Cover Story: Snack Attack

The abundance of options, our increasingly busy lifestyles and our culture of customization have irrevocably changed the way we eat. Products brings you first-person stories from the front lines of the new meal occasion.

By
Steve Dwyer, CSP Reporter

Abbey Lewis, Executive Editor

Abbie Westra, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Products

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PAUL SERVAIS

Retail Food Service Director, Kwik Trip, La Crosse, Wis.

Consumer snacking trends must now serve as the nucleus for any successful initiative. But if you try and define what a snack is, good luck.

The definition of a snack is blurred, and the definition of a day-part has also changed drastically. I can rightfully say that everything we sell at Kwik Trip within foodservice is a “snack.”

The grazing phenomenon is picking up greater momentum all the time. To qualify grazing, it’s not just millennials but all consumer demographics, bar none. And to further throw a potential curve at us, customers have a tendency to come in at 1 p.m. looking for breakfast and a cheeseburger at 6 a.m. That’s why we put lunch items out at the start of the day—they generate sales.

Kwik Trip dove into full-fledged foodservice in 2002, and in that period it’s been about program evolution, not revolution. We saw the shifts coming, and we trained our coworkers accordingly. We might have all the software necessary to make menu-related decisions, but it still all comes down to your gut instinct—knowing when to pack the cases and when to back off.

You never know where your next great idea will originate. I was in a pretzel shop at the Dallas airport and noticed a breakfast sandwich on a pretzel roll and thought, “We can do that!” In the near  future—maybe by summer—we’ll roll out a steak, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on a pretzel roll. Just like with the ever-changing consumer eating habits, stay tuned.

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