Shoppers search for health foods at convenience stores

More shoppers are seeking out healthy food and beverage options at convenience stores, according to new market research from Technomic.

"A lot of the stereotypes [of convenience stores] are falling by the wayside," Donna Hood Crecca, Technomic's senior director told Food Navigator. She added that younger consumers are more open minded about the stores' offerings.

While convenience store shoppers still heavily skew male, the survey revealed more women are starting to frequent the stores and they tend to be more interested in healthier options than their male counterparts.

Crecca noted that, in the study, 53 percent of consumers said they would visit convenience stores if more healthy options were available. In particular, a trend toward healthy snacks over "craveable" snacks.

In addition, 62 percent of consumers are seeking healthier drinks over healthier food choices at convenience stores. For example, sweet beverages are declining and purchases of bottled water and sports drinks are on the rise in the channel.

According to Crecca, 7-Eleven and Holiday Stationstores were leading the march, offering produce and yogurt over baked goods.

This month 7-Eleven 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.

The number of convenience stores in the United States grew 1 percent in 2014, totaling 152,794 stores. Convenience stores now account for 33.9 percent of all retail outlets in the country, according to the 2015 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.

For more:
-See this Food Navigator article

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