Foodservice product sales were strong in 2008 and helped contribute both sales and profit to the nation's convenience store operators. That news came from theNational Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Chicago, which yesterday released 2008 industry data. Overall industry sales rose 8.1% to $624.1 billion with motor sales up 10.1 percent and in-store sales up 3.2% (to $173.9 billion), said NACS.

NACS said nearly 75 percent of all in-store sales were from the top five categories: cigarettes (32.7%), packaged beverages (14.1%), foodservice (13.9%), beer (10.2%) and other tobacco products (3.9%).

More importantly, a look at gross margin dollars showed foodservice leading the way with a 23.9% contribution.