Unique Food Options Help Convenience Stores Differentiate Themselves From the Competition


In today’s fast-paced world, consumers are seeking convenient meal options that are quick, delicious, and suitable for both on-the-go and at-home consumption. Consumers are busy, and increasingly finding they have less time (and energy) to prepare a meal.

According to the 2022 C-Store Market Annual Report from Technomic, the number of consumers who prefer prepared foods from convenience stores has seen a significant increase. From April to October 2022, the percentage rose from 35% to 45% among surveyed consumers. Additionally, more than half of consumers–64%—said they purchase foodservice items once a week or more.

Core-Mark understands the evolving needs of consumers and helps retailers serve up total convenience and variety by offering distinctive food programs that appeal to customers who are looking for a more substantial meal. Designed to meet convenience demands with a commitment to a customer-focused approach, the company’s turnkey, one-stop-shop foodservice programs allow c-store retailers to offer craveable meals and fresh food options across all dayparts. Each food program offers differentiation from other c-stores with their access to nationally recognized restaurant brands, private label options and unique flavor profiles.

Meeting retailers where they are

Core-Mark’s easy-to-implement programs provide prepared food service solutions regardless of c-store capabilities. Customized programs help retailers enter and grow their foodservice solutions and maximize sales. Whether stores are just entering the foodservice game or only have basic foodservice program needs (entry level); or they’re looking to take the next step in foodservice with more complex intermediate programs (intermediate level); or there’s already an established image in foodservice with a desire to expand further (advanced level), Core-Mark can provide solutions that meet retailers where they are with their foodservice needs

Distinctive food programs

According to Technomic’s 2022 C-Store Foodservice Translating Trends Study, consumers said that c-stores should offer more prepared foods made with unique ingredients. Core-Mark can meet consumer demands with its Fresh Take and grab-and-go offerings. The company’s food programs help c-stores stand out from other stores and compete with local restaurants, fast-casual, casual dining and quick-service. Expanded programs are also available for beverages.

Foodservice programs that can compete

C-store foodservice consumers—particularly younger patrons—are demanding fresh/prepared foods, according to Technomic’s 2022 C-Store Foodservice Translating Trends Study.

Core-Mark’s Fresh Take program partners with Fresh & Ready Foods® to stock fresh sandwiches, salads and snacks for easy grab-and-go meals. Deli 55 has made-to-order and grab-and-go options, including freshly made signature sandwiches, hearty soups, salads and other deli offerings such as paninis, burgers and, of course, hot dogs—which are the most widely offered roller grill item in c-stores, with 96% of stores offering them, according to Ignite menu data.

Many c-stores also offer a wide variety of hot case items, with pizza being one of the items leading the way. Of the warm/hot case items offered, 64% of convenience stores offer pizza, according to Technomic’s October 2022 C-Store Operator Update. Core-Mark’s Red Seal Pizza partner program offers high quality food and toppings that stand apart from the competition. The program offers customizable foodservice options and keeps meals fast and simple with par-baked crusts that workers simply need to sauce, cheese, top and bake.

Core-Mark’s additional food products include distinctive, branded programs with food options from Southern fried chicken and classic barbecue choices, to Latin-inspired foods and more:

  • Perfectly Southern is a full turnkey, one-stop shop that provides flexibility, low cost of entry and marketing support.
  • TruQ BBQ offers items such as pulled pork, pulled chicken, beef brisket and smoked sausage. Step-by-step recipes keep preparation simple and labor costs low.
  • Contigo has Latin cuisine on the menu, and serves up items such as tacos, burritos, bowls, quesadillas and salads. 

Unique and enticing food options are key drivers for c-store customers, and help differentiate retailers from their competitors, which boosts sales. By offering consumers a variety of meal choices, c-stores can become the go-to food destination for busy families, effectively competing with nearby stores and quick service restaurants.

For more information about Core-Mark’s innovative food solutions and to explore opportunities, visit

This post is sponsored by Core-Mark


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