Envisioning Convenience Foodservice in 2025

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Envisioning Convenience Foodservice in 2025

By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News - 03/12/2015

CHICAGO — What will the foodservice offer at convenience stores look like in the year 2025?

This question was a key point of discussion and concept development at the 2015 Convenience Store News Foodservice Summit held Tuesday and Wednesday in partnership with Tyson Convenience Foodservice.

Retailer executives representing some of the most innovative and well-established foodservice players in the convenience channel — including Wawa Inc., 7-Eleven Inc., Rutter's Farm Stores and Maverik Inc. — weighed in with their views of what convenience foodservice will consist of 10 years from now.

According to the attendees, consumers in 2025 will:

  • Be more knowledgeable;
  • Have more choices than ever before;
  • Be more time-starved;
  • Crave more customization; and 
  • Be more demanding and have higher standards.

Convenience stores in 2025, the retailers predict, will:

  • Be more willing to take risks;
  • Not dependent on fuel pumps as the destination driver;
  • Move from transactions to interactions;
  • Be leaders in innovation instead of “fast followers;” and
  • Hone in on what they want to be instead of trying to be all things to all people.

Using the retailers’ insights as a jumping-off point, this year’s Foodservice Summit then invited alumni from the Kendall College culinary school in Chicago to brainstorm and present blue-sky concepts in product, packaging, marketing, etc., that they think would represent c-store foodservice in 2025.

Among the panel’s ideas were a H20 fountain program where c-store customers can customize their own flavored water; a “Craft” section of the store focused on small-batch products; seed-infused packaging that is biodegradable and can serve a larger purpose; a ramen station where customers can create their own ramen by choosing their noodles, broth and condiments; edible utensils; and a “snack lottery” where shoppers can make their picks from a selection of nuts, fruits, grains, proteins and dips.

The 2015 Foodservice Summit marked the fourth consecutive year that Convenience Store News and Tyson Convenience Foodservice have partnered to bring convenience store foodservice professionals together to discuss the latest trends in the category, exchange best practices and tackle common challenges.

Full coverage of the Foodservice Summit will appear in the May issue of Convenience Store News.