Thanks to busy lifestyles and the desire for quick, easy meals, convenience stores have seen a surge in business. With the quality of their offerings improving, it’s no wonder why consumers are making their local convenience store a go-to spot for food.
The Rise of Convenience Store Foodservice
People have become increasingly time-crunched with work and family obligations, making finding quality, inexpensive grab-and-go meals challenging. However, the convenience store industry is adapting to consumer needs and preferences.
The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) reveals that the number of convenience stores throughout the United States increased by 1.5% in 2022, reversing a four-year decline. A large part of this success is due to the industry’s increased focus on serving fresh food.
How have convenience store foods improved?
Convenience stores have come a long way from offering chips and candy bars. Now, they offer a wide variety of quick meals and snacks that are tasty and affordable.
Some options include prepared meals, salads, sandwiches, and snacks perfect for busy commuters looking for a substantial meal on the go. In addition to these items, shoppers can find meal kits, frozen food options, ready-to-drink beverages, and vegetarian and vegan options.
Benefits of Convenience Store Food
With the increasing number of convenience stores popping up, consumers no longer need to worry about shopping for ingredients or spending hours cooking. Some benefits of convenience store foods are:
#1 – Variety of Options in One Place
Forget about having to settle for one food option that pleases everyone. With convenience stores, there’s something for everyone, even those with special dietary requirements.
Customers can find meal kits for dinner or work lunches, and easy-to-make sandwiches and salads.
#2 – Ease of Packaging
Many convenience stores offer packing that makes eating on the go easy. NCCO offers unique labels and packaging to help consumers quickly read labels, differentiate products, and identify nutrition facts.
#3 – Reasonable Prices
Convenience stores offer discounts and deals all the time, so it’s easy to get great, quality food at reasonable prices. Many also offer loyalty programs with fuel savings and coupons, making convenience store food an excellent deal for budget-conscious shoppers.
The Challenges of Convenience Store Food Service
While foodservice in convenience stores has grown exponentially in the last decade, some challenges are associated with it. NCCO answers to address the top worries of convenience store foodservice providers.
#1 – Food Safety
A top concern of any food business is safety. Convenience stores must adhere to stringent food safety regulations, especially when handling meat and dairy products. By utilizing NCCO’s food safety products, you can help reduce the chances of foodborne illnesses and cross-contamination within your business.
Allergens are another primary concern when making a large amount of food in one location. Our DateCodeGenie® automated labeling system can automatically track menu price, nutritional and allergen information while printing them clearly on a grab-and-go label. Professionally printed labels increase consumer confidence in grab-and-go food offerings.
The Future of Convenience Store Foodservice
Convenience store foodservice is entering a new era, embracing the idea that customers want fresh meals without the inconvenience of going to the grocery store.
This shift offers several benefits for both consumers and businesses. As convenience stores continue to focus on providing fresh products and eliminating food waste, there is no doubt that they will be a go-to destination in the future for delicious and convenient meal options.
Reduce Spoilage with NCCO Foodservice Solutions
NCCO is well-positioned to provide convenience store owners with the resources they need to help them succeed in this new age of foodservice. We offer labeling and packaging solutions that ensure food rotation and reduce spoilage, as well as automated labeling solutions that streamline operations from kitchen to customer.