Getting fresh in Convenience stores
29 June 2015
By Ed Sibley, Client Director
What does being ‘good at fresh’ mean? With shopper habits changing before our eyes and the continued decline of the main supermarket trolley shop, consumers are increasingly looking to ‘top-up’ little and often on everyday essentials and this mission is built around the key fresh categories.
1 in 8 of these visits are as a result of a primary need for fruit and veg or fresh protein, and it’s vital that convenience stores wanting to capture this valuable basket stock and display this range with pride. Traditionally range and pricing of fresh categories have been barriers to purchase for many shoppers in convenience stores, so offering a credible and trustworthy range of fresh is key of course, but there is a lot more to winning in fresh.
As well as providing a quality range of fresh, shoppers tell us that in order to create the perception of a ‘credible fresh food offer’, the number one thing stores needs to do is ensure a ‘clean and tidy shopping area’. This demonstrates how first impressions can totally dominate shopper overall perceptions of a store. ‘Smart and tidy staff’ and ‘clean fridges’ were third and fourth in importance showing just how important these everyday operational areas can be to overall store success. Perception is reality.
So which categories should be the focus in order to satisfy the modern top-up shopper? 65% of shoppers on the fresh food-led top-up mission have a particular eating occasion in mind so it’s important to think about the full solution rather than specific category. These meal-led missions are likely to span multiple categories; across chilled, fresh, ambient and even frozen. Fresh range needs to be considered in tandem with associated categories and meal solutions. 1/3 of shoppers we spoke to did not believe they could pick up all ingredients from their local c-store for basic meals such as Spaghetti Bolognese or a chicken stir-fry. They are often right!
Obviously going big on fresh isn’t right for every store. Highly transient or smaller stores may rightly choose to focus on food on the go or rely on the traditional footfall driving categories such as news and tobacco. But for those who want to grow their fresh and chilled sales, thinking mission and solution rather than category has to be the way forward. And the stores which really stand out won’t just have a great fresh range, the whole store will shout ‘FRESH!’
Find our more about our latest Convenience store shopper research (CTP) or ask us questions below: