ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. -- Campbell Oil Co., parent of Minuteman Food Mart/Marathon convenience stores, has partnered with Little Caesars on the opening of a new Little Caesars Express unit inside one of its convenience stores in Elizabethtown, N.C.
Last June, Campbell and Little Caesars teamed up to launch the nation’s first Little Caesars Express restaurant inside a c-store in Supply, N.C. By the end of the year, the partners plan to have debuted a total of three new Express units in Brunswick and Horry counties in North Carolina.
Little Caesars Express locations are downsized models of traditional Little Caesars stores. Their menus are limited in scope, but they underscore convenience with the chain’s Hot-n-Ready line of pizzas to go. Also featured are Deep! Deep! Dish pizza varieties, Caesar Wings, Italian Cheese Bread and the brand’s new line of Breakfast Pizzinis.
Little Caesars franchisee Wesley Campbell sees development of the Express model as a strategy that aligns with that of Campbell Oil’s convenience brands. “We strive to provide our guests with excellent customer service and a quality product fast. The partnership with Little Caesars will allow us the opportunity to exceed our guests' expectations in all of these areas,” Campbell said in a press release. “We look forward to servicing Brunswick County with delicious Little Caesars Hot-n-Ready items in the Express grab-and-go format.”
As a service format, grab-and-go concepts like that of Little Caesars Express hold strong appeal among retail foodservice consumers, particularly at convenience stores. Technomic’s most recent data gathered from its Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report found that 58% of retail foodservice customers found grab-and-go to be an appealing service model when they visit.
Also, expansion of grab-and-go helps foodservice programs in c-stores and restaurants strengthen their positioning around snacking occasions – especially among a younger consumer base. Millennials and Gen Z customers are more drawn to grab-and-go foodservice formats that offer some easy flexibility around snacking; 44% of these younger customers said that grab-and-go was their format of choice for midmorning snacks, while 47% said the same about grab-and-go for midday snacks.