3 Foodservice Trends Reshaping the C-Store Industry
Last week’s NACS Show brought together the biggest names and brands in convenience with exciting new product launches and educational sessions throughout the conference.
NACS, through their rebrand and new website, have emphasized how c-store operators and suppliers must own convenience as the key differentiation in all aspects of their business. By being the most convenient option, c-stores will be able to flourish and compete in this ever-changing retail environment.
In particular, changing attitudes towards c-store foodservice are driving growth throughout the industry. Here are three trends that are redefining foodservice in c-stores today:
1. Snacking Millennials
While you may be sick of reading about Millennials, they continue to be a key demographic for the c-store industry. In particular, Millennials are 40-percent more likely than other generations to make a c-store trip driven by snacking, according to VideoMining C-Store ShopperImpact MegaStudy data.
This trend of snacking is driving trips and generating new occasions, meaning that it is a key area to tap into to drive growth. This is borne out by many of the new snack options debuted on the NACS Show floor, including a number of high-protein options such as meat snacks. While these snacks are not necessarily low in fat or calories like traditional better-for-you options, high protein content and clean labels create a health halo for these products, leading to new opportunities to drive snacking trips.
As trips driven by snacking increase, leading c-store operators must continue to find ways to build baskets with beverages and other complementary categories to promote further growth.
2. Premiumization of Coffee
Many vendors at the NACS Show exhibited new products for c-store owners looking to make an impact with coffee sales. If convenience stores can become a destination for high-quality coffee, then they will be able to compete against coffee shops for market share by offering comparable quality with more convenience and lower prices.
The key area where c-stores must improve is with perceptions of quality and freshness. New innovations such as freshly-ground single-serve machines that guarantee a fresh cup will help reverse this stigma and make c-stores a true coffee destination. As an added benefit, driving coffee trips will help promote cross-purchases with other categories such as Confection and Bakery.
3. Fresh Food Destination
Along with this increase in snacking behavior, c-stores have been improving their fresh food offerings to take advantage of the increasing demand. More and more, c-stores are carving out a market by focusing on high-quality foodservice offerings that compete directly against QSRs.
Once again, c-stores must own the convenience factor without sacrificing freshness or quality to compete in this market. But successfully creating a top-quality fresh food program will bring in new visitors and lead the way to success in other categories with well-crafted cross-promotion campaigns.
VideoMining is celebrating 10 years of the C-Store ShopperImpact MegaStudy, which has tracked the evolution of the rapidly changing convenience industry. This is the only program that gives c-store manufacturers and retailers the insights needed to continually track changes to discover and decisively react to new trends. Contact us to learn more.