C-Stores have higher ratings than other foodservice segments with regard to fountain soda. Nearly all C-Store operators offer fountain soft drinks on their menus, and they are one of the most profitable items1 because of low overhead costs. Due to consumer demand, 72% operators feel strongly that soft drink branding contributes to sales.6
For other beverages, operators tend to have more competition. Cleanliness, variety, and name brands could mean the difference between making a sale and missing one.
Ask an expert: Renee Fahoome
Nestlé Professional, national account manager
"C-Store operators can improve beverage experiences for customers by offering on-trend items to use for customization."
Consumers are willing to pay a higher price at a C-Store than a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) for slushies.1 Slushies aren’t just desserts – they span dayparts. Around 50% of slushies are purchased outside of traditional dessert hours.6 When customers decide to get a slushie, they frequently purchase a food item with it.
Top items prushased with a slushie (in order)6
- Fresh cut raw vegetables
- Hot dogs
- Corn dogs
Fountain and fresh-squeezed juices
The demand for juice at C-Stores has grown over the last few years, with 60% of visitors interested in purchasing fountain juices. Fresh-squeezed juices are also expanding on C-Store menus, with a 33% rise in purchases since 2012.1
33% of consumers across foodservice segments drink juice every day.2
Over 30% of C-Store customers visit specifically for a beverage.3 Since fresh-squeezed juices are not a “typical” C-Store offering,1 giving visitors multiple juice options grants operators the chance to capture sales…especially from those who might perceive other beverage options as too ordinary,4 such as Millennials or Generation Z.
C-Store customers seek out fountain soda throughout the day, especially during lunch time or accompanied with a p.m. snack. Nearly 70% of guests are interested in buying soft drinks from a machine.1
While fountain soft drinks are steadily well-liked and profitable, cold beverages are moving toward better-for-you alternatives, cutting out unnatural sweeteners and using premium ingredients. While maintaining a soft drink machine, C-Store operators might also consider offering craft sodas, which can change with the seasons.2
55% of C-Store customers purchase fountain beverages once a week.5
1. Datassential, Convenience Store Keynote, June 2016
2. Datassential, Non-Alcoholic Beverages Keynote, May 2015
3. Datassential, CPP – C-Stores, February 2017
4. Datassential, CPP, 2015
5. Technomic, Convenience Store Market Brief, August 2015
6. Datassential, PULSE – C-Stores, December 2016