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C-Stores Offering ‘True Foodservice’

Sales up, staffs up, operators becoming better at foodservice expansion, execution

CHICAGO In a sign that convenience store operators are successfully ramping up their foodservice efforts, industry consultants Technomic found that average unit volumes for c-stores offering prepared food and dispensed beverages (“true foodservice”) jumped to more than $136,000 in 2011, up from $123,000 in 2007. The better-than-10% growth rates were based on roughly the same number of stores offering foodservice, indicating that operators are becoming better at foodservice expansion and execution.

Overall, c-store foodservice grew to $11.5 billion in 2011 (from $10.2 billion in 2007), based largely on the expansion of foodservice items, additional stores adding foodservice and more foodservice experience. The number of stores with dedicated foodservice personnel nearly doubled over the same four-year period, from 17% to 33%, reflecting operators’ commitment towards developing successful foodservice programs.

“Convenience store foodservice has made tremendous inroads in terms of experience, consumer choices and execution,” said Tim Powell, director of c-store programs at Chicago-based Technomic. “We expect several key trends, such as snacking and demand for various beverages and breakfast to be pivotal components of future growth.”

Powell said that Technomic expects annual c-store foodservice growth to reach 3.4% nominally through 2014, compared to 2.8% over the past four years. This exceeds expected growth for the entire foodservice industry, which is forecast at a nominal 2.5% annually through 2014.

These and other findings are included in Technomic’s multi-client study, “Outlook & Opportunities in Convenience Store Foodservice,” which was released on Feb. 20, 2012. The research examines the total size and growth of the entire c-store foodservice channel, provides insights on consumer and operator attitudes and behaviors, profiles the top c-store foodservice providers and explores the impact of other channels, such as drug stores and quick-service restaurants.

SOURCE: CSP Daily News

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