Canada: Convenience stores shake up canadian foodservice
Consumers in Canada are not only increasingly visiting convenience stores, but they are also purchasing prepared foods and beverages from these locations more often now than two years ago. The reason, according to Technomic’s new 2016 Canadian Convenience Store Foodservice Consumer Trend Report, is due in part to convenience stores’ growing emphasis on their prepared foods programs, particularly improving quality and health perceptions.
“Today’s consumers recognize convenience stores as more of a foodservice destination,” said Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights at Technomic, in a press release. “However, competing more strongly with restaurants will require even greater focus on their prepared foods programs. In particular, highlighting fresh ingredients, menu uniqueness, tech amenities and sustainable practices will be increasingly key for c-stores looking to steal share.”
The report found that 30% of consumers, up from 24% in 2014, say new and unique items would encourage them to purchase convenience store foodservice more often, aligning with the general trend of consumers seeking more differentiated flavors. More consumers now (62%) than in 2014 (56%) visit convenience stores at least once a month for non-coffee beverage-only occasions. Beverage variety is becoming more important as consumers, particularly those between the ages of 18 and 34, seek out non-coffee options.
Thirty-nine percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 prefer convenience-stores to have a modern feel. Sleek designs and dine-in seating areas may help attract younger consumers, who are more likely than older consumers to dine in at convenience stores.
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