SKOKIE, Ill. -- An LED dog leash, nicotine crystals and inhalable nutrients were among the unusual new products that caught convenience-store retailers’ attention at the Holiday Trade Show of the Franchise Owners Association of Chicagoland (FOAC).
FOAC, a group of more than 300 7-Eleven franchises in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, held the event in Skokie, Ill., in mid-November, with more than 50 suppliers.
Here’s a random sampling of a few of the products that caught their eyes …
1. Bang Energy Drink
VPX Sports, Weston, Fla., is revamping the packaging on its Bang energy drink and adding new flavors to the line of 16-ounce cans. The drinks contain creatine, caffeine and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and no sugar and no calories. New flavors include Purple Guava Pear, Citrus Twist, Pina Colada, Sweet Iced Tea, Peach Mango and Root Beer Blaze. The new packaging will help position the product for millennials looking for healthier energy drinks, a representative said, and will highlight the flavors with a brighter band across the top of the can.
Nitey Leash, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., offers Niteyleash, a wire-free, LED dog leash that illuminates completely from end to end to make both dog and owner safer and visible to traffic. It uses three AAA batteries, which are included and easy to replace, a company representative said.
4. X2 All Natural Energy Drink
Advanced Bio Development Inc., Piermont, N.Y., first launched its X2 All Natural Energy drink in Subway restaurants, and it is now expanding into additional retail locations. Ingredients include green tea, pure honey, cane sugar and glucose and ribose. Flavors are lemon, strawberry-kiwi and raspberry.
5. Forto Coffee
Dyla LLC, New York, offers Forto Coffee, a 2-oz. coffee shot made with organic ingredients and fair-trade Colombian coffee beans. It now comes in six flavors (with and without milk): Hershey’s Chocolate, Pure Black, Caffe Latte, Vanilla, Mocha and Sweetened Black. Energy to Go versions are equal to one cup of coffee and Extra Energy to Go versions are equal to two cups of coffee.
6. On! Nicotine on Demand
Inter-Continental Cigar Corp., Miramar, Fla., offers a line for tobacco dippers and chewers looking for a clean product and smokers who are looking for an alternative source of nicotine for moments when smoking is not permitted or desired. On! nicotine pouches are 100% tobacco-leaf free and use naturally derived nicotine crystals to deliver a pure concentration of nicotine in a small, clean, oral format, according to the company. The product can deliver two levels of nicotine, and flavors are wintergreen, mint, coffee, berry and citrus.
8. AriZona Energy Shots
International Marketing Systems, Shelton, Conn., offers AriZona Energy Shots, made with no preservatives or artificial flavors or colors and 230 milligrams of caffeine from green tea. Flavors include Green Tea, Pomegranate and Acai Green Tea, Fruit Punch, Mucho Mango and Grapeade.
9. Inhalable Electronic Nutrients
Inhalable Health, Beverly Hills, Calif., makes Electronic Nutrients. Each device contains up to 500 inhalations. Varieties include Energy, Sleep and Vitamin. Proprietary technology transitions vitamins to an inhalable format, delivered through a thin metal tube. Nutrients are suspended in an organic base of vegetable glycerin. The vitamins are pharmaceutical-grade and sourced from certified facilities in the United States. The product is not an electronic cigarette. It does not contain nicotine, tobacco or propylene glycol.