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C-stores step up sales at foodservice units, growth expected to continue, says Technomic

CHICAGO (February 23, 2012 - PRNewswire) – In a sign that convenience store operators are successfully ramping up their foodservice efforts, industry consultants Technomic found that average unit volumes for c-stores offering prepared food and dispensed beverages (“true foodservice”) jumped to more than $136k in 2011, up from $123k in 2007. The better-than-10-percent growth rates were based on roughly the same number of stores offering foodservice, indicating that operators are becoming better at foodservice expansion and execution.

Overall, c-store foodservice grew to $11.5 billion in 2011 (from $10.2 billion in 2007), based largely on the expansion of foodservice items, additional stores adding foodservice and more foodservice experience. The number of stores with dedicated foodservice personnel nearly doubled over the same four-year period, from 17 to 33 percent, reflecting operators' commitment towards developing successful foodservice programs.

“Convenience store foodservice has made tremendous inroads in terms of experience, consumer choices and execution," says Tim Powell, Director of C-Store Programs at Technomic. "We expect several key trends, such as snacking and demand for various beverages and breakfast to be pivotal components of future growth.”

Powell said that Technomic expects annual c-store foodservice growth to reach 3.4 percent nominally through 2014, compared to 2.8 percent over the past four years. This exceeds expected growth for the entire foodservice industry, which is forecast at a nominal 2.5 percent annually through 2014.

These and other findings are included in Technomic's multi-client study, Outlook and Opportunities in Convenience Store Foodservice, which was released on February 20, 2012. The research examines the total size and growth of the entire c-store foodservice channel, provides insights on consumer and operator attitudes and behaviors, profiles the top c-store foodservice providers, and explores the impact of other channels, such as drug stores and quick-service restaurants.

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