In a recent presentation at the CARWACS show in Toronto, Convenience Store Guru Hugh Large cited food service offerings as the single largest revenue opportunity for C-stores in North America. Taking many different forms, food service can range from a simple fresh coffee & pastry offering to a complete meal replacement sell.
While meal replacement offerings are relatively new to the convenience store channel, they have existed for many years in grocery retail. The concept is to provide a complete (and healthy) meal solution to the customer that requires minimal preparation time. In today’s hectic world, customers are looking for ways to better manage their schedules without compromise to their (or their children’s) nutritional requirements. Traditional meal replacement offerings have included baked chicken, potato wedges, salads, pastas, and other accoutrements.
By making your convenience store a destination location (a locale intentionally frequented by daily commuters), you create an additional revenue source while increasing the potential for spend in-store (customers looking for meal replacement offerings may also need milk, bread and lottery tickets!)
Fresh or Frozen?
The answer is really both!
Fresh meal options are arguably the most appealing, but shelf life considerations and managing product rotation may have some operators concerned. Frozen entrees offer the longest shelf life possible, but also take more time to prepare at home. For many food offerings however (think pizza, pasta, soups and stews) frozen is the easiest means of presenting a consistent product offering to customers.
Making your food service / meal replacement offering highly visible will be crucial to the success of your program. Consumers need to know it’s there and understand what is on offer before they are likely to partake.
Glass door refrigerated merchandisers are an effective means of both identifying your meal replacement offering (through bright, high visibility backlit signage) and displaying specifically what’s on offer.
Minus Forty offers left and right hand single glass door merchandisers in both cooler and freezer configurations with bright backlit sign displays to ensure your customers are drawn to your food service offering. Paired together (cooler on the left, freezer on the right) you can create the perfect vignette to display your meal replacement offering!
Call Minus Forty today for more information on how to make your meal replacement offering a resounding success!