BOSTON — Nearly a quarter (22.3%) of consumers said they prefer to purchase packaged goods at convenience stores, double those who said the same for drugstores (11.4%) and warehouse stores (10.3%), according to GasBuddy’s new report, Beyond the Pump. Two-thirds of consumers said they make purchases at a convenience store at least once a month, while 38% said they do so at least once a week.
Boston-based GasBuddy surveyed more than 1,000 consumers on April 20, 2019, for this report, which explores what is driving the success of c-stores across the nation.
- Click here to read GasBuddy’s rankings of the top c-stores during first-quarter 2019.
“The original on-demand commerce, c-stores are in the business of selling time, making it the first-mile and last-mile choice for millions of Americans,” said Frank Beard, convenience-store analyst for Boston-based GasBuddy. “It's no surprise that they're meeting the needs of younger generations who crave ease and immediacy.”
Here are three insights from GasBuddy’s Beyond the Pump report …
Middle-aged consumers lead purchases
Nearly half (47%) of consumers between the ages of 45 and 60 said they make purchases at c-stores at least once a week, the highest of all age groups. This was followed by consumers ages 30-44 (45%), 18-29 (37%) and 61 and older (19%).
These numbers differ when it comes to monthly purchases, though. Seventy-seven percent of consumers between the ages of 30 and 44 said they make purchases at c-stores at least once a month, outpacing those ages 18-29 (71%), 45-60 (71%) and 61 and older (40%).
Sweet snacks are most popular
More than half (55%) of consumers said they purchase sweet snacks often or very often at c-stores, which ranks atop item categories. Fifty-two percent said the same for beverages and salty snacks, while water (43%) and jerky (21%) weren’t as popular in c-stores.
Impulse buys are strong
Impulse purchases continue to affect the way consumers shop at c-stores. Ninety percent of consumers said they’ve made unplanned purchases at c-stores in the past, while 25% said they made an impulse buy the last time they stopped for gas.