consumer trends

E-Commerce: Lifeline or Flatline?

Inside the store, customers develop a tight relationship with your products. They touch them, take in their aromas, become inspired by creative displays. They understand how certain products pair with others, guided by plan-o-grams that help them fill their impulse basket.

It’s brick-and-mortar category management 101.

But that science is under pressure due to the disruptive growth of e-commerce, as both iconic and small populist brands capitalize on online selling and the advantages of single-click convenience and quick delivery.

Filling In With Frozen

Frozen food aisle

A typical grocery store has a lot of square footage devoted to frozen food—space that isn’t as readily available in c-stores. But don’t write off­ frozen completely.

“We are seeing a lot more just-in-time shopping, and this is causing shoppers to spread their dollars across more channels and retailers,” says Susan Viamari, vice president of thought leadership for Chicago-based IRI.

Drinking Outside the Box

Wine in a Tetra Pak? Ready-to-drink cocktails and shots in a pouch? Brillant … if you’re a consumer. But for the convenience-store operator, these packaging innovations can be a head-scratcher.

Alternative packaging for alcohol arguably originated decades ago with wine in a box. While consumer perception of boxed wine hasn’t always been favorable, that’s no longer the case.

“Many consumers are now accepting of the ‘box wine’ proposition and appreciate the

So Long, Sriracha?


Rare is the food trend that’s actually new—just ask those in Southeast Asia who have been dousing their food in Sriracha for generations. In fact, unless we begin discovering entirely new plants and animals, the latest food trends will always be found by exploring the underexposed or long-forgotten.

The latest Flavor Forecast from McCormick & Co. identifies among its big menu trends of the year familiar ingredients used in new ways, untapped ethnic ideas and better-for-you bene­fits.

Shopping Outside of the Box

convenience store drone delivery

Convenience stores always seem to be fighting for share from bigger industries with fewer stigmas and stereotypes. But as grocery sales move online and technology and related services innovate, c-stores may find themselves with distinct advantages. Here’s a look at the latest trends in online grocery and some innovations on the fringe.

More Markets

Los Angeles-based research firm IBIS World predicts $9.4 billion in revenue for online grocery in 2017, a total

How Impulsive Are Beverage Shoppers?

soda flavors

Seventy percent of convenience-store shoppers enter a store with an intent to buy a beverage, but only ­43% of those have a specific brand in mind when they enter the store, according to an Over the Shoulder/Egg Strategy Research study.

The opportunity? “There are a lot of impulsive people making their way through the store,” said Sam Brewster, manager of shopper insights for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano, Texas, during CSP’s Cold Vault Summit as he discussed the results of the study.

Beer: Not Just For Bubba Anymore

beer and lipstick

Beer marketers, take note: Fifty-four percent of women say they purchased beer at retail for o­ff-premise consumption in the past 30 days. This might seem like an obvious statement, but it needs to be said: That’s more than half of all women who come into your store. Those are pretty good odds.

“This is a huge opportunity for the beer industry,” says Donna Hood Crecca, associate principal for Chicago-based Technomic.

So what’s a brand gotta to do to get the ladies’ attention?

The 3-Minute Drill (Infographic)

convenience-store retail visit statistics

Three minutes: It’s the length of the average commercial break, and it’s a little more than the amount of time it takes you to brush your teeth. Unfortunately, it’s also the amount of time retailers and suppliers have to trigger sales inside the c-store.