Chicken’s economical price and inherent flexibility gives convenience store retailers a myriad of opportunities for growing their foodservice business without sacrificing quality and value.
More importantly, chicken offers retailers a host of branded and unbranded options for creating everything from a fresh wings and tenders program, such as 7-Eleven is now doing, or partnering with one of the dozens of strong national and regional brands now operating in the convenience store industry.
According to CSD’s 2010 Brand Preference Study, the top performers in the chicken offering were Tyson, Brakebrush and Broaster. Honorable mentions were Chester’s International, Krispy Krunchy and Pilgrims Pride.
But there is still work to be done. Of the nearly three dozen foodservice managers interviewed, 7% of chicken buyers reported no sales presentations from chicken suppliers in the last two months. In fact, 90% of buyers reported less than three presentations from the 10 companies in the market.
Out West, Famima USA, the 15-store chain based in Torrance, Calif., elected not only to develop its own brand, but to provide its customers with multiple chicken offerings as well. The company has found the work that goes into developing its own brand is well worth the effort.
“Forty percent of our business comes from fresh food,” said Famima Vice President Pervez Pir. “We like to take the lead, not follow the herd. We have to find ways to make food unique because our customers are used to that.”