Mintel reported that two-thirds of Americans are focusing on healthier food options in a new CPG food and drink report. Mintel’s John Frank stated in Convenience Store News, “As a result, today’s consumers are seeking out healthy food with greater urgency. However, skeptical or confused consumers aren’t likely to pay a premium for healthier food.” C-stores need to be mindful when introducing new “better for you” products and how and where they position them within the stores.
Across the country C-stores are focusing on fresh food that is “Better for You” including 7 Eleven which just last Friday offered its Free Fresh Food Friday in Portland, Oregon. They introduced a line of fresh foods and downsized some of its fare by creating portion-sized items. The goal at 7 Eleven is to have 20 percent of sales come from fresh foods in its U.S. and Canada stores, up from about 10 percent currently, according to a December New York Times report.
In a Kansas the focus is on salt intake. Convenience Store News reported “Hy-Vee Convenience Store, Gas & Shop Convenience Store, Larry’s Shortstop and 10 local Kwik Shops in Shawnee County, Kan., agreed to display a standalone rack of healthy, low-sodium items (chosen and customized by a dietician) in a prominent spot in their stores. This health initiative was spearheaded by the commissioners in Shawnee County, which provided the racks, promotional signage, technical assistance and advertising.”
The West Coast is playing catch up but Minute Market in Oregon is another c-store operator adding and testing better-for-you items like string cheese, low-sodium sunflower seeds, fresh fruit and "healthier" drinks for kids as reported by CSnews. “As the industry changes, we are getting more options to choose from and bring in as our main distributor picks up these healthier products,” said Phyllis Simpler, Minute Market's operations manager. “Over the last year, especially, a lot more products have been madeavailable to us.”
In Brattleboro, Vt., independent C-stores joined the Healthy Retailers program, sponsored by the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health. CS News reported that ”In addition to discouraging tobacco and alcohol use among youth, the program resulted in vegetables, new fruit varieties, and ground beef and pork products from local farms being available for purchase at select convenience stores in the area.”
Restaurants, Grocery Deli’s and Retail Drug Stores are all focusing on grocerant niche ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food that is “better for you”.
Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based foodservice consultancy Foodservice Solutions® and writes a blog at: http://www.grocerants.blogspot.com. For more on the Grocerant Niche visit linkedin at:linkedin.com/in/grocerant,facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Twitter.com/grocerant Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org