NACS 2005 Recap, Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS — The smoothness of this year’s National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show belied its emergency, Hurricane Katrina-induced Sunset Strip landing.

@@img1What wasn’t quite so smooth was the rush to market of a ridiculously large cadre of energy drinks, all of which were trying to take advantage of the category’s continued acceleration.

The energy drinks – and their rapidly expanding family of kissin’ cousins, the energy malternatives – seemed to infect everyone on the show floor with enthusiastic smiles. If it wasn’t massive doses of taurine and guarana forcing the grins, maybe it was the ready availability of attractive spokesmodels, both male and female, or else the willingness of the beer companies to tap the larder of the coming year.

In the end, it made for an exciting, if exhausting time. While new product introductions were largely restricted to follow-on line extensions and cross-category combinations, the introductions of new friends and business partners created an exciting pre-Thanksgiving buzz. Or was it the Diageo booth? Either way, you can survey the results on the following pages.