Idaho Hunger Task Force: Making a place at the table for all Idahoans

About Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force

The Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force envisions that in a state as abundant as Idaho hunger will not exist and works to put public and private resources into action statewide in order to eliminate hunger and provide food security for all Idahoans.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        Contact:  Jeff Lenard

October 8, 2015                                                      (703) 518-4272



Convenience Stores Poised to Grow Better-for-You Sales, According to Hudson Institute Report


ALEXANDRIA, VA – Convenience stores are poised to capitalize on the growing trend of consumers seeking healthy, more convenient products, according to a new Hudson Institute report.  

“Consumers’ desire for convenience is a growing trend and a notable convenience store opportunity,” according to “Health & Wellness Trends and Strategies for the Convenience Store Sector” a report commissioned by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). 

To grow sales, the 152,794 convenience store operators in the United States should look beyond simply meeting the needs of their traditional customers and embrace the growing customer segment that is demanding more and more better-for-you items that can be conveniently purchased, according to the report, authored by Hank Cardello, senior Fellow and director of the Hudson Institute’s Obesity Solutions Initiative, and Steve French, managing partner and co-owner of the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI). 

Overall sales at convenience stores, including motor fuels, were $698 billion in 2014, roughly equal to sales at restaurants ($709 billion), and more than those at supermarkets ($638 billion). 

Convenience store shoppers are consuming more healthy food items, such as vegetables, fruits and healthy snacks compared to a year ago, and 75% of convenience store customers say they are eating healthier than they used to, according to the Hudson Institute report.

 In addition, the number of convenience store shoppers interested in healthy foods that can be eaten “on-the-go” has increased from 59% to 66% in the past seven years, and healthier snacking has become the norm.

 Convenience retailers should place a focus on two primary consumer segments to grow sales: continuing to serve their traditional core consumer segment of “Eat, Drink & Be Merrys” and the growing segment characterized as “Fence Sitters,” who represent 38% of convenience store shoppers and typically spend more, yet are often unsure where they can find convenient, better-for-you options. Overall, 34% of Fence Sitters say that there is “no convenient locations nearby” to purchase healthy foods and 41% say “it is not convenient or easy to find” better-for-you products.

 In particular, easy-to-access prepared foods present an opportunity for convenience stores with foodservice operations to capitalize on this customer’s desire to eat healthier more often. Foodservice sales are 19% of the industry’s $213.5 billion in in-store sales.

 “Convenience stores have an opportunity to bridge this gap and own convenient foodservice—especially breakfast—when nutrition is considered most important and Fence Sitters are currently eating healthier options during this meal occasion in particular,” according to the report.

 There also is considerable opportunity to grow sales through education—both by communicating the availability of better-for-you products and by highlighting how better-for-you “tastes great and is quick to prepare or can be eaten on the go.”

 “By focusing on products and messaging that meet the need for healthier products—on-the-go, breakfast and kid-targeted convenience—convenience stores can drive significant, new growth in this emerging category,” the report concluded.

 The insights in the report were based on the proprietary Health & Wellness Trends Database managed by the NMI, which has analyzed and compiled more than 80,000 consumer surveys since 2001.


The 10-page report is available for download.



 Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS ( is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 152,000 stores across the country, posted $698 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $483 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.


The mission of the Hudson Institute’s Obesity Solutions Initiative ( is to bring about practical, market-oriented solutions to food industry issues and the worlds’ obesity epidemic. The Initiative devise policies and offers market-based solutions by aligning the needs of all vested parties—corporations, the public health community, consumers and regulators.


The Natural Marketing Institute ( is an international strategic consulting firm that assists many clients with opportunity identification, trend predictions, innovation and building marketing strategies. As the leading business consulting and market research firm in health and wellness, NMI assists a range of Fortune 500 and start-up companies across many types of industries.





Summer Sunshine Award Winners!

FNS staff participating in a Summer Food Service Program Kick-off event

On June 13, 2013, FNS staff participated in a Summer Food Service Program Kick-off event in Sacramento, CA.

It may be the middle of winter, but at USDA, we like to celebrate the success of our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) all year long.  Therefore, the Western Regional Office is thrilled to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the 2014 Summer Sunshine Awards.  A total of eight organizations across the region received Sunshine Awards in 4 unique categories in recognition of their standout efforts in operating the SFSP.  The programs impact in local communities depends on the hard work of state agencies, partnering organizations, local sites and sponsors.  These awards only begin to show our appreciation for the dedication, innovation, and passion behind the respective organizations.

In the category of Strategies to Promote Nutrition and Wellness, California’s Riverside Unified School District was awarded the honor for employing innovative strategies by collaborating with local partners to provide nutrition education and physical activities at summer meal sites. The Boys and Girls Club of Ada County in Idaho was also awarded the distinction for their incorporation of fresh local produce into summer meals and offering opportunities for physical activity to children at their summer meal sites.

Two deserving winners of the Reaching Rural and Underserved Communities award emphasize the importance of thinking outside the box to provide nutrition to more children in the summer time.  Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission of California expanded their summer meals program to seven rural communities by partnering with USDA’s Rural Development.  In Washington, Entiat Valley Community Services Food Bank was awarded the distinction for their innovative approach to opening sites in areas of high need, conducting massive media campaigns, and networking with various community partners to ensure meals were delivered to sites in rural areas.

In the category of Successful Community Partnerships, the Des Moines Area Food Bank of Washington was chosen as a recipient for their successful community partnerships resulting in a variety of physical activity and nutrition education workshops at summer meal sites.  An Above and Beyond Honorable Mention was awarded to Auburn Unified School District for expanding community partnerships and providing physical activity and nutrition education classes every day of the week at summer meal sites.

For Program Expansion in Local Communities, the award recipient was the Boys and Girls Club of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, for their efforts in expanding summer meal sites in the community by collaborating with local partners to make meals available for the children of Sequim and Port Angeles.  Nye County Unified School District of Nevada received an honorable mention for their innovative mobile feeding program using the school “mail” van to deliver meals and traveled with a local “book mobile” to increase summer reading and engage children while eating.

Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions and a huge thank you from all of us at FNS for the delicious meals and engaging programs you provide to children during the summer months.  We look forward to more successes and best practices from each and every Summer Sunshine awardee during summer 2015!


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The Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of our work by the Food Research and Action Center, Mazon and Share our Strength.

            No Kid Hungry












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