Finding the right product mix can make a significant difference for stores looking to increase their profit margins. It can mean the difference between attracting your local customers and letting your purchases go to waste. Each grocery and convenience store must identify the trends in their sales, and what their local demographics require to maximize profits while delighting customers with the scrumptious food they seek in every visit.
Factors to Adjusting Your Product Mix
The most important part of your product mix is that customers are looking for what you are selling. The primary products, be it tacos or fried chicken, are likely to be staples across the board. Where you can really shine is amazing food combos and in demand products.
These are the factors we recommend considering when adjusting your product mix:
- Busy Times of Day — What’s your most active time of day? If you are attracting the morning crowd on their way to work, focus on breakfast items and combos. If you are busy during the lunch hour, then concentrate on easy to grab lunch combos.
- Customer Demographics — Are you in a family oriented neighborhood? Have a lot of students stop by? Do a lot of busy workers come in at lunch for something fast? Each of those can lend to the types of products and specials you should be carrying.
- Seasonal — Adjusting your menu to the seasons is a great way to draw in new customers and keep your offerings fresh. Offer something festive during the holidays and something to cool people off during the summer.
- Foot Traffic — How busy are you on average? This generally impacts the volume of your orders but can mean some products aren’t a good fit if, for example, they take too long to prepare to keep up with demand.
Each of these factors plays into how you should be adjusting your product mix, but there’s a difference between knowing the factors and knowing how to change.
Adjusting Your Product Mix
While not every program offers complete control over your product mix, any program worth its salt (nothing more than the recommended daily intake) will offer enough room to adjust to the needs of your customers.
These are some of the ways you can change what products you are offering your customers:
- Preparation — Sometimes it’s important to provide variety or different preparations of your main entrees. While chicken tenders are great for some, others want something a little more contained or portable, like a sandwich. Consider what ways you can offer your main entrees based on your customers.
- Sides — Sides give you a huge amount of control over your product mix. Seasonal sides are a great way to put some variety in your menu, while healthier options are great for locations that serve families conscious of what their children eat.
- Combos — If you are service grab-and-go lunch crowds with only a few minutes, offering pre-built combos can help them move through the store and get back to work as they need to. This strategy probably won’t work if you mainly serve sit-and-dine demographics that like to have a little more choice in their sides.
- Volume — We don’t just mean how much food you are ordering, but how much you are serving. It’s essential to offer the meal sizes that will move. Just like families want healthy sides, they also like family combos that can feed an entire table of hungry children and adults.
Product Mix and Profitability
Finding the right product mix directly ties to your profitability. It helps you order efficiently throughout the year while reducing waste. It can take some time to get the right product mix, but that becomes an investment for your future.
Not only do you increase efficiency, but when you find food that resonates with your customers, they will spread word to their friends and family. You’ll be attracting new customers like never before.
The beauty is you don’t have to go through this process alone. The right foodservice partner will have experience in working quickly to create the correct mix and will start you with a good baseline menu based on all of the factors above. They will be able to help you adapt and provide you with seasonal ideas.
In the end, there’s no one-size-fits-all product mix for any grocery or convenience store, even within the same brand and program. That’s the beauty about finding what’s right for you. It’s personal to your store and your customers. Once you find the right formula, you will increase your profits and delight your best customers every time they walk through your doors.