As consumer demand and sales for fresh produce and c-stores continues to grow, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the United Fresh Produce Association have published a new resource looking at distribution options available to store owners.

“Convenience Store Distribution Options for Fresh Produce” provides an overview of the various options available to retailers seeking to increase their fresh produce offerings.

Consumers are increasingly looking to convenience stores for fresh produce for snacks and meals, whether bananas, cut fruit or prepared salads. Nearly half of all consumers (48%) say that convenience stores are a place where they can get fresh produce, according to a 2015 national consumer survey conducted by NACS.

At the same time, convenience retailers also are stocking more fresh produce. More than three in four NACS members (77%) say that they now sell fresh produce. As a result of these trends, sales of fresh fruits and vegetables in convenience stores grew 14.4% in 2015, more than five times the overall 2.7% growth rate of produce sales in the United States, according to Nielsen data.

Depending on their resources and business model, the 154,000-plus convenience stores in the United States have very different distribution approaches to get products to their stores — and these approaches affect how they obtain fresh product. Further complicating the issue, many chains have grown through a combination of acquisitions and the building of new stores, making it tougher to implement a one-size-fits-all approach across all stores within a company.