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cheese and a piece of bread," Salerno says.
"We're not copying anything, but we can
take any idea and make it fit our model."
An example is NuVue's "The Ultimate Little
Meal" tapas line. Each recipe in the line is
NuVue's biggest markets can be
separated into two categories: c-stores
and business dining.
Business dining itself consists of micro
markets (think miniature c-stores with
quick payment options) and vending.
The menus don't change too drastically
between the c-store and business
dining, for the most part.
"Because we feed diﬀerent groups of
folks, we get an opportunity to really
see what's going well with sales," says
Paul Dodson, NuVue's vice president of
sales. "The things people want to see
in the micro markets are typically the
same things that they want to see in
hand crafted with high-quality ingredients.
The single-serve menu items - ideal for cstores, micro markets or vending - hit on
the growing popularity of grab 'n go snacking as well as consumer desire for new and
"As consumer confidence has been raised,
people are more willing to buy grab 'n go
items that are not between two pieces of
bread," Salerno says. "Fifteen years ago, the
only thing you thought about when talking
about grab-and-go was a wedge sandwich of
some sort. The tapas line is a great example
"Because we have that fresh local
market where we deal with customers
on a daily basis, that allows us the
opportunity to take a trial product and
put that out in our fresh vending line,
where we get very quick feedback."
PAUL DODSON, NUVUE
The quick nature of NuVue's fresh lines -
especially its business dining segment -
make it a perfect testing ground for these
new ideas. If a new menu item goes over
well, it's apparent fairly quickly, and it can
be added to other lines if needed.
"Because we have that fresh local market
where we deal with customers on a daily basis, that allows us the opportunity to take a
trial product and put that out in our fresh
vending line, where we get very quick feedback," Dodson says. "We can see how well
it's doing. If it does well, that's when it makes
it out to our convenience store market."
Like other commissaries, NuVue helps retailers make the leap from simple prepared
foodservice items to menu items more in
line with today's trends.
"We do quite a bit of traveling in the springtime, attending shows across the nation,"
Dodson says. "That gives us the opportunity
to talk to customers, and many of them that
we have acquired over the years have been
folks who have tried to do this on their own."
Those retailers, however, soon run into
problems. Regulations have increased and
food safety laws have become more stringent over the last several years.
Throw in labeling laws, the cost of production, workforce issues and more, and offering a diverse fresh menu has become challenging for the average retailer to do.
Vending, however, has a few limitations
when it comes to menus. Dodson says a
relative lack of price consciousness at
micro markets allows NuVue to upscale
some items on those menus.
That said, even vending consumers
are starting to fall in line with overall
trends shifting toward high-end grab 'n
"There have been some big moves
in the last four or ﬁve years on the
vending side of business dining,"
Dodson says. "Folks are starting to
look for a higher quality product.
They're simply looking for that now
and they're looking for it across
NuVue stresses the use of high-quality meats and cheeses. Photo: NuVue Foods
60 * MAY 2018 * commissary INSIDER