According to The NPD Group, visits to convenience stores for foodservice items, like beverages and prepared foods, were up two percent in the three months ending November compared to a year ago. Consumer spending on foodservice menu items at convenience stores was up eight percent for the combined months of September, October and November versus a year ago. Units and dollars of foodservice products shipped from broadline foodservice distributors to convenience stores increased by three percent and 13%, respectively, compared to a year ago.
The breakfast and morning snack periods, or morning meal daypart, which accounted for almost 25% of foodservice visits to convenience stores, grew traffic by three percent and was a key contributor to total visit growth in the most recent quarter ending November. The evening snack period, which increased by four percent, was also vital to foodservice traffic growth at convenience stores during the period. Traffic at lunch, typically most popular for convenience store foodservice, was up two percent compared to a year ago. At dinner, foodservice visits also increased by two percent year-over-year. Traffic at the afternoon snack daypart was flat compared to a year ago.
Beverage-only orders represent over half of convenience store foodservice visits and drive growth for the channel overall. However, the popularity of burgers and breakfast sandwiches ordered at convenience stores throughout the day has also spurred growth. Burgers are a popular convenience store foodservice item for lunch, dinner, and the afternoon snack period. Burger servings increased by 12% in the quarter ending November compared to a year ago. Servings of different varieties of prepared breakfast sandwiches from convenience stores increased by eight percent over a year ago.
“Convenience store foodservice is benefitting by more people commuting to and from school and work and generally out and about more,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “The growth in convenience store foodservice visits is a positive sign for the U.S. foodservice industry overall.
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