Single Store Owner

JAN-FEB 2016

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14 Pizza sales are up at convenience stores, and snacking trends could deserve some of the credit. According to a May 2015 report from NPD's SupplyTrack, cases of pizza crust and dough shipped to c-stores from broadline foodser- vice distributors increased by 27 percent, and servings of pizza ordered by c-store customers increased by more than 20 percent in the 52 weeks ending February 2015. "Total dollars of pizza crust and dough cases shipped from broadline distributors to convenience stores increased by over 30 percent," NPD reports. "Com- plementing the increase in pizza crust and dough case shipments and dollars was a 4 percent increase of pizza box case shipments to convenience stores in the year ending February compared to year ago." The foodservice factor It's no secret that c-stores are competing with quick ser- vice restaurants (QSRs) for a slice of the foodservice pie. Te National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) calls it "the ongoing food retailing war"—a war that pizza appears to be winning. "Te popularity of the pizza category at convenience stores is further evidence of the channel's increasing focus on foodservice and its competitive threat to tradi- tional quick service restaurants," according to NPD. "Te double-digit growth in pizza servings at convenience stores contrasts to fat servings at quick service pizza restaurants and a 1 percent increase at traditional quick service restaurants." Te 2014 NACS State of the Industry Report confrms the important role foodservice plays in the overall c-store proft picture. According to NACS, the prepared food category—of which pizza is a signifcant part—ofers some of the highest margins of all categories for c-store retailers. Prepared food, in fact, comes in at No. 2 in terms of gross margin percentage (57.6 percent) and is the foodservice category leader, accounting for 65.7 percent of total food- service sales. More PM snacking opportunities Consumers view snacks as an opportunity to reward themselves with indulgence, according to recent research by Tyson Convenience Foodservice in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, and are looking for late afernoon and evening snacks that ft the bill. Compared with pre- packaged snacks, prepared food snacks in c-stores more strongly fulfll that need, the research suggests. Prepared food quality and freshness were the most important attributes consumers consider, and they look for snacks that are easy to consume on-the-go and that can satisfy without overflling. Te research from Tyson and Anheuser-Busch also rec- ommends that c-stores target millennial impulse buyers for PM snacking purchases of prepared foods. According to IRI's March 2015 State of the Snack Food Industry report, more and more millennials and baby boomers in particular are snacking in the late afernoon and early evening hours. IRI research shows that 73 percent of younger millennials (ages 18 to 24), 86 percent of older PIZZA/FOODSERVICE Pizza, foodservice slice into snacking market JANUARY 2016

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