Tobacco Basket Value, Units Up in C-Stores

Smaller tobacco brands saw above-average increases
Blurry cartons of cigarettes
Photograph: Shutterstock

ADDISON, Texas — The tobacco basket value in convenience-stores is up 28% and units per basket is up 12% from last year, according to an Aug. 20 report from analytics and shopper insights company Koupon.

While some c-stores have seen a decline in traffic amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sales are starting to pick up in some cases. In-store sales, per store, are up 1% from 2019 after three weeks of decline, the report said.

One category that stands out: Tobacco.

All tobacco categories are demonstrating strong growth from 2019. On average, consumers are purchasing more expensive tobacco products and tobacco price is inelastic, Koupon said.

Cigarette, smokeless tobacco and cigars are hovering around average while vape has only experienced 7% dollars per basket growth, reflecting impacts of 2020 FDA regulatory changes, the report said.

Smaller tobacco brands saw above-average increases in dollars per basket growth and units per basket growth. The brands with the most significant growth, according to Koupon, are Red Buck, a pipe tobacco company; smokeless brand Kayak; and smokeless brand Stokers.

Koupon expects the growth in the tobacco category to continue through 2020.

Addison, Texas-based Koupon provides c-store retailers and brands with ways to connect and engage with shoppers. It works with brands to deploy personalized, channelwide promotions, and helps retailers to secure additional brand trade spending and grow shopper engagement. Members of the Koupon Network—a c-store collaborative with 30 convenience retailers and more than 70 brands—can benefit from Koupon’s channel reach; proprietary technology and data; and campaign management services, the company said. Since its founding in 2011, it has delivered more than 4 billion offers.

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