From meal kits to fresh-made menu items, retailers are turning their stores into food destination
By NACS Online // July 19, 2019
CHICAGO—More and more people are stopping by their local convenience store to pick up dinner, SmartBrief reports. In fact, according to Datassential’s Creative Concepts, modern C-Stores report that 39% of consumers want c-stores to offer meal kits in addition to prepared foods. With Amazon meal kits available in Amazon Go locations, the report predicted meal kits would likely become standard in other convenience stores.
Meanwhile, retailers have upped their foodservice game with prepared meals and robust menus featuring fresh-made items. “At the same time, brands like Wawa and Sheetz are earning best-in-class consumer ratings on key food and beverage indicators like freshness, taste and overall menu appeal, turning them into true dining destinations. The stage is set for some big changes in this category. These shakeups aren’t just limited to the food itself, as a new generation of c-stores push the boundaries of technology and even social consciousness,” SmartBrief reports.
Part of the appeal of convenience store food is that major chains have co-opted restaurant strategy by creating unique limited-time offers to drive traffic and increase sales. About a third of consumers in Datassential’s Brand Fingerprints survey want convenience store chains to stock healthier products. Independent stores like The Goods Mart, for example, are innovating with healthful options.
Convenience stores are also earning customer loyalty through embracing technology, such as cashier-free checkout, loyalty apps and mobile payments. “Gen Z digital natives are more open to cashier-free shopping and we’re likely to see more tech-driven concepts pop up as this generation comes of age,” SmartBrief notes.
NACS has developed resources and tools—including two meal-kit case studies—to help retailers develop new tools to serve their communities and showcase the results.