ALEXANDRIA, Va.—As many convenience stores continue to solve for the coveted dinnertime daypart, Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh in Altoona, Iowa, is filling this need by offering mealtime options for in-store dinning, or for at-home baking and preparation.
This year, NACS featured Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh in Ideas 2 Go to showcase the Midwestern grocery chain’s newest c-store concept. Customers can expect to find aisles stocked with grocery items, beer, wine and liquor, and convenient, grab-and-go fresh food and beverage options.
One concept that stands out in the Midwest is pizza, whether the popular “taco” or a breakfast variety. In fact, consumers especially love fresh-baked pizza from their neighborhood convenience store. With Casey’s General Stores, Kum & Go, QuikTrip and Kwik Star in its market, Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh came prepared to roll out some dough with its Mia Pizza concept.
The team at Hy-Vee designed the store to showcase Mia Pizza as the first thing customers see when they walk in. Baked fresh in a wood-fired oven, the build-your-own program features dough that’s freshly made and rolled daily with plenty of veggie, meat, sauce and cheese options for customization. There’s also a menu of signature pizzas that customers can choose from, including taco pizza.
For at-home dining, Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh Meal Kits are popular among customers looking for a quick dinnertime solution. Created in Hy-Vee commissaries, the chef-prepared meals come in choices such as meat loaf, chicken enchilada, salmon over rice, and lasagna and goulash. Each meal takes 30 to 45 minutes to reheat. Containers of “Short Cuts” are also delivered to Fast & Fresh, which help customers save time preparing snacks and meals through a variety of pre-washed and pre-cut fruits and veggies.
Sushi is another popular item at the convenience store, which is made fresh and delivered twice daily. “We are a mealtime solution, and our sushi is as good as anybody’s,” said Mike Terry, senior vice president of convenience stores at Hy-Vee. Sake is merchandised in the sushi case, creating an opportunity to upsell and communicate the quality of Hy-Vee’s sushi program.
“We have Nori sushi that comes from our Hy-Vee grocery stores, and it’s very high-quality sushi,” said Terry, adding, “The joke of convenience store sushi is dead.”
Check out the innovations and ideas we found at Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh in Ideas 2 Go.