Convenience Store Takeout: Go Beyond Snacking at Your Local C-Store

Canadians love takeout for a variety of reasons including diversity of flavour, discovering new recipes and, of course, convenience. With increasingly busy schedules, ordering from your favourite spot saves on grocery shopping, grocery bills and time in the kitchen. If convenience is a main factor for ordering in, it’s no surprise that convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, are expanding their menu offerings to include full meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

“Convenience stores (C-stores) are carving out their niche and breaking into the quick-service restaurant (QSR) space”, states Vince Sgabellone, Industry Analyst, Canada Foodservice at The NPD Group. “Supper is the fastest-growing consumer segment timeframe, especially with the advancement in technology which is the great leveller.” 

As an industry expert, Mr. Sgabellone explains that snacks still contribute 60% of all c-store sales, followed by breakfast items such as coffee and breakfast sandwiches and then by lunch and dinner fare. Despite this breakdown, chicken products remain the highest selling food item at supper and c-store menus are continuously evolving with further development of hot meals and grab & like sandwiches and pizza.

At c-stores like 7-Eleven, the aim is to combine convenience with a wide assortment, customization and  a little fun. With the Schneider Big Bite all-beef hotdog, for example, diners can choose from 13 different toppings to build their bite their way. There are multiple pizza styles such as the chicken taco pizza with a pesto drizzle, an array of chicken wings, potato wedges, corn dogs, nacho bowls, taquitos, Jamaican patties, meatballs, deli subs, chicken wraps, fresh salads, plant-based chicken tenders on the ‘Healthy to-Go’ menu and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches with hash browns.

Even with accessible locations all over the country, crave-worthy flavours are just a click away as 7-Eleven launched their own delivery app, 7Now, and can also be found on SkipTheDishes, UberEats and DoorDash.  

When looking for a quick meal, the advantageous aspect of ordering from convenience stores is the  wide range of add-ons like chips, candy, nuts, drinks, jerky, granola bars and frozen treats. You can order your thin-crust pizza with a side of Doritos, Twizzlers and an icy Slushy as a treat. Aside from the classics,  snacks have also elevated over time with chickpea puffs, energy balls and alkaline water like AC+ION  Water readily available. Next time you are looking for fast takeout options, your local convenience store might surprise you with more meal deals to satisfy your hunger and fit any taste.