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    Up and Coming: C-Store and Small Grocery Trends to Watch in 2018

    We’re less than a week away from the New Year of 2018 and now is a better time than ever to look into the future to start spotting the trends for the upcoming New Year. Once you have an idea of the trends to pay attention to, you can start planning ahead so you can enter 2018 with a running start for your c-store.

    In this post, we’ll take a look at our top four trends to be on the lookout for in 2018 and how they can benefit your c-store or small grocery store in 2018.

    Increased Demand for Electric Car Charging Stations

    With the release of the Tesla Model 3 early last year, electric cars are now more affordable and accessible than ever before. The only problem is, people need access to charging ports to keep their vehicle moving. Your c-store might sell gasoline, but you may want to consider getting into the electric car charge station industry before it’s too late.

    Most of these chargers are at shopping malls and offices, however, even Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hinted he would like to see more charging stations at c-stores around the nation to give consumers a more traditional charging solution.

    More Traditional Grocery Items in Smaller Stores

    In 2017, people went wild for fresh produce, and meat options inside c-stores and experts predict that this demand will increase in 2018. If you don’t already, you should consider stocking fresh food choices for your customers at your c-store. They’ll be excited to see that you have good food options available and will even be willing to pay a premium for the convenience.

    Weather Forecasts Become More Impactful

    With all of the severe hurricanes, floods, and fires of 2017, expect an increased awareness of weather forecasts in your ordering and shipping plans. You may have experienced long delays in shipments in 2017, so to avoid these in 2018, we recommend you pay close attention to the severe storms around the U.S. before placing orders.

    Also, if you happen to operate in an area frequently affected by hurricanes and other severe weather, consider stocking up on more essential items like water and daily necessities for your customers should disaster strike.

    More Vegan and Non-GMO Products

    Food labels that read "Non-GMO" or "Vegan-Friendly" are now becoming badges of honor among consumers. Veganism is on the rise in the U.S. with a June 2017 report finding that 6% of Americans identify as vegans—up from 1% in 2014. If your store isn’t stocking vegan-friendly foods, you are missing out on a huge market of people walking through your store every day, disappointed at the lack of food options for them.

    What are your predictions for the next year? A lot is expected to change in the c-store and small grocery store industry, and if you fail to plan for upcoming trends and changes, your store could suffer in sales and customer support. Keep these four trends in mind as you plan and you should have a prosperous 2018!