#TrendSpotting C-Store Edition

 In Beverage Development, Blog, Trendspotting

In anticipation of the upcoming National Association of Convenience Stores Show, we decided to focus our TrendSpotting efforts on what’s happening at convenience stores, along with some ideas to help incorporate more novelty to this segment. We include an example of who does it well so you can take your product offering to the next level.

Global Influence

temple turmeric drink

Photo Credit: Temple Turmeric

Many U.S. based c-store chains offer beverages with influences from around the world. Mango agua fresca, horchata, chai latte, and Cuban cafe con leche are just a few examples.
Next Level: Incorporate matcha (Japan) and turmeric (Southern India) to help position products with a health benefit, as these are two global ingredients that have become popular in food and beverage.
Check out: 7-11

My Milkshakes Bring Consumers to the Storesvanilla milkshake

Even though consumers are seeking healthier beverages, they still enjoy indulging, especially in
milkshakes. Nostalgic milkshakes such as cookies ‘n cream, peanut butter cup, mint chip and chocolate milkshakes are still a top pick for consumers.
Next Level: Offer alternative milks, like skim, soy and almond to make consumers feel a little less guilty for making an indulgent choice.
Check out: Corner Store


Frozen Varieties
Frozen beverages including frappes, frozen cappuccinos, speedy freezes, koolees, frozen lemonades, and slushies are still a leading offering in C-stores. Flavors range from traditional CSDs (Mountain Dew, Coke) to caramel, mocha, strawberry cheesecake, mango cream, and vanilla chai tea.
Next Level: Botanical flavors, especially in frozen coffees and lemonades could enhance the variety of frozen treats currently offered at C-stores.
Check out: Wa Wa

Not Just Black Coffee
C-stores have upped their coffee game by offering flavors way beyond the traditional mocha and french vanilla. In addition to some sugar free latte varieties, coffee beverages can be found in indulgent flavors like mocha mint, dulce de leche, pumpkin spice, salted cookie fudge and English toffee.
Next Level: In addition to maintaining a robust menu of indulgent coffee flavors, C-stores should offer the same products and flavors that are available in coffee shops and the grocery aisle – including cold-brew, and nitrogen infused options.
Check out: Cumberland Farms

vanilla heat creamerKick It Up a Notch with Creamers and Syrups
Beverage customization is a must for consumers. New flavor varieties of syrups and creamers that allow patrons more options to modify their favorite beverage are available at many retail locations. Flavors include irish creme, chocolate caramel, Almond Joy, and raspberry.
Next Level: For an added kick, consider adding spicy syrups so that consumers can customize their beverage choice even further. Capsaicin rich peppers are increasingly popular as a component of current flavor profiles.
Check out: ampm

Hot Chocolate 2.0
Decadent hot chocolate flavors like mint white, salted caramel, and caramel brownie are also readily available.
Next Level: Offer sugar-free or fat-free varieties to attract more health conscious consumers.
Check out: Speedway

Simple Smoothiessmoothies
In an effort to compete with natural, fresher and fruitier beverages, smoothies have made their way into several C-
store chains. Strawberry banana, mixed berry, mango peach, and peach banana are a few of the flavors offered and are often topped with whipped cream.
Next Level: C-stores that have smoothies on the menu could offer boosters like antioxidants, protein shots or even caffeine for consumers looking for a little something extra.
Check out: QuikTrip
beverage development at its finest.