How to Attract Consumers with Better-For-You Options

Give customers more choices with expanded better-for-you offerings.

May 28, 2024

This article is brought to you by KeHE DistributorsKeHE-logo-for-in-text-(2).png

“Consumers are increasingly seeking out healthier options and are more conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies. This is accelerating the trend towards better-for-you, fresh, organic and natural options in all food retailers including convenience stores,” said Brad Helmer, EVP of business development at KeHE Distributors.

“Sixty-five percent of consumers state that they are more health conscious and putting more thought into their food choices,” Helmer said.

The driving force behind the better-for-you trend comes from younger generations, including Gen Zs and Millennials. “Older generations are interested in these products too, but they tend to follow the lead of younger consumers. We’re seeing more convenience store operators seeking ways to appeal to younger, health-conscious consumers,” Helmer said. “Often they ask ‘how can we keep serving our current customers but also augment our assortments with these better-for-you options?’”

With that, Helmer said, c-stores have plenty of opportunity in the better-for-you space: “We’ve found that natural, specialty and fresh items are growth drivers, consistently outperforming conventional in sales growth and margins. This is particularly true in convenience, where for the 52 weeks ending 2/25, natural product offerings were up 9.7% in sales.”

“In terms of specific categories, health-conscious consumers are choosing better-for-you options in packaged beverages, snacks and grab-n-go fresh and prepared foods that cater to specific diets and allergies,” Helmer said. Additionally, convenience retailers are seeking private-label items that meet on-the-go consumers’ needs.

One of the biggest challenges that convenience retailers can face is choosing and accessing the right assortment of better-for-you for their stores. Helmer noted that “the number of options can be overwhelming, and choosing the fresh, better-for-you options that your community is looking for can be difficult.”

“KeHE understands this challenge,” Helmer said. That’s why, he noted, the company is committed to providing expertise and analytics to help convenience retailers choose the better-for-you products that will work best in their stores: “After more than 70 years, we’re not just a national distributor with over 70,000 natural, organic, specialty and fresh products, we also support convenience operators with the data and insights needed to determine which products will do best in their stores.”

This is part one of a two-part series about KeHE Distributors and the rising consumer demand for better-for-you products in convenience stores. Look for part two on Thursday.