Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to chat with Shanda Franzen, associate marketing manager, Cargill Protein – North America, on Cargill's new partnership with c-store operators, as well as what's new with the brand.
Liz Parker: How has Cargill been partnering with c-store operators to help drive traffic with foodservice offerings?
Shanda Franzen: Cargill is partnering with convenience store operators to help them drive traffic through versatile and engaging foodservice offerings. As a full-service solutions provider, Cargill brings value to the convenience store channel providing innovative products and digital resources designed for c-store consumers and operators through a newly launched content hub. These resources help c-store operators better understand and serve their customers.
Cargill’s “customer-driven” service tradition coupled with it is depth of products across all dayparts and multiple product lines, provides labor-saving options—products with consistent performance, heat-and-serve items and frozen offerings—that can save c-store customers time, money and resources.
We also offer expansive foodservice resources, culinary insights and a rich legacy of innovation that help make Cargill the trusted partner to bring solutions that meet customer’s demands.
LP: How does this directly relate to the snack industry?
SF: As consumer lifestyles become even busier, snacking continues to be an integral part of their lives. Consumers are shifting away from three traditional meals per day and opting for protein-powered snacks to refuel.1 Snacking is no longer a treat between meals and c-store operators have had to make the shift to offer products that satisfy all-day snacking.
Cargill is providing customers with snacking options such as small snacking trays, egg bake bites and hard cooked eggs to help our customers satisfy the new wave of macro meals.
LP: What kind of content does the Cargill digital content hub have?
SF: The Cargill “Beyond Convenience” digital content hub provides resources for c-store operators including consumer and culinary insights, menu ideas for all dayparts and a podcast series featuring interviews with industry experts on topics such as supplier partnerships to build success; keeping variety with limited shelf space; consumer insights and attitudes towards c-stores; how c-stores can benefit from a reliable supply chain; and more.
The content hub is geared to help c-store operators become a retail destination by providing quality prepared foods and labor-saving ideas and much more.
LP: How have consumer trends changed during the pandemic?
SF: The pandemic has changed how consumers shop and convenience stores have had to alter operations to accommodate the changes. Commuter traffic has been down as many people are working remotely and consumers are shopping their c-store a little differently, purchasing different items at different times and c-stores have had to add craveable and portable menu items across all dayparts to satisfy the demand.
According to a recent nationwide survey conducted by Cargill, pizza and roller grill items such as hot dogs and churros are the most popular types of prepared foods purchased from c-stores, followed by made-to- order cold and hot sandwiches and pre-made cold sandwiches.
Cargill also found that c-store consumers are looking for freshness, a wide variety of menu items, trusted brands and fast/quick menu items.
1 IFMA CPP, 2020