“At a time when M&A activity and organic growth are taking c-store operators into new geographies, it’s crucial that retailers and their supplier partners understand the varied preferences and behaviors of consumers across markets and regions,” said Donna Hood Crecca, principal with CSP’s sister research firm, Technomic Inc., Chicago. The No. 1 thing consumers said they want in c-store foodservice is better-tasting food overall.

Seventy-five percent of consumers said better-tasting options would prompt them to purchase foodservice items from convenience stores for dinner more often or for the first time, according to Technomic. Better-tasting options outpaced cleaner stores (73%), higher-quality food (72%), variety (68%) and more in this category. This was especially prevalent among women: Seventy-nine percent said taste is their primary purchase booster, while 71% of men said the same, according to Technomic.

“This suggests that women may have higher standards overall when it comes to what they expect from c-store foodservice,” Technomic said.