In today’s society, convenience stores have taken on a whole new meaning. Gone are the days where customers stop in for a quick candy bar and a soda. Now customers are demanding more. They want better (and often more sophisticated) choices that fit their lifestyle — with the utmost convenience.
C-stores are rising to meet buyer expectations, and it’s paying off. Last year, c-stores experienced record in-store sales to the tune of $654.3 billion. Considering the revenue potential, it’s worth cashing in on some of the latest in convenience trends. Let’s take a look at some of this year’s most popular.
Consumers today have an on-the-go lifestyle, and they want their meals to match it. And since snacks are convenient and easily transportable, consumers are increasingly choosing snacks as their meals. But, they don’t want any old pre-packaged snacks. Since 49% of consumers think snacks are an important part of a healthy eating plan, their snack standards are higher. From refrigerated and fresh superfoods to all-day breakfast, consumers are in search of c-stores with best-in-class snacks at their disposal.
Consumers don’t just want fresh snacks fast, they want them made their way. C-stores are taking note and adding made-to-order options to the menu. This level of customization is compelling to customers for more than one reason. For starters, it enhances the in-store experience (and elevate a c-store’s brand). And since it conveys quality and freshness, customers are willing to pay a premium for it. The catch? To make this trend worthwhile, c-stores need to customize quickly to keep profit margins up and wait times down. Fortunately, innovative equipment like Ovention’s Shuttle® 2000 oven makes made-to-order easy with its customizable settings and dual capabilities. It has a “shuttle mode” that allows for temperature, time and blower speed customization and a “conveyor mode” that maximizes throughput.
Across the board, global-inspired foods are in demand, and c-stores are no exception. C-store shoppers today — especially the younger crowd — are more adventurous in their eating habits. They’re looking beyond the standard c-store staples, in hopes of multicultural menu options. The good news? When it comes to global grub, there’s a wide variety of on-the-go options, such as empanadas and sushi. Not only does this make eating easier for on-the-move consumers, but it also makes offering global options realistic for c-stores.
Loyalty programs are a win-win for c-stores and customers alike, so it’s no surprise they’re popular. Reward incentives save customers money, which keeps them coming back. As evidence of that, 43% of shoppers visit c-stores because they belong to the retailer’s loyalty program. Of course, this means increased revenue for c-stores, but that’s not the only upside. Loyalty programs also provide retailers with valuable customer data. Using those insights, c-stores can optimize their product offerings and create more personalized and compelling experiences for customers.
Last but not least, today’s c-store customers want what they want — fast. As more businesses add self-checkout services, c-stores are catching on to the trend. Of anywhere, customers expect a quick and convenient shopping experience at c-stores, and self-checkout facilitates this. It cuts long lines and wait times for customers, improving the in-store experience. At the same time, it cuts back on labor costs, so it’s a worthwhile investment that will pay off in the long run.
Keep an eye on emerging innovations.
The c-store industry has turned into an innovation playground, but it’s not just fun and games. If retailers take advantage of innovations that improve service and convenience, they can seriously maximize sales and increase customer loyalty.
Now that you’re caught up on the trends, check out these can’t-miss c-store innovations that can help you deliver a premium c-store experience.
If you value precision and volume, Ovention has the perfect oven to fit your operation. The Shuttle sets the new standard for conveyor ovens everywhere. No other oven can operate as both a conveyor and a closed-cavity oven.
Cook a full menu of delicious offerings without an oven hood. The Ovention Matchbox 1718/1313 takes the traditional conveyor oven to a whole new level.
Simple, smart and the right fit for operators looking for a high-throughput conveyor oven. The Ovention Conveyor Oven is the most technologically elegant and operator-friendly conveyor on the market today.
Cook a full menu better, faster, and easier. The Ovention Matchbox M360 has Precision Impingement® technology, a unique cooking carousel, and a small footprint, making it the perfect fit for any operation.
Finish your plates with ease and precision with this robust IR finishing conveyor. Melt, sear, toast, and finish to perfection with this operator-friendly, quiet conveyor.
Revolutionary infusion of Decoupled Air and Infrared (IR) technologies. Independently controlled top and bottom cavities, each with its own interior light and control panel.
Introducing MiSA; Microwave Speed Assist. Higher quality, higher speed, smaller footprint.
Our goal is to partner with you to help you build your business. We will set up a demonstration that suits your needs, whether you want us to cook your current product, show you a range of new products, or do a side-by-side comparison with another oven we are ready to show you what Ovention can do.
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Cooked with Conveyor 2600/2000