Convenience Stores Now Offering Fresh, Better-For-You Foods

Convenience stores are known to be dark, dusty, and laden with artificial food. But this stereotype is slowly changing as some upbeat convenience stores are offering fresh and healthy meals on the go. The Goods Mart in Los Angeles is setting an example of a new wave of convenience stores. As the brainchild of Rachel Krupa,  The Goods Mart is shaking up traditional models of convenience stores by offering healthy and high-end products from local brands.

Like 7-Eleven But With Better-For-You Foods

Just like the famous and conventional 7-Eleven, The Goods Mart offers a wide variety of products. The only difference is that the ingredients do not contain artificial colors and preservatives.  And while 7-Eleven provides its slushies and coffee self-service bar, The Goods Mart serves coffee and slushies from local companies with responsible practices. Companies like La Colombe and Kelvin Slush Co that help organic products.

But it is not only The Goods Mart that is picking up with the better-for-you foods trend. Another brand of a convenient store is Foxtrot. With five locations in Chicago, the store’s big driver is coffee, wine, and ice cream. It does not look like a convenience store but a  coffee shop. According to co-founder Mike LaVitola, Foxtrot started as an online delivery service for convenience store items like snacks, wine, and coffee. But the need for more organic and better-for-you convenience store items pushed the need for Foxtrot to open its very own brick and mortar stores.


Denver-based Choice Market, which opened recently, is banking on its organic bananas as its top seller. But aside from its bananas, it also has a robust made-to-order sandwich, salads, and smoothies. While 90% of the shelves are stocked up with fresh and healthy products, 10% of its shelves are still filled with traditional convenience store CPG brands like Coca-Cola.  Just looking at these three convenience stores, you can see society is embracing a new culture of better-for-you foods.

How The Trend Affects Local Consumers

Customers now have increased expectations of what convenience stores should feel and look like.  The popularity of this new wave of convenience stores is pushing for more competitors to enter the market. Foxtrot, for example, is planning to open more stores in a couple of months because of the high demand for such convenience stores. Other companies are emerging and following suit.

Gone will be the days when convenience stores are notorious for selling items that are artificial and unhealthy.  The new wave of convenience stores are not only inviting as they elevate the experience of their customers, but it also teaches people how to eat healthily. It gives everyone available better-for-you foods to make better choices.  Expect for more stores to open not only in Chicago and Denver but many other parts of the country too.

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Better-For-You Snacks on the Rise as the Rest of the Category Levels Off

Convenience Store News is reporting that despite all the news stories about growth in the snacks category, it appears things are finally starting to slow down. Based on IRI data, midyear sales dropped in subcategories such as popcorn, snack bars, and pretzels. Kristen Hamby of Mclane had this to say about the recent sales data in snacking.

There are a couple of segments within salty that are flatlining, such as nuts, which is surprising due to the healthy halo that surrounds them, telling us that these consumers may have transferred over to a different segment looking for other means of attributes such as protein. – Kristen Hamby

However, industry trend spotters are not discouraged and believe healthy innovations launching this year will push new growth.

The Healthy Snacking Category is Still Very Much Alive and Well

Susan Viamari, VP of Thought Leadership at IRI, believes snacking is still a huge opportunity for brands. She sees the better-for-you options as the biggest opportunity for C-Stores. New products with functional benefits like vitamins, proteins, and other valuable nutrition are catching consumers’ attention. As you can see below, snack products like jerky and sweet snacks saw the biggest growth over the past 24 weeks ending June 11, 2017.



How will companies rebound? Will better-for-you snacks take over the aisle? We look forward to looking at the year-end numbers and seeing how healthy snacks benefit from consumer trends.

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