It was a great honor to attend this year's NACS show in Atlanta. Many interesting and exciting things are happening in the industry and we are happy to be a part of such an incredible community. We wanted to share with your the top trends we learned in the show you should look for when planning 2017:
Foodservice was a main focus during the NACS show this year, with many educational sessions teaching store owners and managers how to understand the trend and succeed. NACS 2015-16 Chairman Jack Kofdarali, called food our future, during his speech in the NACS Show general session, outlining his concerns about regulations but presenting an optimistic approach about the future of the industry. When margins are 57% (while the margin on non-foodservice items in c-stores is 27%), and more and more consumers turn to c-stores for fresh and healthy food on the go, it’s important to stay ahead of the trend and leverage it in order to bring value to your customers.
When considering adding foodservice to your c-stores, make sure you have the right technology solution to help you streamline operations and maximize your margins. Consider upgrading to a back office software like CStorePro’s inventory and back office software and using complementary solutions specifically designed for foodservice management like Verofone’s iOrder product.
#2 Cold brewed coffee
Although temperatures are cooling down, cold brewed coffee is still trending up in the convenience stores coffee offerings category. According to Mintel’s Coffee US 2016 report, “the cold brew sub-segment grew 580% from 2011-16, with cold brew sales in 2016 proving to be cold brews’ strongest year yet at retail. Since consumption is still infrequent, sales are likely driven by increased awareness and interest in trial, which encourages one-time purchases.” Many companies have picked up on this trend, and are introducing new products to this market, following Starbucks, Sheetz, Dunkin Donuts, etc. According to Bloomberg, many coffee shops are stating they serve more cold coffee than hot even during the winter months.
If you are still on the fence, check out CSP’s Ice Coffee Vs Cold Brew test done During the 2016 NACS show. Either way, cold Brewed coffee is definitely something to consider for your c-store this year.
#3 2016-2017 NACS chairman: Rahim Budhwani
Rahim Budhwani, president and CEO of 6040 LLC, was named the association's incoming chairman (More info about the recent nominations can be found here).
In the show closing general session Budhwani talked about the importance of continuous education to enable business growth: “We all need to continuously educate ourselves to be successful. Sometimes, we think we know it all. We think we are too busy working to learn more. And that is a big mistake. If you don’t get new ideas, you will never really grow your business. And you will never evolve from working in the store to working for the store.” Following this concept, Budhwani focused on the people in the convenience store industry who drive it forward, by helping each other and building the communities around the stores.
Finally, a big thank you to all our customers and partners who came to visit our booth during the show! See you next year!