Forecourts need to swap Coke and crisps for sushi and smoothies, according to a new report from Datamonitor.
The company’s forecourt analyst, Ricky Hill, explained: "Going forward, the most successful service stations will be those that adapt to changing consumer trends and offer food and beverages that are convenient, healthy and indulgent. In other words, in the longer term the emphasis of a forecourt’s food and drink offering will be more about sushi and smoothies rather than the more mundane traditional offerings."
He continued: "Snacking occasions are generally either relatively healthy or relatively indulgent such as crisps or a piece of fruit. As both attributes are seldom available in one product, consumers have to choose between the two desires and more often that not it is the indulgent foods that are available in the on- the-go channels such as service stations."
Hill added that in order for forecourts to continue maximising growth, they need to carefully select their stock and focus on those with the highest growth potential.
The report cited cereal bars, functional drinks and chilled ready meals as categories that had shown particularly good growth in recent years and said that each was expected to grow by a further 6% over the next few years.
The report also found that oil companies believed soft drinks and chilled snacks were the most important non-fuel items with regard to profitability and were likely to account for a larger proportion of their ranges in the future.