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Known for its robust favors, wide array of spices, fun presentations and hearty proportions, Mexican cuisine offers something for everyone and is well-entrenched in convenience store foodservice programs.
As the second most popular flavor at c-stores, Mexican mentions (which include such ingredients as jalapeño, chorizo and tomatillo) are just slightly behind bacon at a 4.6-percent incidence. Technomic defines Mexican flavor mentions as any menu item with the word ?Mexican? in its name or description. The top Mexican entrée options at c-stores are burrito/chimichanga, taco/taquito and quesadilla.
Mexican flavors have increased a whopping 59 percent at c-stores year over year. Latin flavors appeal not only to members of the growing (and young) Hispanic population in the United States, but also to anyone who is interested in ethnic offerings and craves the culinary varieties that our American melting pot has to offer.
Convenience retailers are finding that Mexican flavors are applicable across all dayparts and in both food and beverage items. Recent food additions include Maverik Inc.?s Sweet Pork Burrito and SuperAmerica LLC?s Cantina Avocado Ranch Salad and Spicy Chicken Flatbread with chipotle mayonnaise and jalapeño bacon. 7-Eleven Inc. offers up Chicken Dippers with Ancho Chipotle sauce, while ampm?s Monster Breakfast Taquitos and Monster Chicken Taquitos also debuted this spring.
On the beverage end, new introductions include 7-Eleven?s Mango Flavor with a Kick Slurpee, Wawa Inc.?s Dulce de Leche Latte and ampm?s Mexican Hot Chocolate, which brings sweet heat.
Now that Mexican cuisine has reached a widespread level of acceptance on c-store menus, the next step appears to be the development of Mexican fusion fare with ethnic accents. One innovative offering is 7-Eleven?s new Pork and Beef Sausage with Jalapeño and Cheddar Kolache, a Polish-Czech-Mexican fusion dish. The sweet yeast buns get a Mexican twist with the addition of jalapeño.
Convenience store operators can pair already-popular Mexican flavors with lesser-known ethnic ingredients or preparations to create innovative yet familiar offerings in the c-store sphere.