Just a few weeks after another solid foodservice report at the NACS State of the Industry Summit, 80 retailers and suppliers gathered in Chicago to dive into what drives foodservice success at the inaugural CSP/Winsight C-Store Foodservice Forum.
Notes were taken at a furious pace when Technomic Inc. principal Wade Hanson explored the boom in grocery foodservice, which is projected to see 6.8% real growth this year, vs. just 1% for c-stores. Attendees likewise hung onto every word as consultant Jerry Weiner, former vice president of foodservice for Rutter’s Farm Stores, attempted to put the question of spoilage to rest once and for all. (Spoiler alert: Hit your sales goals, and it will be fine.) And various presenters affirmed the continued dominance of the roller grill within the c-store foodservice portfolio.
What about all the buzz around the decline in traditional c-store foods? “That stuff gets overblown,” said Hanson. “When we talk about elevating c-store foodservice, the consumer is saying we’ve got to make it more interesting.” That means more unique and higher-end items within core categories. Plied with cupcakes and popcorn, attendees delved into topics ranging from roller grills to cage-free eggs and everything in between.