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03/24/2022

Meeting Consumers' Changing Expectations Is Focus of 2022 Convenience Foodservice Exchange

Featured speaker Dana Zipser will advise attendees on how to take a larger bite out of foodservice market share.
Don Longo
Editorial Director
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Convenience Foodservice Exchange Speaker Dana Zipser

SAVANNAH, Ga. — "Convenience can mean a lot of things," says Dana Zipser, managing director and principle at Rubber & Road Creative, a brand strategy and retail design firm working in the convenience store, restaurant and grocery industries, but mostly "it's about meeting customers where they're at."

The ability to meet customers where they're at will determine the success or failure of convenience stores as they compete with restaurants and grocery retailers for share of stomach, noted Zipser, a store design expert whose clients have included TravelCenters of America, Sheetz, Wendy's and Denny's.

Zipser and her colleague Brent White, design director for environments, will be featured speakers at this year's Convenience Store News Convenience Foodservice Exchange event, to be held June 21-22 in Savannah, Ga.

The theme of this year's event is "Strategies to Meet Consumers' Changing Expectations of Convenience." In a post-pandemic era, c-store operators are looking toward a future in which customers' expectations have dramatically altered. The rise of work-from-home models, stay-in-and-order-delivery, and a heightened preference for fresh food and better hygiene are pushing c-store retailers to reevaluate their foodservice operations.

"Drive-thrus, curbside, delivery — these are all ways retailers are [trying] to meet consumers' changing needs," said Zipser. "We're even seeing more restaurants looking into their own proprietary delivery methods to bypass third-party services like DoorDash and UberEats."

Zipser's and White's session, entitled "How to Take a Larger Bite Out of the Foodservice Market Share," will provide insights for c-store retailers on how to gain more traction and sales with millennials and Generation Z consumers, and win market share from restaurants and grocery stores.

Several best-in-class convenience store chains are always rising to the challenge of the changing consumer, Zipser observed. "Retailers like Sheetz and Wawa pioneered made-to-order fresh food. 7-Eleven is doing some interesting things and has shown a willingness to take risks. Regional chains like Parker's are very innovative, too," she noted.

"Above all, though, retailers must stay true to themselves as well," she added. "It doesn't make sense to put in a gourmet food program if that's not what your customers desire."

The seventh-annual Convenience Foodservice Exchange will explore how c-stores are working to satisfy consumers' new definition of convenience. The agenda will tackle several key issues through these education sessions: 

  • No Labor. No Supply. No Problem! C-store branding expert Ernie Harker, the former marketing guru of Maverik, will launch the event with thoughts and perspectives to ignite retailers' creativity and fuel ideas to defend and expand their foodservice programs today and in the future. 
  • Small Changes=Big Returns: A panel of retailers, including Enmarket's Ryan Krebs and Huck's Dave Grimes, will discuss how small changes in foodservice, when added together, can have a huge positive impact on profitability. 
  • The New Convenience Retailer: Our annual panel of retailer executives from some of the newest food-forward stores aimed at meeting the needs of the evolving consumer.
  • Menu Innovation for a New Breed of Convenience: Curby's Express Market is a new concept that opened its first location in Lubbock, Texas, in February 2022. This new store format blends the speed of convenience with the high-quality food and beverages customers crave. Walking through key milestones from recipe development to equipment selection, layout and launch, this session will detail the menu development process of this fascinating concept.

As in previous years, the 2022 program will also include the presentation of CSNews' annual Foodservice Innovators Awards, as well as the highly praised Power Hour of one-on-one business meetings among attendees.

In addition, a guided food and retail tour will explore The Hostess City of the South's most delicious and innovative restaurants, food shops and markets.

Attendance is by invitation only. Convenience store retailers may request an invite from CSNews Editorial Director Don Longo at [email protected].

Sponsorships are available for suppliers and solutions providers. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact CSNews Brand Director Paula Lashinsky at [email protected] or (917) 446-4117. 

For more information, go to csnewscfx.com

About the Author

Don Longo
Don Longo is Editorial Director of Convenience Store News. Read More