Saturday, April 30, 2022

Gusto not Gas at Casey’s


Evolving with grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is an art that Casey’s General Store has been doing for the past 14 years, and doing it very, very, well according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

With all of the gusto of a young restaurant start-up and a grocerant niche want-to-be, Casey's General store has evolved too Casey’s and went fuel-free with its newest store. The retailer opened its first location without any gas pumps in Des Moines on April 22, replacing fuel with food!

So, the new 3,380-square-foot store, located at 3121 Forest Ave. near the campus of Drake University, will operate from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, according local press reports. In lieu of fuel sales, the store will focus on food, beverages and typical convenience items filling out the grocerant niche mix and match bundling opportunity.

This first non-fuel convenience store in Casey's portfolio, the store will serve as something of a testing ground and could lead to more stores without fuel pumps. Katie Petru, director, communications & community, at Casey's, stated, “As a non-fuel model, the new store will best fit the needs of the community in which it operates.”

Petru continued, "We think that everything we have here is what the community and guests in this very walkable environment will need,"  "This is the only store like this in our portfolio, so we will learn some things from it," Petru said. "And I think regardless, we're always looking at where we're situating ourselves and what will make sense there. I think a more urban environment or college campus environment could naturally lend itself to consider whether fuel needs to be there or not."

Messaging matters, so to celebrate the new store's opening, Casey's is offering special deals such as single-topping pizza slices for $1, medium fountain drinks for $1, doughnuts for 50 cents and free coffee.

"It's just all about welcoming the community into our doors and getting them to try out Casey's if they haven't before," Petru explained. Local residents who attended the grand opening reportedly commended Casey's for filling a need in the area, which has few grocery options in the Drake University neighborhood.

The company previously operated a Casey's Pizza Express store in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, which also did not sell fuel, but the location offered pizza for takeout and delivery only and did not have standard convenience store offerings. Mix and Match bundling is a hallmark driving success within the grocerant niche according to Johnson.

Brand messaging matter to all both young and old, so to commemorate the store opening, Casey's donated $10,000 to the local Roosevelt High School and provided a $50,000 Cash for Classrooms grant to East High School. Now in its second year, the Cash for Classrooms program will support projects, physical improvements and resource requests at accredited K-12 public and non-profit, private schools in Casey's communities across the Midwest. How much Gusto do you have?  Ready to evolve from a restaurant to a grocerant?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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