Convenience Stores Experiencing Growth In Foodservice Sales


CHICAGO — According to Technomic’s “Market Intelligence” report on convenience stores, fuel and tobacco sales may be falling, but stores are experiencing a boost in foodservice sales in the U.S.

“Convenience stores have shifted focus to provide a wider variety of fresh, high-quality food offerings to help gain a greater share of stomach and compete with restaurants,” says Tim Powell, director of Research and Consulting Services, at Chicago-based Technomic, a research firm specializing in the hospitality industry.

Convenience store foodservice — an $11-billion industry — makes up nearly 29 per cent of retail foodservice and almost two per cent of the total foodservice industry. Foodservice sales are increasingly becoming convenience stores’ most profitable segment and convenience store chains are looking for more growth. Some stores are differentiating themselves from the convenience store crowd to compete with limited-service restaurants.

Report findings show: 52 per cent of consumers buy foods from prepared-food sections of convenience stores or mini-marts, compared to 37 per cent in 2010, and 22 per cent of consumers eat breakfast from a store during the week, up 10 per cent from three years ago. However, only 28 per cent of consumers give store-bought foods a satisfactory rating. During the week, one in five consumers surveyed said they purchase lunch from retail foodservices locations such as grocery stores; 17 per cent from convenience stores, and 56 per cent buy lunch from a fast-food restaurant.

Technomic’s report analyzed menus from the top 40 convenience store chains.

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