Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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8 Guide to Foodservice | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Behind the Research How we explored new and innovative foodservice offerings at c-stores By Randi Etzkin, Carbonview Research I t has been said many times this year: Now may be the best time to be a convenience store retailer. By almost every measure, 2015 was one of the best years in convenience store history. Gas prices were down — in fact, fuel sales as a percent of total sales was down 7 percent, according to the latest Convenience Store News Industry Report. That means only one thing: all growth in the channel is coming from inside the store. Of all the in-store categories, foodservice, and prepared foods in particular, is the most important category for future growth. Foodservice sales grew by 7 percent last year, outpacing the overall 5-percent increase in in-store sales. More importantly, foodser- vice is the c-store's most profitable category, generating $96,662 in gross margin dollars per store last year, a 5-percent increase. Given the importance of the foodservice category, Carbonview Research decided to investigate what are the most innovative products consumers want, and which of these products retailers can implement to drive traffic and sales to their stores. Based on ideation sessions conducted with culinary students in Chicago in 2015, we tested and evaluated 18 new and innovative foodservice concepts. We sur- veyed both consumers and retailers during the sum- mer of 2016 to get a comprehensive look at appeal, uniqueness, relevance, likelihood to purchase (consum- ers), likelihood to implement (retailers), and impact vs. effort (retailers). The concepts were split into two dis- tinct groups: food and beverage product concepts and technology/services enhancement concepts. The following is a list of each group's concepts: Food & Beverage Product Concepts • Create-Your-Own Doughnut Bar • Create-Your-Own Salad Bar • Create-Your-Own Pasta Bar • Create-Your-Own Ramen Bar • Create-Your-Own Burrito Bar • Create-Your-Own Yogurt Bar • Craft Section • H20 Flavor Station • Food Trucks Technology & Services Enhancement Concepts • 24-Hour Access • Drive-Thru Window Service

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