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Top 10 takeaways from Convenience U CARWACS Toronto!

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logo_convenienceu_CARWACS_showThe Convenience U CARWACS Show 2018 scored another success in Toronto as Canada’s leading showcase for the quick service retail, gas bar and car wash sectors. Hundreds of people attended, scores of businesses exhibited, and thousands of operators across the country now stand to gain from the discoveries made at this year’s show. Here are our top 10 takeaways:

  • New product innovations: From beverages to confectionery and snack foods, major manufacturers highlighted new product introductions. Just a few examples: Coca Cola Canada’s five new Diet Coke flavour entries, Lay’s new Poppables low fat snacks, and Nestlé’s enhanced lineup of Kit Kat bars like Tiramisu and Green Tea flavours as well as frozen Oreo and Chips Ahoy line extensions. For those craving novelty, The Convenience U CARWACS Show did not disappoint.
  • Big tobacco makes a change: Tobacco companies showed off their drive to survive by responding to cigarette health concerns with new vapour products that take the heat and tar out of nicotine enjoyment.
  • Stronger faster higher: Wash bay door challenges could be a thing of the past given the innovations of entry system manufacturers displayed at the show. Want strength in a new door? One manufacturer showed off a new vinyl exterior barrier where the fused seams could hold the weight of four technicians.
  • Presentations that delivered top business intelligence: On Day 2, business strategist, author and marketing guru Tony Chapman led a blue chip slate of presenters though a morning of insight. He asked ‘How can operators achieve the attention of customers in this ‘Age of Noise’?’ Answers came from industry experts, including Convenience Guru Russell Large, RBH’s Peter Luongo, Scott Negley of Dover Fueling Solutions, CSNews Editorial Director Don Longo and occupational health and safety expert Kirsi Henry.
  • Righteous replenishment: Who knew there were so many kinds of rolling papers and cannabis accessories? We do, because we went to The Convenience U CARWACS Show and discovered natural hemp papers with their own filters, blunt wraps, and virgin un-bleached joint twists. There was a wealth of suppliers at the show to help retailers prepare for ‘Weed Sunday,’ aka July 1, when Canada’s government suggests it will legalize cannabis use.
  • Scents make cents: One car wash vacuum company (among several at the show) was showing off how its product could not only get at the dust and grime in car carpets but could also then add a refreshing scent after the clean to provide a total package to improve automobile interior environments.
  • Prime Ministerial lampooning: Just when you thought Justin Trudeau was funny enough, Justin-Canada has introduced a line of lighthearted novelty products such as tee shirts, air fresheners and stickers as well as beverage containers and cheeky figures that poke fun at our popular PM’s push for cannabis.
  • Car wash legends in the making: Over a hundred car wash industry professionals packed onto buses for a tour of Southern Ontario’s newest vehicle cleaning sites. The tour took in Brampton’s Esso/CircleK on Mavis Rd. to show off MarkVII’s Choice Wash XT. Next stop was Pioneer’s redeveloped Ancaster location where Belanger’s low RPM ‘Duo-scrubbers’ use Spin-lite technology to increase contact time on vehicles for cleaner cars. Last, the group inspected the newest Valet Car Wash. Located in Brantford, Valet’s new site features eight detailing bays as well as a 125-foot tunnel that uses equipment from Sonny’s. So far, the new location is on track to clean 130,000 vehicles in its first year.
  • Gains in gas dispenser technology: Attendees were pumped to discover the evolution in fuel dispensers. Here, Wayne, OPW and Nation Energy Equipment (NEE) competed for the attention of operators with the latest in new line dispensing technology that enhances forecourt conversation, site safety and business data.
  • Aisles packed shoulder to shoulder: For two afternoons the parking lots at Mississauga’s Congress Centre were filled with attendee vehicles. Inside, the show was a collective buzz of excitement as throngs moved from booth to booth. The energy was palpable and the smiles on the faces of attendees spoke volumes.