Attract Fill-In Shopping Trips With Refrigerated and Frozen Foods

Fresh and prepackaged foodservice items can help build baskets.

June 30, 2021

Fresh Frozen Sandwich

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Customers have come to expect fresh, prepared foodservice items at convenience stores packaged in a convenient, grab-and-go format.

“I think everybody’s planning for an awesome summer because they had time to reflect and make menu adaptations and innovate to create excitement in the store to attract and keep new consumers,” said Jac Moskalik, corporate director of fresh and foodservice for Core-Mark International, during this week’s Convenience Matters, “Convenience Foodservice Trends.”

Some of those innovations include an expanded dairy and frozen grocery section at convenience retailers. “We had triple-digit growth in certain areas and a fill rate disruption in frozen grocery,” she said. “Those items continue to grow for us so much [that retailers consider them] proven basket builders.”

What Moskalik saw was that during the height of COVID-19 last year, retailers “effectively attracted that new, fill-in shopper” who has become more of a habitual shopper that has “identified convenience as definitely a secondary avenue for those types of products. I am a firm believer if we continue to keep those products in the stores, that shopper[s] will keep coming into the store and building the basket for the retailer.”

Core-Mark also viewed what Moskalik calls, “refrigerated snacking” as an area of growth for convenience stores. “Whether frozen or refrigerated, if it was packaged, it was completely acceptable to offer that food offering,” she said. “A lot of retailers depended heavily within those categories to grow their food sales while foodservice was shut down. … Packaged products from a fresh perspective, as well as frozen, were an awesome opportunity to at least convert those customers to a food purchase.”

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 280 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at Episodes have been downloaded more than a quarter million times by listeners around the world.