Although there is still a demand for junk food, there is a new wave of desires that should not be ignored. As more studies crack into the mindset of consumers today, it is becoming prevalent that there is a market for more health conscious consumers.
This trend should not really come as a shock as more vegetarian options have been showing up on restaurant menus, vegan food trucks are popping up at festivals to hand out dairy-free cookies, and healthy fast food chains are setting shop at food court malls to sell kale smoothies.
According to Forbes.com, Nielsen’s 2015 Global Health and Wellness Survey found that out of 30,000 participants polled, 88% are willing to pay more for healthier foods. The survey concluded consumers are actively seeking for healthier foods to not only lose weight, but to boost health as well.
You may be thinking that the survey only polled a bunch of millennials than the Baby Booming generations. However, according to the Nielsen survey, this mindset for more fiber, protein, natural ingredients and other nutritional factors have taken over all demographics.
Even vegetarians are making a dent in the food industry with their demands. Phil Lempert, founder of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com, discusses in his video series with Convenience Store News about the desire for plant protein. He points out that half of Americans now seek plants as a source of their protein and to avoid antibiotics, hormones, saturated fat, cholesterol, and allergic reactions found in meat, dairy, and eggs.
Transparency is also a prominent motivator. Where is my food coming from? Is it fresh? How much sugar is in this? What does the label say? All these questions and more circulate the mind of a health-conscious consumer today.
With all this being said, many merchants are getting ahead of the game by creating partnerships with other companies that can help convenience stores (c-stores) close that market gap when it comes to food consumption.
MAPCO has partnered with FreshOne to offer fresh grab-and-go selections to include hot breakfast sandwiches, muffins, salads, and other items that are daypart snacking. Swiss Farms has partnered with a dietitian to offer healthier options. PepsiCo is shifting focus onto the Naked Juice brand (since it grew by 60%).
It is important to constantly learn about your locals. What are their interests? What kind of tourists stop by? Do your customers prefer organic juices and dried kale chips or do they prefer sugary fizzy drinks with their almond-caramel chocolates?
If you are a c-store interested in learning about what their customers are buying, check out Impulse. It is a simple upgrade to a c-store’s point of sale system, gets you those upsells, and more importantly, helps you capture the trends in your location.