Alcohol is big business—sure, cannabis is starting to encroach on the after work ‘take the edge off’ market, but alcohol remains as American as apple pie (which is also a type of moonshine). Among changing demographics, social attitudes, and relationships to substances, we thought it was a good time to put our finger on the pulse of the drinking nation.
The cannabis industry, though becoming more accepted and mainstream every day, remains shrouded in uncertainty and even taboo. This obscures the many ways the industry will, and indeed already is, shaping retail, manufacturing, grocery, c-store, and food service.
Grocery shopping ain’t what it used to be. With omnichannel and digital-only challengers threatening legacy grocery’s status quo, operators are racing to build out their omnichannel operations, ranging from in-store pickup of digitally ordered items (click and collect) to rapid grocery delivery (Amazon’s got it down to 2 hours or less).
Casual dining chains have taken a beating lately and are doing what they can to stay on their feet. From recent attention grabs—IHOP put its thing down, flipped it, and reversed it; Applebee's went to $1 happy hour drinks—to revitalized menus a-la Macaroni Grill, casual dining chains are pulling out all the stops.
Convenience stores are as ubiquitous as they are diverse. From roadstop supercenters and de facto local grocery stores to suburban offramp hubs and hole-in-the wall urban bodegas, convenience stores mean a lot of different things to different people depending on context. Thus, for our 2018 Convenience Store Industry Report, we decided to focus on c-store customers rather than the stores themselves.