Reinventing convenience store food: Growing 7-Eleven's foodservice profit, sales and image using multi-stage shopper-focussed research

Alyssa Milton and John Berenyi

Background and business challenge: Raising the bar for convenience store food

How do we grow the Food on the Go category by attracting new and current customers to 7-Eleven as a destination for Food on the Go? What will it take? In October 2013, 7-Eleven, a global chain of convenience stores (and the largest petrol and convenience chain in Australia, operating over 600 stores nationwide), engaged Bergent to investigate the needs, perceptions and experiences of people shopping for 'Food on the Go' at 7- Eleven.

Foodservice, or fresh 'Food on the Go' (FotG), is an important category in which 7-Eleven aims to achieve sustainable profit growth. Their strategic customer proposition drives their Range, Merchandising, Training, Brand and Communications and Operational Execution in the category. With this in mind, they have sought to challenge perceptions of low quality and freshness in the petrol and convenience channel, and developed their own line of fresh food alongside the iconic Slurpee; the 'Munch' brand includes sandwiches, wraps, hot pastries, muffins, yoghurt, drinks and fruit salad. However, active consideration of 7-Eleven's FotG offering had stalled over the past three years, despite the highly successful introduction of $1 Coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts.