Casey’s General Stores, a convenience store chain operating more than 1,950 locations across the Midwest, continues to push the envelope on its food program. The convenience stores carry a broad selection of food, including freshly prepared foods such as pizza, donuts and sandwiches, and company executives continue to look for ways to branch out.

“We’re always launching new types of products,” Bill Walljasper, chief financial officer, said during a March 7 conference call with analysts. “They tend to be different flavor profiles of some existing products like specialty pizzas and different products in the bakery category.”

A new opportunity for Casey’s heading into fiscal 2018 will be take-and-bake pizza, said Terry Handley, president and CEO of Casey’s General Stores. Casey’s long has been known for its hot and ready pizza, and now will look to expand on that offering.

“We’re going to test that during fiscal 2018,” Handley said. “We understand that is an area of opportunity that some of our consumers may be looking for, especially where we may have a higher rate of snap customers. So we’ll take a look at that here very shortly with the test during Q1 and if that meets our expectations, that’s an area we’re excited about on a go forward basis.”

Handley also said Casey’s will continue to look for ways to bundle products to capitalize on “basket opportunities.”

“I would tell you that I think in terms of our basket opportunity, we do those basket rings or those basket opportunities where we bundle products together whether it’s food, service and fountain or a bag of chips or another snack item,” he explained. “I don’t know that we’ve always done a great job in promoting that across the board. So you’ll see those maybe more happening along the line of an in-store promotion and in terms of it maybe more regionalized. We want to make sure that when we think about our sub sandwich program as well as our hot sandwiches and our pizza slice that we are conscious of what the competition is doing and we are making sure we are providing a great value to the consumer.

“But we are also doing a better job of marketing that to our consumer. I would say it’s been more of a hit and miss if you will. It has been a seasonal type situation and maybe more along the line of the summer months. We see that this is something that we need to do more on a year round basis and provide that opportunity. We’re going to be more dynamic, if you will, in terms of its scope and also in the depth of the promotion.”

Through the first three quarters of fiscal 2017, Handley said Casey’s has converted 89 locations to a 24-hour format and 134 stores to a pizza delivery format. Currently, the company has approximately 1,000 stores that are 24 hours and 550 that deliver pizza.

Net income at Casey’s in the third quarter ended Jan. 31 was $22,835,000, equal to 58 cents per share on the common stock, down 41 percent from $38,099,000, or 98 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. For the nine months ended Jan. 31 income was $147,407,000, or $3.76 per share, down from $178,938,000, or $4.59 per share.

Total revenue for the third quarter increased 13 percent to $1,769,993,000 from $1,565,940,000. For the nine months revenues were up 2 percent, rising to $5,660,127,000 from $5,539,132,000.