Casey's General Stores Inc. will break ground on its first site in Tennessee in June. This store will be located in Dyersburg, Tenn., and will mark the 13th state in Casey's area of operations.

"We believe the state of Tennessee provides an excellent opportunity for Casey's," said Robert Myers, president and CEO of Casey's General Stores Inc. "We plan to open our store in Dyersburg in October. The community is a perfect fit for our business model, particularly our food service program that offers made-from-scratch pizza, homemade donuts, and our new made-to-order sub sandwiches."

Casey's announced it was making its debut in Kentucy in March.

Headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, Casey's is a leading independently owned convenience store chain in the Midwest, operating 1,686 stores in 11 states.

Recent research by foodservice consulting firm Technomic shows that more consumers are taking advantage of the expanding foodservice options available at convenience stores, many times at the expense of quick-service restaurants.

Of consumers polled on their most recent c-store food purchase, 27 percent said that if they had not bought their meal from the location in question, they would have purchased it from a QSR. That number is nearly identical to those who said they would have ordered from another convenience store.

"Convenience stores are increasingly falling into the same consideration set as fast-food restaurants," said Tim Powell, Technomic director. "This really speaks to the enhanced foodservice offerings in convenience stores as well as evolving consumer behaviors."

Read more about franchising and growth.

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