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    Food for Thought

    Technomic report reveals gaps, opportunities in convenience store foodservice programs.

    CHICAGO -- Given the importance that consumers place on convenience, coupled with their growing lack of interest in home cooking, it is surprising to some that convenience store operators haven't captured a larger share of the foodservice market, according to a study by Technomic Inc.

    For example, nearly 80 percent of consumers say that when they purchase food or a beverage at a convenience store, it is mainly as a snack, as c-stores are not considered a source for a full meal. Consumers cite issues related to freshness and value as reasons for this.

    At the same time, however, growth in the c-store channel has been higher than traditional foodservice segments over the past several years. With profits from tobacco and gasoline under pressure, c-store operators are eager to build their foodservice programs. "We see this as a major opportunity," said Ron Paul, president of Technomic. "C-stores have a need and a desire to work in partnership with foodservice manufacturers and branded operators. While not always recognized, they offer manufacturers a highly visible means to promote their brands."

    Technomic's study, "Critical Success Factors in Convenience Store Foodservice," includes a detailed evaluation of the segment, extensive research into consumer and operator attitudes and practices, determination of "best in class" manufacturers across numerous product categories, as well as recommendations to manufacturers for success in the c-store segment. For information, visit Technomic Inc.

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