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MINNEAPOLIS — Convenience stores may not have a reputation for being a shopping destination for "weight-friendly" products, but c-store customers care about purchasing them. Bars are particularly popular when it comes to offering nutrition while being a tasty snack, according to a new General Mills Convenience & Foodservice survey.
Nearly 1,200 c-store food and beverage shoppers, aged 18-54, took part in the nationwide online survey conducted in December. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of these shoppers reported they are trying to maintain or lose weight, and a whopping 81 percent said they wish there were more foods available to help them manage their weight.
Bars, such as cereal or protein bars, are the No. 1 food purchased at c-stores to help with weight management. The top reasons for these purchases cited by weight-managing shoppers include low calorie count, feeling good about eating them, great taste and to prevent them from overeating.
"C-store shoppers want better-for-you foods that help them achieve their weight management goals, but also taste great, are affordable and easy to eat on-the-go. Bars are well-positioned to meet these needs," said Julio Acosta, consumer insights researcher at General Mills Convenience & Foodservice. "There is opportunity beyond bars as well. C-stores can satisfy weight managers by highlighting snacks across the store that contain simple ingredients or deliver on a certain nutritional benefit like protein; and when marketing these items, highlight both taste and weight-friendly benefits in store signage."
Still, when asked what really matters, shoppers reported other factors as most important when buying food or snacks at c-stores:
- 63 percent of shoppers selected great taste or easy to eat on-the-go
- 56 percent of shoppers selected low price
- 24 percent of shoppers selected high in protein
- 22 percent of shoppers selected simple/natural ingredients
- 18 percent of shoppers selected low in sugar
- 17 percent of shoppers selected low in calories or fat
"While better-for-you items present an opportunity for healthier eating, many consumers go to the c-store to indulge," Acosta added. "Retailers should take a balanced approach to their assortments to satisfy a variety of shopper needs."
Click here to view an infographic that shows detailed results of the survey.
The Minneapolis-based General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division serves the convenience, foodservice and bakery industries.