The evolving convenience store sector continues to find success with fresh prepared food. Sheetz now describes itself as a restaurant with gas, Wawa describes itself as serving fast casual fare. In the case of Casey’s General Stores with ready-2-eat fresh prepared food the focus is on Pizza. How long will it before they call themselves Casey’s Pizza? When will restaurants or grocery stores consider this sector a fresh food threat? The rasdy-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresk food grocerant niche is booming. We get it. Do you?
Bill Walljasper Casey’s CFO informed CSnews.com that “Pizza delivery, which is available now in about 75 stores, will be expanded to another 100 stores by the end of October and 226 stores by the end of the current fiscal year. Delivery of Casey's signature pizzas has resulted in a 25 to 30 percent lift in prepared foods sales…
Prepared Food & Fountain: Same-store sales for the quarter were up 16.8 in foodservice compared with the year-ago period. The average margin for the quarter was 60.8 percent, up 60 basis points from last year's fourth quarter, primarily due to lower commodity costs. Casey's was able to lock in a favorable price on coffee with a bulk buy (saving about 70 cents per pound), said Walljasper. However, he noted that the company has not had an opportunity to lock down a similar deal on cheese, although cheese prices have retreated from the highs ($2.11 per pound and $2.14 per pound, respectively) of last year's first and second quarter.
The same-store sales gain comes following an impressive 11.8-percent increase experienced the prior year, …expansion of the pizza delivery program have had a big impact. Walljasper noted that the rollout of pizza delivery has not cannibalized sales at other Casey's that don't offer delivery, nor has it hurt inside the store sales at the stores in the delivery program.”
No other sector of retail foodservice is experiencing top line growth and bottom line profits in retail foodservice like the C-store sector. That success is driven by ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche food. Is your restaurant, grocery store or c-store positioning within the grocerant niche?
Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant