Mar 1, 2014

Top Ten Convenience Stores Around the World

3 min
Top Ten Convenience Stores Around the World
10. SPAR Express The smallest version of Netherland-based supermarket chain SPAR, SPAR Express has achieved global success...

10. SPAR Express

The smallest version of Netherland-based supermarket chain SPAR, SPAR Express has achieved global success with outposts throughout Europe and stretching all the way to Australia. SPAR Express continues to grow in partnership with Shell service stations, recently announcing expansions in South Africa.

9. Ministop

AEON Co. subsidiary Ministop is the first of several Japanese convenience stores on this list. Forging ahead with a stated mission to “realize a society full of beaming smiles with deliciousness and convenience,” Ministop has accumulated over 4,500 locations throughout Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. With a deal last year that placed five franchised locations in Kazakhstan, Ministop clearly intends to keep growing.

8. CBA

In Eastern Europe, CBA is the convenience store chain that reigns supreme. The Hungarian business emphasizes “strategic autonomy,” or the importance of tailoring individual stores to meet local needs, and has spread that philosophy to its more than 5,000 locations across Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, and Poland.

7. Tesco Express

Tesco may have had issues moving into the United States, but everywhere else in the world the retailer dominates – it only makes sense that Tesco’s convenience store brand would do similarly well.

6. Indomaret

Indonesia’s Indomaret is a convenience store chain that has experienced growth through its heavy utilization of the franchise model. Nearly 3,000 of the chain’s locations are franchised outlets, allowing individuals and co-ops to spread the Indomaret name beyond Jakarta and into Java, Bali, Sumatra, and Sulawesi.


Founded in Monterrey in 1978 as an extension of CerveceriaCuauhtemocMoctezuma, OXXO has grown extensively in its own right over the years. Its range of private label products and its commitment to principles such as social and ecological responsibility have helped the rand expand throughout Mexico and into Latin American neighbors such as Colombia. 

4. Lawson

With more than 11,000 locations, Tokyo-based Lawson makes the grade as the second-biggest convenience store chain in Japan behind 7-Eleven. But the brand gets bonus cool points for its progressive dedication to solar power and its frequent otaku-courting collaborations with popular anime series like Attack on Titan, Naruto, and Puella Magi MadokaMagica.

3. Alimentation Couche-Tard

Quebec natives will recognize the name Couche-Tard, and its winking owl mascot,from the hundreds of locations that dot the province. But parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard boasts more than 13,000 locations and an impressive global reach through Canadian brands like Mac’s and Daisy Mart, plus Statoil in Europe and Circle K in Asia and the Americas.

2. FamilyMart

FamilyMart may not be the biggest convenience store chain in Japan, but its strong presence throughout Asia, from China and Taiwan to Vietnam and the Philippines, secures its spot as one of the biggest in the world. The chain has even made its way across the Pacific, with several shops under its Famima!! brand popping up in Los Angeles.

1. 7-Eleven Inc.

When a business undergoes a drastic name change and rebranding, it’s often the sign of an operation in trouble of failing. But Dallas-based Tote’m Stores was on to something good in 1946 when it reemerged as 7-Eleven, a reflection of the chain’s (at the time) drastically extended hours.

7-Eleven has only improved its success since then – today it’s recognized far and away as the world’s largest convenience store retail chain, with over 8,600 locations in North America alone (many of those operating as franchises) and 43,500 more throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Even after nearly 100 total years in the industry, 7-Eleven shows no signs of slowing down, consistently recognized as a leader in the retail and franchising sectors as it continues to expand its global reach. 

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Dec 31, 2015

Whole Foods Market’s expert panel predicts the top 10 trends for 2016

food trends
consumer trends
Whole Foods Market
4 min
Whole Foods Market’s expert panel predicts the top 10 trends for 2016
As the year comes to an end, it’s time once again for the experts to start offering up their predictions for the trends that will dominate the...

As the year comes to an end, it’s time once again for the experts to start offering up their predictions for the trends that will dominate the year ahead. Whole Foods Market is entering the conversation with its panel of subject experts covering a range of sectors from wine and produce to sustainability and quality standards. This week the grocery chain released a list devised by its subject experts, detailing their picks for the 10 hottest food and beverage trends that they expect to ascend in 2016.

In no particular order, Whole Foods lists these as the ingredients and techniques you may start to see a lot more of in the next few months: 

  1. Uncommon meat and seafood: Lesser-known meat and seafood options are making their way from restaurant menus and local obscurity into mainstream American kitchens. Thanks to heightened awareness around food waste, renewed interest in artisan butchers and a host of other factors, once-overlooked cuts like sirloin top, pork T-bone chop and Denver steaks are becoming fair game for at-home cooks. Offbeat – and more sustainable – seafood species like Responsibly Farmed Paiche and wild-caught blue catfish are also making a dinnertime debut, easing pressure on popular picks like salmon, tuna and shrimp.

  2. Wine in a can: As American wine drinkers become an increasingly young, diverse and playful bunch, winemakers are taking note. Options that provide accessibility and convenience without trading quality, will continue to gain traction. Cue the aluminum can – a portable, easy-to-chill option that’s well suited for single servings and active, outdoor lifestyles. And with choices like Infinite Monkey Theorem and Presto Sparkling wine (coming soon to Whole Foods Market), today’s pop-tops are the new popped-cork.

  3. Plant-based everything: Plants are playing a meatier role in a surprising number of products, and not just for vegan and vegetarian alternatives. This year’s plant-forward movement will be all about harnessing the power of plants – from quinoa protein in hair care products to vitamin-rich veggies in frozen dessert pops. Look out for Whole Foods Market’s™ 97 percent plant-derived hair care line, Kite Hill nut-based cheeses and 365 Everyday Value Fruit & Veggie Bars.

  4. Culture Craze: Fermented foods and probiotic: Whether shoppers are seeking gut health or go-for-it flavor, fermented foods and probiotics are growing like good bacteria – and they’re not just for hippies anymore. Fiery picks like kimchi and gochujang will continue to gain steam, while innovative options like chiogga beet kraut and non-dairy tonics will add variety.

  5. Non-GMO-fed verified products: As shoppers demand more transparency in their food, the non-GMO movement will continue to gain momentum. Whole Foods Market currently offers more than 11,000 non-GMO verified choices and 25,000 organic options, with even more in the pipeline. Growth and innovation in the animal protein category will be especially strong, thanks to the recent development and approval of non-GMO verification methods for animal feed. Non-GMO-fed verified fresh eggs, chicken, pork and even sausages from brands like Fork in the Road will be worth watching. 

  6. Graze Craze: Grass-fed 2.0: With new grass-fed products– from milk, eggs, yogurt, butter and cheese options to packaged meat snacks and even protein powders – sprouting up across the store, grass-fed has proven it’s no longer a niche category for health fanatics or Paleo devotees. Brands to keep an eye on include Sweet Red Cheddar, Maple Hill Creamery, Organic Valley, Kerrygold, and meat-based snack makers EPIC and TANKA.

  7. Dried and true: dehydrated foods: Gone are the days of empty-calorie snacking. Today’s shoppers are trading up for healthier, whole-food based snacks with simple, quality ingredients. Unlike the kale chip craze of years past, 2016’s dehydrated trend takes it to new heights – from dehydrated broccoli, Brussels sprout and parsnip chips to sophisticated salmon, bison and chicken jerkies with grown-up flavor combinations. On-trend products include veggie options from Brad’s Raw Foods, Wildbrine Kimchi Crisps and new made-in-house meat jerky at Whole Foods Market. 

  8. Heirloom ingredients beyond the tomato: Heirloom ingredients are making a comeback and not just in the produce aisle. Prized for flavors and traits that have been preserved for centuries, these “old-world” edibles are popping up in all kinds of packaged goods. Tiny But Mighty Heirloom Popcorn, Madécasse Chocolate made with heirloom cocoa and Seely’s Mint Patties made with heirloom black mitcham peppermint are just a few examples of trending products.

  9. Alternative and wheat-free flours: “Alternative flours” are not so alternative anymore. People are going nuts for gluten-free flours made from legumes, ancient grains, teff, amaranth and, well, nuts. Chickpea flour is a quick riser, while other legume-based flours are showing up in bean-based pastas and other packaged goods.

  10. ‘Old World’ flavor adventures: World flavors with a twist continue to see significant gains, especially Far East flavors from Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as Middle Eastern ingredients. On-trend products include Saffron Road Korean Tacos, 365 Everyday Value Organic Sweet Sabi Mustard (coming soon) and 365 Everyday Value Organic Thai Curry Cashews.



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