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Meet the Vegan C-Store Shopper

As new information on food is released, more and more people are changing their eating habits and adapting to a vegan lifestyle. Vegans have very strict dietary restrictions making them unable to have any animal products including items like milk, hot dogs, and eggs. This can be tricky for those with fast paced lives who often need to stop and pick up snacks and meals on-the-go. This is why it is so important for c-stores to understand what products vegan shoppers want.

Veganism on the Rise

As the vegan trend continues to rise in popularity new types of c-stores have emerged. In Portland, a husband and wife duo created an all vegan c-store called Food Fight!. There goal is to provide vegans with the same fun and delicious snacks, beverages, and desserts that are found in traditional c-stores. "We try to make it seem like less like self-flagellation, self-sacrifice and make it a bunch of fun food. You don't have to give up corn dogs."

Food Fight! provides items like coconut bacon and meatless jerky so that their shoppers are not missing out on any yummy snacks. They have also introduced an on-the-go food line through a distributor called Snackrilege Foods that offers vegan sandwiches, B.L.T's, and even wings.

Items You Did Not Know Were Vegan

There are many items that are vegan that c-store owners are not even aware of. Here are some common everyday items that are commonly known as 'accidentally vegan' that you can stock in your c-store.

Beverages; All sodas and juices, Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Monster Energy, Poweraid, Tang, Red Bull, and Propel

Breakfast; Cap'n Crunch's Peanut Butter Crunch cereal, Nature Valley Granola bars, Life cereal (cinnamon and original), and Unfrosted Miniwheats

Snacks; Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili, Oreos, Ritz crackers, Unfrosted Pop-Tarts, Nutter Butter cookies, and Clif bars

Candy; Jolly Rancher hard candies and lollipops, Dum Dums, Sour Patch Kids, Airheads, and Swedish Fish

The Vegan Products Customers Want

According to Shape magazine, here are some of the best vegan products you can stock in your c-store. These items are everyday essentials ranging from milk and butter to delicious ice cream.

  • Daiya cheese slices
  • Food for Lovers queso
  • Road's End organic mac n' cheese
  • Earth Balance butter
  • So Delicious dairy-free almond milk ice cream
  • Silk organic soy milk
  • Almond Breeze almond milk
  • Dr. Lucy's brownie cakes
  • Earth Cafe to-go cheesecake

Marketing to Vegans

Veganism is still a very new lifestyle. Many parts of the country do not have the demand for c-stores to start adding vegan products to their stock. However, if you live in one of the following cities then you are much more likely to run into vegan shoppers.

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Los Angelos, California
  • New York City, New York
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • San Diego, California

If you are in one of these locations you may want to consider offering vegan products or even creating a vegan section in your c-store. If you do this make sure you have the proper signage outside so that customers know that you offer products they can have. Vegan shoppers will most likely pick your c-store over your competition who does not have vegan items.

Although most single-owned c-stores are not converting to all vegan products anytime soon, it is important to know which products you have that are vegan so that if you know how to accommodate customers that come in looking for a vegan snack or drink.

in Building Your Business, Consumer Trends, goEBT News