Here are a few questions regarding the product:
1. How long have Sheets been available in Convenience Valet and how do they come packaged/average price point?
Sheets were launched in August of 2011 with the initial two flavors of Berry Blast and Cinnamon Rush. Due to their success, we are launching a third flavor this month, Mint Boost. Sheets Energy Strips are packaged 4 individually wrapped strips to a package and 30 packages per counter unit. There is a 3 tier display offered to merchandise all 3 flavors as well. Sheets Energy Strips provide margin consistent with other energy category products and are typically retailed at $2.99 throughout the convenience channel.
2. Why did you take it on–did you have customer data about it ? Did you take on other energy products?
Convenience Valet® partnered with Sheets Energy Strips for many reasons. We saw a first class executive team with demonstrated success of building world class brands. Their team was successful in partnering with many famous celebrities to support the launch, such as LeBron James, Chris Paul, Ray Rice, Pitbull, Shannon Elizabeth and Serena Williams, among others. The distinctive form to deliver energy within a dissolvable strip amidst the sales growth of the energy category, largely driven by energy shots, provided a unique angle to help grow the category overall. We believed in the concept of the individually wrapped energy strip without being a me-too like item. These reasons, plus the Best In Class formula that Convenience Valet has established in the convenience store industry created a perfect partnership between Sheets Energy Strips and Convenience Valet.
3. How do you view energy products/shots etc. in the c-store channel–are there signs that it is still growing from you perspective? Are new products still coming on the scene in your experience? Please give any insight you have as to the energy shots/energy category in c-stores of late.
The energy category continues to grow within the Convenience Store channel. The most recent sales data I saw showed a 52 week increase representing 36% sales gains. I feel that manufacturers will always gravitate towards categories showing such strong sales increases and new products will continue to launch. Caffeine is everywhere and is now added to products outside the core shot/strip category such as jerky and flavored milk. However, the opportunity for new products to be successful has drastically diminished due to the myriad of products and lack of space, both causing consumer confusion.
4. Are you seeing products that go beyond energy making it as well? Sleep aid shots? Other functional benefits? Do you see this as a growth category for
the future in c-stores?
Absolutely. With all the additional caffeine that is present in the market, consumers will need to decompress. Sleep aid shots and products with functional benefits have become much more widely accepted from retailers & consumers. We will be launching a Mint Dream Sheets Sleep Strip in a few months for this very reason. Serena Williams, who has been very public about her sleep deprivation, will be a lead spokesperson on the Sheets Sleep Strip product. The sleep category will be an important category for the convenience channel.
5. Why are these products a fit for c-stores?
Sleep products are a fit for c-stores for a variety of reasons. Sleep aids sold in the channel are typically single serve, offering a 1 serving portion to the consumer. C-stores are open for longer hours and may be the only store open for tired consumers. Travelling consumers are a perfect demographic for sleep aids and have high frequency rates within a c-store. Finally, the price point of most sleep aids is within the range of a typical over-the-counter product, enabling consumers to willingly try the product.