Consumers Shift Away From QSRs to Convenience, Report Shows

Customers enjoy c-store value and convenience.

June 13, 2024

Customer experience solutions company Intouch Insight recently released “Convenience Store Trends Report 2024: Powering the Next Era of Convenience Stores,” which noted 78% of its survey respondents prefer to pay at the pump, highlighting the challenge of driving customers into stores.

“One way to do this is by offering made-to-order options and coffee,” the report said, adding that its data shows 93% of consumers report trying made-to-order food from a convenience store, up from 76% in 2022.

According to data from the NACS State of the Industry Report® of 2023 Data, foodservice made up 26.9% of in-store sales, and prepared food posted a 12.2% gain in sales and 13.9% gain in gross profit year over year, bringing in $51,500 per store, per month.

Consumers are increasingly viewing convenience stores as a first choice for food, with 56% of people considering convenience stores options as “a viable alternative” to offers from QSRs, marking an 11% increase since the company began tracking the sentiment two years ago, according to Intouch Insight’s report.

When people were asked what types of made-to-order meals they usually purchase from convenience stores, sandwiches proved to be particularly popular:

  • 66%: Sandwiches, wraps, paninis
  • 44%: Breakfast items
  • 29%: Hot meals
  • 20%: Salads
  • 9%: Soups
  • 16%: Other

Additionally, the report found that 65% of respondents said that they see convenience stores as an option for coffee over a coffee shop.

A driving motivator behind the rise in convenience store foodservice remains convenience—49% of people reported that when purchasing made-to-order food from a convenience store, they eat in the car while driving. However, the report also noted that there was a slight increase in the number of people who usually eat inside the store, a number that is now up to 5%.

Another driving factor for consumers’ shift toward convenience store foodservice is its value. Intouch Insight found that 62% of its survey respondents believe that convenience store made-to-order food offers good value for their money.