Video: New Products, C-Store Trends and a Recap of NACS 2014

When it comes to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show, it’s often seems like a battle of which energy brand — and its requisite gargantuan booth — created the greatest stir among the hoardes of attendees at the event. Yet, when the event is held in Las Vegas, where this year’s edition was held, Rockstar, the hometown company, is often the far and away winner.

And while the company’s army of scantily-clad models bopped about the show floor, enticing both awkward glances and jaw-dropping stares, it was Rockstar’s bevy of new beverages that raised an eyebrow or two among more than a few beverage industry professionals.

Rockstar launched at the event no less than four brand extensions, including a revamped Roasted line that is now made with almond milk, as well as a new organic energy drink. Not to be outdone, Monster Energy showcased two new product lines of its own while Red Bull extended its “Editions” line with two new zero-calorie products.

Innovation, however, was certainly not limited to the energy category, as BevNET saw armfuls of new products in CSDs, coffee, protein drinks, tea and enhanced waters. And though many predicted “healthy” to be a defining trend in C-stores, natural and better-for-you brands continue looking for ways to penetrate the channel with disruptive tactics and efficient distribution plans.

In this video, BevNET’s Jeff Klineman and Ray Latif examine the unpinning strategies behind new product introductions at the show and the role they play in C-store trends, particularly with regard to crossover marketing opportunities and attracting new female and millennial consumers.