Single Store Owner

JAN-FEB 2016

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BEER Beer + prepared foods = perfect PM snack pairing JANUARY 2016 21 Convenience stores continue to elevate their position as beer destinations. Beer caves at- tractively showcase a broader variety of icy cold brews, and some operators are bringing a brewpub experience into their stores by offering growlers of tap beer in easily porta- ble half-gallon jugs. Tis activity provides considerable potential for snack product cross-promotions. Salty snacks are a no-brainer complement for beer, but c-stores may be missing out on another opportunity: prepared food snacks paired with beer as a late afernoon snack. A recent study commis- sioned by Tyson Convenience Foodservice and Anheus- er-Busch reported that although only 5 percent of recent c-store beer purchases included a prepared food item, more than half of those purchases were consumed as snacks. Indulging in beer and prepared foods together Te research also reinforced the importance of reward and indulgence in afernoon and evening snacking, and went on to note that prepared food snacks fulfll that need more strongly than packaged alternatives. In addi- tion, data from market research frm Datassential's BUZZ tracking service also points to indulgence as a PM snack- ing driver—31 percent of consumers who drink beer in the afernoon say they do so to treat/reward themselves. "Tis study gave us valuable additional insights on something we already know: that cross-merchandising beer with snacks helps drive additional revenue," says CJ Watson, vice president–small format at Anheuser-Busch. "Displaying items together gives retailers an opportunity to potentially create occasions and capture more shopping missions. Displaying beer alongside the prepared food items in the c-store can tap into the key snacking opportu- nities this study uncovered and capture unplanned sales." CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 The beer back story Nearly 80 percent of convenience stores sell beer, accounting for more than 30 percent of all beer purchased in the United States, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Higher-end priced products, such as craft, are driving most of the growth across the overall beer market, reports Nielsen, with volume growth of craft beer for the 52-week period ending June 20, 2015 at 10.2 percent—on par with the growth of Mexican imports. Nielsen also found the word "craft" inspires consumers, particularly younger legal drinking age males, to buy beer: Thirty-fve percent of adults 21 and older say they're more interested in trying an adult beverage labeled "craft," while that fgure jumps to 46 percent among men ages 21 to 24.

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