Convenience stores; The hidden fast food player.

melbourne branding
Consumer trend breathes new life into the Servo pie.

Anyone who owns or manages a cafe, restaurant or fast food business knows how tough the market is. Over the last decade the way people eat has changed dramatically with out of home eating (including delivery) set to eclipse in home dining. Delivery has had a significant impact on eating habits and margins for hospitality businesses. But it’s not only delivery that is leading customers away from their traditional eating places.

In a world-wide trend, it turns out that convenience stores have also become fast, casual dining destinations for their own ‘convenience market’ with food service now making up around 23% of sales. We see the same trend playing out in Australia with brands such as 7-11 evolving their food offer to take a bite out of the segment.

“Convenience retailers with compelling food service programs are a growing threat to quick service restaurants,” said Frank Beard from GasBuddy, an app that connects drivers with convenience stores in the USA. GasBuddy surveyed more than 500 of their customers and found 56% purchased meals at least once per month at petrol station convenience stores. Their study also found 25% of those aged 30-44 purchased food five or more times per month. “Data shows that people choose convenience stores over fast food locations because of the convenience of an all-in-one stop for fuel and food, followed by a preference for the taste of the food at convenience stores” Beard said. The study found that one in four Americans spent $6-10 per week on convenience store food, with around 20 percent of Americans aged 18-29 spending $10-15 per week.

This shift in consumer behavior reminds us that no matter which category you operate in, the ground is constantly shifting. New competition can come from any direction and even be hiding in plain sight.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pics from Ruby Khoesial on Unsplash


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