Industry analysts at Research and Markets have predicted that growth in the US convenience sector will surpass that of the overall food retail market going into 2007.

Research suggests that convenience food sales will grow by 4.1% annually, more than double the rate of the overall food sector, which is expected to increase by 2% per annum.

C-Stores are the primary interface between consumers and convenience foods, Research and Markets analysts said, and the industry is characterised by strong consumer demand, robust economic growth, favourable demographic factors and the use of high-end technology.

However, this retail format is facing increased competition in delivering convenience foods as grocery stores, chain drug stores, warehouse stores, general retail stores, home delivery services and other convenience shopping formats expand the range of convenience foods they offer.

Product suppliers, Research and Markets analysts suggest, should be aware of the massive growth potential that this sector offers. In order to fully capitalise on the opportunity, the researchers say, manufacturers must understand the dialectic between the various retail formats and the packaging, promotion and distribution that is required.