C-Store Foodservice: What NACS SOI Data Show

The pandemic upended foodservice in 2020, but innovation points toward recovery.

May 03, 2021

Foxtroct DC inside store

By Kim Stewart

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The past year hasn’t been entirely kind to c-store foodservice as NACS Magazine shares in the just-published May issue featuring NACS State of the Industry (SOI) data for 2020. There’s plenty of evidence, though, that convenience retailers with healthy foodservice operations will succeed in the long run.

The magazine’s cover story, “Back on the Menu,” outlines the foodservice category’s metrics as gathered by the NACS Research team and presented at the NACS SOI Summit in April. (Look for exclusive coverage of the entire SOI Summit in the June issue of NACS Magazine.)

As Heather Davis, director of foodservice, Parker’s, said, “The reality is that we’re still climbing a mountain with foodservice in some ways to where people don’t realize the amount of work and effort that we are truly putting into the quality of our food, and I think one of the benefits of the pandemic is that we became that trusted place that you could get a hot meal from.”

Part of the turnaround hinges on innovation. “Food is really going to be the champion that we can lean on to drive us into the future,” Davis said. Whether that’s chicken sandwiches (read “Chicken Sandwich War”) or a pizza program like Casey’s (read “Casey’s Leans Into Growth”) or housemade tortilla chips and queso (read “Rooted in Food,” our online extra Q&A with Brandon Frampton, vice president of foodservice operations at Texas Born (TXB), the convenience retail sector is embracing a culture of high-quality, great-tasting food.

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Kim Stewart is editor-in-chief of NACS Magazine and NACS editorial director. This NACS Daily article is an abridged version of From the Editor: “A Case of Spam” in the May issue of NACS Magazine.

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