While the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual exhibition—held this year in Las Vegas—is intended for the commercial c-store industry, many of the products on display also have ready application in onsite retail environments. This is especially true of the many beverages on display.
Here is a rundown of some of the more notable new products featured at the show:
Rip It Chic is an energy drink from National Beverage Corp. (makers of Shasta and Faygo products) that extends the existing Rip It lineup with a product that appeals to female customers. Low in calories and available in two suggestively titled fruit-flavored versions—Sin-a-Man and Berry In-o-Scent—it comes in a sleek, colorful package.
Though it was introduced back in April, this was the NACS Show debut for Coca-Cola Co.'s Coca-Cola Blak, which combines the company's signature carbonated beverage with natural flavors and coffee essence. Considered a mid-calorie drink (45 calories per 8-oz. Serving), it comes in a resealable version of Coke's familiar glass contoured 8-oz. bottle.
S&D Coffee introduced its Buffalo & Spring Coffees of Distinction line, a series of proprietary blends, exotic varietals and Fair Trade Certified coffees that are positioned to give the company a premium line to augment its traditional products.
Introduced in August, the new Caballo Negro Zero premium energy drink from Distribuidores De La Energia, Inc., contains no carbs and no calories. The product, which comes in 16-oz. bottles, is designed to appeal to Hispanic customers.
Celsius is billed as the "Earth's First Calorie-Burning Soft Drink" and comes in five flavors: cola, orange, lemon/ lime, ginger ale and wild berry. Infused with green tea and ginger, the low-carb beverage supposedly raises metabolism for three to four hours, causing increased energy use in the body (and more calorie burning).
The marketing hook for Encore, an energy drink entrant from TNT Marketing, is that it is "The New Sound of Energy," in an attempt to connect the product with music, a prime interest of its core "mp3 generation" customer. The product contains caffeine, taurine and various B vitamins.
Another entry from National Beverage was FREEK Energy, "the most evil energy known to man." The edgy marketing positions the beverage as virtually "insane," a stance reinforced by the flavor names: Maniac, SF Maniac, Rage and Psycho.
There was an energy drink called Hulk Energy that uses wrestling star Hulk Hogan in its marketing (including a fierce-looking cartoon of the character on the label). The product, from Socko Energy, comes in 16-oz. cans and is fortified with vitamins B6 and B12 as well as taurine and "horny goat weed" to boost endurance and mental awareness.
Kronik Entourage is the newest addition to Kronik Energy's energy drink lineup, coming in 16-oz. four-packs. The beverage uses 80 percent juice to provide a refreshing citrus flavor and features bold graphics and a barbed wire design for visual impact.
Another Kronik formulation, introduced earlier this year, is Kronik Grind, which employs the slang term used by target audience Generation Y consumers to refer to the action that occurs when a skateboard axle scrapes another surface. The edgy marketing tag line: "Caution: Mom Ain't Gonna Like This."
Life Force V from Functional Brands LLC delivers extended natural stamina and focus from balanced nutrition, the company claims. The beverage features a low glycemic index, a high load of electrolytes and no artificial stimulants.
TNT Marketing also exhibited another energy drink, RE5, which contains taurine, glucuronolactone—a natural metabolite that supposedly increases mental performance, reaction time and concentration—caffeine and B vitamins.
Shock Coffee says its beans are naturally loaded with 50 percent more caffeine than other gourmet coffees. Its products also include Shock-A-Cino high-caffeine cappuccino systems and ready-to-drink Shock Triple Mochas and Lattes.
Wet Mango Exotic Energy Drink from New Image Global-Royal Blunts is now available in regular and light (i.e., no sugar) formulations. The true mango flavor is designed to evoke the exotic ambiance of the Pacific islands.
PHOTO BY: NACS/OSCAR + ASSOCIATES, INC.