Category Management Handbook

Foodservice Update: Viva Variety

Variety in prepared foodservice is providing growth opportunities as c-store retailers expand beyond traditional staples.

According to second-quarter 2016 figures from Technomic’s MenuMonitor c-store database, which features menus from 40 retailers in the United States:

  • The number of c-store retailers in the database o ering salads on their menus jumped 20%, while the number of salad entrées on menus rose 
  • Pork dishes grew by 8% in menu incidence, and nearly 7% more retailers added them to their menus.
  • The number of pizza o erings on menus fell nearly 6%, with the number of c-store retailers offering the item dropping almost 16%.
  • Sandwiches, available on more than half of the menus, rose in number by 4%, even as the number of retailers o ering them fell slightly. Sandwich prices grew 5%.

On the dispensed-beverage side, lattes made their debut on many c-store retailers’ menus in the second quarter. Menu incidence for the coffee beverage jumped 53%, while the number of retailers offering it rose 18%.

Foodservice Entrées

Nearly 54% of entrées in c-store menus in Technomic’s MenuMonitor were sandwiches in second-quarter 2016 (entrée distribution). Thirty-five of the 40 operators in the database, or more than 92%, offered sandwiches (operator penetration).

foodservice sales

Source: MenuMonitor Q2 2016, Technomic

“We’re seeing a tandem focus among c-store retailers strategizing around new better for-you meal options while also elevating legacy categories such as the roller grill. Breakfast continues to be a crucial category for the segment: It’s the most frequented day-part among c-store foodservice customers, according to Technomic, and it’s both the day-part and the menu category with the highest sales growth potential, according to retailers in our State of Foodservice Study.

“Along with technology and engagement, nurturing the growing love from millennials and Gen Z will be a theme we’ll keep hearing about. But above all, c-stores need to keep pushing to get into the consumer decision-making process. There’s still a large segment of consumers who don’t even think to go to a c-store for a meal; we have to keep pushing against that with strong marketing outside the four walls of the store.”

—Aimee Harvey, CSP Kitchen editor

View the full 2016 Category Management Handbook

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Looking Up: Limited-Time Offers on the Rise

These deals continue to grow in all mealparts, Technomic reports show

Company News

Knowing Growing: QuikTrip Flexes in 2023

C-store chain celebrates 1,000th opening, opens 13th medical clinic, more


Get Creative in Foodservice to Thrive in 2024, Technomic Says

Report: Operators must lean into tech, menu and service innovation, take advantage of existing ingredients and resources


More from our partners