Foodservice: Traffic & Menu Trends 2014

By 
Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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Foodservice Traffic Growth

Convenience stores have been the best performing segment over the past three years, increasing traffic each year, according to The NPD Group.

Segment 2011 2012 2013
C-stores 3% 2% 1%
QSRs 1% 1% 0%
Food/drug 0% -1% 0%

Source: The NPD Group/CREST


Distribution of Day-Part Traffic: C-Stores vs. QSRs vs. Retail

Year ending December 2013

QSR and food/drug segments won this past year with the morning meal, while c-stores performed well at lunch, according to NPD. Snacking was strong for both QSR and c-stores.

Day-part Share of traffic PCYA
C-stores    
Morning meal 33% -1%
Lunch 19% 5%
Supper 6% -2%
P.M. snack 42% 3%
QSRs    
Morning meal 22% 4%
Lunch 36% -1%
Supper 29% -1%
P.M. snack 13% 1%
Retail    
Morning meal 19% 11%
Lunch 29% -3%
Supper 22% -3%
P.M. snack 30% -1%

Source: The NPD Group/CREST


Pizza and Chicken Menu Importance

Year ending December 2013

When comparing c-stores to QSR and food/drug segments, retail establishments continue to lag behind QSRs with pizza. However, chicken at food/drug stores is almost on par with QSR.

Food type Percent of meals/snacks that include the item
C-stores  
Pizza 3.3%
Chicken 5.7%
Food/Drug  
Pizza 3.6%
Chicken 18.0%
QSR  
Pizza 10.4%
Chicken 20.6%

Source: The NPD Group/CREST


Cross-Category Opportunity

According to research by Management Science Associates that examined retail point-of-sale data at three midsize c-store chains, stores with a foodservice program sell 2% more packaged beverages and salty snacks than those without, and see about a 13% increase in total store sales.

Overall, 82% of foodservice baskets included items from other categories. (This compares to baskets with tobacco, only half of which include items from other categories.)

The top five items included in a foodservice basket, according to the MSA retail POS analysis: perishable grocery, potato chips, ready-to-eat meals, tortilla ships and flavored milk.

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