Breakthrough study by Technomic and Chute Gerdeman examines role of design elements in convenience store foodservice program success
COLUMBUS, OH—Store design plays a crucial role in attracting customers and driving foodservice sales in convenience stores, according to the recently-released study Food-Forward C-store Design. Noting that more convenience retailers are pursuing foodservice as a growth opportunity, leading foodservice research and consulting firm Technomic and award-winning retail branding and design agency Chute Gerdeman collaborated on a cutting-edge study to understand how evolving consumer demands and preferences for prepared foods and beverages can be met through convenience store design, décor, and layout.
The unique, interactive survey of 1,000 consumers revealed compelling insights about the role of store layout and design elements in the success of convenience foodservice programs. “Foodservice is now a strategic priority for the majority of convenience retailers, and the competitive landscape requires them to raise the bar on store design to increase consumer appeal,” says Donna Hood Crecca, Associate Principal at Technomic. “Understanding which layouts meet consumer needs and message quality is crucial.”
An online survey captured consumer reactions to different design concepts, utilizing heat maps to allow respondents to indicate particularly appealing elements.
Key takeaways from the study include:
An updated, elevated store ambience is vital to foodservice sales as it sends a message about the commitment to foodservice and conveys cleanliness and quality.
Ease of navigation is prioritized, and clearly delineated foodservice preparation, display and dining areas heighten the appeal of the offering.
Consumers value foodservice quality and freshness cues in convenience stores. Whether at made-to-order stations, in grab-and-go cases or on hot/cold food bars, consumers want to see the prepared foods offered and appreciate other visual elements that supporting the quality and freshness of the offerings.
“As convenience stores see increased cross-category competition with both retail and foodservice providers, it’s important to understand what is driving consumers into the store and keep them coming back. The environment and experience are key to building brand loyalty and we sought to understand how changing values and behaviors influence how consumers want to engage and interact with the convenience store and dining moving forward,” says Lynn Rosenbaum, Vice President, Brand Environments at Chute Gerdeman.
Only Technomic, a Winsight company, delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. We impact growth and profitability for our clients by providing consumer-grounded vision and channel-relevant strategic insights. Our services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Our clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit us at technomic.com.
About Chute Gerdeman Chute Gerdeman is a global leader in retail innovation, insights, and design. We are a business strategy and design agency that shifts reality for businesses navigating massive change; fundamentally changing how people experience brands. We balance our passion, our practicality, and our sense of partnership to serve as our clients’ creative stewards from initial insight to rollout. As experts in creating transformative brand experiences, we capture and articulate our client’s vision to achieve the best return on both experience and investment. Learn more at chutegerdeman.com.
About Winsight, LLC
Winsight, LLC is a business-to-business media and information services company specializing in the convenience-retailing, restaurant and noncommercial foodservice industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio including four publications, CSP, Restaurant Business, FoodService Director and Convenience Store Products, a suite of digital products including websites, e-newsletters (Restaurant Business Daily and CSP Daily News) and webinars, plus video products, mobile and tablet apps, custom marketing solutions and the convenience-retailer intelligence tool, CSPedia. The Winsight Events group produces six exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences—Restaurant Leadership Conference, FARE Conference, Outlook Leadership, Convenience Retailing University, FSTEC and MenuDirections—in addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings. Winsight recently acquired Technomic, Inc., a food industry provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services. Winsight is a recognized leader in the markets it serves. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to WinsightMedia.com.