CSNews’ 2017 Fuels Leader of the Year Is…
by Angela Hanson (Convenience Store News) Through the efforts of the Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association (MSSA) and its executive director Lance Klatt, among others, retailers and consumers alike are growing their adoption of E15, making it an increasingly important part of the future fuels landscape.
While E15 fuel is relatively new, Klatt, the Convenience Store News 2017 Fuels Leader of the Year, has been connected to the industry from the beginning of his career. After starting out in 1994 as a sales representative for Wisconsin-based convenience food distributor Hub City Foods at age 20, Klatt turned what was a summer job into the pursuit of a full-time career.
Klatt’s biggest achievement may be the development of Minnoco — short for Minnesota Independent Oil Co. — a gasoline brand developed by MSSA for its independent retail members. By becoming Minnoco stations, members can control their own brand of fuels while offering alternative fuels such as E15 and biodiesel, and flex-fuels like E85 and E30.
Minnoco launched in 2013 as the first chain in its market to offer E15, a higher octane fuel consisting of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. Minnoco quickly grew, becoming the fastest-growing brand in Minnesota in 2016. Today, E15 represents 38 percent of overall fuel sales at the 35 Minnoco stations that sell ethanol fuels (there are 37 Minnoco stations in total).
While the growth of Minnoco is “a huge accomplishment,” Klatt says the chain would not be possible without the support of the retail members.
“[They] said, ‘I’m going to spend the money to re-image, we’re going to put E15 in, we’re going to clean up infrastructure.’ They took a huge risk bringing this fuel to the marketplace.” READ MORE
MBA rewards E15 drivers in Minnesota (Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association/Ethanol Producer Magazine)