CHICAGO — U.S. convenience-store operators are building their foodservice business, according to the Chicago-based industry research firm Technomic Inc.
“Convenience store foodservice has made tremendous inroads in terms of experience, consumer choices and execution,” said Tim Powell, director of C-Store Programs for Technomic.
“We expect several key trends, such as snacking and demand for various beverages and breakfast to be pivotal components of future growth.”
According to Technomic’s multi-client study dubbed “Outlook and Opportunities in Convenience Store Foodservice,” average unit volumes for c-stores offering prepared food and dispensed beverages increased by more than 10 per cent to more than US$136,000 in 2011, up from US$123,000 in 2007. Total c-store foodservice increased to US$11.5 billion in 2011, largely due to the expansion of foodservice items, additional stores adding foodservice and a greater culinary experience. The number of stores with dedicated foodservice personnel nearly doubled over the same four-year period, from 17 to 33 per cent, reflecting operators’s commitment to developing successful foodservice programs.
Technomic expects annual c-store foodservice growth to reach 3.4 per cent nominally through 2014, compared to 2.8 per cent over the past four years. This exceeds expected growth for the entire U.S foodservice industry, which is forecast at 2.5 per cent annually through 2014.