Top Trends for Convenience Store Foodservice
What are your consumers looking for? Healthy or comfort food, small or large portions – check out the list of Foodservice at Retail trends & topics we compiled from the 2011 Foodservice at Retail Exchange (FARE) in Phoenix, Arizona in late June.
- Healthy is here to stay - consumers want options, which are well-balanced and portioned correctly, made with fresh ingredients, and grilled vs. fried. But most importantly they also crave healthy options that have been inspired by creativity and just plain taste good.
- Increased growth in morning & snack meal categories - consumers are time starved and are looking for added convenience and something new in the morning like bacon flights or breakfast tacos. The definition of the snack category has evolved over the years and consumers are looking for something trendy to tie them over like items on a stick for portability or signature entrees options offered as small plates.
- Changing (and very diverse) demographics - baby boomers are still dominating the market place but have more controlled spending unlike Generation Y who are optimists and have looser strings on their wallets. Also, the Asian population continues to rise and they are not afraid to spend money.
- Using technology to connect with your customers - it is no secret the way consumers interact with a brand happens a lot through the Internet, social media and new technology formats. Companies should own their online presence and take advantage of social media to engage with your customers.
- Consumers are seeking authenticity and local - whether it be Thai or Mexican, consumers have the taste buds for something authentic. And if not authentic, they prefer to be eating something locally grown/sourced.
- Food trucks - If your customer can’t come to you, go to your customer. This hot new trend makes it easy for a convenience store foodservice do to just that and easily adds profit to the bottom line.
About FARE: The FARE conference was held by CSPnet and attended by convenience store foodservice and other retail hosts such as college/universities and supermarkets. It was a successful show and provided a chance for food-on-the-go industry leaders to network and learn about trends, challenges and changes facing their industry.
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