Home » New NACS Resource Helps Retailers Assess Fresh Food Options

New NACS Resource Helps Retailers Assess Fresh Food Options

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Last updated on August 5th, 2015 at 02:40 pm

As more convenience stores consider expanding their fresh produce offering in stores, a new resource has been published to help operators examine what they need to be successful with a fresh produce program.

“Are You Fit For Fresh?” is 10-point checklist developed by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the United Fresh Produce Association. It looks at critical areas to assess whether a specific store should grow its fresh produce offering.

Convenience stores are increasingly adding more healthy and fresh items, according to the NACS member survey conducted in June. More than three in four (77 percent) retailers say they sell fresh fruits and vegetables, nearly six in 10 (57 percent) sell packaged salads and nearly half (47 percent) also sell cut fruit and vegetables.

Over the past six months, 50 percent of all convenience retailers say they have expanded their fresh fruit sales, 30 percent have increased their cut fruit and vegetable offering, and 21 percent are offering more salads.

Sales of fresh fruits and vegetables in convenience stores grew 10.3 percent, nearly four times the overall 2.7 percent growth rate of produce sales in the U.S., in 2014, according to Nielsen data.

“A strong produce program can attract new customers, increase sales, plus deliver strong margins,” said NACS Board Chairman and NACS-United Fresh Convenience Task Force Co-Chairman Steve Loehr, VP of operations at La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip. “This resource helps retailers ask the right questions about customer demand and resources required to effectively execute a quality program.”

The new publication is the second deliverable from the partnership that NACS and United Fresh formed in June 2014 to identify best practices to grow produce sales in convenience stores.  Earlier this year the groups published the 26-page “Building The Business Case For Produce Sales At Convenience Stores.” More than two dozen retailers, distributors and produce companies helped develop and review the document.

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