With January over and shoppers’ willpower to maintain their resolutions potentially waning, there is one trend which sees no sign of diminishing and that’s the demand for healthier options, writes HIM’s Belle Nairac. Gone are the days when shoppers would rely on health food specialists alone to find these products; they are now demanding and expecting it in all of their shopping outlets including c-stores.

Despite this, a massive 78% of shoppers don’t see c-stores as credible places to buy fresh and healthy products and one in six shoppers would like to see more healthy products in their local c-store.
We have seen great initiatives in c-stores to help educate and support shoppers on this quest for a healthier lifestyle, such as fresh fruit included in meal deals, clear signage to healthier products and even exclusion of confectionery from queuing areas in place of these new items.

We know the shoppers of 2016 are more complex than ever; they are demanding more and more from c-stores. And it’s not just functional factors such as price, brand and pack size which are driving shoppers, but also emotional factors and the only one outside of quality that features is health. In fact, when we ask shoppers what’s the most important option available when selecting a product 49% say ‘healthy options’. This scores much higher than ‘recognisable brands’, ‘pack sizes’ and ‘premium options’.

Although we have seen the demand for fresh fruit and veg in c-stores increase since 2013, it’s important to cater to this shopper demand within multiple categories and, of course, missions. 
Not only are shoppers looking to top up on fresh products for the week, but there is also a need for healthier options within meal for tonight and the food-to-go mission.

Some 40% of shoppers are willing to pay more for healthier products so not only is this a trend to support better choices, but it also could boost their average spend.

This trend will only continue so it is essential to address this need and challenge the perception barriers to gain the trust of shoppers and in turn hopefully create a ‘healthier’ basket spend.