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    C-store Dining Depends on Dollars Earned

    CSNews Realities of the Aisle study findings uncover income influence.

    By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News

    NATIONAL REPORT — When it comes to dining at convenience stores, the salary dollars earned annually by shoppers makes a difference. In fact, income plays a factor in the purchasing patterns of c-store shoppers more so in the foodservice category than in most other categories.

    According to the exclusive 2015 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle consumer research study, c-store foodservice shoppers earning $75,000 to $99,999 a year are the most likely to stop at a convenience store almost every day, followed by those earning $50,000 to $74,999.

    Meanwhile, c-store foodservice shoppers in both the lowest income bracket (less than $35,000) and the highest income bracket ($100,000 or more) tend to stop at a c-store two or three times a week. Across every income bracket, a majority of the consumers surveyed said they stop several times a week.

    Delving into the influence of income on the specific foodservice products sought at a c-store, mid-income consumers — those earning $35,000 to $49,999, or $50,000 to $74,999 — show the highest frequency of shopping at a c-store to buy a fountain/frozen beverage. When looking at hot beverages, the highest frequency is seen among the income brackets of $50,000 to $74,999, or more than $100,000.

    Interestingly, higher-income consumers (earning $50,000 and upward) are more likely than lower-income consumers (earning less than $50,000) to shop at a c-store specifically to purchase prepared food for immediate consumption. Consumers earning less than $35,000 are the least likely to do so.

    The CSNews study also revealed how income affects when c-store foodservice shoppers visit:

    • While running other errands: Cited most by those earning less than $35,000.
    • While traveling to/from work or school: Cited most by those earning $100,000 or more.
    • While traveling for pleasure: Cited most by those earning $100,000 or more.
    • Special trips to the c-store from home: Cited most by those earning less than $35,000.
    • While traveling for business: Cited most by those earning $100,000 or more.

    Editor's note: For more findings from the exclusive Convenience Store News 2015 Realities of the Aisle consumer research study, look in the February issue of Convenience Store News. A digital edition of the issue can be accessed by clicking here.

    By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News
    • About Linda Lisanti Linda Lisanti is editor-in-chief for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News. In this role, she is responsible for content development across all of CSNews' print and online properties, with a specialty in coverage of the foodservice category in convenience stores. Lisanti has more than 13 years of experience in the journalism field. After working as a reporter for several daily newspapers, she joined CSNews as a staff writer in August 2005 and held senior writer, senior editor and executive editor positions before becoming editor-in-chief in August 2014. Lisanti has a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from Rowan University.

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