While sugary sweets and salty snacks may always have a place on the c-store shelf, consumers continued shifting focus towards health and wellness is influencing their c-store purchasing decisions as well. Consumers understand that tasty, healthy, fresh food options are no longer exclusive to grocery, and as snacking continues to supersede traditional meals, consuming better-for-you alternatives is desirable.
“There’s been a switch in consumers’ attitudes about being healthy, away from restriction. It isn’t about good food versus bad food. It’s about having a small treat. It’s about balance. Companies are finding a way to provide the fun food they have in a smaller size.” said Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel in a recent interview with Adweek.
When it comes to the c-store food offer, convenience trumps service. Consumers don’t expect white glove service but instead portable options and the capability to customize reigns king. Health benefits for products should be clearly identified with signage, while product groupings based on product benefits help to create attention to the offer. Refrigerated items like yogurts shouldn’t just be relocated to the back of the store but also featured upfront. Feature display placements should take into consideration the customer’s journey and how that changes throughout the day. Prominent placement of these items upfront can also help change the overall perception of the convenience store.
As consumer routines continue to shift the definition of traditional mealtimes, convenience stores are set to capitalize on the on the go consumer. To explore the impact of c-store design on foodservice attitudes, preferences and usage, purchase our exclusive report “Food Forward C-Store Design” conducted in collaboration with Technomic.