2020 Category Captain for Prepared Food: Rich Products
Rich Products (Rich's) knows that to stay ahead of their competition, convenience store operators must strive to meet their consumers' needs. So, Rich's goes the extra mile to deliver foodservice solutions that meet the needs of all c-store operators, from large national chains to independents. Rich's product categories span all dayparts, from baked goods to toppings and creams, to pizzas and flatbreads, sandwiches and desserts.
Rich's culinary expertise is a unique benefit to the convenience channel. Its foodservice team is comprised of 20 professional chefs who not only create recipes for retailers, but also meet with operators in their stores and develop custom foodservice programs to meet their individual needs. The culinary managers have all completed training through the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and the chefs have achieved CIA ProChef Level 1 Certification.
Last September, Rich's Foodservice launched a website dedicated to the convenience channel. RichsConvenience.com is packed with solutions for convenience stores to create, expand and maintain a thriving foodservice operation. Now, operators can access everything they need, from product training videos to equipment ordering to rebate programs. Operators also can subscribe to a quarterly newsletter so they’ll be first to know about new products and promotions.
Retailers value their partnership with Rich’s. One Midwest retailer recently recognized Rich’s as a top-three finalist for its 2019 Consumer Insights Award. Rich's was credited for providing innovative products and operator-specific consumer research that helped boost the retailer’s foodservice menu and profits. In one illustration, Rich's retained a local university to conduct a consumer sensory study to help this retailer understand which attributes consumers preferred between its incumbent cookie program and Rich’s gourmet cookie program. As a result, the retailer decided to proceed with the new gourmet cookie program, which launched in November 2019, and it’s already paying dividends.
Another c-store operator on the West Coast collaborated with Rich's to attain its goal of growing its in-store bakery business. The resulting program included a cookie contest between regional franchisees: the store with the highest year-over-year cookie sales won free uniforms. The company enjoyed its highest percentage increase in cookie sales during the three-month period. The retailer exceeded its goal, increasing foodservice bakery sales significantly. Bolstered by the contest, this same retailer partnered with Rich’s to develop a seasonal cookie program.