2020 Foodservice Handbook

2020 Foodservice Handbook

Pandemic Pivots

As the coronavirus pandemic ramped up this spring, it forced operators to rethink their foodservice offer.

2020 Foodservice Handbook

2020 Foodservice Handbook

C-store retailers’ expectations for growth, and their post-pandemic outlook

Many predicted sandwiches and packaged beverages to generate most of their food and beverage profits within the next year.

In the first-quarter 2020 Technomic survey, c-store operators were looking to foodservice suppliers for new concepts and products—as well as items with improved taste, quality and shelf life.

Since it will take months—maybe years—for c-store foodservice to rebound, now is the time for operators to plan their entrance strategy for once the pandemic slows.

C-store retailers were testing both new and traditional operating models to chase growth in the months before the pandemic hit, according to a survey conducted in first-quarter 2020 by CSP with its sister research firm, Technomic.

Although only a minority of c-store operators were stocking CBD-infused beverages, the category continues to grab consumers’ attention.

Before the pandemic, more than half of c-store operators said that minimum-wage requirements were their biggest legislative issue.

Forty-seven percent of independent c-store operators said made-to-order items are extremely likely to play a role in their future foodservice operations, signaling that local, mom and pop shops are looking to compete against major chains in premium foodservice.

While canned or bottled beverages averaged the highest potential in the survey, 50% of convenience-store operators in the 301- to 500-location chain size say CBD-infused beverages have the highest sales growth potential within the next year.