SNAP spending reached an all-time high of $113.8 billion in fiscal year 2021, according to the USDA. This is largely due to recent economic challenges in the last few years and the expansion of SNAP benefits during the pandemic.
6 Products Your Customers Might Not Know They Need
Most of the time, customers will know exactly what they want as soon as they enter your store. However, every day there are customers purchasing items simply because they see them on the shelf. Customers want certain things— they just don't realize it yet. Here are our ideas for products you should consider offering in 2018 that will pleasantly surprise your customers and drive sales.
Portable Phone Chargers
When people are on-the-go, the last thing they want is a dead battery. Although they might have started the night with a full charge, by the end, they could be left stranded without their phone.
Many manufacturers offer cheap, one-time use chargers that are ready to provide a quick battery boost. Place them next to the checkout, and you're bound to sell a lot, especially if your c-store is near popular late-night attractions.
Cigarettes are the driving force behind many c-stores. In fact, a Nielson survey found that cigarettes amounted for 38% of total c-store sales in 2017. You may not want to cut into the profits of your tobacco sales, consumers are also becoming more aware of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking and are seeking new nicotine alternatives.
To expand your nicotine offering and to attract more customers, consider offering e-cigs, nicotine patches, and gum. While the customer might not walk into the store wanting one of them, they may be persuaded after seeing it on the shelf.
Healthy Food Options
When most stop at a c-store on their way to their destination, they are met with a sea of unhealthy choices ranging from soft drinks to chips and candy. While they might have a craving for these, many consumers would also appreciate if there were healthier options available, so they didn't have to throw their diet out of whack.
Healthy food options are almost endless; from granola bars, to protein shakes, to even fresh fruit and veggies already pre-packaged and ready for their enjoyment. The consumer might not walk into your c-store knowing they want a healthy option, they’ll be happy that the choice is available.
One way to tap into a different market is to offer a wider selection of coffee. Customers will be pleasantly surprised when they walk into your store to find a variety of coffee options to choose from all at much more reasonable prices than national coffee chains.
You'd be surprised how many customers go into c-stores looking for a snack and are disappointed to find only packaged foods People want something with sustenance to power them through the day and chips and candy won’t do it.
Although it can be an investment, c-stores around the world are investing in-house fast-food options such as pizzas, burgers, and more. Find a food group that caters to your niche
Across the country, there are manufacturers making unique sodas with an emphasis on premium ingredients for a better taste and fizz. More prominent brands are also starting to tap into this market, and it provides an opportunity to upsell customers on more premium sodas.
From traditional flavors to unique ones, having variety and more high-scale drinks to offer customers gives them a break from the tried-and-true drink they usually go for and offers a chance to try something new.
These are only a few of the products customers might not know they want and there are many more. Consider stocking any of these products in your c-store, and you'll be surprised how customers react to them.