C-Store Food Trends: Label Friendly Ingredients – What They Are and Why They Matter
June 1, 2023

In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward label-friendly ingredients in the food industry. Consumers are becoming more aware of what they put into their bodies and are demanding healthier, more natural options that can be easily identified on a product label. As a result, food companies are starting to take a closer look at the ingredients they use, and are making changes to their products to meet this demand.

Label Friendly Ingredients in C-stores

One industry that has been particularly impacted by the label-friendly ingredient movement, is the convenience store industry. Leaning into trends like this one, are one of the reasons c-store food service is expected to continue its upward trend.

Convenience stores are still fighting their way out from negative presumptions about the nutritional value and health benefits of their food offerings. In years past, c-stores were not thought of as places where you could buy many healthy food options. However, with the rise of the label-friendly ingredient movement, convenience stores are starting to offer healthier, easier to understand options. This is because, simply put, consumers are no longer willing to sacrifice health and personal goals for convenience.

What are Label Friendly Ingredients?

Label friendly ingredients are those that are easy to understand and recognize by the average consumer. Whole grains, nuts, fruits and veggies, certain plant-based food products and naturally occurring ingredients, all lend themselves well to this trend. Brands are moving toward more plant-based or naturally-occurring sweeteners, stabilizers, colors, flavors, and textural components, in an effort to move away from overly “chemical-sounding” ingredients. Providing options that eschew heavily-refined sugars, modified starches, and refined fats is a good place to start, as these are often perceived to be “unnatural” and less appealing to consumers.

How are Convenience Stores Responding
One way that convenience stores are responding to this trend is by offering more fresh food options. Many convenience stores now have a selection of pre-packaged salads, sandwiches, and wraps that feature label-friendly ingredients. These options are not only healthier, but can also be more convenient than stopping at a QSR.

Another way that c-stores are responding to the rise of label-friendly ingredients is by offering more natural and organic options overall. These options tend to fit the bill for consumers seeking label-friendly food products. This includes snacks that are free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors. Many c-stores are also starting to offer selections of organic produce, dairy, and meat.

The rise of label-friendly ingredients is not just affecting the food options the convenience stores offer, but it is also changing the way these stores market their products. Many c-stores are now highlighting the healthy options that they offer, using language like “better for you” and “healthier choices” to attract health-conscious consumers.

Label Friendly Foods in C-Stores: Conclusion
The effect that the label friendly ingredient movement is having on convenience stores is significant. Consumers are no longer willing to compromise their health for convenience, and they are demanding healthier options. As a result, convenience stores are changing the way they do business and are offering more label-friendly options. This is not only good for consumers, but it is also good for the convenience store industry, as it allows stores to appeal to a wider range of customers.

The rise of label friendly ingredients is a positive trend that is having a significant impact on the c-store food service sector. Consumers are demanding healthier options and c-stores are delivering by offering more fresh, natural, organic, and whole food options. This trend is not just good for consumers and their health, it’s also good for the industry as we adapt to changing preferences and remain competitive in a crowded market.

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.


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