McLane’s New Innovation Kitchen Is a Full-Scale Replica of the ‘C-Store Experience’

Space enables engagement ‘with customers at every stage of their retail foodservice journey’
McLane's new Innovation Kitchen
Photograph courtesy of McLane Co.

McLane Co.’s new Innovation Kitchen is a full-scale replica of  “the complete c-store experience” designed for its customers, the Temple, Texas-based distributor said.

The kitchen (pictured), located at the company’s headquarters, showcases how “cutting-edge retail foodservice equipment and products seamlessly fit into various footprints and counter spaces while exploring the world of McLane Fresh, emerging brands and CVP [Consumer Value Products] private-label brands,” McLane said.

In August 2023, McLane unveiled McLane Fresh, an expanded foodservice-at-retail program designed for convenience stores and intended to elevate the dining experience in c-stores.

Through the Innovation Kitchen, McLane customers will get insight into how McLane’s offerings can elevate their retail product mix and boost the customer experience, from visualizing how products and equipment integrate into their store layout and planograms to sampling products and exploring marketing materials, the company said.

The space also will serve as a hub for development and innovation, allowing the McLane Fresh team to conceptualize and test new menu items that cater to evolving consumer trends and customer requests. Customers will be able to sample these creations, “ensuring that McLane remains at the forefront of product innovation and collaboration and delivers data-informed solutions tailored to their needs,” the company said.

“We are excited to unveil the McLane Innovation Kitchen, a space that embodies our dedication to innovation, collaboration and a world-class customer experience,” said Vito Maurici, McLane customer experience officer. "This facility showcases our commitment to setting new standards for excellence in the industry and underscores our role as a trusted partner in our customers’ success. Through this platform for product testing, creation and display, we have the opportunity to engage with customers at every stage of their retail foodservice journey.”

Offerings in the Innovation Kitchen include Cupza!, McLane’s beverage line, Central Eats grab-and-go products, Prendisimo pizza and made-to-order options.

Founded in 1894, McLane Co. Inc. is one of the largest distributors in America, serving convenience stores, mass merchants and chain restaurants. McLane, which has more than 80 distribution centers across the country, offers customizable solutions for retail and restaurant customers, from ordering and fulfillment to equipment and in-store merchandising, aimed at eliminating barriers to entry for smaller retailers and solving logistical challenges for large chains. McLane is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha, Nebraska.

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