7-Eleven, Wawa Top C-Store Foodservice Ratings

Technomic evaluates leading convenience store chains' prepared-foods programs

7-Eleven Wawa

CHICAGO -- 7-Eleven leads all convenience store chains measured for foodservice patronage and Wawa leads for its food and beverages, according to a Technomic study of what consumers look for in c-store foodservice.

"Due to location and speed of service, c-stores are always going to be a dining option," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic. "Recently, however, we've seen a concerted effort to improve the quality of food and service provided at these locations. If c-stores can continue enhancing these areas, they can look to drive traffic from restaurants."

Technomic surveyed an online panel of more than 4,000 c-store shoppers to gain consumers' insights and help operators and suppliers better understand factors driving c-store foodservice buying behavior.

The survey, presented in Technomic's Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM): Convenience Store Shopper Insights Report includes operator brand data and consumer assessments of their most recent prepared-foods purchase at one of 21 leading c-store chains. Highlights from the report include:

Dallas-based 7-Eleven topped the ratings measured by foodservice patronage, Technomic said. Two-fifths (39%) of c-store foodservice users have purchased a foodservice item from 7-Eleven in the past two months.

Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa's food and beverage earned the highest ratings. Wawa's program received the highest composite scores across 11 food and beverage attributes, such as food quality, foodservice variety and the craveability of its menu items.

QuikTrip, Sheetz, Stripes and Kwik Trip also earned high marks from consumers for these attributes.

Food quality and taste are just as important as convenience. Nine out of 10 c-store foodservice users say the quality and taste of the food are among the important factors when deciding which convenience store to visit. A comparable number assigned similar rankings to pleasant, friendly service and a convenient location.

C-stores are driving traffic from restaurants, especially quick-service restaurants (QSRs). A third of consumers (34%) say they would have visited a restaurant if they had not purchased prepared foods from a c-store on their most recent visit; 26% say they would have visited a fast-food restaurant.

The Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM): Convenience Store Shopper Insights Report measures foodservice experiences at leading c-store chains on approximately 50 attributes in the following categories: food and beverage, value, service and hospitality, unit appearance and ambiance and convenience. The report allows companies to better assess their brand position regarding foodservice and store attributes, visit satisfaction, customer loyalty and brand perception.

Chicago-based Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights, consulting support, publications, proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.