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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 12, December 2011, Posted On: 12/5/2011

Technomic: C-Stores Are Taking A Bite Out Of Fast-Food Restaurant Sales

Emily Jed
Technomic, c-store foodservice purchase, convenience story study, c-story customers, Tim Powell, fast-food restaurant, foodservice

CHICAGO -- New research by Technomic suggests consumers are taking advantage of the expanding foodservice options at convenience stores at the expense of quick-service restaurants.

Of 3,755 consumers polled by the Chicago-based researcher on their most recent c-store foodservice purchase, 27% indicated that if they had not bought their meal from the c-store in question, they would have purchased it from a fast-food restaurant. But nearly the same amount said they would have ordered from another convenience store.

"Convenience stores are increasingly falling into the same consideration set as fast-food restaurants," said Technomic director Tim Powell. "This really speaks to the enhanced foodservice offerings in convenience stores, as well as evolving consumer behaviors."

Of consumers who visit convenience stores, 82% said they purchase prepared foods from them at least once a month, while 52% do so at least once per week.

More than one in four consumers (27%) said they purchased an afternoon snack during their most recent visit, while 19% purchased lunch. A significant number (23%) said they only bought a beverage.

Technomic also found that impulse buying plays a big role in convenience store foodservice purchases. Thirty-one percent of c-store foodservice consumers said that seeing an item, which triggered a craving, was the primary motivation for purchasing it.

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