Customers are starting to demand more authenticity when it comes to Hispanic food offerings at c-stores.
Hispanic food offerings have become very popular in c-stores because they allow customers to customize their meal. For instance, customers can add different meats, cheeses and toppings to their tacos and burritos. However, customers are starting to want more of an authentic style of Hispanic food, including street tacos and different varieties of salsa. The authentic food offering allows customers to still customize their food while getting the real experience of Hispanic cultural cuisine.
“Overall, customers prefer portable offerings from c-stores and are increasingly looking for customization,” said Stephen Davis, senior specialist at market research firm Datassential. “This makes some Hispanic and Hispanic-inspired offerings a good fit, including burritos’ and taquitos’ portability, and tacos’ or nachos’ customizable options.”
Datassential also stated in its “2023 C-Store Keynote Report” that 50% of customers that enter a store want customizable burritos and tacos assembled to order.
Variety & Authenticity
One c-store that has its foot in the Hispanic foodservice category is Kwik Stop, which has 27 locations in Nebraska and Colorado. Kwik Stop offers a variety of Hispanic foods, including its Krispy tacos, chicken soft-shell tacos and burritos.
Along with Datassential, Kwik Stop also sees a demand for more customizable and authentic Hispanic foods.
“In the marketplace we are seeing the Hispanic food market changing from the traditional crispy corn-shell tacos and soft flour tortilla-shell tacos to a street taco variety utilizing small corn tortillas,” said M. David May, director of food services for Kwik Stop. “With this, customers are looking for a variety of meats beyond the traditional ground beef or fajita chicken to include barbacoa, chorizo and carne asada.”
With the high demand for more authentic Hispanic foods, Kwik Stop is coming out with new menu items to meet those demands and keep customers coming to its stores.
“Customers are looking for a more authentic Hispanic food vs. the Tex-Mex option,” said May. “So in 2023, we will be launching a street taco program to add additional options. In 2022 we added a chorizo breakfast burrito, fried chicken tacos and fried chicken burritos, which have been a big hit in our Hispanic food offerings.”
Even though, due to inflation, 2022 was a rough year for Hispanic food offerings at Kwik Stop, 2023 is looking a little brighter.
“For 2022, our revenue from our Hispanic foodservice program was flat due to the inflationary pressure that we experienced,” said May. “With the reduction in prices, we will see sales grow by 10% to 15% in 2023.”