[:en]C-Stores Brimming with New Food Service Innovations in 2021[:]

[:en]When life throws you a curveball like it does with COVID-19, what do you do with it?

Do you watch the ball go right by and just give up? Or, do you lean in and crush it out of the park?

Only you can decide how your c-store will continue to react as COVID-19 hopefully winds down this year.

Several c-stores are offering new food service innovations here in 2021. Could any of them be the home run they’re looking for?

The only way to find out is to try. Let these examples from other c-stores inspire your own innovation:

1. Kwik Chek Adds 2 New Foods No Other C-Store Offers

Jimmy Crowder, head of menu innovation at Kwik Chek, personally loves to add new menu items you wouldn’t necessarily expect to get at a c-store.

Recently, he decided to add a chorizo egg and cheese quesadilla and Buffalo chicken, mac and cheese quesadilla to Kwik Chek’s menus.

Both will be rolled out as new menu items until March 31st at just a small test selection of Kwik Chek stores.

FYI…the company was founded in 2002 with just 3 stores and has now grown to 47 stores, $94 million in revenue, and 445 employees.

The chain now dominates northeastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma.

2. Sheetz Now Makes Full (And Healthy) Meals the Norm

Getting a decent full meal used to never be associated with c-stores. Many are now changing that, however.

One of the current leaders is Sheetz, which dominates the mid-Atlantic region.

Today, every Sheetz offers a barista station. They’ve also begun to offer healthy food selections like yogurt, food wraps, and fresh fruits.

Their full-service food kitchens also offer fresh burritos, bowls, and salads.

Gone are the days of c-stores being havens to drive your salt and sugar intake through the roof.

You can still go for those foods if you want. But, leading c-stores now serve the market segment that’s increasingly health-conscious.

3. And All This at a Cheaper Price

Of course, part of the c-store value proposition has always been lower prices.

Consumer trends researcher NPD Group found that the average price of prepared foods and snacks at c-stores is $3.67. That compares to an average price of $5.67 at traditional quick-service restaurants.

So, these newer food service options are here to stay. The only question lies in how they will look.

What new food service innovations can your c-store offer in 2021 and beyond?[:]