Foodservice offerings continue to boost cstore traffic: NPD

Foodservice visits increased 2% in the latest measured quarter

Convenience stores (cstores) continue to draw customers in with foodservice items, including beverages and prepared foods. Foodservice visits increased 2% in the three months ending November from the same period last year, according The NPD Group. It recently released key findings from its analysis of traffic counts within the channel.

Spending on foodservice items in cstores rose 8% from last year during the September-October-November period. While units of foodservice products shipped from broadline foodservice distributors to convenience stores increased by 3% from last year, dollars surged 13%, including inflation.

Not surprisingly, the morning meal daypart, including breakfast and morning snack periods, account for 25% of foodservice visits to cstores. This daypart traffic grew by 3% in the quarter ending November and was a significant contributor to visit growth in the same period.

Moreover, the evening snack period grew by 4% in visits year-over-year for the quarter ending November and was also essential to food traffic growth at cstores. Plus, traffic at lunch, typically the most popular daypart for cstores, increased 2% compared to one year ago.

In addition, during dinner, visits increased by 2% from last year for the quarter ending in November. However, the afternoon snack daypart was flat compared to one year ago for the same period.

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Burgers and breakfast sandwiches at cstores remain popular and are ordered throughout the day. Their contribution to growth has been significant. Burgers are a popular cstore foodservice item for lunch, dinner, and the afternoon snack period. Burger servings increased by 12% from last year in the quarter ending November. Servings of prepared breakfast sandwiches, of varying selections, at cstores, increased by 8% from last year.

“Beverage-only orders represent over half of convenience store foodservice visits and drive growth for the channel overall,” reports NPD in a statement.

“Convenience store foodservice is benefitting by more people commuting to and from school and work and generally out and about more,” said David Portalatin, food industry advisor of NPD and author of “Eating Patterns in America.”

He added, “The growth in convenience store foodservice visits is a positive sign for the U.S. foodservice industry overall.”

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