VIDEO: A Blueprint for Foodservice Success

Highlights from the 2022 Convenience Foodservice Exchange event presented by Convenience Store News.
Don Longo
Editorial Director Emeritus
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2022 Convenience Foodservice Exchange

SAVANNAH, Ga. From improved branding to menu innovation to navigating supply chain challenges, every aspect of today’s rapidly changing convenience foodservice market was addressed at the 2022 Convenience Foodservice Exchange (CFX) event, presented by Convenience Store News.

The annual Convenience Foodservice Exchange is a networking and experience-focused conference designed to give attendees actionable knowledge, insights and research to strengthen their foodservice businesses. This year’s program included a variety of presentations, panel discussions and Q&A sessions covering the most pressing foodservice issues and evolving best practices of today, while providing attendees with actionable suggestions to stand out from the crowd.

Over the course of two days in Savannah, Ga., a record 70-plus convenience store retailers also joined suppliers and other category thought leaders in visiting two of the city’s best convenience stores, Enmarket and Parker’s; and participated in valuable networking opportunities.

Among the takeaways from this year’s event:

  • The Importance of Differentiation — Keynote speaker Ernie Harker, former marketing guru at Maverik — Adventure’s First Stop, noted that many c-store brands want to stay in “the safety zone” of not being too different from their competitors, but this also means they are unlikely to be noticed. The branding expert urged the retailers in attendance to be different, particularly in developing strong signature items that they can own.
  • Small Ideas Can Have Big ValueC-stores can boost their foodservice programs without making sweeping changes. Dave Grimes, vice president of foodservice at Carmi, Ill.-based Martin & Bayley Inc./Huck’s Market, discussed the importance of “theater” around foodservice and dispensed beverages in order to draw attention. New graphics, significant additional signage and other methods of guiding customers to the roller grill and coffee station contributed to sales boosts at Huck’s, while the rollout of a “guaranteed to love it or it’s free” promise generated buzz.
  • Embrace Continuous Improvement — Zone-specific innovation and improvement teams should continuously focus on identifying improvement opportunities and solving them, according to Howland Blackiston, co-principal of restaurant and retail consultancy King-Casey.

Watch the video below for all the highlights from this year’s conference.

Sponsors of the 2022 Convenience Foodservice Exchange included gold sponsors BOHA!, Core-Mark, Cuhaci Peterson, Finlays, Hoshizaki, Sugar Foods Corp. and UNO Foods; and silver sponsors Supplyit and Southern Visions.