CStore Decisions March 2022 Digital Edition is sponsored by Apter Industries.
CStore Decisions examines data and emerging trends across 38 core c-store categories.
After two full years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent omicron variant surge, uncertainty along with supply chain issues and labor shortages remain, yet convenience store retailers are cautiously optimistic about what 2022 has in store.
A number of categories have recovered from pandemic lows, while some that enjoyed a robust pandemic boost — like alcoholic beverages — have stabilized.
Customer preferences are shifting as Generation Z comes of age, and c-stores are incorporating growing trends like flavored and plant-based milks and functional beverages, while continuing to execute on traditional c-store products.
On the food front, retailers are expanding menus with help from chicken’s versatility and healthier items, including wraps as sandwich carriers to appeal to carb-counting customers.
As COVID-19 lingers, retailers continue to put sanitary precautions into place, including at the dispensed beverage section, with items such as tissues and gloves for customers to make self-serve safer, along with additional cleaning protocols.
As out-of-stocks continue for many categories, retailers are plugging new and ancillary products into open spots, giving new brands and products an opportunity to wow customers.