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CHICAGO – Consumers are purchasing more snacks from convenience stores thanks to their increasing desire for options available when and where they want them, as well as innovative new offerings from c-store operators, according to a new report from Technomic Inc.
The latest Convenience Stores Market Intelligence Report reveals that 55 percent of consumers who purchase prepared food from c-stores at least one a month visit these locations to purchase prepared snacks, an increase from the 51 percent who reported doing so one year ago.
These shoppers are expressing particular interest in items they can share with travel companions right away, such as Circle K's Wing Bites and QuickChek's Churro Bites, and items that they can enjoy alone over the course of the day, such as 7-Eleven's organic trail mix and dry-roasted edamame snacks.
Leading c-store chains that are trying to capitalize on consumers' evolving snack preferences are focusing on convenience/car friendliness, creative flavors and presentations, and attractive value positioning to differentiate themselves from the competition, Technomic stated.
In order to satisfy health-minded consumers as well as those looking for a treat, these c-stores are offering a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, plus other vegetarian offerings and more indulgent items.
Recent innovative snack debuts include Stewart's Shops' car-friendly snack cups; pumpkin-filled pretzels from both Cumberland Farms' and QuickChek's seasonal menus; and 7-Eleven's limited-time Spicy Chicken biscuit.