Top 10 C-Store Store Trends to Track During Covid

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C-Store Store Trends Covid

Covid has completely disrupted the foodservice industry, leaving many operators and foodservice owners unsure of what to expect for their operations in 2021 and beyond. It has been difficult to predict how consumer behaviour and preferences have shifted since the pandemic first began, but it is clear that c-store trends are changing quickly.

For franchise operators, understanding the latest c-store trends is essential for success. Whether you are just beginning your business or expanding to new locations, it is important to track key c-store store trends to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant with popular consumer habits. Here are the top 10 c-store store trends to consider when operating during Covid.

1. Online ordering and delivery: Online ordering for delivery quickly became a popular trend during Covid, as many people opted to stay safely at home and order food for delivery from their favourite c-store. This trend is expected to remain strong as consumers become more accustomed to using online delivery platforms.

2. Increased focus on convenience store offerings: C-stores are now competing with other convenience offerings, such as drive-through restaurants and grab-and-go services. To keep pace with these new competitors, c-stores should focus on offering convenience items in addition to their typical offerings.

3. Meal kit offerings: As people look for convenient ways to prepare home-cooked meals, meal kits that include pre-made ingredients have become popular. C-stores can capitalize on this trend by offering their own meal kits or partnering with food delivery services.

4. Prepared meal offerings: In addition to meal kits, c-stores are meeting customer demand with prepared meals. Offering pre-made meals for customers to heat up and enjoy at home can be an advantageous way to differentiate from other stores and keep customers coming.

5. Healthy eating options: While convenience is still a priority for many consumers, many are increasingly looking for healthier options. C-stores should focus on offering healthier options such as organic produce, fresh salads, and vegan offerings in order to meet customer demand.

6. Meal customization: Customers are looking for more customizable offerings and c-stores can capitalize on this by offering DIY kits for customers to customize their meals.

7. Specialty beverages: Customers are becoming more adventurous with their beverage choices and c-stores can offer non-alcoholic options such as cold-brew coffee, kombucha, and bubble tea.

8. Technology advances: Technology advancements can help c-stores improve efficiency, speed up checkout times, and provide a more personalized shopping experience. New technologies such as digital signage, automated checkout lines, and mobile order apps can make the shopping experience easier for customers.

9. Expanded produce offerings: Offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can differentiate a c-store, as many shoppers are looking for healthier and more convenient produce options.

10. Locally sourced products: Many people are looking for locally sourced products that support their local economy. By offering locally sourced products, c-store operators can appeal to customers who are looking for a more socially-responsible shopping option.

C-store trends are changing rapidly during Covid and it can be difficult to keep up. By using the top 10 c-store trends outlined in this article, franchise operators can track these trends and adjust operations accordingly. By understanding and leveraging the latest c-store trends, franchise operators can remain competitive and successful in 2021 and beyond.