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    Easytrip Stores Take a Double Bite of Foodservice

    One part is a made-to-order concept, the other a private-label packaged sandwich line.

    SEVEN HILLS, Ohio -- Owned by EZ Energy USA, Easytrip Stores launched a proprietary Easytrip Eats sandwich program late last year. Part one, currently available in four stores, is a fresh, made-to-order concept that's on par with Subway's offering. Part two, available in 36 locations, is a private-label packaged sandwich value line, designed to be a grab-and-go offering.

    "Our goal was to be able to service two sandwich customers," Frank White, director of marketing for EZ Energy USA, told CSNews Online. "The first is a person who wants freshly made sandwiches with all the toppings. It takes a little more time out of their day to get that; it's a larger product and they'll probably pay a little more for it, but at the end of the day it creates a whole restaurant or QSR experience." The second is an extension of that. "It's a sandwich option for the person who doesn't want to wait in line or when the restaurant is closed," he said.

    So ultimately, the customer has two proprietary choices of good value when it comes to sandwiches at Easytrip Stores.

    In the freshly made portion of Easytrip Eats, "Subway is the standard we want to live up to. The customer definitely sees Subway as the leader in that and it partners with quite a few c-store chains," White said. Thus, Easytrip Eats made sure it was very price competitive, beating Subway's famous "$5 Footlong" offering.

    "Our 12-inch fully dressed sub is $3.99," White revealed. "We decided that if we were going to compete with Subway, we were going to beat Subway."

    While the sandwiches are made just like those of Subway, they are "standardized offerings -- we don't have any signature sandwiches," he noted. And the chain offers "similar toppings, not all [that Subway does]."

    By the end of the year, EZ Energy plans to add six more of the Easytrip Eats concept, bringing the total count up to 10.

    The Easytrip Eats packaged sandwich line is available in a variety of SKUs: three breakfast sandwiches at 99 cents; five wedge sandwiches priced between $1.59 and $1.79; and two subs and three hot lunch sandwiches at $1.99. They are merchandised in a cold grab-and-go case, and a sandwich of the month is advertised through social media and store signage.

    Thanks to programs and offerings like Easytrip Eats, foodservice sales at EZ Energy's Easytrip Stores experienced double-digit increases for the tail-end of 2011 and so far for 2012, according to White.

    In addition to Easytrip Eats, EZ Energy just rolled out its latest sandwich program venture -- AdvancePierre Foods' Fast Fixin' Sandwich Bar program in five test locations, with at least 20 total locations to be installed this year.

    The concept allows consumers to purchase a fresh hot sandwich and make it their way providing all the toppings, with a product shelf life of four hours. The company expects it will add incremental food sales and give consumers one more reason to have Easytrip be the one stop for all their on-the-go food needs.

    The program currently offers a variety of protein options, including Angus beef, breaded chicken patties and barbeque pork rib patties. AdvancePierre's bakery-fresh buns are available individually wrapped for use with the Fast Fixin' Sandwich Bar. Additional products are in the works.

     

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