The Evolution of C-Stores into Fresh Food

Remember the days when convenience stores were just a quick stop for gas, cold beverages, and the occasional bag of chips? Certainly convenient, but it was never considered the fresh food destination that it’s becoming today.

Trends setters in the food service industry include stores such as 7-eleven, Casey’s, and Sheetz all who have expanded their variety of offerings to include ready to eat foods such as salads, sandwiches, designer beverages, and even pizza! Casey’s is ranked as the fifth producing pizza chain in the United States, knocking out many formidable pizza establishments.

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Sheetz, a family owned chain with more than 600 stores on the East Coast, is winning their share of the market by offering made to order food, fresh baked items, and espresso's that can be ordered, 24/7/365. Food not only made convenient, but any time you want it.

So, what’s fueling this trend? Convenience is now the key factor for consumer purchasing decisions. Today, close to 93% of these consumers live within 10 minutes of a C-Store, and around 80% of these stores have gas stations attached (NACS). This proximity to home also makes it easier for C-Stores to win the delivery battle against other formats, and many of them have upped their game partnering with Instacart, Uber Eats, and other delivery services to offer their products.

According with the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the number of C-Stores has grown 28% since 2000, and their sales increase 30% just in the last decade. This segment now represents 16% of the food & consumables market in the USA:

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This substantial growth on food services and products is not particular to the USA.  Tiendas OXXO, the largest C-Store chain in Latin America with more than 18,000 stores across the region, became the top seller of the fast food services sector in Mexico, overtaking competitors such as McDonald’s, Subway, Domino’s and local restaurant chain, Vips. They were able to achieve this goal by offering an ample selection of fresh prepared food that not only included hot dogs and sandwiches, but also classic tacos and quesadillas, all at very aggressive prices.

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We anticipate this trend of growing quality and sales of prepared food at C-Stores to remain for the long run, and ADC has the perfect platform, FreshIQ, to help this companies plan, prepare, and deliver the fresh products that consumers are looking for. To read more about how ADC can help with your foodservice department, download our FreshIQ Brief for C-Stores or contact us today. 

 

Jesus Mathus_Picture

Jesus Mathus
Global Head of Retail Solutions 
813.849.1818 ext. 22597