Category Management Handbook

CMOY Foodservice: Andre Benoit

With his New Orleans upbringing and diverse c-store experience, Benoit, foodservice category manager for Circle K’s Gulf Coast Division, Pensacola, Fla., elevates the retailer’s food efforts.

Q: What are the most challenging and exciting aspects of managing foodservice?

A: The most challenging is that the category is ever-changing—there’s always something new coming, and you have to stay a step ahead of the trends. One of the most exciting is the innovation that’s occurring and the role of millennial customers to shape some of the new custom flavors that are launching.

Q: Can you share a recent foodservice success story?

A: We recently acquired 277 retail sites of The Pantry Inc. in the Gulf region and have integrated the Polar Pop brand into a number of these locations. The conversion meant upgrading the fountain equipment in these sites with brand-new equipment, new graphics and innovative flavors, such as Mountain Dew Kickstart, Fanta Cherry Limeade and Full Throttle Twisted. Also, Polar Pop promotions typically help increase the market basket, with add-ons such as candy, salty snacks and other foodservice items, like a roller-grill item. We also offer combo meals around, say, a roller-grill item and a Polar Pop at a certain discounted price.

Q: Given your New Orleans background, will we see Creole cuisine on Circle K menus?

A: The thought has crossed my mind in perhaps a subtle fashion.

One thought was adding an andouille sausage to the roller grill, but I’ve held back because it hasn’t met my flavor-profile expectations yet.

“He is both professional in his approach and can personalize his relationship with suppliers.”


Foodservice: What to Watch

Menu Trends

Frozen/Refrigerated

Shelf Stable

View the full 2016 Category Management Handbook

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