Convenience stores have the chance to become the top go-to lunch destination for consumers that want quick, easy and accessible meals, according to new research. C‑stores can become more competitive at lunch by noting what quick-service chains are doing right, such as conveying impressions of freshness by preparing food while customers watch, and improving food and experience quality by allowing order customization.
Tag: convenience stores
Drug stores are becoming a destination for convenient purchases, particularly, food and beverages. In fact, some industry analysts believe drug stores are becoming the new convenience stores. This underscores the opportunities for drug stores to capitalize on immediate consumption and the potential for snack, portable foods and beverages offerings.
Getting a cup of coffee or another dispensed beverage is the single-minded mission of many high frequency convenience store visitors, and often they'll grab a donut or something else to go with it, according to new research by The NPD Group. Consumers of coffee and other dispensed beverages are high frequency buyers who represent 68% more visits than the average convenience store customer. Dispensed beverage buyers are different than average convenience store buyers, and tend to be female, ages 35–64, white collar, Hispanic and from larger households.
According to new research by The NPD Group, morning and evening commutes are a peak time for super heavy users of convenience stores to visit, while moderate and light users tend to visit more during the evening commute. NPD's Convenience Store Monitor identifies super heavy users as those who visit c‑stores an average of 22.0 times a month, heavy users visiting 9.6 times a month, moderate shoppers visiting 5.0 times a month and light users with 1.9 times a month. "The amount of traffic and dollars attributed to higher frequency groups continues to distinguish their importance to the industry as a whole," says David Portalatin, convenience store analyst at NPD. "However, opportunities exist to convert light and moderate to more visits and food and snack purchases."
Convenience store shoppers cited product selection as a reason for choosing the store they most recently shopped more in the 12 months ending November 2009 than in the previous year, according to new research from The NPD Group. "Product selection" buyers make up just over 20% of the c‑store buyer population, but they make double the number of purchases per month than the average c‑store shopper and spend more per purchase than the average shopper. In addition to product selection, consumers also cite friendly employees, value or price of products, overall store appearance, hours of operations, clean bright store, and a variety of services as reasons for choosing a c‑store.
Convenience stores have long been associated with consumers’ need for quick cups of coffee, soda, or packaged foods. But that may be changing. Writing for Convenience Store News, Renee Covino describes a new trend – convenience stores are beginning to respond to consumer interest in fresh food and they are stocking a wide range of options.
After several quarters of declines in purchase incidence across most categories, consumers returned to purchasing a larger variety of products from convenience stores in the second quarter of 2009, according new research from The NPD Group. Bottle/can soda, frozen/slushy drinks, and other tobacco products all increased purchase incidence by +0.7 percentage points compared to second quarter 2008. "With gasoline prices below last year's historic highs, many consumers are beginning to feel the freedom to pick up a single serve beverage or a snack," says David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD's auto unit. "In some cases, consumers may look at these items as an inexpensive meal replacement."
Generational differences have contributed to a steady decline in consumer brand loyalty when purchasing gasoline, according to a new survey by The NPD Group. Consumers over 65 have always been more likely to limit brand choice to only one brand, while younger consumers historically have been more willing to shop around. Compared to overall brand loyalty, the 30-to-44 age group is now the most likely group to try multiple brands among those who have purchased a major brand. While quality and performance always will be important to the gasoline purchase decision, younger consumers who report loyalty to a single fuel brand also report their brand choice is more likely to be driven by the convenience store offering where they buy gas.
Cleanliness is the number one reason consumers choose a convenience store, according to new research from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research. Chain convenience stores with a reputation for trustworthiness and stores known for great customer service are more likely to be sought out by shoppers. In addition, new data reveals that more people are opting for convenience over saving money, with a shift toward spending more but saving time rather than saving money by shopping around.