As inter-day meals and all-day snacking become more prevalent, watch for more bakers and snack producers to tap into the c-store channel as their new growth vehicle. Made-to-order deli sandwiches, which carry a nice-sized margin, are becoming more common.
That’s what we reported five years ago, and if you got into the market back then, business should be very, very good for you right now. That’s because c-store sales grew for the 17th consecutive year in 2019, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (N.A.C.S.).
Three in four c-stores saw increased in-store sales, and food service along with better-for-you foods are driving the market. N.A.C.S. reported that 45% of those surveyed mentioned that breakfast is their biggest opportunity in 2020, compared with 26% who said lunch and 23% who said dinner.
Not surprisingly CNN Business recently touted Sheetz and Wawa, which pioneered the move to food service in c-stores, as “America’s new favorite restaurants.” And it’s a perfect fit for those on-the-go consumers who are 30 and under who have always been the core consumer for c-stores. Why make a second stop to Starbucks, McDonald’s or even Panera Bread when the gas station has everything you want — even BFY offerings — for a quick bite?
For bakers, it’s a perfect time to partner with their c-stores to customize new sandwich carriers filled with fiber, ancient grains and even protein. Sure, we also reported that five years ago, but it’s not too late to get on the bandwagon. However, if you think you’re jumping on a horse that nobody else is riding, sorry to report, it left the barn a few years ago.