Circle K - New Food/Beverage Product Analysis

Goals

To provide information about Circle K convenience stores in the U.S. and Canada. Specifically, provide any information on new food or beverage products offered in their stores (e.g. hot prepared foods served fresh in their stores, or beverages dispensed from their own machines).

Early Findings

Circle K Product Analysis: United States

  • Across 30 outlets around Atlanta, Ga, Circle K was expected to begin offering hot chicken (Champs Chicken brand) starting in the spring of 2020. The offering is to include "fried chicken tenders, chicken dippers, ChampStix (fried chicken on a stick), as well as sides including macaroni and cheese, potato wedges, sweet corn and collard greens."
  • In early 2020, Circle K began testing a new food concept at select stores, which it expected to eventually roll out nationwide. According to one article, "the concept was designed to include prepared breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options for customers." According to Circle K marketing manager, Leslie Slaughter, the company has always offered sandwiches, hot dogs, fresh fruit, and packaged snacks, however, this new concept would expand on these items. Some new items to be included are as follows: pizza, burritos, pulled pork, riblets, fresh cookies and pastries. A seating area will also be added. Circle K had expected to the expansion to raise food sales by 20-30%. However, an article noted that some new additions have had to be halted due to the virus outbreak.
  • A newly rebuilt Circle K opened in Stow, OH in February 2020. Some new fresh food offerings noted were as follows: an extensive selection of freshly brewed coffee, pizza, soft serve ice cream, sandwiches, cookies, and muffins.
  • In October 2019, began offering delivery from 600 locations in Texas via Favor. The service allows customers to get beer, snacks, and other Circle K items delivered to them.
  • A Texas news segment showed how to make new freshly brewed iced coffee at Circle K using their new coffee machines. The machines grinds the beans to order. The store also provides a wide variety of different creamers and sugars to allow customers to customize their drink.
  • The store also offers freshly baked donuts every day. It cycles through special flavors, such as cookies and cream.

Circle K Product Analysis: Canada

  • Circle K is undergoing a rebranding effort across all of North America. The company's new food program (as noted in the section above) is highlighted as a part of this rebranding.
  • A Canadian article noted that Circle K is expanding their hot dispensed beverages segment, which includes coffee-on-demand machines.
  • The company also expanded their offerings of Polar Pop in Canada to 110 more stores over the past several months.

Results of Early Findings

  • We were able to uncover some details about new fresh food and new beverage offerings from Circle K.
  • This information was available via news reports, reviews, company press releases, and other media outlets.
  • It appears that the new food/drink offerings are similar across the U.S. and Canada as the company is rolling out a rebranding effort across North America as a whole (piggybacking on what it has recently done in Europe).
  • There may be more details available about the specifics of the new food offerings. For example, while we were able to first learn that the company was offering a new, extensive coffee offering and coffee-on-demand machines, further research about this offering was able to uncover even more details such as the fact that the machine can make iced coffee, that it grinds the beans to order, and about the wide selections of creamers and sugars available to customize the drinks. This suggests that more research can be done to learn more specific details about the company's food offerings.

Proposed next steps:

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