When it comes to foodservice expertise, The Coca-Cola Company has an unrivaled record of success that convenience retailers can leverage to launch or enhance their own operations. A powerful portfolio of beverage brands that pair well with food, the ability to partner with leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to create optimal bundles, and the right marketing programs targeted to the right shopper and key dayparts are among the reasons c-stores rely on Coca-Cola to help guide their foodservice initiatives.
“More c-stores are turning to foodservice to stimulate sales growth,” says Kelly Marr, director, Convenience Retail Planning & Development, Coca-Cola Refreshments. The Coca-Cola Company will continue to leverage its rich heritage in foodservice and wide variety of dispensed platforms to ensure we are our customers’ first call when they need to establish, grow or optimize their foodservice business.”
According to the Association for Convenience and Fuels Retailing (NACS), with trends in fuel, tobacco and other categories, operators need to explore other sources of income. And they have. NACS indicates that foodservice category growth outpaces total in-store sales growth three to one and is a strong contributor to in-store profit. Many convenience stores average foodservice sales of more than $250,000 per store, making the broad category of foodservice critical to store operations.
Leveraging the Food with Beverage Opportunity
“We expect c-stores will continue to dedicate more space and resources to optimize their foodservice zones and offerings,” states Marr. “This expansion and focus opens up opportunities for new platforms like Coca-Cola Freestyle®. It offers more than 100 brands from a single beverage dispenser to provide c-store shoppers with an increased breadth of beverage choices and a unique shopping experience.”
“Our brands and CPG partnerships enable convenience retailers to create a multitude of transaction-driving opportunities across multiple dayparts.”
While the foodservice arena presents great opportunities, challenges do exist. Currently, the greatest competition comes from quick service restaurants (QSR). As a result, bundling is an essential element for c-store operators to effectively compete and build a thriving foodservice operation.
“Coca-Cola brings convenience retailers the ‘Power of Many,’” explains Marr. “We are partnering with some of the best CGP companies in the world — including Mondelez, Hershey’s and other manufacturers — that produce high-traffic/high-margin products.” The Company has created a complete suite of snack and prepared food bundles that can be customized for each retailer.
“We help c-store operators tap the strength of Coca-Cola’s beverage portfolio to increase food incidence and check size via food and beverage combos that appeal to consumers throughout the day and evening,” says Marr. “We use our shopper insights to identify the right bundles for the shoppers across dayparts. Breakfast items (sandwiches, muffins and bagels) can be paired with juice, DASANI® water and coffee. Similarly, sparkling beverages and iced tea work well with lunch/dinner items (sandwiches, hot dogs, taquitos and pizza).
Marr adds, “Our brands and CPG partnerships enable convenience retailers to create a multitude of transaction-driving opportunities across multiple dayparts.” Looking ahead, Coca-Cola is exploring opportunities to expand and build its relationships. We also want to activate more long-term food bundle offers and eliminate the hassle of paper and coupon redemption, establishing sustainable relationships with shoppers. Such deals enable convenience retailers to present a more compelling value proposition to shoppers, similar to the QSR sector, which is known for its combo meals.