Why a Non-Traditional Franchise Is Your Foodservice Answer

They’re low cost, require minimal investment and are an easy way for c-stores to enter the foodservice scene.

September 27, 2022

This article is brought to you by Jeremiah’s Italian Ice.

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Inside-store sales at convenience stores grew at a substantial rate of 8.7% in 2021 year over year to $277.9 billion, according to NACS State of the Industry data. The increase was driven mainly by an 18.2% increase in foodservice sales. Having a foodservice offering at your convenience store is not a nice-to-have anymore—it’s a must-have to attract customers and build loyalty.

Foodservice is also a huge revenue driver, specifically, the ice cream/novelties category. Last year, gross margins for the category were 44.92% per store, per month. Hershey noted in a recent NACS Magazine article that frozen treats are only going increase in popularity, as consumers have been eating at home a lot over the last two years, and they’re going to be selecting items that are easier to eat on the go.

“Innovation is key to the frozen dessert category, both in packaging and in flavor,” said Bryon Stephens, chief co-development officer, Jeremiah’s, a frozen dessert franchise.

But what about the independent retailer with limited space? Franchises can be a solution for retailers that have little space to work with, but many franchises require a hefty financial investment and high monthly expenses.

What about the retailer who has limited space and a tight investment budget? Non-traditional franchises are a better solution, as expenses are typically lower due to reduced square footage requirements, location and other unique differences that set this type of franchise apart from a more traditional format.

Stephens, who led the development efforts that saw the start and evolution of co-branding in his previous roles, is no stranger to non-traditional growth models. “It’s less risky for operators to take on a non-traditional business, especially in new markets,” he said. “Plus, they can take advantage of underutilized space, using very little existing square footage.”

For convenience store retailers who are looking to add a dessert foodservice offering but need to make a smaller investment within limited space, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice offers retailers a non-traditional franchise offering with the same sweet benefits and irresistible products as teaming up with a premium brand.

This is the first installment of a two-part NACS Daily series on how a non-traditional foodservice franchise can increase topline revenue and loyalty. Look for part two in Thursday’s NACS Daily. Learn more about Jeremiah’s Italian Ice.