BOSTON — Foodservice dollars comprise nearly 23% of total convenience-store sales today, good for a 3% increase over the past five years, according to mobile app GasBuddy’s latest consumer survey. Moreover, three-fourths of consumers believe convenience-store foodservice has improved during this same time period.
Boston-based GasBuddy surveyed 550 consumers on April 24, 2019, for this report, which examines how, why and where convenience-store foodservice is gaining on quick-service restaurants (QSRs).
- Click here to read GasBuddy’s rankings of the top c-stores during first-quarter 2019.
“Convenience retailers with compelling foodservice programs are a growing threat to quick-service restaurants,” said Frank Beard, c-store trends analyst for GasBuddy. “Data show that people choose convenience stores over fast-food locations because of the convenience of an all-in-one stop for fuel and food, followed by a preference for the taste of the food at c-stores. Couple this with leading convenience brands like Wawa and QuikTrip rapidly expanding across the country, and fast-food brands will be forced to find innovative ways to catch up.”
Here are four c-store foodservice insights from GasBuddy’s recent survey …
Younger consumers are buying more
More than half (56%) of consumers purchase meals at convenience stores at least once a month, according to the study. This is especially prevalent among consumers below age 44. Twenty-five percent of consumers between the ages of 30 and 44 purchase food at c-stores at least five times a month, while 17% of consumers between ages 18 and 29 do the same. Only 13% of consumers between ages 45 and 60 and 10% of those 61 and older purchase food at c-stores at least five times a month.
While nearly two-fifths (37.5%) of consumers only spend up to $5 per week on c-store foodservice, 62% spend at least $6 per week on these items. Specifically, 24.4% spend between $6 and $10 per week, 16.3% spend between $10 and $15 per week, 10.6% spend between $15 and $20 per week and 11% spend at least $20 per week. Additionally, a fifth of millennials spend between $10 and $15 per week on c-store foodservice.
C-store vs. QSR
Half of consumers who choose c-stores over fast casuals or QSRs do so because they enjoy the convenience of an all-in-one stop for fuel and food. Consumers also prefer c-stores over restaurants because of the taste of the food (23%), variety of options (19%) and better prices and value (9%).
Opposing fast food
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers said they don’t like fast-food restaurants because they offer too many unhealthy options. Other reasons consumers dislike these establishments is because of the quality of the food (53%), the restaurant being dirty (33%) and limited food and beverage options (22%)