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    C-Store Trends: Importance of Fresh Foods

    C-store owners should recognize the importance of having a stable inventory of fresh foods. Convenience has become a non-negotiable expectation for consumers. People want one-stop-shops that are quick, easy, and affordable. Since c-stores are no longer the only business catering to this need, retailers should focus on going beyond convenience and incorporating high quality foodservice options.


    Foodservice sales increased by 20.5% to $43.2 billion in 2021, according to the Convenience Store News Industry Report. Fresh/prepared foods specifically lead the growth with a rise of nearly 25% from 2020 to 2021 and average per store foodservice sales of $292,476. With numbers on the rise, c-stores should continue to offer a variety of foodservice options in order to remain competitive in today’s retail environment.


    In addition to offering convenience, c-store owners should also focus on top quality to keep themselves competitive in fresh food sales. 76% of consumers said they have purchased prepared meals from c-stores, but for this number to continue to stay high, quality should be a top focus. If c-stores are offering top quality prepared meals, then consumers will be more likely to choose them over other options as they stop for fuel or other goods on their way to work in the morning, on their lunch break, on the way home after work, or even just for a late-night snack.


    Some additional findings to note from Supermarket News include…


    Be sure to brush up on food safety tips when offering more fresh foods in your store!