Bakers should take closer look at c-stores

by Dan Malovany
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While many premium sweet goods purchases occur at restaurants, in grocery stores or supermarket in-store bakery, convenience stores are starting to step up as a new channel for this category as well as for baked goods in general.

“There is a transition going on with convenience stores,” said Tim Kanaly, division president for Legendary Baking, based in Denver. “They’re trying a lot of things to differentiate themselves. They’re more into restaurant quality foods. It’s more than grilled hot dogs.”

By offering more foods typically served as meals, such as sandwiches, instead of only snacks, c-stores have begun competing with quick-service restaurants. As well as more hefty meal options, Mr. Kanaly observed that c-stores have become a big outlet for single-serving frozen desserts. Bread and roll producers have targeted this market with individually wrapped hot dog buns and even artisan bread.

This new push to offer more substantial food offers bakers a new frontier for expanding their sales in 2014.

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