Premium Snacks Increase in C-Stores

Premium Snacks Increase in C-Stores

When stopping by a convenience store for a snack, it’s typical to be met with a selection of processed, sugar laden and high sodium choices. Big food brands have dominated these spaces for as long as we can remember. However, as consumers are leaning toward more online retail options, c-store shelves are starting to make room for more products that cater to individual lifestyles. Staples like jerky, sports drinks, coffee and candy remain stable in the space, but more premium alternative options are being introduced to the mix. Personalization is shaping the future of the convenience food industry. Fresh food options are getting dressed up from the highly processed clamshell packaged sandwiches and microwave burritos typically found in convenience stores. Retailers like GetGo and Wawa now offer made-to-order fare for any time of day – all accessible via touch screen kiosks. Even airport retailers are upping the quality of their offerings. No longer limited to conventional snacks and chain meal options, travellers can now expect a wide variety of curated foods at CIBO Express Gourmet Markets. CIBO embraces established and emerging brands alike for a premium food and beverage experience on-the-go. In addition to being threatened by online retail, c-stores are experiencing direct competition in the form of Bodega – a fledgling company which sets up location specific pantries that appeal to the demographics of those particular areas. “The idea is to preempt what people might need, then use machine learning to constantly reassess the 100 most-needed items in that community.” (Fast Company) This would negate the need to visit a storefront, as the most demanded product per location...
The Power of the Word “Farms” in Brands

The Power of the Word “Farms” in Brands

Tesco has re-branded some of of their meat and produce products with a new range of “farm” names. The controversy is that the “farm” names used are either completely fabricated or are derived from a farm that has nothing to do with the product. The seven new brands consist of produce, beef, and poultry. This change in marketing was implemented in hopes to improve consumers’ perception of the quality and freshness of their products. This marketing practice isn’t unique to Tesco, considering Target has been doing something similar with the Archer Farms brand. European supermarket Aldi has been doing the same with their Ashfield brand. Supermarket companies have learned that the consumers associate the word “farm” with quality and freshness. “…retail consultant Alison Pike said that the new branding was well positioned. The word ‘farm’ will give a perception of quality and a perception of provenance for the product itself.” (Marketing Magazine) For Tesco, this change was directly attributed to the fact that their store brand products were known for their poor quality resulting in customers to avoid them. “Bill Grimsey, … who worked for Tesco in the 1980s as its first customer services director, said that improving the perception of value was a particular challenge in fresh food…” (Marketing Magazine) This negative perception put pressure on Tesco to change their methods. “… the policy comes as supermarkets are under increasing pressure to improve transparency and provide information about where its food comes from.” (Independent) While some of the names are completely made up, a few are real farms and businesses. The owner of Boswell Farm, which supplies holiday...