Single Store Owner

APR 2016

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40 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / APRIL 2016 CATEGORY SNAPSHOTS Food shopping today can be boiled down to two basic types: filling up vs. filling in. And as consumers become more and more pressed for time, fill-in shoppers — those who only need a few items to hold them over until their next big grocery shopping trip — are in sharp focus. While there are good examples of convenience stores and competitors effectively targeting fill-in shoppers, the convenience channel has been pinpoint- ed to have the biggest opportunity to do better with this shopper, by leveraging more than just the channel's conve- nient factor. According to a recent study con- ducted by General Mills Convenience & Foodservice, 19 percent of the con- sumers polled said they visit c-stores most often for fill-in trips. This is less than the 32 percent who visit grocery stores most often for fill-in trips, but more than the 11 percent who turn to mass merchants or FOODSERVICE Don't Be a Chicken When It Comes to Flavor Chicken is one of America's favorite foods. In conve- nience stores, chicken programs have long been strong in the deep South and Southeast, and they are slowly starting to build in popularity in areas north and west as well. Industry research has shown that chicken products such as tenders, nuggets and strips offer a similar sales profile to other popular grab-and-go convenience store food items, such as breakfast sand- wiches and hot dogs. For c-store retailers interested in establishing a chicken program, or those looking to enhance their existing offer, convenience foodservice experts stress the impor- tance of flavors. A wide variety of seasonings and sauces can be used to appeal to a broad range of consumer tastes and ethnic preferences, while giving customers on-trend customization options. Depending on the ethnic makeup of a store's neighborhood, Mathew Mandeltort, vice president of foodservice strategy for con- venience distributor Eby-Brown Co. LLC, explained that such condi- ments could include: • Regional barbecue sauce supercenters most often. Shoppers participating in the study cited lack of variety, low quality and too- high prices as the top barriers to visiting c-stores for fill-in trips. Recognizing this, plus the fact that convenience stores are more convenient than many of their competitors, General Mills developed a fill-in framework for the channel — aptly named "F.I.L.L." — with tips to capture and increase the satisfaction of the fill-in shopper: F: Full-Size Staples. Offer full-sized grocery items where it counts — milk, bread, soda, eggs and salty snacks. I: In & Out. Continue delivering on convenience; shoppers choose c-stores because they can get in and out in less than two minutes. L: Lift Quality. Focus on quality, especially in re- gards to perishable grocery items such as cheese and fresh produce. L: Lower Prices. Offer value with competitively priced staple items. • Teriyaki sauce • Sweet chili sauce • Buffalo sauce • Salsa • Cheese • Korean barbecue sauce "Also, retailers would ben- efit from exploring different breaded/battered coatings such as tortilla crumbs, beer batter, parmesan crust, panko (Japa- nese bread crumbs), coconut, sriracha, or even whole-grain for retailers looking to take a better-for-you position," he said. "Though this increases the number of SKUs, it may be a good strategy to employ for LTOs [limited-time offers] as a means to avoid category fatigue and keep customers engaged with new, in- novative products." GROCERY Focusing on the Fill-In Shopper

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