ANKENY, IOWA — While pizza slices churned out strong sales in the third quarter, it was a breakfast menu relaunch that really fueled the prepared foods business at Casey’s General Stores, Inc. More specifically, it was the performance of the Toastwich.

In a late September 2021 presentation at the Sidoti & Company Virtual Investor Conference, Brian J. Johnson, senior vice president of investor relations and business development at Casey’s, described a “signature handheld” that the convenience store chain was rolling out. He called it “like a breakfast hot pocket or a breakfast calzone.”

Six months later, that “signature handheld” — now known as the Toastwich — was credited with invigorating the breakfast menu. Available in bacon, egg and cheese, and sausage, egg and cheese varieties, the Toastwich is part of a breakfast menu makeover that began last fall at Casey’s. Other new products include the Loaded Breakfast Bowl and Loaded Breakfast Burrito. The convenience store chain also offers breakfast pizza, croissants and biscuits as part of its menu.

“The Toastwich item is something that leverages our made-from-scratch pizza doughs,” Darren M. Rebelez, president and chief executive officer, said during a March 9 conference call with analysts. “It’s highly craveable, it’s highly portable, it’s value priced, and it’s something unique that you can’t get anywhere else.

“And we upgraded our coffee program at the same time. So when we put that combination together, we started to see some improved traffic in the morning daypart. And then that benefited the entire store because not everybody gets a prepared food item, but we sold the Toastwich sandwiches. We sold the Loaded Breakfast Burritos and people will buy other items across the store to complement those food products. So I think that really accrued to our benefit, like I said, we saw mid-teens increase in both traffic and sales during the morning daypart.”

Mr. Rebelez said sales of pizza slices climbed 24% in the third quarter, while hot breakfast sandwiches jumped nearly 49%. Breakfast daypart same-store sales were up 17% from the same period a year ago.

Overall, net income at Casey’s in the third quarter ended Jan. 31 totaled $64.02 million, equal to $1.72 per share on the common stock, up 66% from $38.63 million, or $1.04 per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenues jumped 52% to $3.05 billion, up from $2.01 billion.