In-Store SOI Data 2016: Foodservice

On a trailing 36-month basis, foodservice sales are up 29 points, with food leading the charge.

“A few years ago, dispensed beverage was driving this category,” said Andy Jones, president and CEO of Sprint Food Stores, Augusta, Ga. “But it’s great to see now prepared and commissary are doing the work and carrying the load.”

Every subcategory of foodservice grew sales and gross-profit dollars in 2015 except for frozen-dispensed beverages, according to NACS SOI data. Prepared food brought in the highest sales and profits, while hot-dispensed beverages led for the liquid side of the menu.

Commissary showed the greatest growth sales and gross-profit dollars, up by double digits. Jones credited innovation, better quality and improved packaging for packaged sandwiches as the drivers.

With this success, however, comes challenge—in this case, from quick-service restaurants (QSR).

“They’re noticing our increases, so now we have a target on our back,” Jones said. QSRs are not only going after c-stores’ coffee and breakfast business, but also copying from their pricing playbook (e.g., two for $2). “We trained millennials to shop this way.”

But two channels can play at this game. Some QSRs have begun offering a big array of sauces for their food, giving consumers a way to customize.

“This is something we’ve been doing with coffee for years,” said Jones. “Now QSRs are doing it with food. This is something we can copy from them.”