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Convenience stores see more sales as more Americans turn to snacking

Convenience stores have long been a quick and easy way for busy individuals to grab some snacks, beverages or other items when they're on the go. As they continue to see increasing sales, these merchants may need to ensure their money counters are up to date and functioning properly.

According to "The Future of Food Retailing Report" from Willard Bishop, convenience stores and grocers saw sales jump 2.2 percent last year, primarily due to their high level of accessibility and successful promotional techniques. The prominence of relying on snacks, rather than larger meals, could also play a role, as these merchants offer plenty of on-the-go products.

Convenience stores have seen significant sales growth and the report anticipates these outlets will continue to see similar gains in the coming years, especially if common eating habits remain the same. Overall, these merchants claimed $199 billion in in-store food sales in 2012. Those retailers attached to gas stations accounted for 12.7 percent dollar share in 2012, a figure that is expected to leap to 13.8 percent by 2017.

Snack purchases could continue to drive growth
This surge in growth at convenience stores may be largely due to the fact that more Americans than ever are munching on the go, rather than relying on only three meals per day. According to research from NPD Group, women eat an average of 3.1 convenient snack foods per day, while men eat about 2.7. Over the course of one year, there are more than 356 billion instances of snacking. Convenience stores have taken note of these changing habits and are offering visitors more options that are quick, simple and filling. This is especially true as they target younger generations, who grew up snacking between meals.

"Millennials and the generation coming behind them are snackers, and I don't see them returning to the traditional three-meals-a-day standard," said Kelly Buckley, 7-Eleven vice president of fresh food innovation. "They were busy as youngsters, and life has gotten no less hectic for them as young adults. Kids, teens and 20-somethings are the biggest snackers."

As individuals rely more on daily snacks and convenience stores adjust strategies to appeal to these consumer needs, merchants may see a spike in sales. To handle the growth in transactions, retailers could benefit from the latest cash counter that will simplify backroom processes and ensure efficiency.

July 29, 2013