Over the past few years, U.S. convenience stores have achieved impressive growth compared to other retail channels. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, 2018 marked the sixteenth year of record in-store sales for the convenience channel. Annual revenue rose 2.2% year over year, hitting $232.2 billion.
More and more consumers are trying to reduce the number of shopping trips they make to grocery stores. As a result, we have seen a spike in quick service options such as food delivery services and convenience stores. To have a competitive advantage within the industry, many brands are considering adding their products to convenience stores. With over 153,237 convenience stores nationwide, there is a tremendous opportunity for sales growth and overall revenue profit for new brands entering the space.
Who Is Doing It Right?
Due to heightening consumer expectations and a highly competitive market, many convenience stores are increasing their fresh food options. National chains like 7-Eleven Inc. and QuikTrip Corp. are offering a variety of healthier options such as fresh fruits and hand-crafted salads for their customers. As a result, they are selecting their packaged goods with consumers in mind.
This year, 7-Eleven Inc. introduced its “Sips & Snacks That Love You Back” campaign that showcased over 30 different better-for-you food brands within their Los Angeles locations. This campaign launch included an assortment of options for their consumers including but not limited to: keto, paleo, vegan, organic, gluten-free, and nutrient-dense offerings.
This campaign is a part of the company’s “Next Up” initiative which allows emerging brands an opportunity for their products to be placed on 7-Eleven’s shelves. Clio Bars was one of the 31 food brands to secure a spot on 7-Eleven’s shelves this year. Clio Bars are a healthy dessert alternative made up of Greek yogurt with high amounts of protein and probiotics in each bar.
Skip the Store. The Store Will Come to You.
C-stores are not only tapping into healthier initiatives for their customers, they are also offering even more convenience. According to the Technomic Report, 52% of millennials state they would buy from c-stores more frequently if they offered home delivery services. QuikTrip Corp., 7-Eleven Inc., and Wawa Inc. are some of the top c-stores testing out delivery service options within college communities.
These stores are prioritizing promptness, allowing them to have a competitive advantage among restaurants and fast food delivery services like Dominos. Wawa not only allows their customers to choose from various packaged goods for delivery but also offers fresh-made foods right to a consumer’s door. Their product offerings range widely from hot hoagies to grain bowls to fresh coffee.
Why Choose the Convenience Store Route?
Based on the data collected by the National Association of Convenience Stores, over 80% of c-store purchases are consumed within one hour and more than half before shoppers even leave the parking lot. This provides a great deal of opportunity for emerging food brands to get their name out quickly and cost-effectively to their target consumers.
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