Healthier foods at c-stores present opportunities

by Bryan Salvage
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CHICAGO – Although consumers give convenience stores good marks for offering a variety of flavorful, high-quality foods, they also feel there is a need for c-stores to offer healthy foods. Only 28% of consumers think c-stores offer enough healthy options, according to a new study titled "Convenience Store Foodservice Consumer Trend Report" from foodservice consultant Technomic.

Fifty-two percent would like to see more healthy food items at c-stores, and 47% would like to see a wider variety of healthy beverages.

"Today, major convenience chains are actively developing healthier, higher-quality food offerings in order to benefit from trade-down restaurant spending and to compete more effectively with limited-service restaurants," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic.

Some of the study’s other findings include:

  • Sixty-three percent of consumers say they visit a c-store at least once a week, but only about half (53%) purchase food or a beverage.
  • C-stores’ strongest competitors for food purchases are fast-food restaurants. Forty-nine percent of consumers said fast-food restaurants were their alternative for breakfast, 47% for lunch, and 32% for dinner.
  • Consumers found made-to-order offerings highly appealing, especially sandwiches (57%), salads (50%), beverages (48%) and hot foods (46%).  
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