5 C-Store Foodservice Trends From the NACS Show® Floor

coffee

With an expo showcasing products from more than 1,250 companies, munchies were aplenty on the NACS Show floor this year. One attendee told Convenience Store Products he headed straight for the Krispy Krunchy Chicken booth as soon as the floor opened, his deep-fried prescription for the morning after a night in Las Vegas.

Click through for the latest convenience-store foodservice trends that made appearances on the show floor; we guarantee you won’t regret it in the morning.

Photographs by CSP Staff

1. Cold brew and nitro

good west

Attendees couldn’t go far without running into cold-brew or nitro-brewed coffee and teas on the show floor. Exhibitors layered flavors and combined drinks to brew up new applications of the beverages. S&D Coffee and Tea, Concord, N.C., handed out samples of its cold-brew mocha with oat milk. One young, female showgoer ran up to the booth and said, “Oh my God, you have oat milk?” and then grabbed one for herself and a friend.

GoodWest Industries, Douglassville, Pa., featured a cold-brew innovation stations with flavors, such as horchata, cafe a la mode and salted caramel.

At the show, Javo Beverage Co. team members wore T-shirts with “We did cold brew before it was cool” written across the back. The Vista, Calif.-based company served up Hibiscus Lemongrass Mint Nitro tea.

2. Head-snapping attention-grabbers

freak shakes

Several exhibitors presented foodservice items designed with Instagram in mind. Rich’s Foodservice showcased On Top, a soft whip topping, to help c-stores create photogenic treats, such as a cold-brew macchiato and orange creamsicle soda float. The Buffalo, N.Y.-based supplier also had galaxy and cereal-topped doughnuts on display

 F’real Foods, Emeryville, Calif., spotlighted “Freak Shakes” a la the viral creations from New York's Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer.

Chicago-based Conagra Brands debuted a new Snack Pack flavor called Unicorn Magic. The pudding is made with “Star Dust” and comes complete with unicorn tattoos inside. The hashtag #YASSSUNICORN is scrawled across the blue and pink packaging.

3. Fries of all kind

fries

Foodservice operators such as Taco Bell and Burger King have bet big on fries and won over consumers. Hitting two trends in one, protein-packed fries were on the show floor menu. Norwood, Mass.-based Home Market Foods served up original and Cajun chicken fries under its Cooked Perfect brand.

4. New pizza formats

pizza

A few exhibitors looked to innovate one of c-stores’ biggest products: pizza. Stepping outside its traditionally Mexican portfolio, Ruiz Foods, Dinuba, Calif., gave a sneak preview of its portable pizza offering. The pizza’s crust is made with a Parmesan-and-basil-encrusted tortilla, folded and sealed for easy on-the-go eating.

Rich’s Foodservice previewed its Cheeseburger Pizza, made with a ketchup and mustard base sauce, topped with mozzarella, cheddar cheese, hamburger and pickle chips.

5. Eggs everywhere

egg everywhere

Consumers’ hunger for protein and all-day breakfast translated into lots of egg-based snacks on the show floor. Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles from Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods comes with a packaged cup of two prescrambled eggs, sausage or bacon crumbles and shredded cheese. Customers need only nuke the contents of the cup for less than two minutes for an on-the-go breakfast.

Minneapolis-based Cargill presented new hard-cooked egg flavors in spicy mustard, sriracha and soy ginger, as well as sous vide egg bakes.