Georgina Wild of HIM has some advice on offering value for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Value for money is the third most important thing to customers when shopping in convenience stores, There are now more shoppers than ever before looking not just for value-for-money meal deals, but also for inspiring meal solutions when choosing products to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As many as 20% of c-store shoppers are now on a food-to-go mission. This represents a huge opportunity for retailers to encourage shoppers to visit throughout the day, not just in the morning for their paper or in the evening to pick up a bottle of wine.

More than a third (38%) of c-store shoppers said that they would be willing to buy breakfast from a c-store. Breakfast does not necessarily have to be hot food to go it could be a wrapped croissant or a chilled yogurt, a cereal bar or a piece of fruit. Coupled with drink, these items can quickly be ranged and marketed as a breakfast meal solution.

More than half of c-store shoppers interviewed said they would be willing to buy their lunch from a c-store. But the trade is moving far beyond the standard sandwich, crisps and a soft drink meal deal, and many retailers are evolving this offer. For example, Boots offers the option of a salad bowl, wrap, panini, hot vegetable pot, pasta salad, noodles, or soup instead of a standard sandwich, and the ‘snack’ can be a chocolate bar, cake or healthier alternative for £3.50.

There is a huge opportunity with providing ‘meal for tonight’ solutions, with nearly half of all c-store shoppers interviewed saying they would be willing to buy a meal for tonight from a c-store.

Shoppers interviewed said they would be likely or very likely to buy a ‘meal for tonight’ meal deal (eg main meal+ side+ dessert+ wine = £10). However, 26% of shoppers do not think there is enough choice and some shoppers are failing to buy key items, so availability of meal for tonight deals is critical.

C-stores could perhaps offer simple recipe suggestion cards, or provide a week’s menu with a different dinner for each night of the week. Arranging all ingredients into one area would help out those who tell HIM they are looking for a meal solution on their way home from work.