Cold Star Inc. (coldstarinc.com) promoted that its Caf Fusion coffee-infused energy drinks now are available in 8-ounce aluminum cans. The company also highlighted its TEAse line, which is available in Green TEAse made with Honey & Ginseng, Green TEAse made with Honey, Pomegranate & Acai, and Berry TEAse made with Berry Blended Black Tea.
Expanding its iced tea lineup, Community Coffee Co. (communitycoffee.com) featured two new iced tea flavors: Skinny Sweet and Green Tea with Lemon. These new products are available for distribution through the company’s coffee service division.
Unveiling its latest innovations, Cott Beverages (cott.com) highlighted its Clear Choice Ice, a zero-calorie sparkling water for private label. The company also showcased its private label Omega Infusions Enhanced Beverage and Omega Infusion Shots, which contain omega-3 ingredients.
CytoSport (cytosport.com) highlighted its latest variety of Muscle Milk: Peach Mango. Containing 20 grams of protein, the new product is available in a 14-ounce polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (drpeppersnapplegroup.com) showcased its Ten varieties: 7Up Ten, Sunkist Ten, RC Ten, A&W Ten and Dr Pepper Ten.
Eruption Energy USA (eruptionusa.com) showcased its numerous packaging options for its same-named dietary supplement. Its latest size is a three-pack for its Lava Lime and Magma Berry varieties. The company also offers an Eruption mixed three-pack clip strip.
Farmer Brothers Co. (farmerbros.com) explained how to build the coffee destination within the convenience channel at its booth.
Florida’s Natural (floridasnatural.com) showcased its To Go! single-serve juice sizes for its chilled and shelf-stable products.
Featuring characters from “The Hangover” movie, Hangover Joe’s (hangoverjoes.com) promoted its same-named 2-ounce dietary supplement. Offering samples of its Hubert’s Lemonade, Hansen’s Natural (hansens.com) promoted its all-natural lemonade, which is available in seven flavors. It also showcased its Huber’s Half & Half Lemonade Tea varieties.
Heineken USA (heinekenusa.com) featured its new Tecate Michelada, which is a beer mix of Tecate beer, lime juice, salt, chili pepper and spices. The company also shared research about Heineken’s growth in single-serve and three-pack cans in convenience stores. It also documented off-premise growth for its Dos Equis, Indio and Strong Bow — a new addition to Heineken USA’s portfolio — brands.
Celebrating the profitability of its BellyWashers and TummyTickler brands, In Zone Brands Inc. (inzonebrands.com) shared SymphonyIRI data that showcased its products’ success in the single-serve (12-ounce or less) juice category.
Promoting its same-named bottled water, Karma Culture LLC (drinkkarma.com) informed attendees about its Karma Wellness Water, which features vitamins inside the cap. Vitamins are added to the water by pushing the button on the top of the cap.
King Juice Co. Inc. (kingjuice.com) promoted its Spiked Island Adult Lemonade made with real fruit juice. Spiked Island is available in Original, Blue Razz, Peach and Black Cherry varieties. The company also offered samples of its Calypso Lemonades and Teamonade brands.
Kraft Foods (kraft.com) showcased its latest Mio variety: Mio Fit. Scheduled for release in December, Mio Fit is available in Arctic Grape and Berry Blast and contains electrolytes and B vitamins.
Highlighting its latest package design, PBEV LLC (killerbuzz.com) promoted its Killer Buzz energy drink including its Coffee Plus Energy line, which features Mocha Madness and Luscious Latte varieties.
MillerCoors (millercoors.com) informed attendees about the profitability of single-can sales for the convenience channel. The company also promoted its point-of-sale materials and its Tenth & Blake portfolio.
Monster Beverage Corp. (monsterbevcorp.com) highlighted some of its latest introductions including Zero Ultra, a zero-calorie, zero-sugar energy drink. It also featured its Dub Edition, Cuba Lima, Ubermonster and Java Monster Kona Blend products.
Promoting its full beverage lineup, National Beverage Corp. (nationalbeverage.com) featured its brands, including LaCroix sparkling water and Shasta and Faygo CSDs, and introduced its Everfresh 1/2, which features half the calories of the traditional Everfresh brand.
Nawgan Products LLC (nawgan.com) showcased its same-named alertness beverages including its latest variety, Lemonade. Nawgan contains Cognizin citicoline to boost brain power, the company says.
Promoting its portfolio of still and sparkling bottled waters as well as its ready-to-drink teas, Nestle Waters North America (NWNA) (nestlewatersna.com) shared information on its regional and national brands. Highlights include its growing share in U.S. convenience stores for regional spring water brands, the growth of sparkling water, and the announcement that its Poland Spring brand’s Nature’s Blends flavored/enhanced waters are coming to the region where Deer Park bottled waters are sold in 2013. NWNA also noted its planned increase in national media spending in 2013 for its Nestea brand.
New York Spring Water Inc. (newyorkspringwater.com) shared information about its Aqua 84 brand as well as its VBlast lineup, which features vitamins stored in the cap. Its latest release is its VBlast Gator Fit Energy Formula.
NVE Pharmceuticals (nveusa.com) promoted its Stacker2 6 Hour Power energy shot and its Stacker2 Xtra, a 2-ounce vitamin shot available in five varieties: Self Defense, Joint Fix, Prolong Pleasure, Rest & Relaxation and Hangover Helper.
Promoting its latest packaging release, O.N.E. Coconut Water (onedrinks.com) now offers 16.9-ounce packaging for its O.N.E. Coconut Water and its O.N.E. Coconut Water with a Splash.
Peace Iced Tea (peaceicedtea.com) offered samples of its same-named products. The company also promoted its Texas Style Sweet Tea, Cranberry Tea and Pink Lemonade + Tea. In addition, the company shared information about its involvement in the Global Poverty Project.
PepsiCo (pepsico.com) highlighted its food and beverage products for the convenience channel. Products on-hand included Mountain Dew Kick Start, Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold, Brisk Honey Ginseng, Gatorade Perform Arctic Cherry, Starbucks ready-to-drink coffees and Refreshers, Naked Juice, Izze, O.N.E. Coconut Water and Gatorade Recovery Shakes.
Pure Growth Partners promoted its SK Energy brand (skenergyshots.com) at its booth.
Unveiling three new flavors for 2013, Red Bull USA (redbullusa.com) unveiled Red Bull Red Edition, Red Bull Silver Edition and Red Bull Blue Edition, which will launch in March 2013. Red Edition features a taste of cranberry, Silver is a lime version of the original energy drink, and Blue is a fruity blueberry flavor, the company says. Each of the Editions features a new can design to highlight the individual flavors and the color of each liquid in 8.4-ounce single-serve cans and 8.4-ounce four-packs. Red Bull also showcased a limited-edition 12-ounce can that features National Basketball League All-Star Rajon Rondo.
The Rising Beverage Co. promoted its flagship brand Activate (activatedrinks.com). Featuring vitamins in the cap, Activate bottled waters added electrolytes to its formulation in June, the company says.
Rockstar Inc. (rockstarenegy.com) unveiled a number of new launches including its Rockstar Energy Water. The non-carbonated, caffeinated and vitamin- and herb-enhanced bottled water contains caffeine, guarana, ginseng, B vitamins and taurine. The company also highlighted its Rockstar Recovery Energy + Hydration drink, Rockstar Punched Energy + Guava drink and Rockstar SuperSours Energy Drink in Bubbleberry and Green Apple varieties.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (sierranevade.com) promoted its four-pack packaging.
Available in January 2013, Veryfine, a brand of Sunny Delight Beverage Co. (ww2.sunnyd.com), introduced four new flavors for its 16-ounce package size: Kiwi Strawberry, Pomegrante Blueberry, Mixed Berry and Ruby Red Grapefruit.
Promoting its same-named coconut water, Tongo LLC (drinktongo.com) highlighted its latest campaign, Love it or Free. The program challenges consumers to try the new product, and, if they don’t like it, they can visit loveitorfree.com to request their money back. The website also asks consumers to share their opinions about the coconut water.
Showcasing its latest releases, Vita Coco (vitacoco.com) highlighted its Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water with Orange and its Coco Café variety.
Viva Beverages’ Marley Coffee Co. (marleycoffee.com) unveiled its RealCup single-serve coffee pods. Compatible with Keurig Brewing Systems, a brand of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Marley Coffee RealCups are available in Talkin’ Blue Jamaica Blue Mountain, One Love Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Lively Up! Espresso and Get Up Stand Up, the company says. Viva’s Marley’s Mellow Mood also highlighted that its ready-to-drink relaxation beverages now are available in four-packs.
Highlighting its PET bottle for convenience stores, Voss Water (vosswater.com) featured 500-ml and 850-ml PET bottles.
VPX (vpxsports.com) debuted its latest energy drink, Bang, which contains ccaffeine and branch-chain amino acids. Bang is available in a Lemon Drop variety and contains zero calories. VPX also promoted its new Lime flavor for its Redline Xtreme brand.
White Wave Foods (whitewavefoods.com) showcased its Silk Soymilk and Silk Pure Almond single-serve drinks. Available in an 18-pack, the Soymilk and Pure Almond single-serve beverages come in 8-ounce aseptic packaging.
Xyience’s Xenergy (xyience.com) line unveiled new packaging as well as three new formats: Xenergy + Hydration, Xenergy + Tea and Xenergy + Lemonade. Available in Grape and Tropical Punch, Xenergy + Hydration drinks are sugar-free, zero-calorie, caffeine-free, non-carbonated and fortified with a blend of B vitamins to combat fatigue, it says. Available in Raspberry Acai and Honey Ginseng, Xenergy + Tea drinks contain the same functional ingredients as the original Xenergy drinks, according to the company. Its Xenergy + Lemonade line, which is available in Pineapple and Raspberry varieties, also features sugar-free, zero-calorie beverages offering the same functional ingredients as the flagship Xenergy products, it adds. The new beverages will launch in Western and Midwestern areas of the United States in early 2013 with other regions to follow.
Zico (zico.com) highlighted a new 1-liter size for its Chocolate coconut water variety.