Consumers routinely visit c-stores to source their everyday favorite food or drink. The lure of a signature food or familiar flavor is essential for retailers to continue capturing repeat visitation. However, to pull in new customers—and delight frequent guests—it’s important for c-stores to shake things up every now and then.
Nearly seven out of 10 foodservice consumers (69%) recently told Chicago-based Technomic that menu variety is an “important” or “extremely important” factor in their decision to purchase prepared foods from a retail location. And according to Technomic’s latest Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite, a third of consumers (33%) say they’d buy more retail prepared foods if stores “improve variety.”
Consumers have a pretty solid idea about which c-store chains are getting ahead of this demand and providing the variety they’re looking for. Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics collected consumer surveys of 27 U.S. c-store brands throughout 2017, offering a look at the top-rated c-store brands in various categories, including menu variety.
Here’s a breakdown of the results, revealing the top five chains that scored highest on variety. Judging from these chain’s rollouts, it appears that limited-time offers (LTOs), seasonal promotions and responding to consumer ideas are core strategies c-stores are using to keep things interesting.