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Understanding What Your Customers are Buying

MSA and Paradigm Sample, in partnership with Convenience Store Decisions, examine the market basket of 18-34-year-old convenience store shoppers. By Trish Temmerman, Contributing Editor. Numerous reports are being written about connecting to and interacting with the Millennial (18-34 year-old) generation. These Millennials, numbering 71 million-plus according to the 2010 U.S. Census, are a key shopper

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Coffee Consumption Surging

One in four coffee drinkers are now choosing gourmet products daily as younger consumers embrace upscale brews. By John Lofstock, Editor.  Coffee consumption tracks strong and steady, according to the National Coffee Association’s (NCA) National Coffee Drinking Trends, with sales data suggesting a solid footing for future growth. Rebounding youth consumption, strong gourmet allegiance and

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The 2012 Convenience Store Foodservice Report

Top-quartile chains continue to post strong sales across all food segments, while retailers express confidence for healthy category growth throughout 2012. By David Bishop, Contributing Editor. We all know times are tough. The consumer is looking for greater value at a time when retailers are focusing on being competitive without losing their shirts. Retailers recognize

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New Food Technology is Hot (and Cool)

Convenience stores are embracing the latest equipment as they look to keep up with QSRs and fast casual restaurants. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. In the summer, customers line up from morning until evening at Maverik convenience stores to take the f’real machine for a spin. From the time the North Salt Lake City-based chain

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Mean Healthy Business

While some c-store operators are gingerly testing the waters of healthy lunch and dinner solutions, others have plunged right in as the tide of consumer demand moves steadily toward fresher fare. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. With the opening of its latest store in Marshfield, Mass., Tedeschi Food Shops launched a new initiative that puts

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Emphasizing a Strong Breakfast Business

Given that the morning daypart is such a high-growth segment, it should be no surprise that the industry’s leading retailers are focusing a lot of effort on solidifying their offerings. By John Lofstock, Editor. Americans are more amenable to buying meals at convenience stores, but won’t budge when it comes to quality, price or convenience

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Capturing Hispanic Customers

Offering quality customer service with bilingual employees and traditional foods can drive retail loyalty among the growing Hispanic population. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Today, Hispanic food is mainstream and attractive to a wide array of demographics seeking spicier flavors, but the secret to keeping your Hispanic customers’ repeat business lies in more than just

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AdvancePierre Foods, Johnsonville Sausage Form Alliance

Under partnership, AdvancePierre becomes the exclusive foodservice distributor of Johnsonville Sausage. AdvancePierre Foods and Johnsonville Sausage have formed a strategic partnership, leveraging AdvancePierre Foods’ dynamic foodservice organization and distribution system to deliver quality Johnsonville Sausage to foodservice customers across the U.S. This partnership will make AdvancePierre Foods, a supplier of value-added protein and handheld convenience

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Driving Foodservice Profitability

Taking steps to promote innovative products and value pricing can elevate the whole roller grill experience. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. When consumers think of convenience store food, roller grill hot dogs are top of mind. Roller grills have developed a mixed reputation over the years, but they remain a staple of c-store foodservice programs

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Delivering a Winning Pizza Program

In an effort to grow its foodservice business, Casey’s is expanding its menu to include pizza delivery. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Casey’s General Stores has sold pizza for more than a quarter century making it one of the earliest convenience store chains to do so. Now, in an effort to expand its customer base,

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The Impact of Restrooms on Food Sales

Poor safety and sanitation practices will turn customers away. Going above and beyond what’s required is the key to a healthy program. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. The numbers tell an interesting story: according to a recent research study by Cintas Corp., fully 95% of people avoid patronizing a business in which they have had

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Baked to Perfection

As c-stores enhance their coffee and foodservice programs, operators look to fresh bakery to complete the package. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Convenience stores are investing heavily in store remodels and an experienced staff to create a bigger, better fresh foods program for customers. Too often they fall short in the bakery category, but a

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Keeping the Menu Fresh

Foodservice customers are becoming value-conscious, a reflection of current economic conditions. Consumers are now expecting better value in terms of price, service, consistency and food quality. By John Lofstock, Editor. Bringing consumers into convenience stores to buy food requires a great offering at a good price. But with all the competition for share of stomach,

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Weighing a Sandwich Strategy

Whether doing it themselves or finding a national partner, convenience store operators are developing food programs with fresh ingredients and quick service. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Convenience store strategies for sandwich programs are as customizable as the sandwiches themselves. Some opt to develop and prepare sandwich lines in their own commissaries or via made-to-order

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Chester’s Opens 17 New Locations

“Each opening brings Chester’s great chicken and sides to more people, and keeps the brand growing,” says Chester’s spokesperson. Chester’s International LLC continues its aggressive expansion by opening 17 more domestic locations.   With industry expectations that convenience store food sales will outperform the restaurant and food industry averages, Chester’s is well positioned for success. Chester’s

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Perfecting Pizza

A top-notch pie and artistic appeal help differentiate the offering for this important foodservice segment. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Pizza, a perennial favorite of American culture, is grabbing headlines as some restaurateurs and retailers devise gourmet versions with a variety of innovative toppings and crusts. And while that’s all well and good, c-store shoppers

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Boosting Fresh Food Sales

Americans are more amenable to buying meals at convenience stores, but won’t budge when it comes to quality, price or convenience factors like portability and packaging. By Howard Riell, Contributing Editor. Takeout food was invented for on-the-go consumers. But a takeout program has to do more than travel at high speeds. Today’s consumers want quality

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Foodservice Trends for Hispanic Consumers

Stripes is among the growing number of convenience store chains providing an authentic Hispanic cuisine to attract this growing demographic. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Early each morning the parking lots of Stripes Convenience Stores fill up with the trucks and cars of customers wanting to purchase a hearty meal of breakfast tacos, carne guisada

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Developing an Effective Menu

Foodservice operators must regularly develop new products and tweak old ones to pique consumer interest and attract repeat business. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Nice N Easy Grocery SHOPPES has long offered salads and sandwich melts. But the two menu lines didn’t reach their full potential until the convenience store chain hired three trained chefs

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Food Environment Not To Blame For Obesity

New study shows state policies on food to have little to no impact on Americans’ weight. According to a new study posted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, environmental factors such as food prices or restaurant location play a minuscule role in America’s increasing rates of obesity. The new study conducted by Drs. Charles Baum

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Meeting the Demand for Fresh Foods

When adding foodservice, retailers have many different options—each with distinct advantages. Deciding which one works best for your chain is half the battle. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. All convenience store operators should be looking at adding a foodservice solution to some degree, whether it’s simply a fresh-brewed coffee program and a roller grill or

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Developing a Menu for All Customers

The flexibility of chicken as a menu item allows convenience store operators to develop profitable branded and proprietary programs without sacrificing quality or value.    By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Whether it’s sandwiches, tenders, wings, fried, breaded or sliced, customers have affordable options which can offer them a new experience during each trip to the

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Revitalized Roller Grill Sales

Hot dogs and tornados continue to provide chains with inexpensive, labor-friendly meal solutions that allow store operators to expand their fresh food offering. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. One of the most maligned pieces of equipment in all of foodservice—the roller grill—remains the backbone of many convenience store foodservice programs, offering an inexpensive, labor-friendly way

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Choosing the Perfect Pizza Program

Whether going with a branded option or developing a proprietary menu, pizza appeals to a wide variety of pallets.     By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Everybody loves pizza, but which pizza? And what will it take to get it to your customers? These are the kinds of questions convenience store operators need to ask themselves

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Irvington Chester’s Reopens

A sizeable chicken statue has made the store a local landmark. Chester’s, a  fried chicken foodservice offering in the convenience store category, has reopened its Irvington, Ala., location at 6831 Hwy 90 West. The Irvington Chester’s has become a local landmark due to the 10 –foot chicken statue sitting in the CITGO parking lot.  The

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