The Coca-Cola Company returned to the annual tradeshow of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) to present a variety of offerings tailored to the industry’s shift toward a food and beverage destination.
Coca-Cola highlighted innovative beverage, packaging, equipment, and service solutions that “c-store” operators can use to meet shoppers’ evolving needs throughout the four-day event at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which drew attendees from more than 1,200 businesses.
According to Kevin LeMoyne, Senior Vice President, Customer Leadership, Coca-Cola North America Operating Unit,
“As consumers continue to prioritize accessibility and ease of the overall shopping experience, convenience store operators must continue to shift toward offering foodservice options that retain current customers and entice the next generation of shoppers”
“The industry must look to new technologies such as mobile ordering, while offering innovative products in a sustainable manner to remain competitive and meet evolving shopper expectations. We are committed to providing the solutions and resources that support the convenience industry as foodservice becomes the focus.”
Coca-Cola prioritized its extensive portfolio of ready-to-drink (RTD) and brewed coffee solutions because it was aware that commuters visit c-stores for breakfast, morning snacks, and fuel for the day in the early morning hours, when food and beverage sales are at their highest.
The lineup’s standout features include: The Costa Smart Café is a boxed-up, unmanned coffee shop that can make and serve more than 100 drinks of barista-quality; The versatile Costa WMF 1500 S+ is a countertop machine that makes high-quality coffee with up to three hoppers that can hold chocolate powder or coffee beans. Costa Flat White RTD espresso-based drinks in 11 oz. sizes come in signature blend, mocha, and caramel flavors.
They have a thin, “flat” layer of steamed milk. cans; and the Dunkin’ Bakery Series of RTD iced coffees, which will be available starting in the spring and consisting of three delectable flavors—Brownie Batter Donut, Cake Batter Donut, and Coffee Cake Muffin—inspired by Dunkin’ bakery products that are popular with customers.
Coca-Cola offers a wide range of products for all tastes and lifestyles outside of the morning part of the day. These include drinks with less sugar, bold new flavors, enhanced nutritional benefits, and options within new categories, all supported by cutting-edge packaging, equipment, merchandising, and marketing.
The following sparkling innovations are recent and upcoming: Sprite® Lymonade Strawberry (launching next summer), a limited-edition twist on the beloved lemon-line sparkling beverage; a new-and-improved Fanta Orange and Fanta Orange Zero Sugar (launching in 2023); and a limited-edition What the Fanta? Halloween 2023 flavor in 20-oz. bottles and a frozen dispensed format capturing Fanta fans’ desire for new taste experiences with a mystery profile that does not match its appearance.
On the still beverages front, there will be a relaunch of POWERADE and POWERADE Zero in 2023 with new electrolyte-enhanced formulations, visual identities, athlete partners, and other additions; smartwater, which will be available in spring 2023, is an alkaline water with an antioxidant boost and a pH of +9.5. and a ground-breaking vitaminwater sweetener system made of monk fruit and stevia that will be available in spring 2023 to enhance the flavor of its zero-sugar product.
Vitaminwater will also introduce two new zero-sugar flavors: the raspberry/dark chocolate-flavored with love and the coconut-flavored forever you.
Coca-Cola is working with c-store operators to implement environmental initiatives that support the company’s World Without Waste goals, such as switching all DASANI bottles to PET that is 100 percent recycled, in recognition of consumers’ shifts in consumption patterns driven by sustainability.
Changing all of the plastic packaging that comes with Sprite from its traditional green color to clear to make it more likely that the material will be used to make new bottles; and connecting stores with partners who provide reusable solutions like cups made of polypropylene, fiber, and aluminum.
Coca-Cola is working with convenience store customers to meet the post-pandemic demand of shoppers for convenience and an improved shopping experience.
Tools like CardFree, which enables operators to quickly launch a digital ordering platform for drive-thru or curbside pickup, and the upcoming release of a limited-edition collection of collectible 16-ounce cans are two examples of this collaboration. 16-oz. cans and promotional messaging featuring characters from League of Legends: Wild Rift to capture gaming fans’ attention at the pump and in the store.