C-stores are increasingly becoming a one-stop shop for consumers’ nutritional needs. It’s important to have the functional, healthy products that consumers are craving, so our stores can continue to be the only store needed.
Across the industry we are seeing an increased focus on health and wellness, longevity, and quality of life, in the food products people are choosing. Beyond seeking out “healthier” options than traditional snack foods, customers are looking for products that support their individual, unique health goals.
Consumers are Personalizing their Nutrition
Seeking out products that support balanced wellness is only the beginning of the expansion in consumer demands with regards to nutrition at c-stores. A one-size-fits-all approach to healthy foods and healthy bodies has begun to fall to the wayside in recent years, in favor of a tailored approach – aimed at supporting individuals’ unique bodies and health goals throughout different stages of life.
This trend is extremely prevalent. 63% of consumers in a recent survey reported that they are interested in food and drink products that are customized to their specific nutritional needs. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, 55% of consumers reported that they would be willing to pay a premium for functional foods that support their wellness goals.
Supporting Wellness Goals
Expect to see a continued increase in food products at convenience stores that aim to fill a certain role, achieve a certain health goal, or cater to the needs of a specific stage of life. This trend started primarily with foods to support weight loss, but we’re already seeing the addition of foods formulated to help muscle growth, provide energy and mental clarity, or to support people who are pregnant, elderly, or at risk of becoming ill, to name a few.
We expect further segmentation and contextualization for different demographics and needs in the coming years. It will be important to align these new products with core demographics for different stores, and market accordingly!
Watch for this trend to dovetail with others in our 2023-2024 C-Store Food Trends report – especially with regards to emerging flavors, label-friendly ingredients, naturally occurring sweeteners, and alternative protein sources. Many of these trending products, ingredients, and flavors lend themselves well to being adapted as functional foods. We also expect to see a rise in locally sourced products throughout the entire health food sector.
Gender and Age-Group Targeted Nutrition
As part of the push towards more proactive personalization in the nutrition sector, brands are developing and marketing products that promote health at different life stages and for different gender needs. Dietary supplements have long been formulated and marketed for specific age groups and genders – but we’re beginning to see this pour over into grocery and commissary type products as well.
As the baby boomer generation continues to age, food products aimed specifically at older adults have been gaining traction. Gender and age-groups seem to be the first demographics being heavily explored, but we expect this trend to expand into other categories, and to further segment and personalize.
Personalized Nutrition at C-stores
Overall, we expect to see health food and nutrition products continue to proliferate, with both the supplement and health food markets continuing to specify and niche down. Consumers continue to seek out “health food” options that support their individual goals, and producers are delivering, with a wide variety of healthy products.
These trends don’t exist in a vacuum though. Expect the localvore movement to coincide with these healthfood trends – there is a significant crossover audience. Also, consumers are still focused on transparency, traceability, and social responsibility – perhaps even more so when it comes to health food products. These trends represent unique challenges, but also a world of opportunity and products to explore.
2023-2024 Food Trends Guide: Now Available!
See our complete 2023-2024 Convenience Store Food Trends guide for more insights that can help you grow sales in your stores.