CHICAGO -- Pizza is not only a leading menu category in the restaurant space, it's also a winner in convenience stores. Data from Technomic's Convenience Store MarketBrief shows that pizza is the top hot-food choice, according to the 50% of consumers who purchase pizza from a c-store for lunch and the 49% who say they purchase pizza from a c-store for dinner.
That data is a fairly significant vote of confidence from the consumer, as a sizeable proportion of those surveyed by Technomic clearly see c-stores as destinations for their favorite pizza. However, the latest findings from Technomic's new study on convenience-store pizza, the Q3 2017 Convenience Store MarketBrief, powered by Ignite, uncovers several deterrents that are keeping customers from purchasing pizza from a c-store. One-third (33%) of consumers who visit c-stores say they never purchase pizza when they're in the store, choosing to patronage fast-food restaurants (74%), traditional supermarkets (42%) and full-service restaurants (33%) for this food item instead.
What's holding these customers back from c-store pizza programs? Click through for the top three barriers c-stores might be encountering as they reach for this customer ...
1. Increase customer awareness
The top reason these customers don't buy c-store pizza? They just don't think of it.
Of all responses measured, this sentiment came out on top. More than a quarter of consumers (27%) said that c-store pizza is not top of mind for them. Because it's not within their consideration set, they simply don't purchase it.
More aggressive, visible messaging around pizza will better position retailers to win share of stomach from restaurants.
2. Up the value proposition
Almost one-fourth of these consumers (24%) also say that they never buy c-store pizza because it's too expensive. This perception is likely not just about your pizza's price point, it's tied to how the customer is weighing the offering's overall value.
Strengthen the value equation of pizza programs by rotating limited-time flavors and offering bundled deals with beverages and seasonal specials for a low price.
3. Build a true quality narrative
Just more than one-fifth of c-store consumers (22%) say that they never buy c-store pizza because the quality is poor.
In addition to generally increasing customer awareness, make quality a central part of the message. This means spelling out what quality specifically means and executing on it in a way that is provable and immediately recognized by the customer. Whether quality means dough and other ingredients delivered fresh every day or all-natural, real cheese and meat, a marketing message that directly speaks to a higher level of food integrity, freshness and taste will do more to satisfy this particular customer's expectations.