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A new report this week from Chicago-based Technomic shows that convenience stores play a major role in the retail foodservice business, and have the potential for more gains.
Foodservice in convenience stores is an $11 billion industry, the second-largest retail host foodservice category behind supermarkets, the report found. Convenience stores make up 29 percent of the retail foodservice market and are expected to make gains of 2.5 percent in the category each of the next two years, Techmonic projects.
“Convenience stores have shifted their focus to provide a wider variety of fresh, high-quality food offerings to help gain a greater share of stomach and compete with restaurants,” Technomic Director of Research and Consulting Services Tim Powell said in a news release announcing the report. “At the same time, there seems to be significant room for convenience-store operators to generate increased foodservice sales by translating existing traffic into purchases.”
The report found that 52 percent of consumers get snacks from prepared-food sections of convenience stores today, up from 37 percent two years ago. And 22 percent have breakfast from a convenience store during the week, up from 12 percent three years ago. On the weekends, 13 percent get breakfast there, up from 7 percent in 2009.
The one area where C-stores can make strides, the report said, was in heathier food options. Only 28 percent of respondents said the food they bought from C-stores was healthy. That not only affects breakfast, but also lunch. The report showed 20 percent of consumers had lunch from retail foodservice locations such as grocery stores, with 17 percent buying from C-stores. Fast-food restaurants drew in 56 percent of consumers for lunch.