The Blurring of Dayparts

The concept of “grazing” or eating multiple, small meals a day, is becoming the norm and plays well into the c-store offering, but has also caused the c-store dayparts to blur. These distinct divisions of the c-store selling day, defined by food offering, are no longer so distinct.

If you took a snapshot of two c-stores at the same time, you may see one customer buying a breakfast sandwich and another buying a hot dog. What is causing this phenomenon and how do we capitalize on these shifts?

Our busy, on-the-go lifestyles and varying work shifts are what is revving up this trend and c-stores are, more than ever, competing with fast food.

According to market research, almost 9 out of 10 c-store foodservice customers regularly purchase hot foods; 69% of them doing so at least once a month and 44% doing so more often than they did a year ago. The easiest, and least expensive, want to get started in hot foodservice is with breakfast.

According to consumer research, 76% of consumers purchase coffee from a c-store at least once a month. All you need to do is get that coffee customer to purchase a breakfast sandwich with their coffee and you are on your way. Plus, with the trending blurring of dayparts you can offer these breakfast sandwiches all day and boost your bottom line even more.

When asked about offering tips for a hot foodservice program, Teri Broyles, customer marketing manager for McCain Foods USA, states that you should “make sure the products have an adequate hold time, three to four hours is optimal, so foods don’t go stale or lose their taste or composition.  Offer combo meals, which show you’re a competitor to fast-food restaurants. Draw attention to your hot foodservice program and any specials or combos through window and pump signage. Also use signage inside at the point-of-sale and throughout the store.”

C-store operators need to stay on top of the latest trends to ensure they are meeting consumers’ expectations. Millennials and Gen Z are the target consumers that are more likely to purchase prepared/hot foods from c-stores. Food offers must appeal to this generation.

Offer customization to compete with quickservice restaurants, because this is an expectation of millennials these days—to have it their way.

Source: Do Dayparts Exist Anymore? Oct. 5, 2016. CSP Daily News Hot Foodservice Boosts Sales, Profits. Sept 29, 2016.


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