Single Store Owner

JAN-FEB 2016

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6 JANUARY 2016 Better-for-you snacks like fruit, bars and veggies are replacing snacks with higher fat and sugar content. Convenient, on-the-go options are the snacks of choice for millennial parents. C-stores are destinations for PM snack purchases Te fact that PM snacking is on the rise is good news for c-store owners, because it puts their stores in a unique position to be one of the top venues for PM snacking and small meal options. Nearly 40 percent of consumers indicate they have purchased a snack at a c-store in the past 30 days, making it the top choice among drug stores, QSRs and casual dining restaurants. Several important factors give c-stores an edge in the PM snacking market. Most c-stores are open for business around the clock, making it easy for shif and other workers to stop in and purchase food and beverages throughout the day. In addition, consumers say they fnd c-stores the most attractive and efcient places to satisfy their PM hunger. When asked when and why they select a c-store for a snack, consumers reveal the channel's inherent advantages: convenience, gas, location, and ease of in and out. Consumers also typically use conve- nience stores as a "fll in" for their grocery trips, so they're already used to purchasing foodservice items there, particularly during the afernoon and evening dayparts, according to the Tyson Convenience Foodservice/Anheuser-Busch 2015 research. How c-stores can maximize the PM snacking dynamic In order to plan, execute and sustain successful PM snacking programs, a c-store must initially identify the specifc types of snack ofer- ings that are most appropriate for its concept. One way to do this is to eval- uate the types of snacks consumers purchase at competing locations and then add items that aren't currently on the shelves. Or, try polling customers to narrow their PM snacking preferences to specifc products, such as roller grill food, breakfast sandwiches and pasta salads. Using this type of consumer information, a c-store can put into play several specifc strategies to help foodservice programs resonate with snackers in the afernoon and evening hours: Concentrate on portability and ease of snack. Position PM snacks as their own plat- form using unique items, sizes and communications. Use sampling to build awareness. Leverage trafc from other dayparts to build awareness (i.e., coupons, team selling, etc.). Employ social media and mo- bile app rewards. By developing a new way of thinking outside of traditional meal day- parts, c-stores can set the stage to truly leverage their strong PM snacking position. —Julie Powell P M S N A C K I N G

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