Today’s Convenience Store: More Than Just a Gas Station
When’s the last time you stepped into a convenience store? You might be surprised at what you find. The “C” in convenience can also stand for Communities they support and the Choices they offer.
Below are six surprising revelations about today’s convenience stores, provided by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS):
- Serve Meals. Many stores offer hot meals prepared to order—such as sandwiches, wraps, pizza and even gourmet fare. And, of course, they offer grab-and-go snacks and meals in a cup, whether yogurt, fruit or veggie cups or other portable snacks. Your car’s cup holder can serve as a dinner plate!
- Offer Healthy Options. While you’ll find indulgent treats inside convenience stores, you may be surprised to find most stores include an open-air cooler stocked chock full of fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurt, cheese and other healthy options. NACS partners with leading food and nutrition groups to increase the variety of healthier options in stores, like the Partnership for a Healthier America.
- Care About the Earth. Admit it, you empty the trash from your car into the convenience store trash can when you fuel up. (70% of Americans say they do.) Convenience stores are looking to play a larger role in litter management, including a new partnership with Keep America Beautiful.
- Partner with their Communities. NACS member companies collectively contribute nearly $1 billion a year to charities, and 64% support five or more nonprofits in their communities. In addition, earlier this year, NACS announced a major partnership with The American Red Cross to facilitate member contributions to disaster relief efforts, especially related to this year’s hurricanes.
- Save You Time. Whether it’s fuel, food and drinks or access to cash—one third of the country’s ATMs are at convenience stores—convenience stores provide speed of service. A NACS study found that it takes customers, on average, 3 minutes and 33 seconds from the time they leave their cars until the time they get back in their cars with a purchase.
- Sell Cool Stuff. Convenience stores are a perfect place to try new food and drink items. You don’t need to buy something in bulk—just grab it and try it. At the annual NACS Show in October, hundreds of new products launched. Here are some hot trends:
- Alternative snacks like protein bars continue to gain popularity, as consumers—especially Millennials—seek out protein- and energy-rich items.
- New flavor combinations merge traditional flavors into something complete new —whether sweet and spicy, sweet and sour or sweet and salty.
- “Functional beverages” quench thirst while packing protein, vitamins or other nutrients.
- Gourmet and high-end food and beverages are found in more c-stores.
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WIN: 24/7 Moms and National Assn. of Convenience Stores are giving away a bag filled with some of the “Cool Stuff” available in convenience stores! In addition to a blue bag and water bottle, the 13 new items include:
Enter for a chance to win using the Rafflecopter entry form below. For every entry you do it’s an extra entry to win.
US entries only and one entry per person. Winner will be chosen on December 2, 2017.
Disclaimer: I have teamed up with National Assn. of Convenience Stores in support of this campaign. We received compensation for participation in this campaign. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.