With expanded offerings of fresh ready-to-eat food and increased in-store seating, 7-Eleven is expected to replace McDonald’s as the largest foodservice chain in Taiwan in 2013.
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GAIN Report Number: 13008
7-Eleven Set to Replace McDonald’s as Taiwan's Largest
Market Development Reports
Food Service - Hotel Restaurant Institutional
Jeffrey Hesse, Chief, Agriculture Section, AIT Taipei
Amy Chang-Chien Hsueh, Agricultural Marketing Specialist
With expanded offerings of fresh ready-to-eat food and increased in-store seating, 7-Eleven is expected
to replace McDonald’s as the largest foodservice chain in Taiwan in 2013. According to 7-Eleven
officials, sales of fresh ready-to-eat food (prepared meals, fresh fruit, etc.) accounted for more than 17%
of 7-Eleven’s total revenue in 2012 and will increase by 10-20% in 2013.
According to Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs' statistics, annual revenue reported by Taiwan's
convenience stores reached US$9.04 billion in 2012, a nearly 9% increase compared with the previous
year. The convenience store sector continued to lead Taiwan's retail food industry in terms of total
revenue generated and total number of outlets. This was followed by hypermarkets/wholesale stores
(US$5.80 billion) and supermarkets (US$5.12 billion).
As of February 2013, there were 10,012 convenience stores in Taiwan. 7-Eleven, with 4,830 outlets
island-wide, accounted for 48% of the market, followed by Family Mart (2,851 stores - 28%), Hi-Life
(1,294 stores - 13%), OK (898 stores - 9%), and others (2%).
With the increasing number of working women and the growing number of single-person households,
convenient packaged food products and fresh ready-to-eat foods (e.g. lunch boxes, Japanese style rice
rolls, fresh fruits and vegetables, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, fried rice/noodles, etc.) are
becoming more popular in Taiwan's convenience stores. To meet this growing market demand,
Taiwan's convenience stores continue to work on developing and marketing fresh ready-to-eat food
items and, at the same time, expand floor space allocated to "eat-in" service.
According to a March 2013 report in the local Economic Daily News:
"Currently, the top two Taiwan convenience store chains, 7-Eleven and Family Mart, are aggressively
scrambling for the ready-to-eat food market in Taiwan. Both chains continue to expand their production
facilities, improve production processes, and increase the number of new items. The total revenue of
fresh ready-to-eat foods of these two chains is expected to increase by 10%-20% in 2013 to reach
approximately US$1.25 billion.
Currently, fresh ready-to-eat foods sold in Taiwan's convenience stores account for an average of 15%
of the total revenue for these chains. Compared to the 30% revenue share for Japan's convenience
stores, the fresh ready-to-eat food sector still has room for expansion in Taiwan's convenience stores. In
2012, the two chains generated a total of over US$1 billion revenue from fresh ready-to-eat food sales."
7-Eleven (4,830 stores)
In a move designed to entice Taiwan consumers to buy more fresh ready-to-eat foods as home meal
replacements, 7-Eleven stores increased the percentage of shelf space dedicated to such items in 2012.
As a result, sales of fresh ready-to-eat foods increased to 17% of total revenue. Industry experts expect
that 7-Eleven will generate approximately US$880-$950 million in revenue from fresh ready-to-eat
foods and surpass McDonald's to become Taiwan's largest foodservice chain in 2013.
According to company officials, 7-Eleven will continue to restructure its stores by increasing the
number of large stores (+1,080 sq ft), which currently account for 50% of its total outlets. 7-Eleven
Taiwan also indicated that the trend is for more and more people to dine in convenience stores.
Currently, there are 4,830 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan, which is expected to expand to 5,000 stores by
Family Mart (2,851 stores)
Family Mart also continues to develop and expand its offerings of fresh ready-to-eat food items. Family
Mart’s newly-established distribution center in Southern Taiwan will begin to supply fresh ready-to-eat
food items to over 40% of Family Mart stores located in the southern part of the island by the third
quarter of 2013. A new fresh ready-to-eat food-processing center, which is currently under
construction, will begin operation by the third quarter of 2014. In addition, two Family Mart stores are
currently testing in-store cooked foods.
Family Mart reported that revenue from fresh ready-to-eat foods accounted for 15% of its total revenue
in 2012, a 1-2% increase from the previous year. Family Mart officials project that revenue generated
by fresh ready-to-eat foods will increase by 20% in 2013, reaching US$310 million.
A 7-Eleven store on a main street in Taipei Fresh ready-to-eat foods on prominent display
Taiwan convenience store chains import directly and purchase from local importers and manufacturers.
U.S. suppliers can explore opportunities to sell directly to these convenience stores by contacting the
purchasing manager. U.S. suppliers should select a reliable and efficient agent/importer/distributor to
ensure that products are consistently available in the market. ATO Taipei maintains contact information
for the major convenience store chains and potential importers/distributors. U.S. companies interested
in entering the Taiwan market or expanding their business with these retail stores should contact ATO
Taipei for further details and assistance.
Agricultural Trade Office
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT Taipei)
Room 704, 7F, 136 Ren-Ai Road, Section 3
Tel: (886-2) 2705-6536 ext 248
Fax: (886-2) 2706-4885
Other Relevant Reports
Reports on Taiwan's food and agricultural market are available on the FAS website:
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