In our time-crunched world, convenience is a priority for most consumers. And the compact, get-it-all-in-one-place convenience store always delivers. From providing a much-needed caffeine fix, quick fill-up or a tasty bite to eat, c-stores are a valuable part of every community. But, when it comes to food specifically, there are certain menu considerations that drive customer sales. Let’s take a look at the top four food trends shoppers are looking for.
Healthy grab-n-go foods
Convenience store food doesn’t just mean chips and a soda anymore (although, totally still a c-store staple). Consumers (and especially millennials) want more from their food. Grab-n-go is in high demand, and one in three shoppers wants fresh, healthy products. One hot commodity customers are looking for is functional foods with added benefits like protein, probiotics or immune support. Foods that contain kefir granules, chia seeds, turmeric, mushrooms, kale, avocado, or a variety of other superfoods are great choices to add to your inventory. In addition to the functional fare, plant-based foods are a continually rising trend. Oat milk smoothies, quinoa salads, plant-based jerky, hummus, and pretzels are just a few tasty treats to offer. Giving consumers a variety of healthy options is a win for your operation’s popularity and bottom line.
In addition to healthy foods, shoppers want products that take care of Mother Earth. Eco-friendly foods are more than meals sold in biodegradable food packaging (but, that’s also an earth-loving win). Look for foods that have clean labels and are sustainably farmed with limited or no hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. These options speak to the increasing number of consumers that want their meals made with ingredients they can pronounce and those that see environmental issues as a top priority.
Despite all the hype about healthy, plant-based, and functional foods — people still want incredible tasting and tempting comfort foods that are convenient and snackable (preferably with the added bonus of hand-held convenience). Try baking up cheesy pizza slices, crispy chicken wings, tasty egg rolls, tempting pastries and hot breakfast sandwiches. Great tasting, easy-to-eat foods are flying off c-store heated shelves and hot-holding displays.
Snacky items will always be a thing, but ethnic and global flare is rising in rank for c-store food. It’s especially true for spicy selections. Try adding delicious empanadas, enchiladas, kimchi-filled dumplings, taquitos, sushi, stir-fry, or bahn mi sandwiches (with a kick) to your menu. Global flavors and aroma filling your c-store’s foodservice area are a sure way to gain satisfied customers.
A draw for customers
Food is an ever-important aspect of every c-store operation. Be sure to choose the right equipment to prepare appetizing foods efficiently and consistently. Make your foodservice area a draw for customers of all kinds — and, in turn, boost your business. Interested in other ways to up your revenue? Take a look at our blog post, “How to Use Social Media to Stay Connected to Your Customers.”
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