Convenience Stores, Quality Food, and Perception
Fifty-three percent of consumers believe convenience food stores offer food of equal or greater quality to food of established fast-food restaurants. Seventy-one percent of people who never eat at either type of business have the perception that they would get better food at a convenience store.
The perception that convenience stores such as Wawa or Royal Farms, or 7-Eleven offer better food than restaurants serving similar food is enhanced by store decor and the quality of their cabinetry.
A small store that stocks items people use daily, such as groceries, snack foods, toiletries, tobacco products, soft drinks, and over-the-counter drugs, is known as a Convenience Store. Today there are around 175,000 doing business in the United States. The first convenience store opened in Dallas, Texas, back in 1927.
What convenience stores sell the most are tobacco products. This is followed by beer and then snacks and candy. Potato chips and chocolate top the sales list in this second category.
But as convenience stores continue to build up their prepared food menus and their customers continue to take notice, the category of prepared foods keeps growing in importance.
Many chains are now in direct competition to offer equal, if not superior, food experiences to fast-food restaurants such as McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway, and others. Some have even gone the route of "store-within-a-store" by partnering with well-known brands, such as Starbucks and Subway or Dunkin' Donuts.
People who believe there is little difference between c-store food and food from fast-food restaurants are more likely to make less than $25,000, live in urban areas, and tend to be skilled craft workers and laborers. In contrast, customers of fast-food chains are more likely to work as homemakers, managerial professionals, and salespeople.