- C-stores are turning to the next round of holiday-themed limited-time offers using a variety of peppermint, gingerbread and other such flavors.
- Companies like 7-Eleven, Wawa, QuickChek and EG America, among others, have already rolled out their next set of LTOs as the U.S. enters the festival-heavy time of the year.
- Convenience retailers both large and small are increasingly turning back to these short-term specials to drive interest and traffic as LTOs head back toward — or past — pre-pandemic levels, according to Datassential.
Sixty-one percent of operators say LTOs are a profit center for their businesses, according to Datassential, underscoring the importance these offerings play to c-store retailers’ overall success.
7-Eleven brought its holiday LTOs to participating 7-Eleven and Speedway locations on Nov. 1. These included its peppermint bark coffee; winter wonderland coca, which has a candy cane flavor; and caramel macchiato. The company is also adding gingerbread-flavored syrup to its condiment lineup.
C-store and restaurant LTOs return from pandemic dip
Wawa started posting about its holiday drink assortment on social media on Nov. 1. While it shared posts about its holiday blend coffee and peppermint cookies and cream smoothie, Wawa has a broad array of peppermint-themed drinks, including a peppermint bark cold foam cold brew and peppermint cookies and cream hot chocolate.
EG America, meanwhile, announced on LinkedIn that it would be rolling out peppermint hot chocolate across all of its banners, which include Turkey Hill, Cumberland Farms and Loaf ‘n Jug.
QuickChek launched its holiday array on Oct. 30, a company spokesperson confirmed. It shared news about one of its LTOs — a candy cane shake — on social media.
The retailer also debuted peppermint cold foam, which can be added to any iced espresso-based drink. It also offers a frozen latte, a peppermint mocha latte, peppermint mocha cold foam, chocolate peanut butter hot or iced coffee and a Kris Kringle shake, which includes coconut and Swiss chocolate syrups with ice cream and choice of milk, the spokesperson said.
This year is the debut for all but the Kris Kringle shake.
Most of these LTOs offer a light twist on a consumer favorite item.
“LTOs do best when grounded in the principles of safe experimentation — balancing new elements with familiar ones can help consumers feel more comfortable trying new LTOs,” said Claire Conaghan, associate director of publications at Datassential, in an earlier interview.