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Spice Up Sandwiches to Spike Sales

Technomic’s 2012 Sandwich Consumer Trend Report found that more than half (55%) of Americans are now purchasing grab-and-go sandwiches. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Just two years ago, the top-selling sandwiches at Famima convenience stores were tuna salad, turkey and cheese and egg salad, all on white bread. Today, the same proteins lead the pack,

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BeerTAB Study Shows Trends, Consumer Preferences

Taste preferences are evolving, especially among younger consumers, as beer drinkers seek different beer styles and more complex or varied flavor profiles. Beer remained the largest segment of the U.S. adult beverage industry, accounting for more than four-fifths of total alcohol volume, but was challenged by both economic and consumer trends that resulted in a

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Beverages Booming

“Innovative operators are creating value by crafting new and unique beverages,” says Technomic spokesperson. Technomic’s Beverage Consumer Trend Report found seven out of 10 consumers (71%) now purchase beverages away from home twice a week or more often, up from 66% in 2010. As the economy stabilizes from the recession, restaurants and retail foodservice locations

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Poultry Powers Prepared Food Sales

Whether it’s sandwiches, wraps or wings, chicken’s versatility is driving the foodservice category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Chicken comes about as close as food can to a can’t-miss opportunity for convenience store operators. Chicken’s flexibility—and healthier perception—makes it one of the most popular products in the foodservice industry. And short of handling it unsafely,

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Millennial Consumers More Likely To Make Foodservice Purchases

“Millennials are a critical consumer group to the foodservice industry, and finding ways to market to them can be difficult because they have high and varied expectations,” says Sara Monnette, director of consumer research for Technomic. Consumers’ positive outlook of the future indicates that they may increase spending on foodservice within the next year, according

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Food Sales Make Up For High Gas Prices In Today’s C-Store Market

“Food is the future of (the c-store) industry,” says Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president to The Gazette, an Eastern Iowa newspaper. Food sales accounted for 16.9% of a record $195 billion of in-store sales at convenience stores in 2011, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), which means many c-store chains have been

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Restaurant Chains Challenging Retailers On Price

Technomic is updating its 2007 landmark study of the Retailer Meal Solutions segment to fit changing trends. Restaurants and retailers have a long history of competing over consumers’ share of stomach. That competition becomes particularly intense late in the day, when busy families must decide what’s for dinner. If money is tight, retailers often win

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Flexibility Fuels Chicken

America’s passion for poultry is translating into greater opportunities for c-stores to strengthen their foodservice presence across all dayparts and provide destination-worthy products with high perceived customer value. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Whether prepared plain or fancy; fried, broiled, roasted, grilled or baked; in tenders, strips or “popcorn” bites, chicken has universal appeal, said Dr.

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Surging Demand for Pizza

With so many national brands already well established in the marketplace, c-store retailers have to create a niche of their own by combining quality products and personal service. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. Before the CENEX convenience store opened in Killdeer, N.D., the only pizzas readily available to the town’s residents were the ones in

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Preparing Sandwiches The Ways Consumers Want Them

Technomic Inc. reports that sandwiches prove to be more successful items on lunch and dinner menus for the past two years. Sandwiches are a staple food item for both lunch and dinner menus at limited- and full-service restaurants, and more consumers report purchasing sandwiches away from home today compared to two years ago. “Today’s consumer

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Healthy Options Driving Foodservice Demand

Many convenience store retailers are cognizant of the trend toward healthier foods and are adding better-for-you items to their menus. By John Lofstock, Editor. More salads, fruits and vegetables are finding their way onto convenience store shelves—often for purchase in the morning, or as a late afternoon snack—much to the delight of an increasing number

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Satisfy Between-Meal Hunger

RITZ CRACKERFULS is now wrapped up in a striking new look designed to grab attention and boost between-meal snack sales. Ninety-five percent of consumers indulge in a snack at least once a day, either between meals or in place of a meal, according to Technomic Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, 2010. RITZ CRACKERFULS offer an

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Pizza Occasions Grow With Key Sales Drivers

Innovation, convenience and versatility can boost your pizza sales in 2012. A new report by Technomic shows pizza consumption continues to rise. More than four in 10 (41%) consumers polled say they’re now eating pizza once a week, compared to 26% just two years ago. Pizza consumption has increased over the past two years as

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Pizza Gets Personal

C-store retailers can expect to see continued growth in the pizza category in 2012. “Pizza has good hold times, is a consumer favorite and is relatively easy to prepare. Sales will be up in 2012,” said Tim Powell, director for Chicago-based research firm Technomic. Trends to watch in 2012 include an increase in take-and-bake pizzas,

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Turning a Profit at the Roller Grill

One of the most maligned pieces of equipment in all of foodservice—the roller grill—remains the backbone of many c-store foodservice programs, offering an inexpensive, labor-friendly way for   operators to expand their fresh-food offering at a time when other nonfoodservice categories are declining. Roller grill sales are estimated to account for roughly 10-15% of convenience foodservice

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Technomic Report Analyzes Snacking Habits

Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report shows customers are snacking more as meals get healthier. Consumers are snacking significantly more now than they were just two years ago. Almost half (48%) of consumers polled say they’re now snacking at least twice a day, compared to 25% in 2010. Restaurants are capitalizing on the growing snacking occasion

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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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C-Store Foodservice Grows To $11.5 Billion

The number of stores with dedicated foodservice personnel has nearly doubled since 2007. In a sign that convenience store operators are successfully ramping up their foodservice efforts, industry consultants Technomic found that average unit volumes for c-stores offering prepared food and dispensed beverages (“true foodservice”) jumped to more than $136k in 2011, up from $123k

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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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Technomic Report Unveils Habits of Teens, Tweens

The report provides an overview of attitudes toward food preferences, dining-out behaviors with friends and family, snacking behavior, convenience-store patronage, technology usage and more. Tweens and teens influence the decision making of their friends and families, playing a large role in their dining choices. Fifty-eight percent of teens and 54% of tweens report that their

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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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C-Store Foodservice Challenges QSRs

“Convenience stores are increasingly falling into the same consideration set as fast-food restaurants,” says Technomic director. As convenience stores continue offering busy consumers more options for meals and snacks, new research by Technomic finds consumers are taking advantage of the expanding foodservice options, many times at the expense of quick-service restaurants. Of consumers polled on

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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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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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Commissary Sales Gaining Momentum

While commissary products are growing in popularity at c-stores, not all retailers are at the same level. Luckily, options abound in ways to integrate commissary products for all quartiles. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Commissaries and a centralized distribution system are becoming more popular across all foodservice segments in both convenience stores and supermarkets as

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