Food Pairings

Adjacencies, placement examined in study revealed exclusively at CSP's FARE conference

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator

Jack Cushman

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- The influence of foodservice on convenience store sales and what sells alongside specific subcategories within foodservice were measured in a study exclusively produced for CSP and revealed at CSP's Foodservice at Retail Exchange (FARE) conference.

Before about 500 attendees at the retail foodservice conference, Don Burke, senior vice president at Management Science Assoc. Inc., Pittsburgh, talked about what sold alongside everything from pizza to sandwiches, revealing the results of a 200-store study conducted recently over several months.

While gasoline and fuel were certainly a part of the mix, a surprising in-store pairing was with additional meals, such as soup. "It could be that as they're buying their breakfast, they're trying to buy for their second meal occasion," Burke said.

Here's a few of the parings he revealed, where consumers who purchased the initial category also bought an item from another category:

  • Lunch sandwiches with bottled water and then carbonated dispensed beverages.
  • Pizza with carbonated dispensed beverages and coffee.
  • Breakfast sandwiches with coffee and soup.
  • Chicken with soup.
  • Baked goods with service deli meats and eggs.
  • Soup or salads with fruit and bottled water.

In delving further into the numbers, Jack Cushman, executive vice president of foodservice at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, Canastota, N.Y., said that as one of the four chains in the study, the fact that they sell a "breakfast pizza" may have skewed some of the results.

To that point, Burke added that the stores in the study were mostly in the northeast and may be why chicken did not fare as well, since that category often does better in the south.

A second panel speaker, Kris Klinger, director, USC Hospitality, Los Angeles, which caters mostly to college students at the University of Southern California campuses, said for them, coffee is a big seller throughout the day, again further driving study results.

Much of the discussion centered on potential adjacencies, or what retailers could place near so-called "destination" items to drive ancillary purchases. To that issue, Cushman said they build shelving below their deli cases and stock them with proprietary branded chips. He said where some chains don't see that as sales space, they saw an opportunity and have cashed in on it.

Ultimately, foodservice ends up being important not just for the dollars it brings in as a standalone category, but for the additional sales it drives in other categories, Burke said.

salty snacks
By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator
View More Articles By Angel Abcede