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A recent CSPnet.com report states that c-stores are lagging behind fast-food eateries when it comes to lunchtime sales, and according to a report by market researcher and consultant, The Hartman, Group, c-stores need to rethink their offerings to make more mid-day meal sales.
The Nov. 12 report states, "...c-stores can begin to rival the fresh, healthy and convenient options offered by Chipotle, Subway, Starbucks and Panera Bread. To do so, they need to think beyond "pre-wrapped sandwiches to items that are still quick and easy but also appeal to consumers as higher quality and more flavorful. Many still feature pre-wrapped sandwiches in unexciting flavors and a rotating rack of hot dogs."
The Hartman Group stated that c-stores don't have to offer overly elaborate food itembs, but instead smaller, portable and simple foods.
"As quick-serve outlets dominate the sandwich scene, consumers look to c-stores for snacks but not lunch, according to The Hartman Group," the report stated. "Consumers think fast-food restaurants offer tastier options, it said. When flavor is an important consideration, 42 percent of people look to quick-serve outlets, while 31 percent look to c-stores. ...The perception of meals must be perceived as more fresh and healthful — all the more a challenge given that these chains have added fresh, healthier options themselves. C-stores can replicate the models of the other channels, for example, by making food preparation more transparent, in front of customers--thus conveying the notion of freshness. The ability to customize food orders for patrons would also help the c-store cause."
To read the full report, click here.