Cases of pizza crust and dough shipped to convenience stores from broadline foodservice distributors increased by 27 percent, and servings of pizza ordered by convenience store customers increased by more than 20 percent in the year ending February 2015 compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.
Total dollars of pizza crust and dough cases shipped from broadline distributors to convenience stores increased by more than 30 percent, according to findings from NPD’s SupplyTrack, a monthly tracking service that tracks every product shipped from major broadline distributors to their foodservice operators. Complementing the increase in pizza crust and dough case shipments was a 4 percent increase of pizza box case shipments to convenience stores in the year ending February compared to one year ago.
The popularity of the pizza category at convenience stores is further evidence of the channel’s increasing focus on foodservice and its competitive threat to traditional quick service restaurants. According to NPD’s foodservice market research, the double-digit growth in pizza servings at convenience stores contrasts with flat servings at quick service pizza restaurants and a 1 percent increase at traditional quick service restaurants. Convenience stores are also competing with traditional quick service restaurants in terms of visits. Foodservice visits at convenience stores increased by 2 percent compared to a 1 percent gain at traditional quick service restaurants for the year ending February 2015 compared to a year ago. Foodservice at convenience stores is now the top category for in-store gross profit dollars and is number two for sales, according NPD’s Growing in a Fragmented Marketreport.
“Convenience stores, particularly food forward convenience stores, are increasing their foodservice footprint and rapidly gaining share from traditional quick service operators,” says Annie Roberts, vice president, SupplyTrack. “Foodservice manufacturers and distributors should understand the dynamics that are currently at play between retail and traditional quick service restaurants in order to fully serve the needs of the changing foodservice marketplace.”