Chilled is a vitally important part of the product mix for a modern convenience store. It’s a category where wastage is a possibility, and it is time-consuming to manage as well, but it’s absolutely vital from a shopper’s point of view as it is central to the top-up shopping mission in which c-stores need to excel if they are to thrive in the marketplace.
Chilled dairy is most commonly bought on a top-up shopping mission. This mission should be the absolute heartland of the local convenience store, yet consumers are increasingly being turned and tempted away by other retail channels, such as discounters, as they improve their offer in key categories. In fact, shoppers are just as likely to buy chilled dairy from a discounter as they are from a c-store (average purchase frequency 0.46 times per week for c-stores, 0.45 for a discounter).
Other consumer trends point to growth in the chilled dairy category overall. In HIM’s Future of Convenience study earlier this year, half of shoppers said they would be cooking from scratch more in the next 12 months, while 40% said they would be doing more baking at home (only 11% said they would be doing less).