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In convenience store environments, there is a growing emphasis on fresher, healthier foods, particularly those that are all-natural or organic, high-protein, vegan, gluten-free and produced from vegetable protein sources. According to CSP Daily News, 63% of customers surveyed said they’d like to see more healthy foods offered, while 46% are seeking healthier options than they were just two years ago.

Studies show that consumers would be more likely to visit c-stores if they offered healthier food and drink options. Younger millennials and Generation Z are more attracted to a healthier lifestyle, beginning with their eating habits. All demographics and generations have higher expectations for the quality of the foods they eat. So, how can you find healthy options at convenience stores? Here are a few ways.

Find Alternatives for the Unhealthy Food You’re Craving

While c-stores are typically known for selling junk food, desserts, and quick grab-and-go items, there are healthier alternatives you can choose from if you’re looking in the right place. Some of these foods include pre-packaged nuts, fruit, and pre-made salads.

With c-stores providing grocery items and healthier food options, it not only increases the accessibility of healthier foods and meals, but also hits important food groups including fruits and vegetables. This is especially important for those in low-income areas and food deserts and increases the accessibility of healthier food options.

The way that food is displayed has a big impact on what the consumer will be drawn to as they  the c-store.  Signs promoting fruits and vegetables, pre-made salads, and other healthy food choices will draw more attention to the store and items customers should look out for.

Read Labels

Oftentimes, something that may seem healthy really isn’t when you look at the ingredients or nutrition information. If you’re trying to make a health-conscious decision, read the label.

All labels and ingredients for products can be found online, so if you question something make sure to research it. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Some of the main ingredients you want to look for in food are fiber, protein, vitamin D, and calcium. Consumers have begun straying away from foods with excessive sugars and hidden chemicals which is what makes reading the ingredients on labels extra important.

Additionally, if there’s an ingredient on a label that you can’t pronounce, it may be better to put it back on the shelf and find an alternative.

Invest in Food Items Specific to Different Eating Habits

As society progresses and develops new eating habits, lifestyles and diets, c-stores must jump ahead of these trends and conform to these new normalities.

Dietary needs, such as lactose intolerance and gluten-free are becoming more normalized in today’s society and people are seeking out products that help them live those lifestyles.

Make sure that when you’re checking ingredients and purchasing products that you know what foods you can and cannot have based on your diet. For example, if you’re on a keto diet, what ingredients are acceptable? These are all things you should know prior to shopping.

Be Strategic About How You Shop

There are different strategies to ensure you are maximizing your healthy shopping experience. It is proven that most stores put the items they want you to buy on the perimeter of the store for easy access.

If you are not finding the healthy options you want, make sure you are looking throughout the middle of the store as well. Reading labels is also important to maximize your experience.

If you don’t have enough time to read the label or are confused, make sure you download Fooducate on the app store. This free app allows you to scan the barcode of any product and gives you a letter grade, the number of calories per serving, and additional relevant health-related information.

With healthy eating habits and lifestyles on the rise in society, c-stores are doing what they can to keep up and provide. By taking advantage of the options available in these stores you will be able to continue your healthy eating at c-store prices.

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