Foodservice Sales Fell in March

NACS CSX per store/per month data also reveal impact of COVID-19 pandemic on fuel sales.

May 26, 2020

By Chris Blasinsky

ALEXANDRIA, VA—NACS CSX data for the month of March reveal that foodservice sales for the convenience retail industry declined compared with the same period in 2019, as the national emergency and state lockdowns took effect in response to COVID-19.

Federal and local guidance resulted in convenience stores nationwide limiting customer access to self-serve foodservice like roller grills, bakery cases, coffee and dispensed beverages. March CSX data reflect these operational changes, with per store/per month total foodservice sales down by 14.5% compared with March 2019.

Among the subcategories, per store/per month prepared food sales were down 19.8%; hot dispensed beverage sales were down 23.1%, cold dispensed beverages 14.3% and frozen dispensed beverages 1.7%. Commissary, which includes packaged items like sandwiches and salads, saw the least per store/per month sales decline of 0.9%.

“The commissary subcategory held its own in March, which is likely due to product being packaged and conveying a sense of safety and trust that customers are looking for in a convenience retail environment,” said Chris Rapanick, director of business development at NACS.

Also, compared with the year-ago period, per store/per month NACS CSX data for March reveal a:

  • 28% drop in fuel sales
  • 20.6% drop in total sales
  • 15.9% drop in fuel gallons
  • 10.2% drop in total transactions

Total in-store merchandise sales (excluding cigarettes) increased 0.6% in March compared with March 2019, while cigarette sales slipped 0.5%.

NACS CSX data is a subset of the annual NACS State of the Industry data received from monthly subscribers; the data is representative of all NACS regions. CSX is a dynamic, self-reported subscription database serving the convenience and fuel retailing industry and its stakeholders. For more information, visit convenience.org/CSX.

Chris Blasinsky is the NACS content communications strategist; she can be reached at cblasinsky@convenience.org, and on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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