Making meals easy is evolving in new directions at convenience stores, or C-stores, according to Elaine Otte, manager of national channel marketing and innovation for the Pork Checkoff.

The Checkoff conducted a promotion last year with Pennsylvania-based Country Fair, a C-store chain, to promote full and half slabs of fully cooked pork ribs Following its success, the Checkoff helped the Country Fair engage Smith Provisions in Erie, Pennsylvania, a further processor to provide pork products to the chain’s 88 C-stores. The products include pizza toppings, breakfast sandwiches and deli meat slices for pretzel melts.

“Fresh and local is our message to help buyers feel good about their food purchases,” Otte said. “I emphasize to companies that when they buy more pork, they’re not just helping Pennsylvania pork producers, but all U.S. pig farmers.”