New study shows that the loyal customer is ranking “freshness” as a top priority, no longer a nice-to-have, for store selection

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a departure from previous findings, Q1’s latest comprehensive study shows that convenience store “regulars,” who include younger males and Hispanic males, are increasingly selecting c-stores based on better-for-you options.

The study, which provides insight into the convenience store prepared foods channel, found that males aged 18-24 (68%) and Hispanic males (58%) – the most frequent users of convenience stores – believe finding better-for-you products is very important. Further, the study indicates that these groups associate “better-for-you” options with “fresh” and “all natural,” which dominated choices such as low fat, low sodium, organic and calorie-free.

“I was surprised to see the shift in behavior for the primary shoppers of prepared foods in convenience stores,” said Tim Powell, Vice President of Q1 Consulting. “It’s encouraging for the venue that it’s shedding its gas-station food reputation and becoming a prepared food destination for the next generation.”

These and other findings are included in Q1’s comprehensive study Capturing Opportunities in the Convenience Store Prepared Foods Channel which will be released in June 2016. The research examines trends in the channel, provides insights on consumers and retailers, profiles the top proprietary prepared food concepts, and explores the impact of other channels, such as drug stores, restaurant pop-ups, commissaries/central kitchens and emerging foodservice channels.

To learn more about the engagement or other research programs for foodservice operators and suppliers to the industry contact Paul Clarke ( at 312-955-0252.

About Q1 Consulting

Q1 Consulting is headed by Mr. Tim Powell, Vice President. For more than 15 years he has helped a variety of food and beverage manufacturers with business strategies to effectively penetrate, expand and sustain success across all foodservice segments. He is regularly cited in industry publications. In addition, the Q1 team includes experts with decades of in-house and consulting experience concerning strategic positioning, growth strategy, management development, innovation technique, trend identification, consumer behavior, culinary/recipe development, financial analysis, supply and distribution.