As foodservice continues to boom in the convenience-store industry, it’s crucial for retailers to consider new and innovative ways to branch out from their comfort zones. Not only do c-stores compete with other convenience locations, but they compete for share of stomach as well.
Plenty of operators are dedicated to offering food to their visitors, with more than 21% of overall industry sales in convenience stores coming from food and dispensed beverages, according to the NACS 2017 State of the Industry Report. And of these total foodservice sales, the largest chunk of sales (34%) comes from prepared sandwiches, according to Q1 Consulting LLC.
Retailers can capitalize on this growth by focusing on build-your-own options. Consumers in general are struck by desire for customization and often have specific preferences for their sandwich condiments (an easy way you can elevate fresh prepared sandwiches).
In fact, 45% of millennials are willing to try an item or a condiment featuring a new or interesting flavor at a convenience-store prepared-foods area, according to Technomic, and a third of consumers overall want to see more ethnic foods when they go out to eat. These three spicy ethnic sauces are gaining popularity, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, powered by Ignite:
- Harissa: up 20.5% on menus, a North African condiment made from hot chiles, coriander, cumin, garlic, caraway and olive oil.
- Sambal: up 13.3% on menus, a Southeast Asian condiment made from chilies, brown sugar, salt and other ingredients.
- Gochujang: up 128.6% on menus, a Korean sauce made with fermented soybeans, dried chilies, garlic and other seasonings.
Put these sauces to work by crafting these easy, ethnically inspired condiments to elevate your sandwich program:
Mix 2-4 tablespoons of spice per cup of mayonnaise. Spread on the bread before toasting the sandwich for ultimate flavor mingling.
*Pro tip: Serve extra mayo with signature sushi, in wraps or bowls.
Mix 2-4 tablespoons of spice per cup of ketchup. Serve on the side or as a spicy dipper for sliders.
*Pro tip: Repurpose these customized ketchups with spicy roller-grill items.
Whisk harissa, red-wine vinegar, tomato paste, olive oil, salt and pepper together; combine rice vinegar, sambal, Dijon mustard, and vegetable oil; or mix together gochujang, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, olive oil, sesame oil and minced garlic. Drizzle on the cut side of sandwiches featuring crusty bread.
*Pro tip: Use these vinaigrettes in ethnic-inspired salads or as marinades for roasted meats to use in salads, wraps and bowls.
With so many consumers seeking made-to-order, toasted sandwiches at convenience locations, there’s only one oven that can promise both high quantity and ultimate freshness. The Ovention® Shuttle® is a two-in-one oven with high-volume conveyor capability. Save energy by choosing from its two distinct cooking modes, shuttle or conveyor, depending on your production needs. Its closed cavity and Precision Impingement® Technology allow you to deliver a variety of customized orders faster, without compromising taste or quality. See it in action at NACS this Oct. 17-20 at booth 5939 in the South Building. Or connect with Ovention on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
This post is sponsored by Ovention