In this article by Food Business News, we learn how convenience stores have evolved from the old model of “gas, Cokes and smokes” into a food-forward destination, said Frank Beard, trends analyst at GasBuddy, a Boston-based technology company.
“The industry today is building bigger stores, cleaner stores, becoming that real destination for high-quality products,” Mr. Beard said during a June 24 panel discussion at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. “It’s moving very rapidly in a more specialty direction.”
He described the traditional environment of “undifferentiated products, basic snack selection, one-size-fits-all promotions, really no reason to visit other than impulse or necessity.”
Today, convenience store shoppers may find premium coffee and fresh, healthy food offerings, he said. As a result, gas stations are stealing market share from quick-service restaurants. Food service accounts for nearly 23% of in-store sales at convenience stores, up 3% in the past five years, and 56% of consumers said they purchase meals at least monthly at gas stations or convenience stores, according to GasBuddy research. Twenty per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds purchase food at convenience stores three to four times a month, and 25% of 30- to 44-year-olds purchase food at convenience stores five times or more per month.
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