C-Stores’ fresh/prepared food sales increased 21.3% from 2020, according to NACS 2021 industry report. With this fact in mind, more c-stores may choose to feature prepared foods so it is really important to be educated in food safety so your store can continue to enjoy boosted fresh food sales.
C-Stores Shift Focus to Foodservice in 2023
Convenience stores have been upping their foodservice game over the last couple of years. In 2021, foodservice sales reached a record high of $43.2 billion in sales, and 20.5% increase from 2020. Convenience stores are evolving to stops for people to fuel not only their cars, but themselves too.
This evolution makes sense as we transition to 2023. Convenience stores have always been about just that, convenience, so it is only logical that they become a convenient stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Consumers will always prioritize convenience, whether that be time, location, or other factors that make their lives a little bit easier.
C-stores have an average foodservice wait time of only 4 minutes, making them huge time savers in comparison to the 7 minute wait time in other industries. Aside from having a lower wait time, another thing that sets convenience stores apart is being able to meet other needs of customers as well. A recent report from Bluedot found that 70% of consumers enter a c-store while they’re pumping gas, these customers entering your store gives you more sales opportunities. A customer can fill up their gas tank, come inside and get a bite to eat, grab that gallon of milk they forgot to get at the grocery store, and even pick up those pens they need for work all in one quick stop at a c-store.
Foodservice + Your business
While the complications of setting up a foodservice offering can be daunting, differentiating your product offerings will be crucial for success in 2023 and foodservice is a great way to do that.
According to convenience.org, “[having] a robust foodservice offer was the greatest predictor of in-store profit; stores in the top decile for in-store store operating profit have foodservice gross profits that were seven times those in the bottom decile.”
Additionally, it is important to diversify your foodservice line to include a variety of healthy food options. More consumers are prioritizing their health in the post-pandemic world, 60% of which are unhappy with the current healthy food offerings in convenience stores, you can read more about improving your healthy food offerings in this blog from goEBT.
With more customers coming inside, the in-store experience will be another focus for 2023. The increased foodservice sales contributed to a record high 6.2% growth in in-store sales in 2021. Be sure to catch up on the 2022 industry report from Convenience Store News to prepare for the year ahead!