McLane Co. Inc., a grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions company, kicked off its annual National Trade Show (NTS) Sept. 5 in Orlando, Florida. This year’s show, a two-day event taking place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, is themed “Sun, Sand and Sales.” Focusing on hot topics impacting the grocery and foodservice categories, the show features celebrities, guest speakers and special appearances from a variety of global firms and organizations.
“Each year, NTS brings retailers the latest in new technology and foodservice for more efficient inventory and ordering,” says McLane. “Additionally, some of the industry’s leading manufacturers choose NTS as their national launching pad for new product lines and extensions. This year, the event will showcase nearly 200 exhibitors and play host to over 1,200 attendees.”
The show’s speaker lineup includes keynote speaker Joe Theismann, former Washington Redskins Quarterback and entrepreneur; Deon Johnson, VP of customer technology at McLane; Nancy Todys, director, convenience and vending channel marketing at Tyson Foods; Cassandra Matos, product director at McLane; Kathy Sparrow, EVP of marketing and sales at ITG Brands; and Teresa Voelter, product director at McLane and GM of Consumer Value Products (CVP), McLane’s private label subsidiary.
In addition, attendees have the opportunity to meet former Dallas Cowboy and NFL Hall of Famer Randy White, as well as NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer.
For the third year, McLane is hosting an interactive foodservice booth experience under the banner of McLane Kitchen, which offers turnkey solutions as well as custom solutions for retailers. The booth will spotlight a fully functioning kitchen with multiple chefs and new menu offerings for retailers to experience throughout the show. New offerings include baked chicken from Tyson Foods, Totino’s Foodservice pizza rolls and a stuffed waffle from General Mills.
Additionally, McLane Kitchen and CVP are joining forces for the debut of a new pizza program: Fly Guys Pizza, offered as a take-and-bake option for consumers in the frozen section. CVP is offering tradeshow-only deals, giveaways as well as more new brand and product launches. CVP’s line of dog treats and accessories, Beau Dacious, will launch new products including leashes and bowls, and the YumBees brand will debut assorted fruit snacks and dinosaur fruit snacks. CVP products are available to both McLane customers and non-McLane customers and are offered at retail locations nationwide.
McLane launches Mobile Virtual Trade Show
At the show’s technology booth, Deon Johnson, McLane’s VP of customer technology, will be available to discuss new advancements in McLane’s technology offerings, including its newest feature, the Mobile Virtual Trade Show (VTS) app for Apple and Android devices. VTS is a new ordering app for c-store retailers that allows operators to place orders using any Apple or Android smart device.
“With a convenient scrolling feature, detailed product listings, easy-to-order summaries and new items added weekly, Mobile VTS is a simple, handy and money-saving ordering solution,” says McLane. “The items presented each week will be part of the best deals offered to the retail community.”
VTS can be accessed with a McLane login or with social media accounts, including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and MSN. With VTS, operators can designate the Quick Order process that applies a specific item quantity to all stores and ships products on the first date available or use a normal ordering method to specify quantities individually.
Franchisees and Independents who have limited or no IT resources, or those who don’t have or want to use a computer, are expected users of the app. Supplier community members also can use the app to introduce new items, make site visits or correct issues at store level.
“Retailers today need solutions that are flexible and allow them to address situations in real time. Mobile VTS allows retailers to complete work when and where they choose,” said Johnson.