Convenience store retailers are optimistic about their future, despite increasing competition from quick-service restaurants, according to data collected by their industry group. In a survey released in June by the National Assn. of Convenience Stores (NACS), more than eight in 10 retailers said that they were optimistic about their business in the third quarter of 2015. And 82% said that in-store sales were higher in the first half compared with the first half of 2014.
The report offered some interesting insights into the convenience store industry, For instance, 70% of those surveyed said they are optimistic about food sales, despite competition. That’s because convenience stories have a greater ability to customize food offerings, compared to restaurants.
Many also said they are selling more better-for-you items, such as trail mix and nuts; healthy bars; yogurt (80% sell it); and string cheese. Many said they are adding more bars and yogurt, as well as fresh food items such as packaged salads and cut fruits and vegetables.
Earlier this year NACS reported that more than a third of American consumers have purchased more healthy-type snacks from convenience stores over the past year. And more than 60% of consumers think that the stores are a place to find them. “Sixty-one percent say that convenience stores are offering healthier, nutritious products and serving sizes,” the organization stated in a press release.
According to the association, U.S. convenience store sales reached $213.5 billion in 2014.