Harkin back to the days that employee’s uniforms were back & white. Employees all dawned paper hats, a time that the roller grill was introduced and ready-to-eat hot prepared food was introduced in the Convenience store channel. It was a time when the availability of food staples in extended hours of operations drove sales in this dynamic channel. The Convenience store channel continues to be dynamic, currently it is booming in the prepared ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food sector or what I call the grocerant sector. I believe that differentiation does not mean different it means familiar within each food niche and this one is no different. Consumers young and old are demanding more choice, fresher quality and more contemporary food options.
Niche and industry global leader 7-Eleven has left the roller grill at the back door and recently has introduced Stay Fresh Bananas, Pizza, Chicken Wings. They are testing in new pilot stores their “latest insights into market trends to provide a range of 45 freshly prepared food products, including a hot breakfast menu and toasted sandwiches cooked to order.” This test includes a “café-esque range of hot lunch alternatives and will combine with Lavazza to offer barista-made coffee.”
Sheetz & Wawa both offer a full range of prepared food choice including fresh salads and fruit options. Good companies do good things over and over again. Recently Wawa CEO Howard Stoeckel detailed several efforts the convenience store chain is undertaking in during the economic slump the US is in, He stated "we're performing better than the vast majority of retailers," Fresh prepared ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food products are strongly contributing to on-going sales and profit success.
There is a striking overlap in growth of new food products at these three industry leading companies. Lead by consumer research, driven by a strong consumer positive response, I can say we will be seeing less and less of the roller grill in the coming years. Exciting new food options are on there way to the convenience store channel. Let me know what your working on or will introduce next. For a program assessment contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my linkedin profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant .