This year’s National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) took a strong stand on healthy eating, continuing to focus on making it easier to get wellness when you need it. I have always thought that convenience stores are for people who are inconvenienced. They are in a rush, away from the comforts of home and need all the benefits of nutrition so I am thrilled to see the Healthy Eating Initiative of top convenience stores taken to a new level.
For starters, the NACS Global Retailer of the Year award went to Fresh the Good Food Market, a Dublin-based convenience chain that offers fresh food concepts with a menu that changes throughout the day, including Ireland’s largest salad bar.
In the US, Farm 2 Counter is now at the forefront of healthy eating by turning its delivery warehouse into a c-store.
Here are some of the products we are happy to see on c-store shelves.
Cleaner Caffeine – Water and caffeine are two of the most popular c-store items. Water Joe combines the two with a coffee and cola free caffeine water that gives you an energy boost and nothing else. Water Joe provides a healthy beverage to drink between coffees to keep your caffeine buzz going which is clean enough to drink every day.
Protein where you need it, when you need it – Conscious eaters are always searching for ways to sprinkle more protein into their meals. Vegetarian Traveler makes “protein toppers” – crunchy add-ons to top your meal off with plant-based protein for vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians on the move. www.vegetariantraveler.com
Fermenting – Sauerkraut isn’t just a BBQ topper, it’s also a secret super health food known for boosting alkalinity and improving gut health. It’s also very convenient. Krrrrisp is one of the leading c-store brands providing refrigerated packaging to keep the kraut crisp.
Change your day with chocolate – We Good Day’s little balls of chocolate are packed with little helpers like turmeric and probiotics. Some are formulated to help you chill, sleep or stay energized.
Seeding a healthier option – Nuts and seeds are always a go-to for protein packed filler. Sunflower seeds like those from Chinook Seedery bring an air of cool and luxe to convenience.
Even the jerky gets healthy – Giorgio turned its natural mushrooms into jerky to make them more convenient.
Kid ready – Kids by nature are lovable but very inconvenient. Keeping them happy and healthy can be even more inconvenient. That’s why we adore these collectible Good2Grow drink bottles that look too fun to be as clean and healthy as they are.
Easy portions – We all like little delicacies where we can get them. People like Loacker’s portion control wafers because they can be heated up by holding them on your coffee or tea mug.
Nutrients over calories – We forget that what our bodies really want are nutrients not just calories. Tosi’s bite size super food snacks are showing up in convenience stores so now there’s something really nutritious to reach for when you need something to more than just keep your stomach from growling.
When you’ve got to bounce – Nature’s Wild & Raw Company wrapped up its fruits and nuts into a cute little ball and called them Fit. They really do bounce with you wherever you go.
Don’t forget your buddies – It’s not all about you. Your furry buddies need things too. The oven-baked goodness in Buddy Biscuits will warm your dog’s heart.
The more convenient healthy foods and aids become, the better off our population will be. We expect to see even more at the next NACS October 1-4 in Georgia.
Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company, which launched many fitness brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit http://www.trentandcompany.com.