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.