Friday, September 17, 2021

Casey's General Stores Waking-Up Foodservice


Regular readers of this blog know that Casey’s General Stores shook-up the pizza industry when the introduced their now famous full-flavored pizza.  They shook-it up the pizza industry again, when they introduced pizza delivery chain wide, a first for a convenience store.  So, successful was the pizza introduction they began selling pizza all day, which drove incremental foodservice sales and double digit sales increase for 17 years in a row according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solution®.

Casey’s General Stores is at it once again this time targeting breakfast foods with the introduction of its first-ever breakfast menu featuring a handmade signature handheld sandwich that starts with Casey's made-from-scratch dough, a loaded breakfast burrito, and a loaded breakfast bowl.

Regular readers know that these breakfast food additions are paired with a new fresh-brewed, bean-to-cup coffee program and the Casey’s iconic breakfast pizza, which celebrates its 20th birthday this month. The team at Foodservice Solutions® strongly believes that these breakfast items will once again elevate Casey’s foodservice offering and garner new customer migration.

Casey’s, Chief Merchandising Officer Tom Brennan, stated, "This new lineup is the most significant step in the past 40 years for Casey's food journey," …. "Casey's has always set an early morning alarm to start the coffee and roll out our made-from-scratch dough. Now, we'reserving new and improved breakfast items and bean-to-cup coffee that will 'wow' our regular guests and attract new ones."

So, Brennan, who joined Casey's in October 2019, supervises all store product categories, foodservice, dispensed beverages, marketing and advertising, guest insights, and field merchandising. Prior to joining Casey's, he was chief operating officer at CKE Restaurants, operator of the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast-food chains. Before that, he served 7-Eleven Inc. in operations and merchandising roles.

Brennan continued, "Anyone looking for a fast, easy and delicious breakfast can find that at Casey's. We're here to make mornings even better as our guests return to school, work and other routines,"

Let’s look at Casey's all-new breakfast lineup: 

·         Signature Handheld: This sandwich starts with Casey's made-from-scratch dough, which wraps around warm eggs, savory sausage or bacon, and two types of cheese. It's then baked fresh to create a hearty, perfectly portable breakfast option.

·         Loaded Breakfast Burrito: It is packed with warm eggs, shredded potatoes, savory bacon and sausage crumbles, topped with gooey melted cheese and rolled up in a soft flour tortilla.

·         Loaded Breakfast Bowl: Eggs, bacon, sausage, shredded potatoes and cheese come together in a bowl that's packed with energy for the day.

·         Bean-to-Cup Coffee: This program brews a fresh, hot cup of coffee, grinding beans instantly, with six different flavors.The on-demand brewing process promises a fresh-brewed cup every time. 

Michelle Wickham, vice president of prepared food at Casey's, stated, "Our goal with the new lineup is to make our guests' days better with fresh coffee and a warm, delicious breakfast that fits easily into their morning routine," …"Our Signature Handheld is hearty, cheesy and portable. It's so special, we had trouble coming up with a name for it, so maybe our guests can help. And, I have to say, the Loaded Burrito and Loaded Bowl are packed with flavor and very satisfying, which is what our guests want."

Wickham continued, Casey's is leveraging its made-from-scratch dough, which is the cornerstone of Casey's highly successful pizza program.  Note: Casey’s is now the fifth-largest pizza retailer in the United States. So, what is your brand building sales with?

Now, Casey's is also supporting the upgraded breakfast menu with higher-quality ingredients, such as better bacon, and the new bean-to-cup coffee program. The new coffee machines from Switzerland-based Schaerer are currently in more than half of Casey's 2,300 stores. Full chainwide installation is expected by October. 

Casey's is backing the breakfast menu launch with several promotions:

·         In honor of National Coffee Day on Oct. 1, Casey's will celebrate all week by offering a free small coffee from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 with any purchase using Casey's Rewards.

·         Customers who join Casey's Rewards will receive a free small coffee beginning Sept. 22, the first day of fall.

Wickham, who oversees all prepared food and dispensed beverages, including R&D, quality assurance and culinary, has been with Casey's for 16 months. A restaurant industry veteran for 27 years who has worked with such companies as KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Red Robin and others, she has a passion around food, and is truly intrigued with Casey's potential to compete with quick-service, fast casual and casual dining concepts.

Wickham feels Casey's kitchen can dominate the c-store space and take share from those other channels. "This is all part of Casey's mission for its food program," Wickham said. "We have an established breakfast business that has been upgraded and positioned to own that daypart. We'll take similar initiatives with lunch."

Casey's is already ahead of many of its convenience store competitors when it comes to dinner because of its whole pizza program. "We see great potential for dinner because we already have a significant foothold in the dinner daypart due to our thriving pizza business, which has great potential for product extensions," she noted.

Don’t over reach. Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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