Convenience-store customers are looking beyond flavor, price and speed when it comes to foodservice offerings during the pandemic. As a result, retailers also need to enhance their efforts to provide a clean and safe environment during these times, including implementing polices and procedures to protect the health of their customers and their employees.
According to Technomic’s Q2 2020 C-Store Consumer MarketBrief, 79% of consumers said they expect c-stores to continue focusing on sanitation, and 62% said they would like c-stores to help customers practice social distancing.
The pandemic is also influencing how operators offer prepared foods. Many c-store retailers have sidelined some forms of foodservice, including self-service stations that use shared equipment such as tongs. Instead, prepackaged prepared foods have emerged as the foodservice option of choice for many consumers.
This remains a prime area of opportunity for the c-store segment, which has long been a favored destination for consumers seeking grab-and-go prepared foods. In recent years many operators have enhanced their focus on this area of their business, adding more high-quality prepared-foods to drive increased spending in the store and create a destination for consumers seeking alternatives to typical fast food fare.
More than one in five consumers—22%—purchase grab-and-go foods from c-stores multiple times per week, outpacing the 16% who purchase grab-and-go foods at that frequency at grocery stores, according to research from Datassential.
Operators can capitalize on the grab-and-go foodservice opportunity with offerings that incorporate the quality and convenience these shoppers crave with the right packaging and displays that can help provide the added safety and sanitation they are seeking during the pandemic.
Core-Mark offers turnkey grab-and-go foodservice solutions that are well-suited to the current operating conditions in the c-store environment. Core-Mark’s QuickEats Heat & Eat displays offer customers the option to take their food home and heat it there if they choose, and its QuickEats Hot Takes program allows customers to select items that are hot and ready to eat immediately.
Both combine the convenience of premade foods with the safety of prepackaging and the quality consumers are seeking. They include nationally branded offerings for every daypart in attractive display cases, allowing operators to instantly add a new source of profitable sales that is also a helpful resource for their customers.
Both programs feature equipment that can easily enhance most any location and layout. The The QuickEats Heat & Eat program includes a 3.75-cubic foot countertop cooler, complete with a graphics kit and a stainless steel commercial microwave. The QuickEats Hot Takes warmers, meanwhile, come in either Slim or Wide varieties, along with a warmer surround, pricing kit, product strip and convection oven.
These programs include an assortment of more than 35 individual products, and they are supported by professionally designed point-of-sale and merchandising tools to create awareness among customers and drive sales. Extensive training and support tools ensure the ongoing operation runs smoothly.
Visit Core-Mark today and unlock the potential of grab-and-go foodservice for c-stores.
This post is sponsored by Core-Mark