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Creating Buzz: The Impact of LTOs on C-Stores

In today’s fast-paced world where customers are constantly seeking something new and exciting, LTOs stand out as a powerful tool for driving C-store traffic, boosting sales, and inspiring innovation. When done right, these short-term promotions offer unique products that tap into the psychology of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and generate buzz among consumers.

Why LTOs Matter

They play a crucial role in the success of C-stores. LTOs provide opportunities to test new flavors and formats, gathering valuable sales data that can guide future innovation. For example, you may find that certain ethnic flavors drive more traffic than others. By introducing LTOs, you can keep your offerings fresh and exciting, catering to evolving consumer tastes and preferences.

The prevalence of LTOs in C-stores is continually on the rise, indicating their growing importance in the industry.

Boosting Traffic and Sales

One of the primary benefits of LTOs is their ability to drive increased foot traffic. Customers are drawn in by the promise of trying something new and exclusive, leading to impulse purchases and additional sales. They simply prefer C-stores with wide variety.1

Innovation items or LTOs can help retailers close the sales opportunity gap. It’s another tool in their arsenal to grow share and sales.”

Vice President of Foodservice Marketing and Data Analytics at Ruiz Foodservice

Technomic research indicates that more than 7 in 10 C-store foodservice operators plan to enhance their menus next year,2 highlighting the industry’s commitment to innovation and adapting to changing consumer preferences.

Consumers say variety is the #1 desired improvement at C-stores1

Promoting LTOs effectively is key to maximizing their impact. Strategies such as loyalty program tie-ins can incentivize repeat visits and encourage customers to try new offerings. The power of social media pairs perfectly with the viral nature of LTOs. Pump toppers and other store signage help pique interest. Plus, you can often tap your manufacturer partner for images, promotions, and other assets that help spread the word.

Testing Out New Tastes

Mexican is the most liked cuisine at C-stores, ranked ahead of American, Italian, and Chinese. In fact, 55% of respondents want to see more Mexican food options on the menu.1 If you’re curious about what types of LTOs to bring into your stores, be sure you’re considering these taste profiles — as well as creative mashups that combine 2 or more of them.

Expertise and Examples

Ruiz Foodservice strives to develop and execute limited-time offers to help customers stand out in a crowded market. Even unsuccessful launches provide valuable insights, demonstrating a commitment to innovation and willingness to embrace change.

“Our Stuffed Jalapeño Tornados® quickly rose towards the top as a consumer loved flavor, and production has now been extended.”

Sr. Brand Manager at Ruiz Foodservice

As we continue to push the boundaries of flavor and creativity, we invite you to contact us to discuss how we can help elevate your convenience store offerings. Whether you’re looking to spice up your menu with exciting new flavors or explore innovative product formats, we’re here to partner with you every step of the way.

1 Ruiz Foods C-Store Consumer A&U, January 2024
2 Technomic October 2023 C-Store Operator Market Brief


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