Ian White, SVP strategic marketing and innovation, Parkland
Foray into food
Parkland has been working towards its goal of becoming a high-quality food destination for several years now.
In early 2020, Parkland announced a multi-year agreement to strengthen its range of freshly prepared and quality meal options by expanding its long-standing relationship with Triple O’s restaurants, paving the way for more restaurants in British Columbia, as well as Triple O’s entry into Alberta and Ontario.
"Our goal was to further strengthen our offer in foodservice,” Ian White, SVP strategic marketing & innovation, Parkland, told OCTANE editor Kelly Gray at the time.
The Triple O’s partnership was designed to create opportunities in all dayparts and make the company a destination for more than just fuel or a car wash.
With the rise on electric vehicles and fuel margins what they are, Parkland's diversification strategy and focus on convenient fresh, prepared in-store and take-home frozen food offerings makes sense. (In June 2021, Parkland announced plans to launch a network of electric vehicle ultra-fast chargers at its existing retail locations across British Columbia and into Alberta. Giving customers something to do, like eat and shop, while they wait for their EV to charge is a smart move.)
READ: Cold comfort: During the pandemic, consumers sought security in frozen foods
M&M's current leadership team, led by president Andy O'Brien, will continue to contribute to operate the brand and work with the Parkland team on the development of its broader food strategy. "The combination of our innovative food capabilities and Parkland’s more than 3,000 retail locations in 25 countries creates an immediate runway of growth and expansion opportunities," said O'Brien.
The plan includes:
- Developing new, integrated store concepts with On the Run and M&M, while continuing to expand the existing M&M Express offer.
- Bolstering loyalty program growth through a coalition between M&M Rewards and Journie.
- Expanding M&M and food capability into Parkland’s existing U.S. and Caribbean markets.
U.S. growth and acquisitions
Parkland has been busy south of the border increasing its c-store footprint. In September 2020, Parkland Corp. announced it had acquired the license for the exclusive use of the On the Run (OTR) trademark in the majority of U.S. states from Alimentation Couche-Tard. The deal paved the way for Parkland to create a unified brand in its c-store offering.
Several recent acquisitions by Parkland USA are helping forge that path.
"We are a consolidator. We have been very successful at consolidating the convenience and fuel marketing space," president and CEO Bob Espey explained during the company's recent Investor Day. "We're not a pure-play convenience company. We're not a pure-play fuel company. But those opportunities allow us to buy good assets at good value and grow them."
READ: Parkland sees long runway for growth through industry consolidation
In Canada, Parkland recently entered a deal to acquire 156 Husky retail fuel stations from Cenovus for $156 million and in summer 2021 strengthened its Quebec retail network with the acquisition of Pétroles Crevier Inc.