For businesses, competition is everything. How much so? According to a recent Crayon State of Competitive Intelligence Report, 90% of companies say their industry has become more competitive in recent years. It’s no different for convenience stores. Gone are the days when every store looked virtually the same—2,400 square feet of packaged consumer items, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). For c-stores, where foodservice is always on trend, the way to stand out from the competition—and achieve higher profit margins—is with enlarged and enhanced menus.
The lines between c-stores and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are blurring, encouraging new customers to stop by their local c-store for a meal instead of going to a traditional fast-food restaurant. Data helps tell the story—c-store foodservice sales are growing 19.5% versus overall fast-food gains at just 2.7%. In fact, Datassential’s 2022 Next-Gen C-Stores study even found that 61% of consumers say that the quality of a c-store’s foodservice items is a deciding factor to where they fill up their cars with gasoline. So, for the convenience stores that have expanded and enlarged their menus, foodservice sales are likely soaring.
But what’s the most effective way to boost food choices and court a new customer base? The simple answer: apps and bundles. According to Hershey’s 2021 Proprietary Research on Dessert Delivery and Takeout from Technomic, 52% of consumers order from a foodservice website for pickup or takeout at least once a month. These apps provide a new revenue stream and opportunity for c-stores, where foot traffic is king. With customers already coming to c-stores at high frequencies, these stores can leverage their foot traffic by offering mobile ordering options and meal pickup. Customers come into the store for something else, have placed a mobile order for food before their arrival, and have now been able to eat and shop conveniently all in one location.
The bundle takes it a step further. Perhaps the easiest way to encourage shoppers to purchase an entree, beverage and dessert is by offering them all together. C-stores are already all about convenience, and now they’re adding quality and value into the mix. However, picking the right dessert to bundle is as crucial as the bundle itself. Hershey’s dessert delivery and takeout research found that 80% of consumers would order a chocolate chip cookie or brownie if offered in a combo.
So, with Hershey-branded desserts ordered twice as much as the next closest brand, c-stores can capitalize on that demand for brands—whether inside a combo bundle or offered on a mobile app—to create an elevated foodservice experience resulting in the goal of higher transactions. A new tech-advanced era calls for updated solutions, and one of the best ways to set stores up for success is by bolstering and enriching menu options.
This post is sponsored by The Hershey Company