July 17, 2017
Although I’m impressed by the large number of convenience stores that provide access to fresh, healthful products, there’s still a disconnect in communicating this to customers. Many stores offer little to no indication that they carry healthful products—unless customers physically walk inside.
Last summer, when I was near the Oklahoma City airport, I reluctantly stopped at a location from a major brand that had questionable curb appeal and an enormous promo about a deal on 32-ounce fountain drinks. But when I ventured inside, I also discovered salads, fruit, vegetables, mixed nuts, low-sugar snack bars and other similar products.
This made me wonder how many customers might have come inside if they knew these products were available? How many would have purchased food in addition to fuel?
Part of the issue in not promoting healthful options is that such marketing comes at the expense of tried-and-true traditional products. But that’s incorrect. It’s not about promoting one over the other, but rather telling customers that you have something for everyone.
The good news? This doesn’t have to be complicated. And it can begin with a few simple steps.
Step 1: Reach customers at the pump. You may already have promotions displayed at or near the pump, but do any of them show your healthful offerings?
At my local HyVee Gas, each pump’s hose has a small plastic frame attached to hold inserts for various promotions. Some of these show traditional products, but many show healthful products as well. It’s a great strategy, because even if a customer doesn’t want the salad and bottled water I saw on one promotion, they know other healthful products are likely sold inside.
Kum & Go does something similar. As I write this column, I’m using the outdoor seating at one of their new marketplace stores. Across the parking lot, a customer is pumping gas into his SUV and staring at a poster for one of their new salads.