Friday, July 13, 2018

Chain Restaurants Worry C-Store Sales Continue Going Up

The formula for continue success at C-stores today is targeting chain restaurant customers with the hand held food for immediate consumption that Gen Z and Millennials want and top line sales, bottom line profits, and continued customer migration will continue according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Johnson continued “C-stores understand the value today’s consumers place on food and beverage items that have a halo of ‘better-for-you”. The simple fact is healthy food and drink sales expected to drive summer in-store sales at U.S. convenience stores according to the National Association of Conveniences Stores (NACS).
According to a survey of U.S. convenience store owners by NACS “Retailers say a continued focus on fresh and healthy items in stores helped boost sales, and they plan to continue dedicating more sales space to these items.
Prepared foods are expected to continue attracting new customers.  This continues a trend from last year. In-store growth for U.S. convenience stores in 2017 was powered by foodservice (22.5% of in-store sales and 33.9% of gross profit dollars), a broad category that includes prepared food—69% of total foodservice sales—as well as commissary foods and hot, cold and frozen dispensed beverages.
Retailers cited the addition or expansion of the following items in their stores with the ‘halo’ of better-for-you’:
1.       Health bars (45% of retailers added or significantly expanded over the first half of 2018)
2.       Fresh fruit/vegetables (41%)
3.       Packaged salads (37%)
4.       Nuts/trail mix (35%)
During summer months, convenience stores are a destination for packaged beverages, a category that generates more gross profit dollars inside the store than any another other merchandise category. As demand continues for healthier options, many retailers are devoting more cooler space to lower-calorie and lower-sugar beverages options, especially waters.
During the first six months of 2018, a majority of retailers say they’ve added flavored/enhanced waters (54%) and regular bottled water (52%). Water also figures prominently in sales growth, with 46% of retailers expecting more still bottled water sales to increase and 42% expecting sparkling bottled water sales to increase. Lower-calorie teas and coffees also were cited by 42% of retailers.
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