Purpose-Driven Coffee

Coffee, dispensed beverage consumers are high-frequency buyers; represent 68% more visits

HOUSTON -- Getting a cup of coffee or another dispensed beverage is the single-minded mission of many high-frequency convenience store visitors, and often they will grab a donut or something else to go with it, according to c-store research by The NPD Group. NPD's Convenience Store Monitor, which tracks the consumer purchasing behavior of more than 51,000 U.S. c-store shoppers, finds that 86% of dispensed coffee purchases are planned and 7% are purchased on a deal.

Other dispensed beverages are also purpose-driven purchases with only 14% bought on impulse and 13% on a deal.[image-nocss]

Consumers of coffee and other dispensed beverages are high-frequency buyers who represent 68% more visits than the average convenience store customer.

Coffee and other dispensed beverages represent 31% of unit purchases made in a c-store, and of the dispensed beverage consumers, 33% are looking for coffee, 11% cappuccino or latte and 3% hot or iced tea. Typically, with the dispensed beverage incremental purchases are made amounting to an average visit of $6.83. And 45% of consumers who purchase their coffee between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. tend to also purchase doughnuts, gum, sweet rolls, sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, snack cakes and cookies, said NPD.

Dispensed beverage buyers are different than average c-store buyers, who tend to be blue-collar males, 18-to-49 years-old, according to the Convenience Store Monitor. Dispensed beverage buyers tend to be female, ages 35 to 64, white collar, Hispanic and from larger households. Coffee buyers tend to be male, ages 45 to 65, a mix of white and blue collar, strong military connection, smaller households and higher income.

"The fact that the buyers of coffee and other dispensed beverages are defined differently than the typical convenience store visitor presents an incremental opportunity for c-stores," said David Portalatin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD. "If a convenience store can deliver on what dispensed beverage buyers are looking for in terms of product quality, a rewards program and a clean and bright store, it can attract a loyal new customer base."

He added, "The fact that coffee and other dispensed beverages are purpose-driven purchases is a ready-made niche for any convenience store ready and willing to compete with QSRs and other retail outlets offering coffee and beverages. If a convenience store is looking for a way in which to distinguish itself from its gasoline or other offering, dispensed beverages appear to be among the possible answers."

The NPD Group is a provider of consumer and retail information for a variety of industries. It helps clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys and wireless.

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