4 Ways to Boost Holiday Convenience with Prepared Foods

Source: https://www.winsightgrocerybusiness.com/retail-foodservice/4-ways-boost-holiday-convenience-prepared-foods

Holidays are not just busy for grocery stores and restaurants, what about the convenience stores? Around the holidays it’s easy for consumers to run out and pick up a dinner at the neighborhood convenience store. Below are great ideas for our convenience store customers to spice up their prepared foods menu.

The fall and winter holidays are a great opportunity to boost prepared food sales, which in turn means a boost in potential profits for retailers.

During this busy time of year, many consumers tend to naturally gravitate toward shared plates and appetizers that are perfect get togethers. While many naturally look to their favorite grocery stores, their neighborhood convenience stores often have just what they want and need when it comes to platters, apps and sharable eats, too. With that potential sales opportunity in mind, here are a few smart ways to boost party-ready food sales this holiday season.

Be bold with flavor

A large number of consumers today are seeking bolder flavors in their food choices, according to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report. Over one-third of all consumers and 43% of consumers ages 18- to 34-years old say they would like more places to offer foods that feature a combination of flavors, the report found.

Consider combining two complimentary flavors to make apps and sharable eats sweet and spicy or spicy and refreshing at the same time. Barbecue sauces that combine flavors, like Sweet Baby Ray’s’ Honey Hot Sauce & Glaze, Citrus Chipotle Barbecue Sauce or Citrus Garlic Mojo Wing Sauce can be used to spice up anything from chicken wings and tenders to meatballs, sliders and more. For instance, use the Honey Hot Sauce & Glaze to create a Honey Hot Chicken and Waffle Cone – a waffle cone stuffed with cool, creamy coleslaw and hot, spicy and sweet fried chicken tenders.

Global flavors also meet consumers’ growing desire for enhanced taste and boldness. C-stores can meet the consumer halfway by infusing a bold and/or ethnic flavor into more recognizable foods, such as using Sweet Baby Ray’s Sriracha Wing Sauce & Glaze on Grilled Honey Sriracha Chicken Thighs.

Consider customization

Sauces offer consumers another simple opportunity for meal customization, something that one-third of consumers across the globe say they typically like to do, according t o a newsletter from Technomic, Technomic’s Take:2018 Global Megatrends. And among Gen Zers, 50% consider customization a deciding factor when purchasing food, according to Technomic’s recent Generational report.

To meet this demand, consider setting up a sauce bar so consumers can enjoy choosing the flavors they want for their holiday-inspired platters.

Spirit and seasonal infusions

Just in time for holiday parties, bourbon- and whiskey-infused sauces are a great way to spike up many platter-ready snacks and sharable item like sliders, grilled meats, skewers and even dips.

Consumers—especially those 18- to 34-years old—also enjoy seasonally appropriate ingredients, with 44% saying seasonal foods are important in their food choices, according to Technomic’s 2017 Retailer Meal Solutionsreport. Combine a crunchy, apple cider-vinegar pickled slaw of shaved root vegetables with a barbecue pulled pork sandwich or use Sweet Baby Ray’s Pit Boss Barbecue Sauce to make Crispy Baby Back Ribs and serve them with the same sides or with Cowboy Beans, made with Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce, hearty brisket, and loads of flavorful spices.

Modern marinades

Marinades and dressings are another smart and simple way to infuse extra flavor into prepared foods at the start of the preparation process for holiday platters.

Prepared dressings, barbecue and other sauces make for especially easy marinades. As Mediterranean and Greek flavors continue to rise in popularity, consider flavors such as citrus, garlic, and parmesan when upgrading sharable skewers of chicken or seafood, or tacos with marinated meat.

The holidays are a busy time for everyone—make consumers’ lives easier by offering an array of tasty prepared foods, and workers’ lives easier by creating recipes using delicious pre-made speed-scratch sauces, marinades and dips.