Convenience Stores Take Big Bite out of Pizza Servings
CHICAGO – Loads of pizza dough are making their way to convenience stores and into consumer stomachs. How much are convenience stores eating into traditional quick service restaurants' servings? Restaurant researcher The NPD Group provides this insight: Servings of pizza ordered by convenience stores increased by over 20 percent in the year ending in February 2015 compared to the previous year.
Total dollars of pizza crust and dough cases shipped from broadline distributors to convenience stores increased by over 30 percent , finds NPD's SupplyTrack, a monthly tracking service that tracks every product shipped from major broadline distributors to their foodservice operators. Complementing the increase in pizza crust and dough case shipments and dollars was a 4 percent increase of pizza box case shipments to convenience stores in the year ending February compared to year ago.
The popularity of the pizza category at convenience stores provides evidence of the competitive threat of convenience stores to traditional quick service restaurants. The double-digit growth in pizza servings at convenience stores contrasts to flat servings at quick service pizza restaurants and a 1 percent increase at traditional quick service restaurants, finds NPD's foodservice market research. Convenience stores are also competing with traditional quick service restaurants in terms of visits. Foodservice visits at convenience stores increased by 2 percent compared to a 1 percent gain at traditional quick service restaurants for the year ending February 2015 compared to year ago. Foodservice at convenience stores is now the top category for in-store gross profit dollars and is number two for sales, according NPD's Growing in a Fragmented Market report.
"Convenience stores, particularly food forward convenience stores, are increasing their foodservice footprint and rapidly gaining share from traditional quick service operators," says Annie Roberts, vice president, SupplyTrack. "Foodservice manufacturers and distributors should understand the dynamics that are currently at play between retail and traditional quick service restaurants in order to fully serve the needs of the changing foodservice marketplace."