ATLANTA - RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. has launched a new line of salads, sandwiches and coffee to entire more customers into its stores, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.
A sandwich wrapped in plastic has "been the historical perception" of convenience store fare, said Simon Osborn, RaceTrac€™s vice president of logistics and foodservice. "You could grab something quick, but not quality. That€™s not what the consumer wants any more. They want more selections, healthy choices. They want to know that they are buying a quality product."
Other convenience stores have turned their attention to food as well. For example, the QuikTrip Corp. started updating its foodservice products in 2006, building five commissaries/bakeries to prepare fresh foods, said QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh.
"We don€™t think this is a trend...This is a movement," he said, adding that those in the industry who want to grow and survive have to make changes to the food offerings. "The fresh food or grab-and-go is pretty much where the industry is heading."
Convenience stores have taken advantage of their "convenient locations and convenient hours to sell refreshment [specifically food], however the customer defines it," said Jeff Lenard, NACS spokesman.
Many convenience stores want to be seen as restaurants that also sell fuel, not gasoline stations that stock food products, said Lenard. Consumers "are more interested in bundling their shopping services, which is good for convenience stores that are selling food."
Convenience stores also make more profit on food than gasoline. "You can make more on a 12-ounce cup of coffee than on a 12-gallon [gasoline] fill-up," said Lenard.