Once upon a time, not so long ago there was a “Gas Station”. It was exactly as it’s name described. A man came out, filled up your tank, checked your oil, washed your windows and sent you on your way. Then, the era of Convenience Store’s were born. Now there were snacks such as candy, chips and soda-pop along with a few other general “essential” products.
Emerging to the forefront in the past decade is the Foodservice Convenience Store. Today’s Convenience Store is a Foodservice Store that just so happens to also sell gas. With fresh prepared foods, consumers are taking a closer look at the quality, not the price point or branding. This isn’t just good news for Convenience Stores, this is also big news for local “mom and pop” restaurants. Consumers aren’t relying on the brand name to drive their choices, they are relying on their taste buds.
While the food service industry has been through many changes and fads for years, this new trend is what is best described as getting “back to basics”. This isn’t to be confused with “the good ole days”. This is the world of basic principles, with a fresh new twist. While there will always be a market for “value” a.k.a. cheap, consumers really want to have consistency and quality. How do we know consumers are looking for quality? The answer can be found in just about every restaurant, airport, hotel, even theme parks…the ever increasingly popular “upcharge”. Why? Because consumers are willing to pay just a little more for something that is better. A better experience. A better product. A unique product. Simply put, just better.