Where are American food dollars going? While restaurant and grocery store chains continue experiencing customer discontinuity. The conveniences store sector for the 5th year in a row is growing both the top and bottom line with increased food sales. Specifically fresh prepared food is garnering the most attention.
The National Association of Convenience Stores reported that in 2011 in-store food sales reached 33 billion dollars. Food items ranged from fresh prepared burgers, hoagies, pizza, salads, pretzels and coffee of course. Jeff Lenard, the association’s VP said “Food is the future of our industry”.
In a study conducted by Technomic Inc., found that 82% of consumers said that they have bought prepared food or beverage from a convenience store within the last month and 52% said they do so once a week.
Cooking from scratch is a lost art. Convenience Stores have created a food platform that empowers consumers to mix and match fresh prepared food components into a customized family meal fast. While traditional restaurants and grocery store chains have tried to “protect the brand” and stay the same. C-stores have expanded into fresh food including Burgers, Pizza and Delivery.
C-stores with $33 Billion dollars in food sales is a well-funded competitive niche. Five years of food retail industry leadership growth and success is a trend not a fad. If success does leave clues the C-store industry has found them and is utilizing the clues well. Are you?
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