Friday, February 8, 2019

At Convenience Stores Fresh Food Drives Sales

Success does leave clues, recently we learned that “28 percent of all shoppers said their primary purchase during their in-store shopping occasions at c-stores over the past 12 months was foodservice, that number was even higher for millennials. Thirty-seven percent of millennials said their primary purpose of shopping at a c-store was for foodservice.”
That research was from AlixPartners who pointed out that c-stores need to develop programs for higher volume breakfast, lunch and dinner dayparts, as 40 percent of foodservice shopping occasions were for snacks. Now, think about what is happening within the restaurant sector continued year over year customer count declines.  C-stores are expanding fresh food offerings and restaurants are stuck in a qquagimire of their own making according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
AlixPartners’ Eric Dzwonczyk, co-head of restaurant, hospitality and leisure practice stated “In the past, ‘convenience’ was the differentiator for c-stores, but there has been a lot of blurring across the channels when it comes to convenience,” …“Despite their gains against fast food and fast casual, c-stores must accept that these channels are not sitting still. Innovative c-stores will be able to stay a step ahead with pre-made foods, healthier menu options and even offering delivery. In fact, this year, we’re seeing many of the middle-tier c-store players also pursuing these innovations.”
“When asked what types of foodservice foods and beverages they are most interested in purchasing from a convenience store, 57 percent said a grab-and-go/serve-yourself beverage, 40 percent said baked goods, 31 percent said hot dogs, and 30 percent said prepackaged cold sandwiches, salads and fruit trays.
Surprisingly only 29 percent said made-to-order sandwiches, salads, etc. Another 28 percent said pizza, and 27 percent said made-to-order beverages, followed by nachos (cited by 20 percent), soup (7 percent) and sushi (4 percent) according to Dzwonczk.  This is good news for the restaurant sector as it provided a platform to drive sales within current menu structure according to Johnson.
High-quality, Ready-2-Eat food is what consumers want, according to the research.  It is important to note that among millennials, made-to-order fares better, with 33 percent of millennial respondents indicating a preference for made-to-order sandwiches, salads, etc., along with 44 percent citing pizza, 36 percent wanting made-to-order beverages, and 8 percent citing sushi.
The Undercurrent commonality is CONSUMERS WANT BETTER-FOR YOU OPTIONS
Half of all respondents said better-for-your options are important to them when choosing a convenience store, up from 46.5 percent a year ago. The top three better-for-your attributes cited were: freshly made in-store, local-sourced/fresh ingredients and low-calorie options.
Thirty percent of all respondents described these options as either “very important” or “extremely important.” In comparison, 40 percent of millennials said better-for-your options are very or extremely important to them.
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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