Foodservice

McLane Co. Unveils McLane Fresh

New foodservice-at-retail program aims to boost customer experience with new convenience-store offerings
McLane Fresh CupZa and Central Eats
Images: mclaneco.com/cstore-solutions/mclane-fresh/

McLane Co. Inc. unveiled McLane Fresh today during its national trade show, McLane Engage, in Dallas. McLane Fresh is an expanded foodservice-at-retail program designed for convenience stores and intended to elevate the dining experience in c-stores.

Convenience stores are seeing an increase in demand for and sales of fresh and higher-quality food products from consumers seeking healthier on-the-go options. As a result, retailers are elevating their foodservice programs and in-store experiences to compete with fast-food and quick-service restaurants.

“Fresh-food programs present a tremendous opportunity for convenience-store operators of all sizes—from independently owned locations to nationwide chains. McLane Fresh provides a full suite of foodservice-at-retail solutions,” said Chris Smith, president of McLane Retail. “The exciting lineup of products and services introduced today are just the beginning of a comprehensive offering designed to meet the growing demands of consumers and provide retailers the products and services they need to be successful.”

During the McLane Engage event, 1,100 attendees, including McLane customers and suppliers, will have the opportunity to experience a taste of McLane Fresh with new products on display at the McLane booth. The new McLane Fresh family of brands includes CupZa!, a “reimagined” beverage program; a proprietary pizza program; and an expanded selection of McLane’s grab-and-go brand, Central Eats.

CupZa! features artisan coffees, cold brews, teas and lemonades with new flavors and drink styles, offering value and variety to retailers, McLane said. Central Eats’ new chef-inspired menu items will satisfy growing demand for healthier options on the go, it said. Attendees also are being introduced to fresh-baked pizza tailored for convenience.

“We are committed to being a strategic growth partner to our customers,” said Vito Maurici, customer experience officer at McLane. “McLane Fresh anticipates and seamlessly fulfills the dynamic expectations of today’s consumers, positioning convenience stores as hubs for culinary excellence on the go. This expansion underscores McLane's commitment to delivering exceptional foodservice products and services for our customers wherever they are on their foodservice journey.”

Menu innovation for McLane Fresh will be led by accomplished corporate culinary chef Farley Kaiser, who recently joined the company as senior director of culinary innovation. Kaiser previously served as senior director of fresh food and beverage at GetGo Café + Market and brings extensive experience cultivating growth and culinary excellence through strategic initiatives as the corporate executive chef for leading convenience and restaurant brands, and culinary department chair at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

In addition to a robust selection of on-trend items, McLane Fresh provides marketing support, merchandising, competitively priced equipment bundles and expert guidance to meet retailers where they are on their foodservice journey, McLane said. From independents to nationwide chains, McLane customers can differentiate their food offerings by using McLane’s commissary kitchen network to offer shorter shelf-life products with more frequent deliveries to ensure quality and freshness.

Founded in 1894, McLane Co. Inc. is one of the largest distributors in America, serving convenience stores, mass merchants, and chain restaurants. With headquarters in Temple, Texas, McLane has more than 80 distribution centers across the country. McLane is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The McLane Engage tradeshow continues through Thursday in Dallas.

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