While younger consumers visit c-stores more often to buy beverages, their attention must be earned. Gen Z and millennials are much more interested in made-to-order options and new beverage offers than other age groups.

But Crecca urges retailers not to disregard their Gen X and baby boomer customers.

“These consumers crave customization and … express interest in trying prepared beverages with more healthful attributes in the c-store setting,” she says. “A deep understanding of generational makeup of a c-store brand’s current and desired beverage patron is key to aligning the offering and promotional programs to drive traffic, sales and customer satisfaction.”