Home' Convenience and Impulse Retailing : August September 2014 Contents 24 August / September 2014 | C&I | www.c -s tore.com.au
[ FOODSERVICE ]
past the store without purchasing. There has also
been some transition of consumers to fresh food from
traditional favourites such as pies and pasties. Having
a fully rounded offer, with both sorts of food offering,
complements a store’s credibility as a food destination.
Some in the industry say that the constant
improvements in the quality and in the range of
the convenience store food offer means they are
increasingly being able to compete with quick
ser vice restaurants.
With fresh food, even more than most categories,
the secret to real success is in attention to detail
and in positive category management. Fresh food
appeals to a wide range of on-the-run customers
seeking an energy boost as they go about their busy
days. It will appeal to tradies, to professionals, and
importantly to women.
Each store is different with a different customer
base, and retailers need to thoroughly understand the
customer flow and to make sure food display units are
fully stocked with the right product at the right time.
If a hungry customer wanders into a convenience
store to find the fresh food stocks severely depleted,
he or she is unlikely to return. This goes back to the
positive mindset that retailers need to show if they
are to truly capitalise on the category ’s potential.
In the past, there has been a general tendency for
convenience stores to err on the side of caution when
it comes to displaying food with a short shelf life.
This is understandable given the huge hit that high
wastage levels can have on a store’s bottom line.
However, out-of-stocks represent lost sales
opportunities and store owners need to accept that
a certain amount of wastage is part and parcel of
the fresh food business. That ’s not to say that the
category shouldn’t be carefully managed and every
effort made to reduce wastage at the same time as
maximising sales. Lunchbox Solutions says the fact
that its products arrive in store frozen ensures that all
stores have the opportunity to keep wastage levels to
an absolute minimum.
While pies and pasties have a shelf life in the order of
about six hours once they are put in the pie warmer,
packaged salads have a shelf life of five or six days.
Sandwiches, burgers and rolls that arrive in frozen
form are even easier to handle. Products are generally
placed in the store’s freezer until needed. They can
then be defrosted in the refrigerator. Once thawed,
the sandwiches or rolls have a shelf life in the fridge
of five days or so.
There is a strong demand for fresh food around
breakfast time and around lunchtime but each store
is different. Retailers need to carefully consider the
demographics of the store’s customer base as they
decide what food items will sell and when. Those
surrounded by offices will need to cater to a different
sort of customer than those in a more suburban
setting and their offer needs to reflect this.
The different demands of customers at different
times of the day represents an opportunity for
convenience stores. This might be one of those
occasions where they can learn from what the major
supermarkets are doing. At certain selected stores in
the capital cities, for example, targeted time of day
offers are delivering exciting results.
The relevant supermarkets have different menus and
different signage at certain time of day. For example,
you might find that for breakfast they will promote
fruit, yoghurt, cereal and coffee; and then at lunch it
might be wraps, sandwiches, fruit and drink; while at
dinner time, sushi might be on offer.
Primo Moraitis Fresh says that while it may not be
practical for smaller convenience stores to replicate this
exact model, it shows what can be achieved and the sort
of innovative thinking that can bring great sales results.
Selling fresh food successfully requires a positive mindset
and a determination to make it work. If the operator
adopts a food-first mentality and instils that into his or
her staff, this will be picked up on by the customer. Fresh
food needs to be well stocked and well laid out. The area
needs to be kept neat and tidy at all times as food safety
and hygiene are uppermost in shopper’s minds.
Excellent customer ser vice is also vital and staff
shouldn’t miss an opportunity to try to upsell.
Bundling goods together is one of the most effective
ways to do this. Drinks are the second most
purchased item in convenience stores after cigarettes
and are a natural accompaniment to a wrap or a
sandwich or a salad. Bundling fresh food with a
coffee or cold drink makes the impulse buy even
more appealing to customers who are looking for
something quick, easy and healthy while on the run.
It makes sense to have fresh food positioned close
to the drinks fridge and close to the microwave
so people can grab and heat. The offer needs to
be clearly visible to customers who may not have
come into store looking for food. At fuel outlets,
for example, people who come in to pay for their
petrol may be enticed into purchasing food if it is
prominently displayed and attractively presented.
All items should be clearly labelled and priced, and
the use of point of sale material such as shelf wobblers
can help draw customers’ attention to the offer.
Historically, the convenience store has not had a great
reputation for the quality of its food offer, but enormous
steps are being made in destroying a once negative
reputation. Promoting the presence of fresh food
within stores is a big opportunity to further establish
convenience stores as legitimate food destinations.
The convenience store food offer has been amongst
the fastest growing categories in recent years with
‘fresh’ being the key callout. While traditional
products such as pies will probably always be a crucial
part of what convenience offers, fresh food is driving
There remain immense challenges in doing ‘fresh’
well but, driven by public demand, there is a growing
determination within convenience that the channel
can finally do the category justice.
Convenience and Impulse Retailing would like to
thank Primo Moraitis Fresh, PFD Food Services, and
Lunchbox Solutions for supplying information for
›› Fresh food is the number 1 category for
shoppers wanting quality, while also
being ranked first for shoppers wanting
a premium offer
›› Shoppers only rate the range average
although it was ranked 3rd in importance
›› Fresh food is the number 1 category for
shoppers browsing for a healthy diet
Factory made products are now universally preferred to assembling foods on site
A huge range of heat and go products is available for all day parts
25/07/2014 10:54 am
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