The United Fresh Produce Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) have published a new resource looking at distribution options available to c-store owners.
Convenience Store Distribution Options for Fresh Produce provides an overview of various options available to retailers seeking to increase their fresh produce offerings.
Consumers are increasingly looking to c-stores for fresh produce for snacks and meals, whether bananas, cut fruit, or prepared salads. Nearly half of all consumers (48%) say these stores are a place where they can get fresh produce, according to a 2015 national consumer survey conducted by NACS.
At the same time, convenience retailers also are stocking more fresh produce. More than three in four NACS members (77%) say they now sell fresh produce. As a result of these trends, sales of fresh fruits and vegetables in c-stores grew 14.4% in 2015, more than five times the overall 2.7% growth rate of produce sales in the United States, according to Nielsen data.
Depending on their resources and business model, the 154,000 c-stores in the United States have different distribution approaches to get products to their stores—and these approaches affect how they obtain fresh product. Further complicating the issue, many chains have grown through a combination of acquisitions and the building of new stores, making it tougher to implement a one-size-fits-all approach across all stores within a company.
This new publication is the third deliverable from the partnership NACS and United Fresh formed in June 2014 to identify best practices to grow produce sales in c-stores. The publication is available for download here.