Convenience Store Foodservice - US - March 2015
“While some consumers have a less-than-stellar opinion of c-store foodservice, this sentiment is beginning to wane, especially among younger consumers. Now is the time for c-store operators to showcase their new food and drink capabilities that can rival those of quick service, be just as fresh as fast casual, and become a category in foodservice where customers crave their menu offerings.”
– Katrina Fajardo, Foodservice Analyst
This report discusses the following key topics:
- C-stores need to make foodservice visits a habit among their regular customers
- The definition of fresh needs to translate over to c-stores
- C-stores need to build loyalty
Convenience store retail sales are expected to rise between 2013 and 2018. Many factors impact the profitability of convenience stores, including consumer confidence and unemployment. Meanwhile, concerns about obesity and health have created demand for healthier offerings at convenience stores. In addition, the rising Hispanic population will likely contribute to growth in this market.
The c-store foodservice market is full of potential in terms of becoming a viable competitor against quick-service restaurants. With leading brands like 7-Eleven, Wawa, and Sheetz creating more restaurant-quality options for customers, and Speedway launching a successful loyalty rewards program, there is obvious interest in higher-quality foods to be offered in this market. Appealing to the consumer’s definition of fresh foods (eg using natural ingredients, foods made to their order, freshly made items on premise) and demonstrating it throughout the store can help break any negative stigma that prevents consumers from ordering foods and beverages more often at c-stores.
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