by Angela Altass

Core-Mark is one of the largest marketers of fresh and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America. It offers a full range of products, marketing programs and technology solutions to approximately 44,000 retail locations in Canada and the United States through 32 distribution centers.

The new Race Pro Centre of Excellence (COE) is the new means by which Core-Mark enhances category management solutions for its Canadian retailer partners.
The concept for the Centre of Excellence started over two years ago” explains John Carbone, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Core-Mark International. The COE is a full sized convenience store format used for innovation and training. Our intention is to help retailers maximize profitability by attracting new customers and giving existing customers more of what they want.

The Centre of Excellence (COE) is designed to not only look at today’s environment to maximize profits for Core-Mark’s customers but to also evaluate emerging trends.

We can help with planograms and mix optimization,

says Carbone, noting Core-Mark’s ability to capitalize on emerging trends quickly says John Carbone, noting Core-Mark’s ability to capitalize on emerging trends quickly by
designing fresh food service offerings in both made-to-order and grab-and-go choices, and providing healthier product offerings.

Also, in the COE, we are working on a digital applications platform to help our customers stay
relevant with emerging trends. Whether it’s tap-and-go payments, frictionless solutions or online loyalty


The convenience and gas industry faces many challenges in today’s environment, notes Eric Rolheiser, president, Core-Mark Canada. “Consumers today are much more discerning. Their tastes and behaviors are changing and they are looking for a much higher standard in convenience,” says Rolheiser. “The COE is designed to help our customers and our vendor partners by addressing increased customer expectations through an enhanced product offering and in-store experience.” The Centre of Excellence is designed to be a dynamic space and is intended to change and evolve over time. “I guarantee that it will be completely different in 12 months,” states Carbone. “We will adjust the product offering, layout and design as consumer behavior and demands evolve. We will also adapt to emerging trends. Technology will also be a big part of this evolution.

The goal is to have an online virtual experience for the COE to be able to maximize the benefits to more customers throughout Canada.” Independent customers are important to the convenience industry in Canada and remain a focus for Core-Mark’s sales and marketing team. “The COE will be a great benefit to our independent operators,” says Carbone. “These operators in many cases have limited resources and turn to us for category management solutions, SKU selection and product offering options, emerging trend and digital solutions to meet the needs of their customers. Regular training sessions, which will be held at the COE, will help these retailers with in-store execution and customer service, which is critical for them to improve the retail experience for their customers.” “If our channel continues to differentiate itself with better product offerings combined with new digital platforms to meet evolving consumer trends and continuing to leverage convenience, the c-store industry will continue to grow and prosper,” states Rolheiser. “Our vendor partners were instrumental in helping us develop, design and build the COE,” says Carbone. “Without their contributions, it would not have been possible. From the onset, the feedback from customers, vendors, and our Core-Mark team have been tremendous.”

Deliver Competitive Advantage

We have a team of dedicated and tenured industry professionals that work tirelessly every day to bring value to our customers and live our corporate values of customer centricity, family, integrity, pioneering, and commitment. We have an incredible team in Canada that I know, without question, are authentically driven every day to support our customers and our industry. For that I am very grateful to be part of our organization. Given the dynamics in the convenience industry, we challenge ourselves every day to grow our market share, deliver industry-leading category management solutions to our retailers, and leverage cost to ensure the best return for our shareholders and our customers. Our sales and marketing team diligently monitor trends within the industry, looking for ways to deliver a competitive advantage to our retail partners.

Our focus on foodservice solutions, technology, loyalty, innovation, and demographic analysis provides meaningful growth to our customers and will continue to drive our innovation and investment strategy. That will be our differentiation and value proposition for the foreseeable future. Many retailers do not have access to syndicated or demographic data on a store by store basis.

Core-Mark built an entire department devoted to solving this need and filling gaps in data and category management for all of our customers both large chain and single store operators. Understanding our consumer and the new target consumers is critical for the future of convenience. Full service coffee locations are lined with consumers throughout the day. Our team is focused on exceling the evolution of traditional convenience stores to ensure our retailers thrive in a sustainable business model by not only enhancing their offering for existing customers but attracting new customers. Fresh food, quality coffee and beverage programs, and innovative products delivered through a higher level of technology and loyalty platform are the tools we utilize to help our customers succeed . That’s the flavour of convenience already brewing today. We are not reacting; we are innovating and providing ideas and solutions so our customers remain relevant.

Brand Strategy Execution Inc, Division of Marsham International Food Brokers Inc, Canada’s foremost natural product broker. We have identified key manufacturers products that represent the growing call for healthier, nutritious snacking for the gas/convenience channel. We are proud to have the following brands represented in the launch of the Core-Mark Center of Excellence.

Kettle Brand Potato Chips – Bold all natural taste from real food ingredients. Gluten Free. Non GMO G.H.

Cretors Popped Corn – All natural no artificial flavouring or colouring.

Gluten Free Clif Bar & Company – Free of artificial sweeteners, colours, and flavours, no high fructose corn syrup, Healthy

Snyders Gluten Free Pretzels – Dairy Free, Casein Free, Egg Free. No1 Natural Pretzel Brand

Beanfields Bean Chips - Full on Flavour, Vegan, Gluten Free, Non GMO.

Bean Crisps – Thin and Crispy Popped Bean Crisps. Gluten Free Non GMO.

PopCorners – Crunchy Wholesome

Popped Corn Snack, Gluten free, Non GMO, 0g Trans Fats.

blu is a global brand and pioneer in the electronic vapour category. We are committed to bringing the world’s adult smokers the highest quality vaping experience. Our parent company, Fontem Ventures, is headquartered in Amsterdam with offices all across the globe focusing on EVPs. In 2009, we arrived with our first innovation long before vaping existed and was a word in the Oxford dictionary. Since then, we haven’t stopped developing, refining and re-designing experiences and levels of innovation and satisfaction. Today, blu is officially in Canada with our latest innovation – an easy-to-use vapour pod system called myblu, backed by international success in the US and Europe. myblu was developed solely for adult smokers and delivers fast satisfaction with flavour pods catering to various taste preferences, along with a battery that lasts all day. In addition to the myblu vapour pod system delivering fast satisfaction, we also aim to provide Canadian adult smokers the best value to switch into the vapour category.

Clover Leaf Canada’s leading seafood brand has brought the power of seafood to Canadians with quality and taste for 148 years. At Clover Leaf, we are committed to improving our consumers’ quality of life by providing sustainable, nutritious, convenient and affordable seafood products. Clover Leaf offers a broad range of seafood products including canned tuna, canned wild salmon, flavoured tuna, snack kits, smoked oysters, crabmeat, shrimp, baby clams, sardines and much more. We constantly innovate and strive to meet consumers’ lifestyle demands and challenges.

At Clover Leaf, sustainability is a part of our mission. Clover Leaf is a founding member and the only Canadian participant in the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). Clover Leaf supports the ISSF financially to fund scientific research that assists in the improvement of fishing practices, mitigate by-catch and fight illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. In 2017, Clover Leaf was voted to be the most trusted canned seafood brand by 20,000 Canadian consumers. In 2018, Clover Leaf Seafoods joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. The Global Ghost Gear Initiative is a cross- sectoral alliance committed to ensuring safer, cleaner oceans by driving economically viable and sustainable solutions to the problem of ghost fishing gear, globally.

In 2019, Clover Leaf Seafoods began supporting Ocean Outcomes to Improve Longline Tuna Fisheries in the South Pacific Ocean.

Gas convenience is our business. Unlike other store fixture suppliers, McCowan is focused on serving gas bar and convenience store operators. McCowan’s products and services are geared specifically to the needs of our market.

McCowan Solution: Cash Desks/Paypoints, Service Counters, Gondola & Shelving, Forecourt Solutions, Signage, Secure Tobacco Merchandising, Security Solutions and other Specialty Fixtures.

Durability. All McCowan products are made from high quality materials to hold up in high traffic environments and harsh conditions. Our products keep your stores looking better longer!

Consistency. When deployed across a network of stores, McCowan product will be 100 per cent consistent store-to-store and year-to-year. This makes for easier brand management and easy upgrades in the future.

Our systems are flexible and can be customized to fit any space using our library of standard parts. Interchangeable components and accessories can be used to reconfigure layouts should operational needs change.

Merchandisable. Integrated merchandising solution – all standard McCowan shelves and accessories will fit on the cash desk and gondolas. Industry Expertise. McCowan offers a vast knowledge of the Convenience and gas bar industry having 25+ years of experience serving this market.

Short Lead Times. McCowan consistently delivers custom stores with unparalleled turnaround times. Integrated Domestic Manufacturing. Over 200,000 square feet of manufacturing capability. All products are manufactured in our facility in Toronto. Knocked Down Shipments and Easy Assembly. Our products ship knocked down and assemble easily with minimal tools. This will reduce assembly time and shipping cost. No carpentry required on site!

When it comes to packaged sandwiches, no one does it better than Quality Fast Foods. Since 1977 we have satisfied our customers’ cravings for sandwiches that are fresh and readily available at grocery and convenience stores. Distributed across Canada, Quality Fast Foods offers many different channels to get our products to our retailers.

For more information or to find out where you can purchase one of our delicious products please contact us at
1-800-243-4033 or http://www.qualityfastfoods.com/

McSweeney’s proudly Canadian meat snacks are honoured to be part of Coremark’s new Centre of Excellence. McSweeney’s prides itself on providing the best tasting, premium jerky and meat snacks. In addition to our strong Canadian branding, McSweeney’s is also committed to supporting Canadian meat producers. McSweeney’s Jerky, Steak Nuggets and Steaks Strips are now 100 per cent Canadian. McSweeney’s success comes through its strong partnerships and has allowed us to get where we are. Together our meat snack line has continued to grow year- over-year and we’re proud to have done it together.

Mondelēz International is the second largest snacking company in Canada and a top 10 food company. At Mondelēz International our mission is to lead the future of snacking around the world by offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way. Empower people to snack right is our purpose, right for real, everyday life – from the yummy bite to the feel-good, well-being moment. And right for our local communities and planet, which is why we have donated over $3m to Canadian communities and charities in the last five years alone. We are well positioned to succeed in living this purpose with over 2,400 passionate makers and bakers across Canada, inventing new chocolate bars; baking millions of cookies on state-of-the-art production lines; we are proud to call ourselves the home of Canada’s most delicious household brands including OREO, CADBURY, MR. CHRISTIE and MAYNARDS.


As the second largest snacking company in Canada our brands are unrivaled in occupying many of the number one, two or three spots across their categories. We are a business that is ambitious, with leading marketing campaigns, famous sporting partners and sell-out innovations such as CADBURY DAIRY MILK OREO. Snacking Made Right. This is who we are. This is our future.

MYLÉ (my-lee) is proud to be the alternative to number one. MYLÉ is a sleek and stylish pod-based nicotine delivery system moonlighting as the industry’s best-kept secret. We offer accessible, quality products and alternative solutions to the common issues users experience with competing devices. MYLÉ is influenced by the consumer – providing a longer battery life, larger pods, Canadian-made e-Liquid, and a flavour for every vaper.

Meet MYLÉ, the new kid on the block. MYLÉ intends to challenge the status quo. MYLÉ is the underestimated, independently affiliated vaping product and proud runner-up in an industry of titans. The difference between us and our current industry leaders can be reduced to one fundamental facet – attitude. Runners-up have the confidence and drive to constantly strive towards improvement. Runners-up have the humility to listen to their customers. MYLÉ’s core focus is to be better. Better flavours, more device colors, and a higher quality user experience. If you haven’t heard of us before, it’s because you saved the best for last. MYLÉ, the better vape.

RPP Products, Inc. is a full-service manufacturing and distribution company dedicated to serving the needs of supermarket chains, convenience store distributors, automotive distributors and more. We have over 60 years of combined experience involved in category management of the automotive sector. We have extensive knowledge on product placement, sales, profit, margins, inventory turns, rebates, TPR’s, promotions, and more. We also have tools available to update automotive sections for auto resets and schematics, and the personnel for field work for merchandising – if and when required. RPP Products, Inc. offers a complete line of professionally formulated oil, lubricant, window wash, antifreeze & coolant, additives, and more. All in dynamic packaging for maintaining and enhancing the performance of motor vehicles, marine vessels, and more. Always relationship focused. (Manufacturer and Retailer) Laser focused on automotive servicing in over 30,000 stores. Committed to excellence in fill rate and customer service. Flexible– “We are a speed boat not a tug boat”. For more information about RPP Products, Inc. visit our website at http://rppproducts.com/

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