During this year’s Sweet and Snacks Expo, Circana (formerly IRI and the NPD Group) discussed the many superstars in the snacking universe. Among them is one we reported a couple of months ago, which continues to show continued growth - the Convenience Store channel.
The C-Store channel posted one of the largest annual increases in dollar sales growth from 2022 vs. 2021 at 11.9 percent. Circana attributes the growth in the convenience channel to the industry’s ability to transform and lean into trends, especially regarding food service traffic. Circana research found that pack sizes 5 ounces and above are on the rise, but items less than 5 ounces are winning out the convenience channel. The top five pack sizes that grew in unit growth year over year from 2021 to 2022 were 2.5 ounces, 2.75 ounces, 2.25 ounces, 4 ounces, and 2.125 ounces.
The convenience channel also continues to realize growth across all dayparts. For the two-year period ended Dec. 25, 2022, total snack percentage growth by time of day grew between 29 percent and 31 percent, respectively, with the 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. daypart seeing the largest uptick in dollar sales at 31.3 percent. Circana told the attendees, "The fact that we still see growth after a huge year indicates that consumers are still gravitating to convenience and consuming snacks throughout the day at the convenience channel."
C-Stores use technology to keep their customers engaged. Mobile apps, rewards programs, and promotions give consumers reasons to increase their candy and snack purchases. Circana stated during the Expo that almost half (46%) of convenience consumers are part of a Loyalty Program, leaving room for growth. Additionally, their delivery adoption has allowed the consumer to make candy and snack purchases outside the store at any time of the day. This is key to capturing and engaging Gen Zs.
The C-Store channel delivers growth and exciting opportunities in the vast snacking universe. Contact our Convenience Store team today, capitalize on retail execution market knowledge, and meet your goals. We are fully equipped to take on your needs.