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Food services set Wawa and Cumberland Farms as America’s leading c-stores, says Nielsen

A new study by Nielsen confirmed the growing importance of food services and found that Wawa, Cumberland Farms and Sheetz are the convenience stores with the highest equity.

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During last week’s NACS Show 2017 Nielsen released its latest Store Choice Drivers report, which highlighted the importance of food services and technology in today’s market.

The study found that 33% of c-store shoppers expect to purchase fresh food in the convenience channel in the future.

Because of these new trends classic fuel and convenience retailers are losing ground to the likes of Wawa, Cumberland Farms and Sheetz, which are currently ahead of the game in terms of prepared food and loyalty programs, explained John F. Pracht of Nielsen during his presentation at the NACS Show.

Nielsen also found that U.S. convenience and fuel retailer Speedway had the best loyalty program in the market.

Pracht emphasized how c-store retailers need to be even more convenient now that traditional grocery retailers such as Wal-Mart and Kroger are turning to smaller formats, on top of the additional threat of newcomers like Amazon.

In terms of products, liquid tea (+27%), tobacco alternatives (+25%) and premixed alcohol drinks (+19) showed the biggest growth compared to data from 2016, according to Nielsen.

The NACS Show took place last week in Chicago with an attendance of over 23,000 professionals.

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