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  • > Armor All's Essential Blends oil-infused air fresheners

    TORONTO, Ont. - We have turned the corner on harsh winter weather, and spring is here.

    Spring is a time of renewal and refreshment as nature comes back to life, giving friends and family the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. As we trade icicles for flowers and snow angels for pool loungers, the warmer weather brings sights and smells that brighten up our day. Smells of lavender, vanilla, citrus and eucalyptus are just a few of the familiar and inviting scents gifted to us by spring.

    Even though scents of nature fill the springtime air, some people may have too much on their to-do lists to truly relax and enjoy the outdoors. Armor All is now bringing the natural scents of spring directly into your car. The new Essential Blends air fresheners are infused with essential oil blends of lemon bergamot, eucalyptus mint, pink grapefruit, citrus pomegranate and vanilla lavender, giving you the scents of spring wherever you go.

    "The inspiration behind Essential Blends came from looking at the average person's daily to-do list and thinking of how we could make those little in-between moments relaxing," says Megan Currie, Spectrum Brands director of marketing for Armor All. "A lot of people are in their cars for a good portion of their day, whether they are commuting to work or doing errands. We wanted to transform that daily routine into a comforting experience."

    Essential oils are known for their refreshing and restorative properties. Helping to relieve headaches, relax the mind or even energize the body, the benefits from essential oils are endless.

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Medicated candy market shows healthy growth.

by: Angela Altass

Canada, medicated candy is a must-have-in-stock product.


“In Canada, cough drops are a core product to stock,” says Warren Crowder, country manager, Canada, Ricola Canada Inc. “Twenty-one per cent of cough drops purchased today are from the convenience and gas channel and independents. This represents $30 million in retail purchases in Canada per year.”

Consumers want convenient packaging, a balance of functional benefits that provide relief and great taste all delivered in a brand they trust, says Crowder. Ricola Canada and Lindt & Sprüngli (Canada) are partners in the Canadian market and recently added family bag sizes (45 drops per bag) of their most popular flavours – Honey Lemon Echinacea and Mountain Herb – into the Canadian market.

The medicated candy category is growing 4.5 per cent per year in Canada and is split into bags and sticks, says Crowder.

“Canadians like both formats as $67 million of sticks and $72 million of bags were purchased in the past 52 weeks,” says Crowder. Ricola is the fastest growing brand, growing 17.5 per cent in the latest 52 weeks, and has a 15.7 share of the market. Halls is the largest brand in Canada at 47.9 per cent of the market, growing 1.7 per cent.”

Cough drops are typically displayed in two permanent in-store areas, notes Crowder. The larger bag format is often sold in-line, near the pharmacy if the store has one, and sticks are found at a location near the checkout. They are partly planned and partly impulse purchase and should also be supported with temporary displays with impactful messaging in high traffic locations in the store.

“Cough drop purchasers are split between planners and those that have acute needs,” says Crowder, “either they or someone they are caring for has symptoms that can be managed using a cough drop. We find that these two groups compose about 70 per cent of cough drop purchases and they specifically go into retail stores looking to purchase cough drops.”

Brand awareness is important to consumers when it comes to cough drop purchases, says Crowder.

“Equally important is what the image of that brand the consumer has in his or her mind,” says Crowder. “Ricola has high brand awareness in Canada of over 80 per cent unaided and aided awareness. What we are working on is making the brand more top of mind and strengthening for consumers what the brand means to them and whether they understand the key consumer benefits of the brand.”

According to Technavio, the global medicated confectionary market is anticipated to grow at a steady rate with increasing incidences of hay fever and allergies driving the growth prospects. The Americas were noted as accounting for the majority market share during 2016 and are expected to continue to dominate the market.


Attracting consumers through various factors, such as promotional shows and point of purchase displays of confectionary packaging in retail stores, influences the decision making of consumers instantaneously, notes Technavio’s overview of the global medicated confectionary market.


“Often, medicated lozenges are impulse purchases driven by a sore throat need so visibility is key,” says Voula Papadakos, marketing manager, Fisherman’s Friend, TFB & Associates Ltd. “While many consumers do actively look for our brand, we also notice that in convenience a lot of the purchases are impulse driven. Ideally, medicated lozenges should be located at the front check out or on display nearby.”

“Consumers are seeking to alleviate a cough, sore throat, and seasonal allergies through natural medicinal ingredients,” says Papadakos. “Fisherman’s Friend lozenges have high levels of menthol that you can feel instantly. Convenience makes up a big portion of sales as they are often the first stop for consumers suffering from throat and sinus ailments.”

Medicated candy is not just purchased to provide relief from ailments, however, notes Papadakos.

“A lot of our loyal consumers will purchase, say mint flavor, for an everyday breath freshener and the convenience trade is a quick and easy one-stop for products like this,” says Papadakos. “It’s been a strong growing channel, which is important for us to grow to ensure our loyal fans can always get their favourite flavor on the go. Fisherman’s Friend also has the added bonus of re-sealable packs, making it easier for consumers to carry them on the go.”


The lozenge category is up by +6 per cent with Fisherman’s Friend up +13 per cent for a 28-week period ending April 1, 2017, says Papadakos, who notes the importance of brand awareness.


“Consumers tend to be loyal to their brand of choice but there are many options when it comes to lozenges and cough candies so understanding the benefits Fisherman’s Friend delivers versus competitors is what helps drive growth,” says Papadakos. “We have a strong and loyal fan base who actively seek out Fisherman’s Friend and are willing to go to more than one store to find the flavor they want. Honey lemon was launched in 2015 and is our number one growing sku and currently third most popular flavor. We get a lot of feedback from consumers trying to find honey lemon near them.”

Honey’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Honibe products are created using a patented technology designed to maintain all the natural health benefits of honey.

Marketed as the world’s first line of 100 per cent pure natural solid honey and honey gummy products, Honibe offers lozenges as well as vitamin gummies. Honibe lozenges, available in pure honey, lemon or cherry flavours, are made from dried honey. Each flavour contains menthol and eucalyptus to sooth sore throats.

“We are the only people in the world who can take liquid honey and make it into a solid form,” says Brent Byrnes, director of marketing, Island Abbey Foods, makers of Honibe. “We were on Dragon’s Den about seven years ago and have been growing every quarter since we started. We are in 40 different countries in both the lozenge and the honey gummy form.”

Island Abbey Foods launched Omega Gummies and a Vitamin C lozenge into the Honibe line in 2017. The Omega 3 gummies use quality fish oils derived from anchovy, sardine, and mackerel blended with the natural sweetener of honey.

“The cough and cold season is around the corner and we understand that our consumers want a product that they can both trust and have true health benefits,” says Byrnes. “Our lozenges have a maximum of four ingredients with honey being the main ingredient, which is between 97-98 per cent of the total ingredients.”

Fall and early winter are perfect times for c-store retailers to take note of their medicated candy selection to ensure they can meet the growing demand by consumers seeking relief from sore throats, cold, sinus ailments and seasonal allergies as the colder weather sets in across the country.


“Cough drop purchasers are split between planners and those that have acute needs,” says Crowder, “either they or someone they are caring for has symptoms that can be managed using a cough drop”.