Channel blurring is changing the look of foodservice. Today’s convenience stores (aka c-stores) are squarely competing with other foodservice verticals, specifically quick service restaurants (QSRs) and fast casual restaurants among others. During the last year, foodservice accounted for more than 25% of c-store retailers’ sales revenue and one-third of their profit margins. This is a 14.3% year-over-year increase in total c-store foodservice sales².
C-stores that implement a successful foodservice strategy can gain a competitive advantage in the fuel and in-store retail market. As the stat above demonstrates, foodservice offers a lucrative profit margin and can create a unique selling proposition to consumers by introducing exclusive, market-specific offerings.
However, there is a need to go beyond being the most convenient option. C-stores need to offer top-quality products with speedy and accurate service while accepting a variety of ways customers can shop and pay¹.
A whopping 76% of current c-store customers have purchased ready-made meals at a c-store. These numbers increase all the way to 87% among shoppers in their 30s1. And 40% of consumers have purchased a prepared cold, frozen, or hot beverage during their last visit to a c-store².
Beverages are an important component to drawing consumers in-store and providing a complete foodservice program. With that, you must focus on presentation and beverage merchandising. This is where Display Technologies comes in.
Many of these beverage purchases are impulse buys, especially when promoted and placed in the most desirable areas of the store. LTOs and value promotions are great tools to promote purchases like this, and both types have been increasingly used in 2023.
Having the right merchandising solutions is key to capturing and activating your audience. Further, the retail and merchandising tools used should ensure your impulse products are easy to incorporate into your planograms without overshadowing your core top sellers.
The Display Technologies array of glides for coolers and ambient shelving like Visi-Slide and Visi-Fast keep inventory looking neat, well-stocked, and easily within reach. Need to maximize your existing cold vault space and sellable inventory? The Display Technologies Undershelf Can Roller makes it possible to feature new products and LTOs using space usually wasted between shelves.
Finally, self-checkout is growing rapidly in the convenience store channel and has shifted many merchandising opportunities to the front of the store for purchasing convenience. For some categories, these front-end sales are improving total store category performance. For example, 57% of all energy drink sales come from this area of the store, and that number is even greater for single-serve energy drinks at 83%³.
A focus on c-store foodservice offerings, especially beverages that pair with upgraded meal offerings, is made more profitable with smart merchandising solutions. Thirsty for more? Check out all our solutions for your retail foodservice needs.
¹Convenience Store Trends Report
²2022 NACS State of the Industry survey