Friday, January 1, 2021

Casey’s General Stores Pizza Party to Drive Growth

 


Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast is the Achilles’ heel of the convenience store sectors grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food sales according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

When consumers are working at home there is no need to stop and get gas, coffee, a breakfast bakery snack, or breakfast sandwich according to Johnson, who explains that this is a short-term problem not a long-term view of the future specifically within the convenience store sector.

There was some good news at Casey’s General Store’ as they posted  an increase of 5.1 percent in total inside sales for its latest reported quarter, compared to the same time period a year ago.  That said, total prepared food and fountain sales at Casey's convenience stores were down 3 percent to $289 million during the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal year. Same-store sales in the category were down 3.6 percent.

Casey’s President and CEO Darren Rebelez stated, that Casey's saw sequential sales improve by 620 basis points vs. the first quarter of its fiscal year. Margins also improved sequentially.

Rebelez continued, "That being said, this area of our business continues to be the one most impacted by lower guest counts from the pandemic, especially in the morning daypart for many of our guests continue to work from home or deal with virtual schooling arrangements, …Bakery and dispensed beverages, especially coffee, are the segments being most adversely impacted, although both showed volume improvements vs. the first quarter.”

Looking a customer ahead, the most difficult daypart for convenience store foodservice to grow has traditional been dinner and evenings. So, it’s important to take note of the fact that Casey's pizza program is seeing sales tick up. According Rebelez, whole pie units were up 17 percent in Q2 compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2020, driven in part by Casey's digital push.

Rebelez noted "Digital sales were up 127 percent and make up over 50 percent of total whole pie orders,". Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food have been the key driver of customer migration from restaurants to convenience stores for the past 14 years according to Johnson. Dinner once the Achilles’ heel of the industry is now a bright light into what the future  grocerant niche fresh prepared food can do for not only Casey’s but the convenience store sector.

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 






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