The Future of Prepared Foods in C-Stores
As customers begin to crave convenience and high quality products all at once, the prepared foods industry has slowly expanded into convenience stores. The expansion has turned convenience stores into rivals with nearby quick-service restaurants and grocery stores, but is there a future for these products in a convenience store setting? The short answer? Yes.
After cigarettes, prepared foods account for the largest percentage of in-store sales. One of the largest players in the c-store industry, 7-11, has expanded their prepared foods section over the last four years to include more fresh foods and hot coffee options for customers.
Convenience stores are able to attract customers to these products because they’ve successfully managed to get rid of the stigma that used to surround prepared foods in this setting. The younger generation of shoppers tends to view prepared foods in convenience stores similar to the same foods in other settings, including grocery stores and fast-food restaurants.
To cash in on the rise of prepared foods in convenience stores, brands and food distributors should steer clear of the negative connotation that was once associated with these foods. Instead, focus on designing high quality, fresh products and sell these features when talking to buyers. Think packaged sandwiches with fresh bread, high quality meats and a variety of cheeses.
Because the majority of prepared foods shoppers in convenience stores are younger, try to tap into this generation’s wants by catering to their healthy eating habits. Products that are seen as natural, low calorie and high in nutrients will sell well in this space since they fulfill two of this generation’s greatest shopping needs: convenience and healthy foods. Be sure that food distributors also inform convenience store clients that your products can be quickly restocked to ensure freshness and maintain their high quality standards.
Ready to get your product into c-stores? Contact Mr. Checkout Distributors to talk to a team of experienced distributors that service over 35,000 grocery and convenience stores across the country.