The U.S. Hispanic population grew by 23% to 62.1 million over the last decade, but Latinx consumers are not the only ones to enjoy burritos, tacos and nachos.
Sales of Mexican-style foods continue to increase in convenience stores, a trend that is largely driven by millennial and Gen X customers, according to Eric Dzwonczyk, co-leader of the restaurant, hospitality practice at AlixPartners, a New York-based research firm.
Dzwoncyzk quoted AlixPartners’ “Mexican and Latin Foods for C-Stores,” February 2022 report that predicted the global burritos market size has the potential to grow by $1.44 billion from 2021-2025 and the market’s growth momentum to accelerate over the forecast period. The nachos market share is expected to increase by $1.55 billion from 2021-2026, and the market’s momentum will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate of 5.43%.
“These foods make a lot of sense for convenience stores because they can be premade or customized, lend themselves to innovative preparations and fit perfectly across all meal and snack occasions,” he said. “I’m curious to see if these now-familiar foods will open the door for other Latin American fare in the American market.”
In the western U.S., burritos, tacos and nachos are not considered Hispanic food, said Kyle Lore, corporate chef with Maverik convenience stores, which has locations in 12 western states. These items are so ingrained in the western culture that they are regarded as “regional food.”
“Burritos are the core of our foodservice program across all meal and snacking dayparts,” he noted.
Maverik’s menu features six or seven different varieties of burritos and four or five varieties of tacos. Maverik also offers four types of nachos and filled mini tacos, one of the stores’ most popular snacks. In the summer, he plans to introduce some limited-time offers.
Customers can find their favorite burritos, tacos and nachos as grab-and-go offers, or have them made to order with any of the fillings available on the menu. Grab and go are the most popular.
“Burritos, in particular, will continue to increase in sales in our stores because they are a really good value offering,” Dzwoncyzk pointed out. “We make them fresh in-house, we use really good ingredients and put them on short hold times.”
Six out of seven of the top-selling items all day are from the Hispanic category. Breakfast is prime time for burritos and enjoyed “good solid growth” even during the pandemic, he said.
Roughly half of Maverik’s 386-plus stores (slated to hit 400 this year) offer Hispanic foods. Lore said the chain is planning to introduce its Hispanic offerings in more of its stores.