FRESNO, Calif. – The corner store now has a healthier vibe, KFSN-TV reports. From food and drinks to upscale dining, convenience stores are transforming into a place where you can fill your tank and fill your plate with healthy—and delicious—options.
“There's certainly a move toward more healthy items at convenience stores,” said Jeff Lenard, spokesman for NACS. “You want something indulgent? Great. You want something healthy? Great. It's all under one roof.”
These mini marts still offer soft drinks, salty snacks, candy and beer, but many are adding mini-restaurants that serve made-to-order menus such as grilled chicken and burgers. With some Americans buying much of their food from convenience stores, NACS partnered with the Partnership for a Healthier America to improve their offerings. “We are working with nutritionists who can basically help tell us what is credible and what is not,” Lenard said.
More stores are offering local craft beers, wine bars and other ways to enjoy on-premise drinks. “There certainly is a growing trend to look at what is hip, what is new, what is exciting. A lot of people come to stores, and they want to be surprised, they want to be wowed,” said Lenard.
Retailers are also focusing on technology to assist customers with ordering, such as touchscreen kiosks, and enjoying their visit, such as loyalty apps. “When you look at convenience stores in the next 10 years they'll be different, and they will focus on what customers want—fast, fresh and get them on their way,” Lenard said.