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Retailing Trends
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Move over, Bubba
…and make way for Healthy Habit Females & other secondary customers in convenience

C-stores aren’t built on truck drivers, Joe six packs and smokers alone. Just ask any of the 37 percent of Healthy Habit Females age 25 and under, 60 percent of Young and Active Males under age 25, and 60 percent of Busy Bee Families with kids younger than 18 years old who visit c-stores once a week or more, according to data from Schawk, Inc. and Mintel.

"C-store retailers know that they cannot simply rely on ‘Bubba’ for their future sales," said Steven J. Montgomery, president of b2b Solutions, LLC, Lake Forest, Ill. "The cigarette category that Bubba is known to be a heavier buyer in is declining. They have to appeal to a broad range of customers. And in order to keep them coming, retailers have to change their historic positioning to broaden that appeal."

One of the most important secondary shopper categories to aim for is Healthy Habit Females, Montgomery said. Among this young demographic, 40 percent purchase hot foods and 75 percent buy sweet and salty snacks—and that makes them an ideal target for tasty, guilt-free treats like Kellogg’s new line of Special K® Cracker Chips, now available in Sea Salt and Cheddar flavors.

"Females are more likely to be interested in healthy foods and snacks than their male counterparts," said Montgomery.

One particular subset of the Health Habit Female worthy of attention are young Latino women, typically age 24, which are the fastest growing c-store customer segment, according to David Brewster, president, David Brewster Design, Wadsworth, Ohio.

Research from NPD Group/Crest indicates that over 70 percent of Americans are trying to eat healthier, which makes a snack like Special K® Cracker Chips attractive: They represent a good source of fiber and contain only 110 calories per bag. Plus, they generated over $100 million in sales in their first 7 months, per Nielsen FDMx data.

Montgomery recommends testing the new Special K® line of Cracker Chips in both the main snack area and healthy snack area to determine where it sells the best.

Brewster further suggests placing Special K® Cracker Chips "at the food service counter, so it’s associated with fresh foods."

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