Snacking continues to be a popular meal-period option, and with more than three-quarters of convenience store customers visiting to buy snacks, it is crucial that retailers get it right. So what are your customers looking for? According to Technomic’s 2016 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, more than half of consumers say portability is key.
Portability is influenced by size, shape, packaging and ease of purchase. According to NACS, 83% of goods purchased at c-stores are consumed within an hour and an impressive 60% are eaten immediately. What’s more, the top five dessert snacks are all packaged and portable, including cookies, ice cream, brownies, frozen treats and cupcakes, according to Technomic data.
So why not give your customers the kind of quick options they want? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Capitalize on All-Day Breakfast
Portable, packaged breakfast pastries make great grab-and-go snacks throughout the day. Portable baked goods appeal to consumers looking for small, easy-to-eat indulgences. Consider offering items such as Danishes, muffins, cinnamon rolls and bear claws near the register for quick convenience.
Go for Bundles
With more c-stores amping up their coffee programs, packaged snacks (especially premium baked goods) make the perfect complement. Market coffee-and-a-snack deals for all customers, or offer them as a loyalty reward. Some 57% of younger consumers say the availability of breakfast combo meals influences their decision to visit a foodservice establishment, according to Technomic data. Similarly, be sure to merchandise bakery snacks by the coffee bar to increase bundled purchases.
Cater to Hispanics
As the Hispanic population grows, so does the purchasing power of this important consumer group. As this demographic is comprised of heavy c-store users, Hispanic consumers are a big opportunity for c-stores. Offer a selection of packaged authentic Mexican pastries, as Hispanic consumers over-index on c-store bakery items. In fact, while 77% of all c-store foodservice patrons buy bakery items once a month or more, that number jumps to 87% for Hispanics, according to Technomic data.
Consumers are receptive to bold, spicy flavors. Fill the roller grill with flavor-packed global snacks like egg rolls, spicy bread sticks and more. Consider offering an easily accessible line of flavor-packed condiments for hotdogs and other grab-and-go handhelds.
Drink It Up
With more female c-store customers seeking healthy, portable snacks, expect to see a jump in drinkable yogurt sales and other protein-packed drinks. Brands such as Chobani, Dannon and Yoplait all have no-spoon-needed yogurt drinks on the market.
Consumers continue to seek out indulgent snacks. Some 59% of consumers say they indulge when snacking, according to IRI data. Technomic reported that the desire to treat oneself is one of the biggest motivators for snack purchases, second only to hunger. Consumers are likely to purchase indulgent snacks in the afternoon, as studies show consumers are more willing, and more successful, at rationalizing a treat later in the day.
There is an opportunity to maximize indulgent snack sales throughout the day by placing popular impulse items in key positions around your stores. Play up seasonal craveability with holiday treats featuring peppermint or caramel flavors. Look for bite-sized indulgent snacks offered in cups or resealable bags, which are perfectly suited for grab-and-go impulse items.
As snacking continues to grow, and as consumers seek out craveable flavors, the opportunity for boosting snack sales grows, too. Prairie City Bakery has a variety of portable, mouthwatering snacks to entice impulse purchases in your store. For more information, visit Prairie City Bakery here.
This post is sponsored by Prairie City Bakery