5 Chains That Earned Menu-Variety Respect in 2017

Brett Dworski, Associate Editor, CSP Magazine & Convenience Store Products

Rutters Coffee

CHICAGO -- Rutter’s Farm Stores was the highest-rated convenience-store brand in terms of menu variety in 2017, according to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics, powered by Ignite. Based on consumer surveys collected between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017, the data tracked 27 U.S. c-store chains nationwide while offering a look at the top-rated c-store brands in various categories, such as takeout capabilities, staff knowledge, food quality and more.

Here’s a breakdown of 2017’s top players in menu variety and some of the campaigns that helped them earn consumers’ attention ...

Rutter’s Farm Stores: 52.4%

Rutters Food

With more than half (52.4%) of consumers surveyed giving Rutter’s the highest rating in terms of menu variety, the York, Pa.-based chain led the group of 27 chains.

In the fall, Rutter’s offered create-your-own coffee drinks with pumpkin flavoring and marshmallow syrup, as well as pumpkin beer, glazed pumpkin cake doughnuts and molasses cookies. The chain also added turkey burgers to its menu in October, per consumers’ requests for a healthy burger option.

Family Express: 52.0%

Family Express

Indiana’s Family Express c-store chain ranked second, with 52% of consumers giving it the highest rating for menu variety.

Last summer, the Valparaiso, Ind.-based chain released its Unicorn Donut and Triple Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Muffin on its dessert menu. When fall arrived, the chain introduced a new cinnamon-flavored Spiced Apple Cider.

Sheetz: 51.9%

Sheetz food

Sheetz, with an overall score of 51.9%, launched its Farmhouse Chicken Flatbread sandwich, as well as its Kickin’ Chicken breakfast sandwich last March. While both options featured egg whites, chicken sausage and cheese, the Farmhouse came with caramelized onions, and the Kickin’ delivered on its name with habanero peppers. Later in the year, the Altoona, Pa.-based chain introduced its Pumpkin Pie Cold Brew.

Wawa: 49.6%

wawa food

August saw select Wawa—overall score 49.6%—locations release a chopped beef brisket, which came in the form of a sandwich, hoagie or atop mashed potatoes in a Brisket Bowl. The Wawa, Pa.-based chain also launched a Charcuterie Artisan Sandwich, featuring prosciutto, salami and arugula, and a Citrus Berry Twist Smoothie in 2017.

QuikTrip: 46.5%

quick trip kitchen

Late last year, QuikTrip released its BisQT ‘N’ Gravy Bowl, a mixture of pork sausage and a biscuit topped in sausage gravy. The dish won QuikTrip’s social-media campaign, QT Concoctions, where fans shared menu ideas they’d like to see as limited-time offers. The Tulsa, Okla.-based chained earned an CBM score of 46.5%.