As part of the 2022 C&I Industry Leaders Forum, Louis Cannatelli, Convenience Sales Manager, GC Brands, discusses the company’s strong growth in recent years, despite the challenges the industry has faced.

C&I: What do you enjoy about working in convenience?

Cannatelli: The retailers in the convenience channel make working in this industry so rewarding as the majority are independently owned and operated. The owners and managers are incredibly passionate and tend to stay in the industry for a long time. As a key supplier of confectionery and grocery brands, our strength lies in the relationships our people hold across the industry, so the convenience channel is one where we can really work with retailers to deliver unique solutions and great mutual outcomes.

C&I: Highlight one company achievement you’re particularly proud of in the last 12 months.

Cannatelli: GC Brands has enjoyed strong growth over the past 12 to 24 months in the face of enormous challenges, particularly international logistics and store closures. Working closely with our global brand partners has enabled us to work through DIFOT (delivery in full on time) challenges and emerge with a stronger supply chain on all brands. We are now very excited to accelerate growth of brands we have acquired in the past two years including Nerds, Gobstopper, HI-CHEW, and NOMO.

C&I: What is your company doing to meet changing customer demands?

Cannatelli: As space in-store continues to get tighter and tighter, we are seeing ranges and planograms becoming increasingly generic with the choices offered to shoppers dwindling. GC Brands prides itself on its differentiated portfolio of brands, which is well suited to offer retailers best sellers as well as unique products that will delight their customers. Properties like Harry Potter’s licensed confectionery, HI-CHEW, Beanboozled, NOMO Vegan Chocolate and VGood are all fantastic ranges that offer innovative points of difference and complement the must stocks nicely. 

C&I: What does your crystal ball say about the year ahead in convenience?

Cannatelli: We see a strong year ahead for the convenience channel. Movement of people for work, travel and leisure is increasing by the day and this will see foot traffic return close to normal. One of the challenges the convenience channel faces will be in carving out sufficient real estate to meet growing consumer demand for better for you options, despite the limited space typically available. We’re excited to see the role our new brand NOMO Free From and Vegan Chocolate can play in meeting customer demands.

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