One in three shoppers, or 34 percent, have purchased more snacks considered "healthy choices" in the past year, and they're increasingly turning to convenience stores to do so.
According to a survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), six in 10 U.S. consumers (61 percent) say convenience stores are offering healthier products and serving sizes.
The sales at convenience stores have increased along with this new consumer trend, up 9.7 percent from 2014. Fifty-nine percent of shoppers say convenience stores offer food they feel comfortable eating.
Shoppers are actually turning to convenience stores to seek out their healthy foods. Overall, 44 percent of consumers believe convenience stores offer nutritious items, up from 30 percent in 2014. In total, the sales of fresh fruits and vegetables at these stores increased 10.3 percent to $362 million in 2014.
In fact, 53 percent of consumers said they would visit convenience stores if more healthy options were available, according to another recent study by Technomic.
"Convenience stores are increasingly becoming food markets for time-starved consumers seeking snacks, meals and grocery items that are both fast and healthy," said NACS Chairman Steve Loehr, VP of operations at Kwik Trip.
Many convenience stores are doing their part to increase healthy food options for their shoppers. For example, 7-Eleven recently launched two healthier snack bars under the 7-Select GO!Smart brand. And last September the company introduced Fresh Foods by Tony Horton, the powerhouse behind the BeachBody P90X fitness program.
-See this NACS press release
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