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CHICAGO -- Convenience store operators who have focused on foodservice are seeing positive returns. Average unit volumes for c-stores that offer prepared food and drinks rose from $123,000 in 2007 to more than $136,000 in 2011, a jump of more than 10 percent, according to Technomic's new multi-client study, "Outlook and Opportunities in Convenience Store Foodservice."
This growth rate is based on roughly the same number of stores offering foodservice, indicating that convenience store retailers are improving in foodservice expansion and execution. Additionally, c-stores that employ dedicated foodservice personnel rose from 17 percent to 33 percent over the same time period, said Technomic.
In 2011 alone, expansion of foodservice items, additional stores adding foodservice and more foodservice experience contributed to c-store foodservice sales hitting $11.5 billion, up from $10.2 billion in 2010.
"Convenience store foodservice has made tremendous inroads in terms of experience, consumer choices and execution," said Tim Powell, Technomic's director of c-store programs. "We expect several key trends, such as snacking and demand for various beverages and breakfast, to be pivotal components of future growth."
Technomic expects annual c-store foodservice growth to reach 3.4 percent nominally through 2014, compared to 2.8 percent over the last four years, added Powell. This beats out the overall foodservice industry, which is expected to grow by a nominal 2.5 percent annually through 2014.