The impact of convenience stores’ foodservice evolution can no longer be denied. Foodservice, including prepared items and dispensed beverages, now accounts for 22.6% of sales at U.S. c-stores, excluding fuel, according to preliminary data released this year by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Snacks and packaged beverages, combined, account for another 25.7% of those nonfuel sales.
Foodservice gains have led many c-store operators to boost their store footprints, says NACS, with open kitchens, ordering kiosks and dining space pushing the average square footage of new units to 4,991 in rural areas and 4,603 in urban ones. (The average c-store currently measures 3,230 square feet.)
What’s more, well over half (61%) of consumers who say they’re upping foodservice purchases at c-stores report doing the opposite at quick-service restaurants, according to Technomic’s latest Convenience-Store Consumer MarketBrief, illustrating how traditional dining channels may be taking a hit as c-stores make these changes, at least in terms of consumer preferences.
Click below for a closer look at how convenience stores are disrupting foodservice as we know it, and how operators can capitalize on changes in the retail sphere.