C-Store Menu Trends: Evaluating Pros & Cons

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C-Store Menu Trends

It’s no secret that convenience store menu trends are changing in the U.S., as operators increasingly look for ways to turn the traditional c-store into a food destination. As consumers look for convenience and on-the-go meals they can trust, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of such a dynamic and competitive market.

To illustrate the complexities and nuances of the c-store landscape, let’s first take a look at the scale of the convenience store market. At the end of 2018, there were an estimated 154,958 convenience stores in the U.S., selling a wide array of products and services ranging from gasoline to prepared food.

The demand for convenience store menu items is on the rise. According to data from Brizo, more c-stores are offering hot foods such as pizza and sandwiches, as well as a variety of cold foods and snacks. In fact, 57% of convenience stores offer hot food, while only 20% offer cold.

When evaluating the c-store menu trends, it is essential to consider the cost and risks of offering a broad selection of food items. Prepared food has higher associated costs, which must be considered when calculating margins and profits for the store. In addition, prepared food may require additional storage and preparation space.

Another factor to consider for c-store operators is the concept of food safety and quality. As the demand for convenience store menu items rises, there is an increased risk of food-borne illness which could lead to customer dissatisfaction and potentially liability issues. It’s important for operators to develop robust food safety and handling protocols and to ensure their suppliers are compliant as well.

Finally, it’s important for operators to consider the logistics of their c-store menu. It’s important to understand the specific needs and preferences of their local consumers to ensure that the items offered are in line with customer expectations. For instance, a c-store in a rural area may have different menu items than one located in an urban center.

Overall, c-store operators must be mindful of the potential risks as well as the financial and customer satisfaction opportunities that come with expanding their menus. With the right tools and resources, c-store operators can ensure that their stores remain successful and competitive in their local markets.