Back-to-School Season Calls for Portable, Packable Foodservice Offerings


With a new school year comes a renewed need for quick meals on the go—not just for students, but for their busy families, too. This is great news for convenience store retailers looking to leverage these occasions to increase foodservice sales, but as labor and supply-chain challenges persist, timesaving strategies can help ensure a successful back-to-school season.

Forecasting foodservice sales

According to Technomic’s April 2022 C-Store Operator Update, 32% of retailers expect to see lunchtime foodservice sales increase more than other dayparts within the next six months, with breakfast following close behind with 31% of retailers expecting to see the most growth at breakfast. Retailers are mostly in agreement when it comes to anticipating possible challenges, but the No. 1 obstacle c-stores cite is labor—specifically, not being able to hire enough workers at store level.

With the back-to-school season likely to usher in a larger volume of foodservice sales at breakfast and lunch in particular, retailers need labor-saving solutions—and, of course, great offerings on the menu—in order to take full advantage.

Picking a product mix

Individually packaged sandwiches for the grab-and-go case or heat-and-eat section can offer a solution to the labor conundrum while also meeting consumers’ top priorities when shopping c-store foodservice. According to Technomic’s Q2 2022 C-Store Consumer Marketbrief, 41% of consumers say they would purchase a sandwich or wrap at the convenience store for lunch at least occasionally.

The convenience and portability of premade sandwiches offers an advantage for retailers and shoppers alike. According to Technomic’s Q2 2022 Marketbrief, the top two reasons consumers cite for purchasing lunch foodservice items at convenience stores are 1) being able to get their food quickly and 2) that food is portable. These attributes are especially important during the school year for consumers commuting or looking for a packable option to enjoy later: Most consumers say they eat c-store lunch purchases in the car, and nearly one in three say they eat their purchases at work or school.

With offerings from E.A. Sween, retailers can enter the new academic year with confidence. E.A. Sween’s Deli Express brand covers all the bases for sandwiches around the clock—from classic deli sandwiches, subs and wedges for the grab-and-go case, as well as hot-to-go breakfast sandwiches and burgers and chicken sandwiches to heat and serve. E.A. Sween’s Market Sandwich line elevates the experience with high-quality meats, cheeses and multigrain bread. Premium breakfast sandwiches, wraps, slider-style sandwiches and more add additional variety to the lineup.

To learn more about how E.A. Sween offerings can make this back-to-school season a success, visit

This post is sponsored by E.A. Sween


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