Consumers Expect Healthier Food at C-Stores

Posted by Laura Miller on Fri, Oct 09, 2015 @ 07:50 AM

consumers expect healthier foods at cstores

According to the latest issue of NACS magazine, an increasing number of consumers are looking to convenience stores to provide healthy food options. About two-thirds of c-store shoppers strongly desire their favorite store to carry a variety of natural and healthy food products, such as:

  • Foods naturally high in vitamins and minerals
  • Meats and dairy products that are organic and free of hormones and antibiotics
  • Fresh and organic fruits and veggies
  • Locally grown produce

As I write this, I am munching on a bag of almonds because they have a higher amount of fiber, protein, and healthy fats than the bag of Doritos that I found in the next aisle. This is a pretty regular habit of mine and statistics show that I'm not the only one making decisions like this.

According to the Hudson Institute, NMI research shows that...

People are eating healthier than they used to.
76% of convenience store shoppers are eating healthier than they used to vs 66% in 2007.
71% of them believe eating healthy is a vital part of their life, 19% more than in 2007 (52%).

People want the power to choose healthy alternatives.
73% of people are more likely to take whatever means necessary to control their own health. This is a 22% raise since the 51% in 2007.

Healthy snacks are part of a healthy diet.
74% of consumers say they would be interested in snacks that are nutritionally healthy, and 75% agree that snacking can be apart of a healthy diet.

The opinion on convenience stores is changing.
44% of Americans say that convenience stores offer nutritious items, which is a strong jump from 30% in in 2013, according to a NACS Consumer Sentiment Survey in April 2015.

But what about price?
A good example of a c store owner putting heavy focus on healthy food choices is Lonnie McQuirter, co-founder of 36 Lyn, a high functioning 806-square-foot convenience store in Minneapolis. He has chosen to put a large focus on local, organic, and healthier options after finding that those items foster a sense of community and thus have a higher turn rate. He says, "A lot of the items cost less even though they're local. In fact, the fresh produce that we purchase through an organic co-op offers us much lower prices than national brands, about half the price." (Source: NACS Magazine October 2015 Issue)

If you're looking for other changes and predictions for the C-Store industry this year, download our free whitepaper, "2015: Predictions for the C-Store Industry."
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Tags: Convenience Stores