E15—a biofuel made with 15% ethanol—is providing retailers with an opportunity to expand fuel offerings for their customers. It burns cleaner and cooler than conventional gasoline and saves consumers an average of 5-10 cents per gallon, while providing higher octane that increases horsepower. E15 expansion has grabbed the attention of consumers and is making news in the convenience and fuel retail industry.
Mothers change their purchasing habits when they hear ethanol reduces the need for toxic gasoline additives linked to cancer, asthma, smog and groundwater contamination. Millennials consider buying higher blends when you tell them ethanol cuts carbon emissions by 43% or more and saves them money at the pump. E15 provides a prime opportunity for fuel retailers and convenience stores to turn this important segment of the population from pass-through consumers to loyal customers.
Leading retailers around the country are adding the fuel to their offerings. Family Express, Kum & Go, MAPCO, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Protec, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Sheetz, Thorntons and others are selling E15 at 672 stations across 29 states. That’s a 200% increase from 2015. This spectacular growth is fueled by consumer demand for quality, cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions. The 21st century consumer is always on the lookout for products that can power their routines while also making the world a little bit better.
E15 also provides unique marketing opportunities for retailers, and Growth Energy is committed to providing tools to our partners to facilitate their adoption of E15. Working closely with Prime the Pump, Growth Energy helped retailers secure available grants to install E15 infrastructure. They have also committed to helping retailers navigate through logistical red tape to obtain grants through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Of the 672 E15 locations, 432 are partnered in the BIP program.
Most importantly, Growth Energy provides direct assistance with marketing and consumer education around E15. Simply adding more E15 locations is not enough. They want consumers to understand their fuel options, and with that knowledge reach for higher blends, so they focus on helping retailers convey the benefits of E15 to their customers.
On the marketing front, Growth Energy’s E15 brand ambassador program is a key tool in highlighting those benefits. The program focuses on educating consumers about ethanol-blended fuel and E15 by stationing ambassadors at retail dispensers. These ambassadors provide information about the fuel to customers while they fill up their vehicles, as well as answer questions.
This type of marketing engages directly with consumers and results not only in higher awareness of E15, but also provides an opportunity to gather important analytics about consumption patterns, sales and customer traffic during promotions.
E15 will become a household name and the window of opportunity to add it to fuel offerings for retailers is wide-open. Growth Energy is looking forward to continuing the great work with their fuel retail partners and to expanding E15 access to American drivers across the United States.
This post is sponsored by Growth Energy