High Prices Keeping Consumers Away From C-Store Foodservice

More than half of customers said so, according to Technomic
money on a plate
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO — High prices are keeping consumers away from purchasing food and beverages from convenience stores, according to a new study from CSP’s sister research firm, Technomic.

Fifty-four percent of consumers said they rarely visit c-stores for foodservice items because prices are too high—a 22% increase compared to 2018, according to Technomic’s Q3 2019 C-Store Consumer MarketBrief.

“Data shows an increase in concerns about price, healthfulness and availability of premium items,” Technomic said. “Though a small base size makes this data directional, it may be worth considering how to leverage positive trends in perception of freshness against perceptions of high price.”

Same goes for beer and wine. Sixty-three percent of consumers said prices affect their decision of which convenience store to visit for adult beverage purchases, according to Technomic. This outpaced brand (59%), samplings (45%) and beer selection (44%).

Offering combo meals, limited-time offers (LTOs) and bundles may help reel consumers back in, Technomic said. Sixty-two percent of customers said free items without a minimum purchase would encourage them to purchase retail foodservice items, according to the study. Beyond that, 50% of consumers said the same for buy one, get 50% off discounts, and 53% said the same for both promotional discounts and free items with a purchase.

“Strengthen the overall value proposition of combo meals by marketing strongly around a competitive price point and the ability to satisfy both hunger and cravings,” Technomic said. “Emphasize the hallmark attribute of c-store visits—quick, easy purchases of key categories—in order to stay top of mind for food, beverage and adult beverage purchases.”

Chicago-based Technomic Inc. provides channel-relevant data and strategic insights to food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers and other foodservice organizations. Its services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. The firm is a division of business-to-business information company Winsight LLC, which is also the parent of CSP Daily News.

CSP’s 2020 Convenience Retailing University conference will dig deep into category sales trends and best practices. We’ll also name our Category Managers of the Year. Click here to request an invitation to CRU.


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