This summer we asked c-store customers in Ohio to taste-test the latest in snacks, sweets and beverages and let us know which ones they liked best. Now the votes have been tallied and we unveil the winners.
By CSD Staff
The votes are in and the winners of our First Annual Consumer Choice Contest have been chosen.
The contest, sponsored by Convenience Store Decisions, featured a number of unique foods and flavors, snacks and beverages provided by suppliers from around the country. Divided into different categories, the array of products was evaluated on quality, consistency and overall consumer appeal.
CSD will recognize all of the category winners this month at the NACS Show.
The site of the contest was greater Columbus Ohio, home of Englefield Oil Co., the operator of 124 Duchess Shoppes in Ohio and West Virginia.
The convenience store chain hosted the event this past June at one of its busiest stores in Heath, Ohio.
TALE OF THE TASTE
Customers who stopped at the Hebron Road c-store to gas up or grab some merchandise were introduced to food and beverage groupings, ranging from microwaveable entrees, candy, gum, salty snacks, meat treats, salsas and condiments.
There were more than 100 SKUs on display, provided by more than 50 familiar retail suppliers. Passing patrons were asked to judge how impressed they were by the various category products and vote accordingly.
Provided with evaluation forms, clipboards and enough time to sink their teeth into the project, Duchess customers rated the samplings on the following criteria: taste, quality, product innovation and the likeness they would buy that product in future store visits.
The goal was two-fold.
“We try and understand our suppliers business and in turn spend time with the retailer community,” said Tony Bolla, vice president of sales for Convenience Store Decisions, at the time that the contest took place. “Today allowed us to better understand Englefield’s customers and their preferences for new products; the response from our vendors and the feedback from consumers exceeded our expectations.”
Also, having a better understanding of current consumer tastes is equally important for all of the stakeholders involved.
“New products are the lifeblood of this segment and we are committed to being a conduit of information, from any angle and constituent,” Bolla said.
Here are the winners and runners up in each category: bars; candy; beverages; foodservice; meat snacks; salty snacks; and sweet snacks:
Winner: Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies w/ M&M’s
General Mills’ Food Should Taste Good- Real Good Bars
Winner: Kraft Kool-Aid RTD Tropical
Rhino Rush Energy Shots
Monster Rehab Peach Tea & Energy
Sunny Sky Eden Gourmet Syrups and Shakers
Just Born Hot Tamales Tropical Heat
Mars Dove Fruit with Blueberries
Morris National Nutster
Hershey’s Ice Breaker – Peppermint
Winners (Tie): Windsor Foods’ Jose Ole Steak & Cheese Chimichanga and AdvancePierre Big AZ Chicken Bacon Cheddar Club
Landmark Day & Night 190 Calorie Bagel Slim Sandwich
Kraft Velveeta Cheese Bowls
Nestlé Professional Chicken Tomatillo Empanada
Winners (Tie): Old Wisconsin Honey Turkey Snack Bites and Fusion Jerky Island Teriyaki Pork
Old Wisconsin Fast Fuel Turkey
Chef’s Cut – Real Steak Jerky Original
Tillamook All Natural Beef Jerky
Winner: General Mills – Bugles Ranch
Mars Combos Vanilla
Mars Combos Caramel Crème
Kellogg’s Cheeze It – Grooves
Kraft Planters Chili Lime Peanuts
Winner: Little Debbie Cosmic Cupcakes
barkTHINS Snacking Chocolate
Promotion in Motion/Welch’s Apple Orchard Medley