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Convenience Stores are Movin' On Up, Should QSRs Worry?

NDP Group and IRI both concluded review of the convenience store channel and agree that convenience stores with fresh prepared food and loyalty programs edify sales and brand positioning.   With over 149,000 units, chain convenience stores are garnering share while increasing frequency faster than independent convenience stores.

In IRI’s Times & Trends report “Convenience stores: Keep the Core; Appeal to More” identifies that successful operators are adding “good for you” products, albeit they are adding them next to candy bars.  Customers are experimenting with the new products and rewarding operators with return visits and driving the rapid adoption of “better for you” products.  The IRI report found “When compared to grocery and drug stores, convenience stores were the only channel that enjoyed both dollar and unit sales growth in 2012.”

The NPD Group report found consumers are leading the way.  NPD found that consumer traffic increased by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period a year ago leading to a 6 percent increase in spending during that period.

In addition the NPD reports showed that customer visit frequency also grew quarter-over-quarter to 6.1 visits in a 30 day period with 48.8 percent of the U.S. population reporting visiting a convenience store in the last 30 days.

Looking like restaurants “7 percent of conventional c-store shoppers citing rewards or store loyalty as a reason for choosing a specific chain,… 5 percent of shoppers who list coupons, discounts sales or promotions as a chain selection reason, one in 10 c-store shoppers now select a store for deals”.

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About Steven Johnson

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Do you know who your competitors are today?  Do you know what they are selling? Do you know what your customers think of their food?  No? Well, maybe it's time to get a Grocerant Scorecard completed by the Grocerant Guru.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® and a recognized food industry thought leader. Johnson excels at vertical brand and product positioning, marketing strategy and business development specifically identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity.  He can help place new products in non-traditional channels of distribution.

 With an emphasis in grocerant niche, his focus has been on better for you food that is fresh or prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat.  He developed and implemented of the 5 P’s for food marketing for all retail foodservice companies, including chain drugstores, grocery stores, QSR’s and particularly C-store clients.

 During the past 15 years he has developed over 7.5 billion Dollars in avenues of new business revenue for clients and companies. His experience has focused primarily on C-level sales and brand  building opportunity with industry leading international companies including: The Procter & Gamble Company, Papa John’s International, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Chi Chi’s, TGI Fridays, Fuddruckers,, Technomic, The Hartman Group.

 Prior to Foodservice Solutions, Johnson worked for the US Department of the Navy, where he led the development of Parcheesi’s Pizza Pasta Plus for global roll out and implementation including the development of the first dockside mobile pizza kitchen for use by the US Navy during the first Gulf War.

Johnson holds a Master’s of Science in Food Marketing degree with distinction from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business School Honor Society.  Johnson has received numerous awards including 3 EMMEY; Awarded by 3M for “Outside the box” thinking and team leadership. Food Marketing Award; Awarded by Saint Joseph’s University, Outstanding Service Award issued by the Boy Scouts of America.

Don't get trapped doing what you have always done. Position your company with the evolving consumer. Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P's of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? That's simple, call for Outside Eyes call the Grocerant Guru. Email Steve at: or visit: for more information. Visit us at, or tweet Steve at

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